Of course, saying so outright would reveal the hostility of his argument to free speech. So instead, Ornstein tries to delegitimize political speech by calling it an “assault” by “hit groups” that are escalating an “arms race.”
Although this argument would make George Orwell proud, it cannot, and should not, carry the day in a country where political speech remains protected by the First Amendment’s command (which, unsurprisingly, Ornstein never mentions) that “Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech.”
Bert Gall is a senior attorney at the Institute for Justice, which litigates nationwide in defense of free speech.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.