Thank God for the First Amendment of the United States—and I'm Looking at You, Rashida Tlaib

Tom Williams/Pool via AP

Here I was, taking a couple of days off from writing at RedState -- to deal with issues of local elections and people trying to censor the voices of others via Facebook to get elected, and I find on the national level that type of idiotic thought is still rattling around in Washington, D.C.  


I thought I had told the Republicans in Congress in the article below why they should not censure and or expel Representative Rashida Tlaib for saying idiotic things.

What gives?

I wrote this back in October, and the GOP reps should have read it by now. We all know you kids are just planning your CHRISTmas vacations, so you are not THAT busy, for cripes sake.

Let Rashida Tlaib Speak All She Wants With No Censure or Expulsion

As sometimes is ironically noted, when the Bill of Rights was passed immediately after the United States Constitution was ratified, it was no mistake that the First Amendment was about speech, and the Second Amendment was about the ability to keep government from preventing you from being able to speak freely. I have read a number of articles and books about the passage of the first 10 amendments, and while that has been alluded to, I don't recall ever seeing evidence in the affirmative that that's exactly why those two were passed in the way they were.

Rolling into the topic of this article, which is being able to express ideas and thoughts freely in this country no matter how ignorant and repulsive they may be, inevitably, Congressperson Rashida Tlaib's name is going to come up.

Tlaib and controversial statements go together like peanut butter and jelly or mold on cheese. You just can't separate those two — that is the nature of things, and you just need to accept it.

Of course, the reason I'm revisiting this is because of the GOP vote to censure Tlaib. An excellent recap of what has happened since that vote by my colleague Jeff Charles is right here.


Rashida Tlaib Quadruples Down on Antisemitic 'From the River to the Sea' Chant After Being Censured

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) has tripled down on her use of an antisemitic phrase in a video after being censured by the House of Representatives. In the politically charged atmosphere of the public discourse related to the war between Israel and Hamas, Tlaib has emerged as a central figure in the anti-Israel side of the debate.

She has a flair for this sort of stuff, it seems. The vote to tell her she is bad passed and, as Jeff mentioned later in his post. 

The vote to censure Tlaib did not fall strictly on party lines, with 234 voting in favor of the resolution and 188 voting against it.

When it comes to the “river to the sea” phrase, there are likely many American activists using it ignorantly believing that it means what Tlaib is pretending it means. However, the fact remains the phrase is a call for genocide against the Jewish people and has been used by Hamas and other antisemitic extremist groups to rally support for this murderous cause.

Big whoop-dee-doo. She is not going to stop because of a vote that has zero teeth and is the weakest of the p.r. stunts Republicans could do here. In fact, it kind of reminds me a bit of the joke by the late Robin Williams, about police in England who usually do not carry guns and are overly polite.


"STOP, or I'll say STOP again."

Nice job and, as Jeff points out, not very effective.

So, why don't conservatives in the GOP, in particular, who some pretend are conservative around election time, take the same tack with the Second Amendment and apply it to the First? 

What I specifically mean here is that people get absolutely agitated if you talk about curbing their Second Amendment rights (I'm one of those people), and the reason is that you are taking away the means to defend yourself -- by allowing the government to limit what you can use and hold to protect yourself. 

So, why are people in favor of censoring what somebody like Tlaib says? 

Let her talk and spew her idiocy, and see who supports her. Defend her right to say whatever rattles around in that empty noggin of hers, then battle it with words and arguments of your own.

Let's step into the way-back machine, GOP, and bring back something called Special Orders where members could speak for up to one hour on anything they want to. This practically made a little-known Congressman from Georgia named Newt Gingrich a political powerhouse in the conservative movement.

Gingrich used Special Orders to effectively make arguments on the issues of the day, uninterrupted, and was joined by other Republicans -- and occasionally a Democrat. It made for interesting TV to find out how some of the politicians of the day thought about some of the bigger issues. 

Can you imagine Jim Jordan taking an hour to absolutely destroy what Tlaib has been saying about her nonsensical declarations of Palestine coexisting from the river to the Sea, on land that is owned by Israel?


Whoever is doing the Special Order could invite Representative Tlaib to join them and if she doesn't, just put a cardboard cut out of her there, because that would make a more sentient argument than anything that she would say -- on any day that ends in a Y.

Whoever does the Special Orders could use them in campaign commercials and would get invites to cable news programs. It would give people a way to make an argument and think on their feet -- making a long-form style discussion, instead of the minute speeches that members usually get to use. If you're going to try to win a p.r. war doing a vote that has absolutely nothing behind it is cute for a 30-second clip, but it does nothing for the long term of winning the issue here.

I know if I were a congressman right now, I would be abusing these special orders and talking about everything from this important issue to what flavor of ice cream I like -- and why the newest Beatles song, "Now and Then," has eventually grown on me to the point that I love it.

So, how about taking a little more time and using p.r. to bury the opponent instead of playing tiddlywinks with useless motions? 

Hone the argument this way, invite as many members to join and watch MSNBC and Joe and Mika melt.

Also, it's way past time that the United States stops inhibiting Israel in this war. We should tell them that they should suggest that if Hamas does not give up the hostages and cease its activities, the two-state solution is dead.

Give Hamas a hard date; tell them this is it and if they don't comply, Gaza is gone as a Hamas-ruled territory. If the kids in the West Bank get itchy, the same fate awaits them.


Then watch Tlaib melt.

In the meantime, we all should be thankful that the founders of this country had the absolute genius to create a Bill of Rights and put the First Amendment at the top of that list.

Congressperson Tlaib should be incredibly grateful for that, because as the only person in Congress of Palestinian origin, she of all people should know the concept of free speech in that region of the world is non-existent; you get killed if you disagree with the mob. 

Thankfully, we're not at that point in this country.



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