You might think that this is from The Onion, a favored satirical site.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, California's Speaker of the Assembly, Karen Bass responded to a question about conservative talk radio by calling show hosts terrorists, and openly wondering why we allow people to call politicians and give their opinions (via The Corner):
How do you think conservative talk radio has affected the Legislature’s work?
The Republicans were essentially threatened and terrorized against voting for revenue. Now [some] are facing recalls. They operate under a terrorist threat: “You vote for revenue and your career is over.” I don’t know why we allow that kind of terrorism to exist. I guess it’s about free speech, but it’s extremely unfair.
There’s a lot of stupidity and tyranny locked into those few words. The First Amendment guarantees the right to petition the government for redress of grievances, even apart from the “free speech” issues Bass casually discards. Elected politicians are accountable to the people who elect them in a free society. Politicians do not acquire lordly status when they go to the Assembly, or anywhere else.
It boggles my imagination how many people actually believe what Bass is saying. They seem to think that the First Amendment is only for the "proper" kind of speech. In reality, the First Amendment is to protect speech; period. The notion that politicians should be judging what is and is not OK for people to express is the point behind it.
Ed has another post today at HotAir about McCain-Feingold and more on free speech. Although McCain and Feingold are two politicians whom I admire in a number of respects, this bill was the worst either ever produced (and black marks to GWB for signing the bill.)
When newspapers and television stations and radio have restrictions on what they can say, then the people can be restrained and not be allowed to spend their dollars on getting their viewpoints heard. Freedom of expression is part of the bedrock foundation of our nation. Destroy it, and we are well on the way to ruining a significant part of what has made our country a great nation.