Bill Clinton hints at desire to see anti-government speech restricted
Political elites, especially among the liberals, are beginning to be quite worried about the White rage they see all around them. A good indication of the hysteria is that Joe Klein of TIME wants Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin indicted for inciting sedition, and John Heilemann of New York magazine adds Rush Limbaugh to the list.
Bill Clinton is doing his part. In an interview with CNN pundit and former AIPAC lobbyist Wolf Blitzer, Clinton was not shy about expressing his dislike of the Tea Parties, and he hinted at his desire for tougher speech restrictions. Referring to the Oklahoma City bombing, Blitzer said “the hatred that Timothy McVeigh … had … , there are plenty of people like that right now” — to which Clinton replied “lot’s of them.” Blitzer said that there were many websites advocating “hate” and Clinton replied with silly platitudes about how the Internet can be used to learn how to make a bomb. The former president added that “websites are easily accessible and you can be highly selective and spend all of your time with people that are, you know, kind of out there with you” (emphasis mine).
Clinton noted that the Tea Party debate had to be kept “within the limits that the framers [of the Constitution] intended.” These kinds of mantras are designed to appeal to the attachment of Americans to the Constitution, even though the country has evolved in ways that would have been unthinkable to the framers. Needless to say, Clinton couldn’t care less about the original framers of the Constitution.
He added that “beyond the law there is no freedom, we can’t have violence or the advocacy of violence and we got to be careful when we get close to that, particularly if we’re in positions of influence.” Translation: The nightmare of the current regime is that respected, intelligent, influential people would begin questioning the legitimacy of the government.
Clinton tries to conflate the Tea Party movement with the Oklahoma City bombing:
By and large in the last fifty years, well at least since the early 70s, […] by and large these [problems] have been systematically coming out of the far right. Again I think that all those folks have a place in our political debate, we just have to know where to draw the line, and we have enough threats against the president, enough threats against the Congress that we should be sensitive to it. The 15th anniversary of Oklahoma City, I’m not trying to draw a total parallel, I’m just saying that we should be aware of this. This is a vast echo chamber this internet, [in which] some are serious, some are delirious, some are connected, some are unhinged.
He then worried about “what certain words might do to people who are less stable.”
Of course, we know full well that politically-motivated violence is overwhelmingly committed by the Left. Exhibit A is the cancellation of the recent American Renaissance conference due to heavy harassment by leftist fanatics, which included death threats and led to cancellations by four different hotels. As Jared Taylor lamented, the story received no coverage from the mainstream American media, and law enforcement yawned. Leftist and minority activists are never prevented from meeting by conservatives.
In another interview with the New York Times, Clinton referred to Rep. Michele Bachmann who called the Obama administration “the gangster government” at a Tea Party rally. He said: “They are not gangsters, they were elected. They are not doing anything they were not elected to do.”
“There can be real consequences when what you say animates people who do things you would never do,” Mr. Clinton said in an interview, saying that Timothy McVeigh, who carried out the Oklahoma City bombing, and those who assisted him, “were profoundly alienated, disconnected people who bought into this militant antigovernment line.”
“Have at it,” he said. “You can attack the politics. Criticize their policies. Don’t demonize them, and don’t say things that will encourage violent opposition.”
Clinton and the rest of the liberal elites who control the media want business as usual: polite political debate and wait for the next election. But for many of the tea partiers it’s beyond all that. They feel themselves abused and dispossessed. There is a desperation and intensity in the air.
This is an administration that crammed health care down the nation’s throat despite majority opposition. It is now poised to once again flout the majority by making citizens of the millions of non-White illegal immigrants and their relatives. In a situation like this, is it any wonder that people are questioning its legitimacy? Gangsters indeed!
Clinton is carefully and implicitly voicing his support for the banning of certain forms of speech that he sees as threatening the legitimacy of the ruling regime. Of course he feels personally threatened by the recent outbursts of rage coming from a large segment of the population. He knows he has contributed greatly to transforming the country and alienating them. He is a sought-after speaker — paid hundreds of thousands of dollars per speech and drawing thousands who buy their hundred-dollar tickets to see him deliver one platitude after another. The media paints him as a brilliant, warm-hearted guy who was a good and fair president. He obviously has a lot to lose in any movement that strongly criticizes a ruling regime that lavishes money and glory upon him. He is clever in dropping here and there a catch phrase like “you can attack the politics, criticize their policies [but] don’t demonize them, and don’t say things that will encourage violent opposition.”
The reason he carefully weighs his views is that he knows a majority of Americans are still deeply attached to the First Amendment and opposing it too directly and without nuances would be ill-perceived by many. Between the lines, he is advocating eventual hate speech legislation and considerable extension of government powers to muzzle people who challenge them.
William Davis (email him) is a freelance writer.