Charisma Caucus

2016 Could Be the Worst Year Ever for the First Amendment

Bill of Rights
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President Obama loses his bully pulpit and billy club on Jan. 20, 2017. That means he has less than nine months to destroy as much of the Constitution as he can, and "fundamentally transform" the United States into something the Founders would not recognize. 

We've already seen what his IRS has done to squash the free speech of Tea Party groups, which probably gave him the 2012 election. Despite all the negative publicity and Lois Lerner's wretched invocation of the Fifth Amendment before Congress, the IRS continues to deny conservative groups at a prodigious clip and to leave other conservative groups twisting in the wind. 

The IRS rejected a total of 67 tax-exempt status applications last year, and 57 of them were from religious groups. Another 5,681 applications were left in legal no-man's land, which has exactly the same effect as a flat-out denial. 

Obama's minions on the Federal Elections Commission are doing their part. According to the Washington Examiner, three Democrats on the FEC tried to punish a conservative filmmaker, Joel Gilbert, who recently produced a film critical of President Obama.

Wrote the Examiner, "While he acted on his own, and with no ties to political groups or parties, an FEC complaint was filed claiming he violated reporting rules, prompting him to seek the standard media 'exemption.' But despite giving the same exemption to liberal movie makers like Michael Moore and Daily Kos, the Democrats recently voted against Gilbert in a February action, reviving their bid to punish conservative media, a campaign initially targeting online news outlets like the Drudge Report." 

Fortunately, the three Republicans on the commission voted for the First Amendment and blocked the move. 

Republican Commissioner Lee E. Goodman said, "Freedom of the press isn't so free when three government commissars vote to punish a filmmaker for distributing a documentary film." 

The free speech plank in the First Amendment was put there by the Founders primarily to protect robust political speech and debate. The fledgling Union had just emerged from an era in which the Crown had attempted to stifle all political commentary that was critical of the central government. 

The Founders wisely said they were going to bind down the tyrannical powers of America's new central government "with the chains of the Constitution" so that kind of repression would never be repeated here, ever. 

While the First Amendment had been left in tatters by the Supreme Court long before Obama came into office, he's trying to run what's left of it through his Oval Office shredder. 

Bottom line: He must be stopped between now and November and then replaced by a new president who has a profound veneration for the Constitution the Founders gave us. Or else it may be too late.

Bryan Fischer is host of the two-hour weekday "Focal Point" program on American Family Radio.


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