Is there anything that Barack Obama hates more than freedom of speech? If you can think of anything, please comment.
In any point of domestic public controversy related to the freedom of speech has the Obama Administration ever taken the side of freedom of speech? I can not think of a single occasion. Please Obama partisans enlighten me in the comments below.
Remember the Obama’s Truth Squads to facilitate partisans to snitch to the government about people exercising their free speech to criticize Obama Administration policies?
Remember the Obama partisans labeling the Tea Party participants as terrorists for exercising free speech?
Remember Obama Administration attacks against Florida pastor Terry Jones, who planned to publicly burn a Quran?
Remember the Obama Administration prosecution and condemnation of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula for posting a YouTube video that criticized Islam?
Remember Barack Obama’s anti-American attacks on the Supreme Court for recognizing the protection of political speech in Citizen’s United?
Establishing that pattern of attacks against freedom of speech by an administration led by a reported constitutional scholar and civil rights activist, the newest case is the (In-)Justice Department’s civil suit against Standard & Poor’s.
According to the Justice Department, its actions are based upon S&P’s failure in rating mortgage securities prior to the financial crisis; unspecified is why S&P is singled out when the other rating agencies made the same errors. Further, as noted in the Economist:
Since the crisis, 41 legal actions targeting S&P have been dropped or dismissed. The company and other ratings agencies have prevailed by asserting their rights under the first amendment of the constitution, which states that “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech”.
This free speech protection attributed to the ratings is not a surprise. All of the credible accounts of the role of the rating agencies in the financial crisis have all mentioned this well known protection.
So why has Obama committed to this suit? Aside from the benefits of a political show trial to temporarily boost the Obama Administration for attacking an object of legitimate public scorn and contempt, what is really going on in targeting S&P in this suit?
Recall that it was S&P that lead the cut in our government’s credit rating. Further, observe the fiscal cliff and sequestration controversies that the Obama Administration has failed to resolve responsibly; these issues are directly tied to conditions that S&P is tracking related to a potential further cut in our government’s credit rating. Finally, see that this suit has negatively impacted the stock price of S&P’s parent company, and the parent company’s bond ratings.
Putting it all together, the Justice Department’s frivolous lawsuit against S&P is an extortion designed to suppress, or discredit, S&P’s future exercise of freedom of speech related to downgrading U.S. government bonds. Further, President Obama’s political allies and supporters are subject to the downgrading of their state’s government bonds related to unfunded state pension liabilities; for example, see Illinois. At the state and municipal level, the exercise of freedom of speech by S&P will likely disadvantage President Obama’s union supporters who are being pressured to lower excessive public pension expenses. Welcome to Chicago politics.
Although I personally condemn S&P for their failure to account for the political risk in the housing market that led to the 2008 collapse, I will offer them some advice related to the Obama Administration’s attack on S&P’s freedom of speech. Downgrade U.S. bonds, plus those of states and municipalities with dangerously underfunded pension liabilities. In the downgrade of the U.S. bonds, cite the Obama Administration’s attack on the Bill of Rights and explicitly commit to lower ratings so long as he remains in office. This change would not be revenge, but punishment for abuse of power.
Extra Point: A satire from 2009 related to Obama’s anti-freedom of speech efforts: ”Reporting Counterrevolutionary Propagandist to the White House”