Kathleen Rice Is No Friend Of The First Amendment

Kathleen Rice Is No Friend Of The First Amendment

A recent Newsday poll asked local elected officials their thoughts on President Trump’s bombastic remarks that “fake news” outlets are “the enemy of the people.In response, Rice stated: 

“I could not disagree more — our free press is the lifeblood of our democracy. Since the day our country was founded, the American people have relied on the press to speak truth to power, hold government accountable, uncover corruption, expose injustice, and most importantly, give a voice to the voiceless”

She didn’t feel quite so warmly about the media when a local paper exposed her planned appearance with domestic terrorist Imam Wahhaj at the Islamic Center of Long Island in 2014.  (Here’s a bit more about Kathleen Rice’s Islamist co-headliner for that event).  In fact, as the District Attorney of Nassau County at the time, Ms. Rice abused her law enforcement powers to shut down criticism of her, because she was running for office.  So much for “speaking truth to power.”

Just as ridiculous is Kathleen Rice’s histrionic complaint that President Trump’s bluster “threatens the safety and security of journalists here in the United States.”  Of course, she points to no examples, because there are none.  Meanwhile, in  stark contrast to the hypothetical harm Ms. Rice wrings her hands about, in the real world, actual journalists in Charlottesville, Virginia were violently attacked by members of the left-wing group Antifa over the weekend.

The modern jackboots of the Left, Antifa also launched fireworks, water bottles, and eggs at cops who were there protecting Antifa’s right to protest.  And, a police officer in Charlottesville was beaten by the Antifa thugs.  Did Kathleen Rice have anything to say about the actual violence that’s occurring?  Nope.  Because they’re on the same side politically.  She won’t lift a finger to denounce her progressive comrades for their actual violence, but she’ll gladly prattle on about how the president’s rhetoric, which is driven by the media’s exceptionally biased and relentlessly negative coverage of him, is “undermining our democracy.” 

Moreover, if Rice truly believes that an attack on free speech is an attack on democracy, then why didn’t she speak out regarding social media companies suppression of certain political points of view – namely, iTunes, Facebook, YouTube, and Spotify’s barring Alex Jones and others from their platforms?  You don’t have to agree with a particular speaker to take umbrage when actual suppression of speech occurs, as opposed to whining when Donald Trump insults the biased media.

In sheer hypocrisy, Kathleen Rice is more than willing to criticize the president’s speech because, in her fantasy world, his bluster “threatens the safety and security” of journalists, but, when given the chance, she refused to support a bill denouncing Louis Farrakhan for his hateful anti-Semitic speech, which undeniably threatens the safety of Jews and Israel.

Just recently, Louis Farrakhan sermonized about the “satanic Jews who have infected the whole world with poison and deceit,” and claimed that Jews are responsible for promoting child molestation, misogyny, police brutality and sexual assault. In addition, he asserted that Judaism is nothing but a “system of tricks and lies” that Jews study in order to learn how to “dominate” non-Jews.  Certainly Kathleen Rice, who holds herself out as a friend of Israel and the Jewish people, must have condemned this vitriolic hate-speech from a man who has called Hitler “a very great man” and Judaism a “gutter religion,” and whose adherents, like darlings of the Democrat Party Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory, are strident anti-Zionists and proponents of the BDS movement against Israel, right?

Of course she didn’t.

The truth is, Rice couldn’t care less about the First Amendment or free speech unless the content of the speech serves her purposes, and is happy to watch speech which goes against her and her allies shut down.  Indeed, Rice – an anti-Second Amendment inquisitor – has repeatedly demonstrated that she has no problem condemning the exercise of the First Amendment when the speech at issue is supportive of the Second Amendment.  As Nassau County D.A., she unconstitutionally prohibited the prosecutors in her office from possessing handguns, even in their homes.  More recently, she called all NRA members domestic terrorists for having had the audacity to speak out in favor of the Second Amendment.  Take that in for a moment: a member of Congress feels that advocacy of a Constitutional Amendment in the Bill of Rights makes Americans terrorists.  Meanwhile, you’d better not dare question her for planning to sit on the dais alongside an actual terrorist who was a conspirator in the 1993 WTC bombing.    

Whatever your feelings about the issues the NRA talks about, the NRA is an advocacy group.  Its role is to voice opinions.  If Kathleen Rice actually cared at all about the First Amendment, she could have denounced Governor Cuomo’s glaringly unconstitutional use of state power to attempt to drive the NRA out of business because he disagrees with their viewpoint.  Cuomo – who recently declared that all members of the NRA are “bad guys” and that anyone who supports gun rights “has no place” in New York – is using state financial regulators to issue warning letters threatening reprisals to institutions doing business with the NRA in order to cause those institutions to sever their relationships with the NRA.  Did Rice, the recently self-proclaimed champion of the First Amendment, utter a peep?  Nope.

All things considered, Kathleen Rice’s indifference to the First Amendment is not all that surprising.  After all, it was her party – the Democrats – that unanimously, and unapologetically, voted to repeal the First Amendment in order to prohibit certain kinds of political speech.

Still, given Rice’s awful record on the Constitution, her purported concern about “democracy” and “values” is grating, and precisely the sort of mealy-mouthed cliché we’re sick of hearing from career politicians who will say or do anything to get elected.  Rice’s attack-Trump-at-all-costs campaign strategy demonstrates that she’s not only a party hack, but that she has no record to run on.  And, her assertion, without any factual support, that foreign dictators are violently suppressing free speech in their countries because they see President Trump’s criticizing “fake news” here is laughable, and demonstrates Rice’s woeful lack of understanding of world affairs. 

We deserve better.  We deserve a representative who will venerate and uphold the Constitution, not one who will just pay you lip service about it.  We deserve a representative who respects our constitutional rights, not one who disdains them.  We deserve a representative who honors American citizens, not one who disparages them.  We deserve honesty, not the pandering and hypocrisy we’ve come to expect from elected officials.   

You have a choice.  On November 6th, vote Ameer Benno for Congress in New York’s 4th District.