The Trouble with Free Speech
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," coming to you from the Land of the Free and the Home of the Not-So-Smart!
First, a bit of good news in this morning's Philadelphia Inquirer. Rick Santorum will no longer be appearing as a weekly columnist. Woot! This must have been the first executive decision of the new publisher. I don't know about the rest of the Inquirer's subscribers, but I canceled my subscription after a particularly virulent and self-serving Santorum rant. Now I'll be back on board with the "Inky!"
Rick Santorum's broken-record, impassioned pleas for a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as occurring between one man and one woman lost him his Senate seat in Pennsylvania. Well, that and the fact that he didn't live in Pennsylvania. He had moved his family to the deep blue suburbs of Washington, DC, from which he cannot now emerge to challenge his left-wing foes.
Before you tea party morons out there accuse me of not wanting to listen to opposing viewpoints, I will tell you that the Inquirer has a very good and very conservative columnist named Kevin Ferris. I hate the guy's politics, but he expresses himself well. He also answers his hate mail, which is rare in the newspaper biz.
But today's sermon is not about our sweet Ricky. It's about people who ardently support freedom of speech.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion. Trouble is, some people don't think their opinions through before they take them public.
If you're a member of the Tea Party, and you passionately believe in personal freedom (is this before or after cashing your Social Security check?), see what you have wrought! Onslaught without thought!
Each and every bored god and all busy gods forbid that we ever get a president like the two men with whom he's pictured on this billboard! Especially Hitler!
Excuse me, Tea Fartiers: Have you been rounded up, placed in "camps," tortured in the name of "medical research," and gassed wholesale? Do you honestly believe that could happen under our sitting president?
I'm trying to imagine our American military goose-stepping and Sieg Heiling President Obama in a vast parade of muscled might.
Ooops! Sorry. I've got a vivid imagination, but NOT THAT FRIGGIN VIVID.
In all fairness, some Tea Party higher-uppers have condemned this billboard. Sorry, dudes. It's too late. The thing is looming over a highway in Iowa, and it says "tea party" on the bottom. Freedom of speech! The rights of the individual! That's what y'all stand for. But you see, the "rights of the individual" includes every individual, even the ones with extremely bad judgment and extremely hefty bank accounts. Those individuals have just shot the Tea Party in the foot.
Let's see if I can guess what I'm going to see on "Countdown with Keith" tonight, when I sit down to yawn through it. If the Hitler/Lenin/Obama billboard isn't the first image on the screen, it will only be because the BP oil cap has exploded.
Just as most mainstream Christians flinch and flee when the Westboro Baptist Church slings its hate, most mainstream Republicans must be appalled at the Tea Party fringe "freedom fighters." At least I hope that's the case, because civil discourse is the hallmark of a healthy democracy.
The beauty is that the Tea Party can't police its own, can't ask for reason to prevail. This would tread on the freedom of speech of its members. Hopefully this will prove the downfall of this small group of political zealots who are doing the dirty work for Big Business -- and who presumably have lived such fortunate lives as to never have needed government assistance, even to fill the pesky pothole in front of their house.
Tea Party, when you go down, that billboard is going to be your life raft. Uh oh.