Signs of Liberty? Not at an Obama Rally!

NOT ALL COUNTRIES guarantee their citizens the right to virtually unbridled freedom of speech. The United States does. Would someone please tell the campaign of Sen. Barack Obama? And the dozing guardians of liberty at the University of Mary Washington?

Mr. Obama, the Democratic nominee for president, is scheduled to speak at a rally at the university today. The public is invited to this forum, on property it, the public, owns. However, signs and banners will not be allowed, according to the organizers and compliant campus officials. Suddenly, UMW is a First Amendment-Free, or at least a First Amendment-Crippled, Zone, subject to the self-serving preferences of politicos. Why does an Obama rally–or a McCain rally or a Nader rally–justify taking a little off the top of Americans’ most fundamental rights?

A UMW spokeswoman says that the Obama campaign required the sign-and-banner ban. That campaign tells us that the ban is for “security” reasons. But a spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service, responsible for protecting presidential candidates, says that the service has no objection to signs at rallies, provided that no “part of the sign could be used as a weapon”–e.g., a heavy metal pole or a sharpened stick. Finally, the McCain campaign tells us, “We encourage people to make signs at our events.”

Regarding today’s event, one would expect better from a campaign bearing the name of a former professor of constitutional law. (See Ambrose Bierce’s definition of a lawyer: “one skilled in circumventing the law.”) And one would expect much better from a university that, in pursuit of a day of celebrity, a boost in prestige, and profits from its book store’s planned commemorative Obama T-shirts (now scotched), shaves away an American liberty purchased by men who turned white snow red and dry dirt wet with their sacrificial blood. This is a lot to swap for a mess of pottage. Remarks the Rutherford Institute’s John Whitehead, who has turpentined the Bush administration’s civil-rights record, “The Secret Service has a better free-speech viewpoint than the college.”

The First Amendment guarantees the freedoms of religion, speech, the press, peaceable assembly, petition of the government. Will one who aspires to the title Defender of the Constitution begin inhibiting these First Freedoms even before he is in office–at a public university? Source: The Free Lance-Star

Hat tip Robert D.

Are Obama supporters a bunch of thugs that can’t be trusted not to whack each other with signs?


9 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Robert D said,

    Hussein gets scarier by the minuet minute.

  2. 3

    Robert D said,

    minute….i’m done now 😳

  3. 4

    swampie said,

    Heh. Yeah, I bet he would be scary in the minuet.

  4. 5

    […] visit SwampWoman’s site for this. Signs of Liberty Not at an Obama […]

  5. 6

    Since you posted an article citing John W. Whitehead’s efforts to safeguard our freedoms, I thought you’d be interested in reading his new book, The Change Manifesto.

    After reading The Change Manifesto, Nat Hentoff was moved to remark that “John Whitehead is the Tom Paine of our time.” Indeed, constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead has gained a reputation for being a legal, political and cultural watchdog—sounding the call for integrity, accountability and an adherence to the democratic principles on which this country was founded. His motto, which he proclaims in media interviews, newspaper commentaries—even on bumper stickers, is “Speak truth to power”—and he has been doing that very thing, since long before he started The Rutherford Institute.

    The Change Manifesto is Mr. Whitehead’s first national release in seven years, and it is already getting quite a bit of buzz from individuals across the political spectrum, coming as it does in the midst of a presidential election season. As Nadine Strossen, president of the ACLU, remarked: “With his new book, The Change Manifesto, John Whitehead is sounding the alarm for Americans to take a stand and speak truth to power, and its message has never been more relevant or necessary. This book provides a devastating portrait of the state of our freedoms, which are under attack as never before, and makes a compelling case for resistance and revolution. It is my hope that Americans of all political persuasions will heed what Whitehead has to say in The Change Manifesto before it is too late.”

    More info on the book is available at

  6. 7

    kc said,

    Swampie, you attract some of the most interesting people here…8-)

  7. 9

    Robert D said,

    Ooohhhh, I like that poster! May I?

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