Senate Democrats Would Overturn Free Speech Protections to Silence Critics

And with the Democrats’ fragile Senate Majority hanging by a thread, it seems they’re done playing by the normal rules of democracy. It seems they’d rather just rewrite the rules altogether to shut up their critics and shut down their opponents. Even as they continue to give a pass to the left-wing tycoons they like — folks who preach higher taxes and more regulation for everyone else, while jealously guarding pet projects and sweetheart deals for themselves.’

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate Floor today regarding Senate Democrats’ attempt to limit free speech:

“Earlier today, one Democrat Senator urged his colleagues to get serious about the real challenges facing our country – challenges like dealing with the threat of ISIL. He implored fellow Democrats not to focus all their time instead, quote, ‘doing things that are of lesser importance.’

“Yet, his voice seems to have been ignored by the Democrats who run the Senate. Because here we stand, debating their proposal on whether or not to take an eraser to the First Amendment.

“Here we are, debating whether or not to grant politicians the extraordinary authority to ban speech they don’t like. That’s what Democrat Leaders have brought to the floor this week as their top priority.

“It’s a measure so extreme it could even open the door to government officials banning books and pamphlets that threaten or annoy them.

“That’s not my argument. That’s essentially the Obama Administration’s own position, one that its lawyers advocated in the Supreme Court in the Citizens United case.

“As one USA Today columnist put it at the time, ‘It isn’t often that a government lawyer stands before the Supreme Court and acknowledges that yes, it would be constitutional to ban a book. But that is what happened.’

“It’s shocking.

“These are the depths to which the Obama Administration and its Democrat Majority appear willing to drag our country in order to retain their hold on power.

“They’re tired of listening to criticism of their failed policies.

“They’re sick of having to sell the Middle Class on ideas that hurt the Middle Class.

“And with the Democrats’ fragile Senate Majority hanging by a thread, it seems they’re done playing by the normal rules of democracy. It seems they’d rather just rewrite the rules altogether to shut up their critics and shut down their opponents. Even as they continue to give a pass to the left-wing tycoons they like — folks who preach higher taxes and more regulation for everyone else, while jealously guarding pet projects and sweetheart deals for themselves.

“The aim here, just like with the IRS scandal, is to use the levers of power to shut down the voice of We the People when We the People don’t see things their way. The First Amendment is the only thing standing in the way.

“Of course, we all know the real reason Senate Democrats are so determined to push this measure now.

“They’re not actually all that serious about passing it this week.

“In fact, they designed it to fail, because they think its failure would help turn more left-wingers out to the polls.

“This entire spectacle is mostly about saving the jobs of Democrat Senators come November.

And yet it must be admitted that it’s getting harder to tell which of our Democrat friends are cynical in their support of this, and which are sincere. Because the number of true believers in speech suppression appears to be growing on the other side. And that’s really worrying for the future of our democracy.

“So look: if the Democrats who run Washington are so determined to force the Senate into a debate over repealing the free speech protections of the First Amendment, then fine: let’s have a full and proper debate.

“Let’s make the country see what this is really all about. Let’s expose this extremist effort to the light of public scrutiny. 

“I suspect our Democrat friends don’t really want that though. I suspect they’d hoped to just drop a few talking points, have their proposal fail, shoot some indignant emails to their supporters, and move on.

“I don’t think they counted on senators standing up for the American people. I don’t think they counted on senators exposing their plans to entrench the tools of government speech suppression.

“So if they’d rather not have a debate they can’t win, then here’s a better idea.

“We all just spent the past several weeks back in our home states talking to our constituents.

“They’ve got a lot on their minds these days — important issues they expect the Democrat-run Senate to address: things like high unemployment, rising health care costs, and an ongoing crisis at the border.

“I, for one, would be interested to hear how repealing part of the First Amendment creates jobs for Americans. Or reduces health care costs. The answer is, it doesn’t.   

“And the Republican-controlled House has already sent over countless bills that continue to collect dust on the Majority Leader’s desk. There are many bills on job creation alone, including legislation that passed the House with significant bipartisan support.

“So if Senate Democrats want to take up some of that serious, House-passed legislation instead of endless designed-to-fail political votes, we’ll happily move to it. Just say the word.

“Let’s end the Democrats’ endless gridlock and get some bills to the President’s desk for once.

“Because Americans aren’t demanding that Congress repeal the free speech protections of the First Amendment.

“They’re looking to us to work together to get some things done for them for a change.

“And we can, just as soon as our Democrat friends get serious.’