As an update to my comments on Captain Ed’s post on Newt and ‘free speech’, yesterday… I note Andy McCarthy over at The Corner

Captain Ed offers an uncharacteristically overwrought analysis of Newt Gingrich’s sensible argument that the current threat – jihadists plotting mass-murder in a world where weapons of mass destruction are increasingly accessible – requires a rethinking of First Amendment principles.

The Speaker is right, and the fact that he is treading on this third rail is further indication that he will be formidable as a presidential candidate.  Plainly, he understands that the modern threat environment requires going back to first constitutional principles rather than simply accepting the law as sculpted by the Warren Court.

And therein, seems to me a huge part of this, and why these issues have not come up previously. We’ve not been bound by the rulings of the liberal courts… Warren and others, until this conflict came along. Andy cites an excellent example of such rulings:

The contention that speech inciting violence and lawlessness cannot be regulated is a legacy not of the Constitution but of the Warren Court, which held in Brandenberg v. Ohio (1969) that government could not proscribe advocacy of the use of force (or of other violations of law) “except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action” (emphasis added). There is no reason why the current Supreme Court could not reconsider whether Brandenberg is faithful to the original understanding of the First Amendment. 

Correct. Newt is, if nothing else, a strong proponant of the Constitution; always has been…. but the constitution as the founders saw it, not as the court have managed to bastardize it. Which in turn is why I refused to take the reports we’ve seen, and that I reported ealier, at face value. It simply doesn’t mesh with other things I’ve been hearing him say.  When considered in THIS light, his comments make a great deal of sense.

Andy also draws up an effective counter argument for those liberals who would now claim to stand up for free speech:

McCain/Feingold says the political speech that was the core of the original First Amendment protection can be regulated.  Are you really telling me that we can stop someone from speaking out on behalf of a candidate for public office but we have to allow jihadists to call for mass murder?  I don’t think so.

But that’s the situation we have at the moment, my freinds. Many kudos to Andy on this one, and he’s right… Newt is going to be formidable as a candidate.

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