Once Again, Progressives Prove Willing to Politicize Everything

By positing a moral equivalence between the original, completely unjustified attacks against the right and the conservatives’ dismayed and defensive response, Obama placed his presidential stamp of approval on the progressives’ hate campaign. The very point of their assault on free speech rights, after all, has been that the political right is uniquely responsible for the creation of a “climate of hate” that leads to violence and murder. That is indeed a libel, and a contemptible one, yet Obama affirmed it by refusing to distinguish between the progressives’ unjustified attacks of the past week and the rhetoric of the right over the past several years. There is a huge and obvious difference between the two, and eliding that difference lets the real offenders, the progressives, off scot-free. It’s exactly what schools do when they punish a peace-loving kid for fighting back against a bully.

Thus in loftily adjuring the public to “make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds,” Obama confirmed the essential purpose of the progressives’ hate campaign: regardless of who may be engaging in hate, we can’t live this way any longer. “Only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to our challenges as a nation,” he said. Translation: something must be done. Meaning: more power for the federal government.

Thus Obama’s ostensibly irreproachable rhetoric set the agenda for what the progressives really want, and which was the real purpose behind this entire brouhaha: a campaign for even more unconstitutional federal government power over what people can say and write.

When Obama said, "only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to our challenges as a nation," the direct meaning of his words was politically neutral, but the only side of the debate that the mainstream media characterize as uncivil and dishonest is everybody to Obama's right.

That’s the real purpose behind all this concern about hate: an effort to suppress opposition to the progressive agenda, through calculated media attacks and more government regulation. As Fox News and others have reported, numerous progressives are taking advantage of the Arizona attacks to press for federal government regulation of public communications (which just happens to be unconstitutional). According to Fox News:

In the wake of the shooting, the National Hispanic Media Coalition used the incident to reiterate its call for the FCC to update its definitions of hate speech in media. It also asked the FCC to "examine the extent and effects of hate speech in media, and non-regulatory options for counteracting the violence that extreme rhetoric breeds."

Rep. Robert Brady, D-Pa., said he has no knowledge about what motivated Loughner to attack Giffords and the others, but he still wants legislation that bans the use of certain imagery when talking about congressional targets.

"I want to eliminate what may have been," Brady told Fox News. "I'm not a psychologist.... All I'm saying is you can't put a bull's eye or a crosshair on a member of Congress."

...

[Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY)] said that while she's not up to speed on current regulations, the Federal Communications Commission should work to sanction broadcasts that could incite people to violence.

"No one owns the airwaves," Slaughter said. "They are owned by the people."

If lawmakers were to seek remedies to quiet distasteful discussion, the so-called Fairness Doctrine is at the top of lists inspiring supporters and alarming opponents.

Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., told National Public Radio said he "came up in a time that the Fairness Doctrine did not allow media outlets to say things about a candidate or a person in public office without giving that person equal time to respond. And I really believe that everybody needs to take a look at where we are pushing things, and may need to take a serious step back and evaluate what's going on here."

Meanwhile, Obama's Federal Communications Commission, led by Julius Genachowski, has been greedily lusting after control of the internet through an illegal imposition of net neutrality and by extracting concessions from Comcast and NBC/Universal in trade for FCC approval of the firms' merger.

What has happened in the past week has been about one thing and one thing only: politics, pure and simple, in pursuit of even greater power for the federal government. There’s nothing the slightest bit unusual about that.