Left Blames the Constitution for Assassination Attempt on Rep. Giffords

Mark J. Fitzgibbons
The Left's attempt to de-legitimize the law that governs government, our Constitution, has taken a turn to the deranged.

On Washington-based WMAL's Chris Plante Show this morning, host Chris Plante was discussing the Left's attempt to blame the Right for the assassination attempt on Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords. One liberal caller turned the conversation into a criticism of the reading of the Constitution on the floor of the House last week.

Just one crazy, irresponsible nut job from the Left, you say?

Jill Lepore writes a blog at The New Yorker with no subtle undertones entitled, "Jared Lee Loughner and the Constitution."

Over at the ever-reliable Huffington Post, Michael Winship, senior writer at Public Affairs Television in New York City, penned "Hate Speech the Right's Magic Bullet," blaming "thinly-veiled messages of bigotry and meretricious embrace of Constitution, religion, flag and family."

Assistant Democratic Leader Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina made it the official Democratic Party line on the Ed Schultz radio show, blaming protests about President Obama's constitutional eligibility: "And all of the stuff taking place in the chamber the other day when the Constitution was being read, all of that stuff is uncalled for." (Rep. Clyburn appears to be referring to a rant from the visitors' gallery when Article II, Sec. 1, Clause 5 was read, not the fact that the Constitution was read.)

Rep. Gabby Giffords took part in reading aloud the Constitution on the floor of the House last week.

The part she read was the 1st Amendment.

In New York Times v. Sullivan, liberal icon Justice William Brennan quotes another liberal icon, Justice Louis Brandeis. It's worth reading:

Those who won our independence believed . . . that public discussion is a political duty; and that this should be a fundamental principle of the American government. They recognized the risks to which all human institutions are subject. But they knew that order cannot be secured merely through fear of punishment for its infraction; that it is hazardous to discourage thought, hope and imagination; that fear breeds repression; that repression breeds hate; that hate menaces stable government; that the path of safety lies in the opportunity to discuss freely supposed grievances and proposed remedies; and that the fitting remedy for evil counsels is good ones. Believing in the power of reason as applied through public discussion, they eschewed silence coerced by law - the argument of force in its worst form. Recognizing the occasional tyrannies of governing majorities, they amended the Constitution so that free speech and assembly should be guaranteed.

Thus we consider this case against the background of a profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open, and that it may well include vehement, caustic, and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials.

The Left's attempt to de-legitimize the law that governs government, our Constitution, has taken a turn to the deranged.

On Washington-based WMAL's Chris Plante Show this morning, host Chris Plante was discussing the Left's attempt to blame the Right for the assassination attempt on Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords. One liberal caller turned the conversation into a criticism of the reading of the Constitution on the floor of the House last week.

Just one crazy, irresponsible nut job from the Left, you say?

Jill Lepore writes a blog at The New Yorker with no subtle undertones entitled, "Jared Lee Loughner and the Constitution."

Over at the ever-reliable Huffington Post, Michael Winship, senior writer at Public Affairs Television in New York City, penned "Hate Speech the Right's Magic Bullet," blaming "thinly-veiled messages of bigotry and meretricious embrace of Constitution, religion, flag and family."

Assistant Democratic Leader Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina made it the official Democratic Party line on the Ed Schultz radio show, blaming protests about President Obama's constitutional eligibility: "And all of the stuff taking place in the chamber the other day when the Constitution was being read, all of that stuff is uncalled for." (Rep. Clyburn appears to be referring to a rant from the visitors' gallery when Article II, Sec. 1, Clause 5 was read, not the fact that the Constitution was read.)

Rep. Gabby Giffords took part in reading aloud the Constitution on the floor of the House last week.

The part she read was the 1st Amendment.

In New York Times v. Sullivan, liberal icon Justice William Brennan quotes another liberal icon, Justice Louis Brandeis. It's worth reading:

Those who won our independence believed . . . that public discussion is a political duty; and that this should be a fundamental principle of the American government. They recognized the risks to which all human institutions are subject. But they knew that order cannot be secured merely through fear of punishment for its infraction; that it is hazardous to discourage thought, hope and imagination; that fear breeds repression; that repression breeds hate; that hate menaces stable government; that the path of safety lies in the opportunity to discuss freely supposed grievances and proposed remedies; and that the fitting remedy for evil counsels is good ones. Believing in the power of reason as applied through public discussion, they eschewed silence coerced by law - the argument of force in its worst form. Recognizing the occasional tyrannies of governing majorities, they amended the Constitution so that free speech and assembly should be guaranteed.

Thus we consider this case against the background of a profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open, and that it may well include vehement, caustic, and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials.