Criticizing the Messiah may get you arrested

Criticizing the Messiah may get you arrested

Don’t like the stimulus? Disagree with Obama’s position on abortion? Apparently, if you make a political statement against the Obamamessiah, our Dear Leader, it just may get you arrested.

An Oklahoma City police officer wrongly pulled over a man last week and confiscated an anti-President Barack Obama sign the man had on his vehicle.

The officer misinterpreted the sign as threatening, said Capt. Steve McCool, of the Oklahoma City Police Department, and took the sign, which read “Abort Obama, not the unborn.”

Chip Harrison said he was driving to work when a police car followed him for several miles and then signaled for him to pull over.

”I pulled over, knowing I hadn’t done anything wrong,” Harrison said in a recent phone interview.

When the officer asked Harrison if he knew why he had been pulled over, Harrison said he did not.

”They said, ‘It’s because of the sign in your window,'” Harrison said.

”It’s not meant to be a threat, it’s a statement about abortion,” Harrison said.

He said he disagrees with the president’s position on abortion.

”I asked the officer, ‘Do you know what abort means?'” Harrison said. “He said, ‘Yeah, it means to kill.’ I said, ‘No, it means to remove or terminate.'”

Harrison said his sign was to be interpreted as saying something like: Remove Obama from office, not unborn babies from the womb.

The officers confiscated Harrison’s sign and gave him a slip of paper that stated he was part of an investigation.

… But his run-in with the law wasn’t over yet.

”The Secret Service called and said they were at my house,” Harrison said.

After talking to his attorney, Harrison went home where he met the Secret Service.

”When I was on my way there, the Secret Service called me and said they weren’t going to ransack my house or anything … they just wanted to (walk through the house) and make sure I wasn’t a part of any hate groups.”

Harrison said he invited the Secret Service agents into the house and they were “very cordial.”

”We walked through the house and my wife and 2-year-old were in the house,” Harrison said.

He said they interviewed him for about 30 minutes and then left, not finding any evidence Harrison was a threat to the president.

OK, OK… they didn’t actually arrest him. They just told him he would be fined, investigated, and reported to the Secret Service. Putting a sign on your car that’s critical of Obama’s position on abortion apparently makes you a threat to the President these days. Strangely enough, actual calls for death to President Bush by rabid liberal hippies in anti-war rallies for the past eight years didn’t see all of those people investigated by the Secret Service. But this is the newer, hopier, changier President. And dissent is no longer patriotic.

I’m a little curious what it means for the future of free speech if critical (and perhaps even somewhat inflammatory) speech against the President means you’ll get investigated by the Secret Service. That’s the problem with all this wailing from the Left on “hate speech”. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS HATE SPEECH — THIS IS THE UNITED STATES! As long as you are not making a direct threat against someone, you can say anything you damn well please. The First Amendment doesn’t protect speech as long as it’s pretty and pleasant and polite. It protects all speech, even if it’s rude, or demeaning, or inflammatory, or even — GASP!! — hateful.

But I guess that only holds true for liberals when they’re the ones speaking out, and not for conservatives. Free speech? That’s soo 2008.

Hat Tip: Michelle Malkin; also on a tip from Whit Bass.

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  • Chuck says:


    This is a profoundly important observation on your part, Cassy. Many countries (including the UK, I believe) have anti-“hate speech” laws that, in effect, destroy any pretense of free speech. Why? Because the government (or judges) can decide what is ‘hateful’ speech and what is not. If I said, “I hate Barack Obama,” am I guilty of a crime? Since he is a black man I could be accused of making a racist statement. Even the *chance* that I might be accused of a crime could make me hesitant to speak my mind. That is NOT free speech. Free speech is the right to speak my beliefs FREELY without fear of prosecution.

    As Americans, we all have the right to hate people, places, things and (yes) even religions or races. The KKK and neo-Nazis (as despicable as they are) have every right to hate blacks and other minorities or religions and to say so publicly.

    Now, this isn’t to say that there aren’t consequences for our speech. Your employer might very well have the right to fire you for what you say; or you could be sued by someone for slander. But true free speech means that you shouldn’t have to worry about being arrested (or investigated) for saying what you believe. (Unless, as you stated, you threaten some person or some group of people with violence.)

    However, there are times when your right to speak can conflict with other people’s rights. For example, in my opinion, the members of the Westboro Baptist Church do not have the right to disturb the peaceful assembly of military funerals. This, as far as I am concerned, is not so much a matter of freedom of speech as it is the right of others to gather in peace. For example, one does not have the right to shout out during a movie or church service any more than you have the right to shout out your political beliefs in the middle of the night in your neighborhood. The right to peacefully assemble to hear others speak (or to sleep!) is not trumped by your right to speak.

    Sorry for the super long comment, Cassy. But this is a VERY important topic that you have beautifully addressed! Thanks!

  • Chris M-G says:

    Heck, according to Biden you’re unpatriotic if you were against raising taxes. I’ve been waiting for a news piece such as this to appear for months. It was inevitable.

  • Stephen J. says:

    Think of it as a very oblique compliment, Cassy. The Bush administration could ignore all the screaming of the left-wing rabid haters because they knew that for all the froth and foam, none of them would actually do anything – and if anybody actually tried, they’d botch it before getting within a city block of the President.

    Obama and his people can’t be quite so blithe about the anger coming from the right. You see, you guys’ve got the guns. And you know how to use them.

    (Or so they would see it. Because of course every rightist/conservative citizen who expresses vehement disagreement with the president is only a beer or two away from becoming the Unabomber – right?)

  • Tomare Utsu Zo says:

    First, I hate to complain, but I wish the fellow had not let an un-warranted search of his house take place after he was submitted to an un-warranted seizure of his property, but then again, he did have a family to think about and they HAD just threaten to destroy his house if he didn’t ‘willingly’ forgo his rights so, I at least understand why he did.

    Second, wasn’t the Unabomber hero to the radical green movement or something? How would anyone associate the Unabomber with the right? *Shrugs* But then again, I wonder how anyone calls Hitler a extreame right wing loony.

  • Dave M says:

    Does this mean that “abort” means “murder”?

  • I used to be for abortion until I realized it’s failure rate….
    Nancy Pelosi
    Chuck Schumer
    Al Sharpton
    Bill Press
    That Iranian president
    Osama Bin Biden
    Hillary Clinton
    Hugo Chavez
    Abortion…another failed liberal policy!!!

  • Jay says:

    It’s funny that pro-abortion folks like Obama have been insisting for decades that “abort” does not mean “kill”. But now someone says “abort Obama” and they call it a death threat? So is abortion killing, or isn’t it?

  • Stephen J. says:

    Well, in all fairness, it is logically consistent to say: “You’re the ones who keep saying ‘to abort’ means ‘to murder’, especially with regard to the unborn; so when you say ‘Abort Obama’ – especially when followed directly by the phrase, ‘Not The Unborn’ – what are we supposed to conclude you mean?”

    The problem here is not that the Secret Service investigated someone who at least superficially appeared to be calling for violence against the President. (Because let’s be honest, if the sticker-maker didn’t want that interpretation to occur to at least some readers he wouldn’t have done it that way.) That is what the Secret Service is supposed to do. The problem is that they’re now straining at gnats while they swallowed camels under the Bush presidency.

    To avoid typing terms that might get Cassy’s blog looked at by some NSA snooper (yeah, it’s fun being paranoid), just consider what would have happened if someone had tried to produce an analogue of this film — — today, about the current President. If anybody connected to that film escaped Secret Service scrutiny, I would be very surprised. But that in itself would be understandable. To freak out over bumper stickers for one President and let feature films go by without comment for another, that’s the hypocrisy.

  • Hammer says:

    When Obama came to Berlin to give his famous New World Order speech, the berliners weren’t allowed to brandish signs or placards or to demonstrate in any way,shape,or form. Those orders came from the Obama folks. That is not what I call freedom of speech. Or am I a radical? I guess this is change we can believe in.

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