Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Free Speech or Sedition

Joe Klein wrote a wonderfully succinct post on Swampland.

On the Chris Mathews Show Sunday, I said that some of the right-wing infotainment gasbags--people like Glenn Beck etc.--were nudging up close to the edge of sedition. This has caused a bit of a self-righteous ruckus on the right. Let me be clear: dissent isn't sedition. Questioning an Administration's policies isn't sedition. But questioning an Administration's legitimacy in a manner intended to undermine or overthrow it certainly is. A rally like this yesterday in South Carolina is a good example of seditious speech. It's not illegal--unless actions are taken to overthrow the government in question--but it is disgraceful and the precise opposite of patriotism in a democracy.
This is something that keeps coming up. Where is the line between patriotism and treason? We looked at it when we discussed the Oath Keepers, and it came up in a big way in the Adkisson case.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.


  1. He added, referring to President Obama: "If his wife says Kenya is his homeland, why don't we just send him back?"

    That's seditious and disgraceful?!

    Sounds like tongue-in-cheek sarcasm based on something Michelle Obama recently said about her husband. Hardly seditious.

    Just goes to show you how little respect those who don't approve of the 2nd have for the 1st.

  2. Mikeb says:

    Where is the line between patriotism and treason?

    At this rate, "treason" will soon be the highest form of patriotism.

    If this be treason . . .

  3. I agree the crack about going back to Kenya is nothing. I think Klein was referring to a general offensive on the part of the right wing TV and radio personalities. In that assessment I agree they've long been over the line of what's acceptable.

  4. Mikeb30200:

    You had me going or a minute there.
    Then I looked at the link and laughed. Wny, if it wasn't Teabaggist Tommy "Tantrum" Tancredo who made that "tongue-in-cheek" remark about the president. Lord knows a guy like Tancredo--who doesn't have a meaningfull bone in his body--should be excused for his little jape. I mean, it's not like he's gone around demonizing people. I mean, this:

    " “can’t even spell the word vote or even speak English,”

    referring to those voters for Obama that are not native born U.S. citizens was, I'm sure, just a little icebreaker for his audience of "REAL ameriKKKans at the natinal Teabaggist rally*

    But, of course, Tommy, a supporter of using U.S. military force in settling any disputes we have with other nations goes way back. In college he was a vocal supporter of the war in Vietnam--he, unfortunately, could not serve as he was depressed; at least that's what he told the docs at the draft board.

    Gosh, no wonder Tommy's so pissed off; he only gets to rail at brown people instead of being paid to shoot them.


  5. In that assessment I agree they've long been over the line of what's acceptable.

    So you're only a fan of free speech if it's "acceptable?"

    Big surprise. Someone with no respect for the 2nd Amendment who also lacks respect for the 1st.