Jonathan Turley roasted Rep. Summer Lee after she attempted to censor Riley Gaines during a hearing on Tuesday. As RedState reported, Lee called Gaines “transphobic” for holding the view that men should not be able to compete with women in sports.
In our ever-disintegrating society, that has become a controversial statement. Even ten years ago, the vast majority of Americans would have rightly mocked the idea of a man dominating a woman in sports, taking her awards and scholarships. In the present day, everything must revolve around the affirmation of transgender ideology, though.
Gaines responded to Lee during the hearing by noting that dismissing the concerns of real women is misogynistic and discriminatory. The congresswoman then moved to have the swimmer’s words stricken from the record as a form of censorship.
As Turley notes in his critique, that’s a dangerous bit of authoritarianism that has become all to common among Democrats.
Members often knowingly make defamatory comments in congressional debates, but then decline to repeat those same words in public to avoid any legal accountability. I faced that tactic in representing Dr. Eric Foretich in the Elizabeth Morgan controversy. Members would make false and defamatory claims about my client on the floor, but would carefully avoid repeating those claims in interviews.
In other words, Democrats pretend to be tough during hearings, defaming witnesses and other members knowing that they are protected by the Speech and Debate Clause. When someone pushes back, though, they then try to use the same rules that protect their speech to censor the speech of those who disagree with them.
If a congressional member chooses to personally attack someone in a hearing, they shouldn’t be able to shut down a response just because they don’t like it. Turley continued by describing why that’s dangerous.
That would create a nightmarish combination if members are protected from actions in defaming witnesses but then can censor them when they defend themselves.
The fact that Lee’s immediate response was to censor a person who she had just attacked is telling. After labeling Gaines a hateful bigot, Lee did not believe that she should be allowed to denounce Lee’s own comments as an attack on women.
It shows the slippery slope of censorship. Democrats have embraced an anti-free speech agenda to silence opposing viewpoints. That desire becomes insatiable even as citizens seek to rebut personal attacks from members in a congressional hearing.
I’m not sure “slippery slope” is an apt descriptor anymore. We are already at the bottom of that slope, as the successful challenges to the federal government’s censorship of social media have shown. Democrats and their bureaucratic allies already believe they have the right to shut down speech they don’t like. It’s just a matter of whether the courts allow them to get away with it or not.
Still, Turley’s overall point is correct. The Democratic Party is made up of entitled wannabe tyrants who believe they should be immune from the very things they do. They don’t want to live by their own standards, and that’s not a tenable position for a functioning society.
The problem is especially acute among younger Democrats like Lee. She does her “yas queen” rantings for the camera, accusing others of bigotry but can’t take the slightest bit of pushback. Meanwhile, she wouldn’t dare say that stuff outside the halls of Congress because she knows she’d be legally liable. It’s cowardly and pathetic.