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The Progressive War on Free Speech

Media Bias PolitiFactLiberals can say whatever they want, but attack conservatives for a “war on women.”

by Peter Roff

For all the talk of the “war on women” supposedly being waged by the Republicans, there is a distinct and considerable dishonesty going on concerning the way that some people actually talk about the female gender. To wit, let a right-wing celebrity – no matter how minor – say something even mildly derogatory about the fairer sex generally or even a single, specific woman and the epithets rain down from on high like a January blizzard in Minnesota.

The same is not true when a celebrity on the left picks as a target a politician on the right. There is one female comedian in particular who comes to mind, having recently said she wanted to “rip out” Republican U.S. House member Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ uterus.

At least part of her is probably thinking that by being so outrageous, so over the top that she can give her career a boost. That’s why we’re not going to help by mentioning her name. Leave it to say she’s been boldly offensive in her public pronouncements, as during the United States Supreme Court’s oral arguments in the Hobby Lobby case when, according to the DC Examiner, she tweeted, “I would personally like to castrate every Male Conservative Christian so that they have NO reproductive rights.”

“Rip out” a woman’s uterus? “Personally castrate” men of the right who believe in the Christian faith? What happened to all the advocates for moderation and fairness in public debates who in the last 12 months went after folks like radio’s Rush Limbaugh, rock star Ted Nugent, Fox News’ and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee for what they deemed to be verbal attacks on women and progressives? I’ll tell you what happened: Common decency called but they were in the shower and couldn’t come to the phone.

At some point it is going to dawn on people that the “language police” are not interested in bringing civility to the public arena. No, their only interest is in shutting down the voices who do not reflexively spout their agenda at every turn. To them the idea of open debate about even the most serious of subjects is anathema to liberal progress because, as they may not understand save for some base, instinctive realization, the facts are not on their side. They cannot win a fair argument because, unfortunately, they are unable to engage in a fair argument.

What is probably most outrageous is the way some of these same people masquerade as crusaders for free speech when what they actually mean is that they – and only they – should have unfettered access to every possible platform in order to make unchallenged statements about how they see the world. How does the old saying go? “You’re entitled to your own opinion; you’re not entitled to your own facts.”

There are those who will respond that through this column I am attacking the First Amendment rights of others. That is patent nonsense. The progressives like this particular comedian are free to say what they want, in public or private, and I will oppose with every fiber of my being and every word at my command any effort by the United States government to silence her. At the same time I won’t ever buy a ticket to one of her shows and, should I somehow find myself in the audience when she’s performing I won’t be too upset if someone else decides to boo when she starts talking about personally castrating people like me.

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Peter Roff is a contributing editor at U.S. News & World Report.  Formerly a senior political writer for United Press International, he’s now affiliated with Frontiers of Freedom. Follow him on Twitter @PeterRoff.