The Double Standard of Free Speech

Cal Thomas | Syndicated Columnist | Monday, January 24, 2011

The Double Standard of Free Speech


There has long been a double standard when it comes to speech in Washington. Liberals can get away with saying almost anything. They rarely apologize for giving offense. But conservatives are regularly criticized for almost anything we say.

So it should come as no surprise that after President Obama's call for new civility in our politics following the Tucson shootings, a liberal Democratic congressman has engaged in the most uncivil of speech.

Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee invoked the Holocaust to attack Republicans on health care. Cohen compared rhetoric on the issue to the work of chief Hitler propagandist Joseph Goebbels. Cohen said Republicans were guilty of a big lie and embracing the Goebbels view that if you tell a big lie often enough, large numbers will believe it.

Imagine if a Republican had said something like this. You know what the reaction from liberals would be.

Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.

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