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The First Amendment and Leftist politics

By Scott Tibbs, August 26, 2010

Shortly after "Dr. Laura" Schlessinger went on a rant on her radio show and used the word "nigger" eleven times, she announced she was ending her radio program and that she hopes to regain her First Amendment rights. Sarah Palin chimed in on Twitter, complaining that Schlessinger's rights had been violated.

Of course, no violation of First Amendment rights took place. The First Amendment is a limitation on government, not a guarantee of free speech. Even if Schlessinger had been forced off the air due to an advertiser boycott, there would be no damage to the Constitution. If the FCC forced her off the air, that would be a different story.

What is amusing is that People for the American Way sent an alert to their e-mail list on August 23 urging the list to take action and send Sarah Palin a copy of the First Amendment. PFAW gloats that 12,000 people signed their petition over the previous weekend. PFAW's goal "is to send tens of thousands… or hundreds of thousands… or with the help of Facebook and web users like you, maybe even a million copies of the First Amendment to Sarah Palin."

How silly. Does a couple statements on Twitter by a woman who holds no elective office and is not running for anything require the mobilization of PFAW's e-mail list?

No, but Sarah Palin is hated by Leftist activists and is a convenient fundraising and motivational tool. As Rush Limbaugh likes to say about Leftists, "they will tell you who they are afraid of." Ironically, the campaigns against Palin by groups like PFAW give her more notoriety than she would have otherwise, and serve as motivation for Palin's supporters.