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Monday, August 11, 2008

Wine-and-cheese thuggery

An editorial:

Tom Matzzie is mailing threatening letters this week to nearly 10,000 people with whom the liberal political operative vigorously disagrees.

If the recipients act in a way he disapproves of — namely, donating to certain conservative or Republican causes — Matzzie and his new nonprofit group, called Accountable America, will unleash what The New York Times describes as “a variety of potential dangers, including legal trouble, public exposure and watchdog groups digging through their lives.”

Matzzie claims he’s simply seeking to prevent dishonest attacks on politicians and causes he favors, but the reality is that such letters are nothing less than political thuggery.

And, as Judicial Watch points out, the Accountable America letters are also quite possibly violations of the civil liberties of those receiving them: “A key federal civil rights law (42 U.S.C. § 1985(3)), popularly known as the Ku Klux Klan Act, may be applicable if ‘two or more persons conspire to prevent by force, intimidation, or threat, any citizen who is lawfully entitled to vote, from giving his support or advocacy in a legal manner, toward or in favor of the election of any lawfully qualified person as an elector for President or Vice President, or as a Member of Congress of the United States; or to injure any citizen in person or property on account of such support or advocacy.’ ”

But Matzzie is hardly a lone ranger of liberal night riding against conservatives.

The urge to suppress dissent is steadily becoming more prominent among liberal politicians and activists.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, for instance, promises to restore the old FCC Fairness Doctrine at the first opportunity because it will put the clamps on popular conservative talk radio figures like Rush Limbaugh and Laura Ingraham.

And there is a serious background discussion going on among senior advisers within presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama’s campaign.

These advisers wonder if, following an Obama victory in November, they should mount Nuremberg-style “war crimes trials” against top Bush administration officials in connection with their conduct in the war on terror.

Finally, those politically correct speech codes on college campuses — created by liberal administrators and faculty — are invoked primarily against conservatives and others on the receiving end of liberal ire.

Those who care about the First Amendment and constitutional liberty must wake up: The phenomenon that French philosopher Jean-Francois Revel called “the totalitarian temptation” and conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg termed “liberal fascism” is an increasingly prominent fact of American political life, and one that threatens constitutional freedoms of speech, assembly, press and thought.

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