This is how it goes in collectives. You’re allowed the freedom of speech, but only when you agree with the collective. This is the position the White House is taking regarding stimulus projects. Mark Tapscott at the Washington Examiner has the details on today’s editorial page:
A new White House policy on permissible lobbying on economic recovery and stimulus project has taken a decidedly anti-First Amendment turn. It’s a classic illustration of Big Government trying to control every aspect of a particular activity and in the process running up against civil liberty.
Check out this passage from a post on the White House blog by Norm Eisen, Special Counsel to the President on Ethics and Government Reform (emphasis added):
“First, we will expand the restriction on oral communications to cover all persons, not just federally registered lobbyists. For the first time, we will reach contacts not only by registered lobbyists but also by unregistered ones, as well as anyone else exerting influence on the process. We concluded this was necessary under the unique circumstances of the stimulus program.
“Second, we will focus the restriction on oral communications to target the scenario where concerns about merit-based decision-making are greatest -after competitive grant applications are submitted and before awards are made. Once such applications are on file, the competition should be strictly on the merits. To that end, comments (unless initiated by an agency official) must be in writing and will be posted on the Internet for every American to see.
“Third, we will continue to require immediate internet disclosure of all other communications with registered lobbyists. If registered lobbyists have conversations or meetings before an application is filed, a form must be completed and posted to each agency’s website documenting the contact.”
As the editorial notes, this is the first movement toward suppression of political expression. Here the White House justifies it because of what it calls “unique circumstances.” But just wait. Soon this administration will begin to label more and more of its policies and actions as “unique circumstances” that require suppression of political dissent.
When it comes to free speech, it’s not the right to agree that’s crucial. It’s the right to disagree that is so important. Remember when those of the left were up in arms about the war in Iraq? They called that dissent patriotic, but it seems the only time this appears to be the case is when dissent is expressed by a liberal about a Republican president’s policies.
What is even more depressing is that the American people don’t see what is happening here in America as Obama’s approval ratings are still in the 60’s. But Pravda has taken notice and has published an obituary announcing the death of American capitalism:
First, the population was dumbed down through a politicized and substandard education system based on pop culture, rather then the classics. Americans know more about their favorite TV dramas then the drama in DC that directly affects their lives. They care more for their “right” to choke down a McDonalds burger or a BurgerKing burger than for their constitutional rights. Then they turn around and lecture us about our rights and about our “democracy”. Pride blind the foolish.
Then their faith in God was destroyed, until their churches, all tens of thousands of different “branches and denominations” were for the most part little more then Sunday circuses and their televangelists and top protestant mega preachers were more then happy to sell out their souls and flocks to be on the “winning” side of one pseudo Marxist politician or another. Their flocks may complain, but when explained that they would be on the “winning” side, their flocks were ever so quick to reject Christ in hopes for earthly power. Even our Holy Orthodox churches are scandalously liberalized in America.
The final collapse has come with the election of Barack Obama. His speed in the past three months has been truly impressive. His spending and money printing has been a record setting, not just in America’s short history but in the world. If this keeps up for more then another year, and there is no sign that it will not, America at best will resemble the Wiemar Republic and at worst Zimbabwe.
These past two weeks have been the most breath taking of all. First came the announcement of a planned redesign of the American Byzantine tax system, by the very thieves who used it to bankroll their thefts, loses and swindles of hundreds of billions of dollars. These make our Russian oligarchs look little more then ordinary street thugs, in comparison. Yes, the Americans have beat our own thieves in the shear volumes. Should we congratulate them?
The proud American will go down into his slavery with out a fight, beating his chest and proclaiming to the world, how free he really is. The world will only snicker.
Does Obama’s ability to suppress criticism reach as far as Russia?