By Wendy Kaminer,
Barack Obama is poised to become “our first president who is a civil libertarian,” Jeffrey Rosen wrote hopefully and not without reason, less than 6 months ago. But it didn’t take long for the audacity of politics to expose the naivete of hope. Today, given Obama’s support for the grossly and gratuitously anti-libertarian FISA amendments (painstakingly explored by the tireless Glenn Greenwald,) civil libertarians are likely to vote for him with a lot more resignation than enthusiasm.
NBC reports that a group of abortion protesters disrupted a Barack Obama rally in New Hampshire. Though the police came to usher the protesters out, Obama’s response seems to suggest that he understands the old notion of disagreeing with you but fighting for your right to say it:
“Let me just say this though. Some people got organized to do that [protest].
There was a show-tune ditty that was popular back when I was a kid, which younger readers might also identify as the theme song to Married With Children. “Love and marriage,” went the lyric, “go together like a horse and carriage. This, I tell you, brother: You can’t have one without the other.” In quite the same way, in the context of electoral politics, you can’t have speech without money.