At a moment in history where empty-scrotumed public officials kow-tow to various “phobias”, avoid microagressions, and apologize for “privilege” it’s refreshing to see a politician with a spine.
He understands the nature of free speech, and has knocked Lynch off her little tyrannical pedestal. Pataki did the one thing she did NOT want — called her bluff.
Tinpot tyrants love to manipulate the public with a looming threat. At the private level, it’s with labels: bigot, sexist and Islamophobe are currently in fashion.
On the larger scale, it’s with carrots and sticks. Reward the behaviour they like (with grants, special exemptions, etc), and punish what they hate (with taxes, fines, regulations and even — when they can get away with it — IRS harassment). Case in point: Obamacare. Join, or get fined.
Eventually, it is assumed, everyone will step and fetch. It’s straightforward behavioural modification technique. But intimidation is only as powerful as the deterrent, and the deterrent must be plausible.
Ruining private business owners by dragging their names through the mud, and drowning them in legal fees or penalties? An effective, and entirely plausible deterrent, especially if the courts are willing to play along with this abusive tactic. It’s easier to cave to the pressure than to enter a lose-lose fight, which is (of course) entirely the point.
But when Lynch displayed her gross ignorance of — or more likely, contempt for — First Amendment rights, Pataki saw this for the empty threat it was, and called her on it.
The threat, if you missed it, was this. The Attorney General was speaking at an advocacy and lobbying group “Muslim Advocates’ 10th Anniversary dinner” (don’t ask me why) and told them she would take aggressive action against anyone who used “anti-Muslim rhetoric” that “edges toward violence”.
Pataki’s response was a gauntlet dropped. His tweet said:
“We must declare war on radical Islam. @LorettaLynch I’m not edging toward violent speech, I’m declaring we kill them. Go ahead, arrest me.”
And if Lynch is genuinely interested in prosecuting people actually inciting race-based violence?
She could start by getting herself a transcript of some of Farrakhan’s more, shall we say, colorful speeches? I’m not holding my breath though. After all, Farrakhan did cite the Koran as the justification for his point, and that would not serve her narrative well.