There has been controversy, recently, over statements made by radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh about Jewish voting patterns, political ties and the recent Massachusetts election. We are deeply dismayed by the unfounded criticism of the talk show commentator's observations.Abe Foxman was incredibly off base on this (and Solomonia has said so all along).
While one may agree or disagree with Mr. Limbaugh's views on many subjects, his outspoken support for Israel has been eloquent, informed and undeniable. Moreover, in commentary on the Jewish people, he has been nothing short of a philo-Semite. We are grateful for his strong and singular voice on these issues."
And then there was the SOTU attack on the Supreme Court. Wow. Just wow. Another "heckofajob Barry" moment. It seems there just isn't an opportunity to debase the office our President isn't happy to take. As for the Court's decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Committee, my take is very well summed up here.
Because at the heart of that decision was a sweeping defense of free speech protections afforded to Americans under the First Amendment, regardless of their corporate identity. We may not like what's coming our way, but as Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the 5-4 majority: "Because speech is an essential mechanism of democracy - it is the means to hold officials accountable to the people - political speech must prevail against laws that would suppress it by design or inadvertence."
Yes, even if that speech is uttered by a corporation.
I'm definitely among those who dreads "what's coming our way" (though it will be interesting to see if it's actually worse than what we already have with the 527s). But as our government gets bigger and bigger, I've grown increasingly wary of giving it the power to place restrictions on speech.
Shabbat Shalom and a very Happy Tu B'shevat!