Hey, Nancy: The First Amendment Applies to Everyone

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
Aug. 18 2010 3:30 PM

Hey, Nancy: The First Amendment Applies to Everyone

The Daily Caller has posted an interesting audio clip in which Nancy Pelosi suggests that the opposition to the Ground Zero mosque is somehow organized and needs to be "investigated" to find its source of funding. Excuse me, but what ? Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin have been carrying the biggest megaphones in this fight, and I can’t imagine that anyone is paying them to espouse an opinion that is perfectly in line with the feelings of their supporters. There was one protest a few months ago , and it was barely covered in the media. If someone is funding this opposition, they didn’t get much bang for their buck.

It is hardly at all surprising that Pelosi would try to create such a negative image of a group with which she disagrees. Last summer during Congress’ recess, when Democrats faced hostile audiences at town hall meetings on health care, she accused those opposed to health care reform of being an "Astroturf" movement and of carrying swastikas and accused them of "disrupting … civil dialogue."

Advertisement

Which is funny, because there’s a very well-circulated video of Pelosi telling a group of anti-war activists who interrupted one of her own town halls, back in 2006, that "I am a fan of disruptors."

Unfortunately for Pelosi, the First Amendment applies to everyone, not just those who agree with her. It applies to anti-war activists AND anti-health care reform activists. And it applies to those who want to build a mosque near Ground Zero, and it applies to those who want to speak out against the mosque.

Rachael Larimore is a Slate senior editor.

TODAY IN SLATE

Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

The Congressional Republican Digging Through Scientists’ Grant Proposals

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Whole Foods Is Desperate for Customers to Feel Warm and Fuzzy Again

The XX Factor

I’m 25. I Have $250.03.

My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.

The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I’m 25. I Have $250.03. My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.
Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

George Tiller’s Murderer Threatens Another Abortion Provider, Claims Free Speech

Walmart Is Crushing the Rest of Corporate America in Adopting Solar Power

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 21 2014 3:13 PM Why Countries Make Human Rights Pledges They Have No Intention of Honoring
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 21 2014 5:57 PM Soda and Fries Have Lost Their Charm for Both Consumers and Investors
  Life
The Vault
Oct. 21 2014 2:23 PM A Data-Packed Map of American Immigration in 1903
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 1:10 PM Women Are Still Losing Jobs for Getting Pregnant
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 21 2014 1:02 PM Where Are Slate Plus Members From? This Weird Cartogram Explains. A weird-looking cartogram of Slate Plus memberships by state.
  Arts
Behold
Oct. 21 2014 12:05 PM Same-Sex Couples at Home With Themselves in 1980s America
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 21 2014 5:38 PM Justified Paranoia Citizenfour offers a look into the mind of Edward Snowden.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.