Tuesday, May 25, 2010

One right doesn't guarantee another

Especially when the other isn't one...

In today's Boston Globe, Michael Levenson writes:
Governor Deval Patrick, decrying partisanship in Washington, said yesterday that Republican opposition to President Obama is so reflexive that it “is almost at the level of sedition.’’
The headline writer felt that was "arcane", and Levenson felt he needed to define it. That's a little odd, to me anyway, but fine. "Sedition" isn't thrown around much anymore. No; what really caught me was this, a bit later in the story:

The Massachusetts Republican Party quickly condemned Patrick for using the word.

“Apparently our First Amendment rights are only guaranteed if we agree with the tax-and-spend policies of Deval Patrick and Barack Obama,’’ Jennifer Nassour, the party chairwoman, said in a statement.
Sorry, Jennifer. Your First Amendment rights aren't abridged just because someone puts a label on what you say (as your party should know all too well). As Hubert H. Humphrey once said, "The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously." And the right to free speech does not automatically include the right to have your words called something they aren't. Like "smart".

Or "patriotic".

Or "true".

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2 Comments:

At 8:57 PM, May 25, 2010 Anonymous jh79 had this to say...

Webster sez "Sedition: incitement of resistance to or insurrection against lawful authority"

If someone asserts that by objecting to presidential policies one is committing an act which is legally colorable as criminal, then yes, you have cause to regard your first amendment rights as having been threatened. By the way, "sedition" HAS been "thrown around a lot recently": by liberals against conservatives. Pay attention.

 
At 12:08 AM, May 26, 2010 Blogger fev had this to say...

jh79: As someone who pays attention, I'd be interested in how you'd document your assertion about which political faction is tossing legal terms like "sedition" around lightly. I expect you are making it up. I look forward to your documentation.

 

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