What you (may) pay for an opinion

It’s a sad state of affairs when those who make the greatest claims of constitutional rights for their own behavior are the least willing to grant them to others.

IBD looks at Free Speech And Yoo as an example of the price that is extracted for the simple matter of offering an opinion.

The campaign of harassment and intimidation against Yoo is sickening. Yoo and his family have been verbally assaulted, spat upon and threatened. … Yoo’s case shows how those on the extreme left deal with free speech that isn’t their own. As blogger Andrew Breitbart noted, it comes straight out of radical organizer Saul Alinsky’s playbook: “Rule 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”

Yoo isn’t the only one. Whole Foods CEO John Mackey is another current case mentioned. Others include the Glen Beck advertiser’s boycott and, of course, Sarah Palin.

You can find a similar ethos of disagreement in much more benign quarters as well. Do a search at Airforums.com for “first amendment” and you’ll get more than 100 hits from find people ranting about free speech in an RV social club. Not only are the comments totally irrelevant as a voluntary leisure association is not a U.S. government political venue but many of the comments are nasty, vile, personal, and well outside the scope of the forum’s terms of service. That lack of, or selective, enforcement of the agreed upon terms of service in a voluntary association is just another example of the depth of the issue.

There are patterns and correlations in these attacks. York interviewed Sheehan about how her anti-war protest efforts have been treated in the media and found that she has noted the pattern there, too. The town hall meetings are also bringing the matters of civility in disagreement to the attention of many as well. Awareness of the reality is a first step and the denials are becoming more and more strained. Let us hope they don’t break catastrophically.

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