The Democrats’ Assault on Free Speech

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by Sen. Mitch McConnell,

from Politico,

Throughout August, senators had the opportunity to travel around their states and listen to the concerns of their constituents. The American people have a lot on their minds these days — important issues they expect the Democrat-run Senate to address: things like high unemployment, threats of terrorism, rising health care costs and the ongoing crisis at the border.

Unfortunately, hardly any of those things will be on the Senate’s agenda when it returns Monday.

That’s because the Democrats who control the Senate say they’re more interested in repealing the free speech protections the First Amendment guarantees to all Americans. Their goal is to shut down the voices of their critics at a moment when they fear the loss of their fragile Senate majority. And to achieve it, they’re willing to devote roughly half of the remaining legislative days before November to this quixotic anti-speech gambit.

The proposal they want to consider would empower incumbent politicians to write the rules on who gets to speak and who doesn’t. And while no one likes to be criticized, the way for Senate Democrats to avoid it is to make better arguments, or even better, to come up with better ideas — not shut up their constituents.

Not surprisingly, a proposal as bad as the one Senate Democrats are pushing won’t even come close to garnering the votes it would need to pass. But to many Democrats, that’s just the point. They want this proposal to fail because they think that somehow would help them on Election Day — they think it will help drive to the polls more left-wing voters who don’t like having to defend their ideas.

If all this seems like an object lesson in why most Americans are so disgusted with Washington right now, that’s because it is. With legislative priorities like this, it’s no wonder a recent Quinnipiac poll found that just 14 percent of respondents say they think the government in Washington can be counted on to do what’s right most or all of the time.

A more sensible approach would be for the Democrats who run the Senate to take up the slew of job-creation bills the Republican-controlled House already has passed, some with overwhelming bipartisan support. But Senate Democrats prefer to spend their time on bizarre sideshows like trying to take an eraser to the First Amendment.

None of this should be surprising to even the most casual observer of the Senate these days. Earlier this year, the Democratic leadership rolled out a partisan playbook drafted by campaign staffers that spelled out just how they planned to run the Senate in the run-up to November. It was filled with partisan proposals designed specifically to fail so Democrats could campaign on the failure of that legislation, blaming Republicans for what wasn’t done.

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