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Free Speech Scares (Some) Progressives

DailyKos has a nice riff exposing the histrionic fears of liberal reform groups such as Common Cause and Democracy 21 who worry that unless campaign finance laws are applied to blogs, we'll end up with "billion dollar Halliburton blogs" exercizing mind control over the brainwashed masses.

Free speech has always been scary stuff for ideologues of the left and right. But in recent years, it seems that while rightwingers has been content merely to question the patriotism or morality of those who challenge their views, the left and so-called "progressives" have borrowed a page from the old-time reactionaries of Scopes Trial days and have either pushed for outright bans on so-called "hate speech" or have just stuck their heads in the sand and refused to address issues with which they are uncomfortable.

Whether it's their refusal to truly engage the right over what real "family values" mean -- e.g., which would be more helpful to America's families, banning gay marriage or getting affordable health insurance? -- or its apoplectic freakouts whenever someone like Bill Cosby challenges conventional wisdom on what African-Americans in this country truly need, the liberal wing of the Democratic Party shows that it lives in fear.

Fear of debate. And fear of rolling up its sleeves and truly battling it out in the marketplace of ideas.

The result is that they have ceded to the rightwing a monopoly on addressing the crucial moral, spiritual and political questions of the day. That's a much bigger problem, it seems to me, than whether some companies fund a few more pro-business or anti-labor blogs.


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Exactly. This is what is wrong with the Democratic party and many liberals that I know. They refuse to fight over the hard to attack issues like "moral values" "the war on terror", and others. In 2004 we had 2 perfectly fine candidates..that both refused to get down and dirty over the issues that mattered. Instead they rolled over and looked for a treat.

So now I personally feel when I drive around in my VW with a "Think Blue" sticker on it, most SUV driving "W" folk view me as a push-over.

Progessives and liberals alike need to change this image. We are not a weak-knee'd people.

Right. Can you imagine ("Give 'em Hell, Harry!) Truman or FDR or JFK flinching if someone called one of them a "liberal?"

Interestingly, news reports today suggest that a major reason the Democrat Kaine won the governorship in Virginia was because he openly spoke to people about his moral and spiritual beliefs and defused the common sentiment that Democrats are hostile to God and moral values.

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