Today the House voted 341-79 to condemn the MoveOn ad. That included 146 Democrats who voted “yea.” It’s bad enough that the GOP has been able to bully Congress into this assault on free speech when there really doesn’t seem to be any limit to what the right wing can say and get away with it. That MoveOn gets officially condemned for expressing the same skepticism with which our representatives should have regarded Colin Powell five years ago and didn’t is really beyond the pale.

If you have any doubt that this vote (as well as the Senate vote) was an admonition to those against the war to just STFU, have a look at the John McCain clip above. It was taken the day after the Senate voted to condemn MoveOn. As he says to the protester (2:40 in), “We beat you yesterday, we beat you the day before, we’ll beat you today and we’ll beat you tomorrow.” And as Wes Clark reminded us, it’s okay for Chuck Hagel to be critical of General Petraeus, but when MoveOn does it, “it distracts from the dialogue that the Senator’s trying to have.”

We’re proud that four of our Blue America representatives voted against the McCarthy-esque bill — Tom Allen (D-ME), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and Hilda Solis (D-CA). But four of them voted for it — John Hall (NY), Jerry McNerney (CA), Patrick Murphy (PA) and Carol Shea-Porter (NH).

These representatives don’t seem to realize that their job is to protect free speech guaranteed by the constitution, not legislate where and how it is exercised, because at that point it ceases to be, you know, free. We thought we would open it up to the community to decide what action we should take in the wake of this short-sighted vote that endorses the Bush administration’s diversion tactics to distract the public from the subject of Iraq and punish its critics at the same time.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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