Saturday, May 9, 2009

Just Sayin’…

CBS golf analyst David Feherty speculates about the mindset and intentions of “any U.S. soldier” towards the Democratic leadership in Congress.

From my own experience visiting the troops in the Middle East, I can tell you this, though: despite how the conflict has been portrayed by our glorious media, if you gave any U.S. soldier a gun with two bullets in it, and he found himself in an elevator with Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Osama bin Laden, there’s a good chance that Nancy Pelosi would get shot twice, and Harry Reid and bin Laden would be strangled to death.

It’s no secret that Mr. Feherty thinks that George W. Bush is the best president evah and that all of the troubles in Iraq and the rest of the world are the fault of Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Reid.

Of course Mr. Feherty is entitled to his opinion, as is the magazine that published his article. Chances are that he knew what he was doing and that he knew that he would set off the discussion about his interesting points of view — as he has. Aside from the fact that what he wrote assumes that all soldiers think like he does and that even joking about killing the Speaker of the House — third in line of presidential succession — and the Senate Majority Leader might get the attention of the United States Secret Service, Mr. Feherty demonstrates the smug arrogance of someone who thinks he’s the only one out there with the guts to “tell it like it is” (channeling the late Howard Cosell), critics be damned. So there.

Chances are that Mr. Feherty will get a phone call from the folks at CBS and under the threat of his contract he will issue a non-apology apology along the lines of “I’m sorry if I offended,” putting the burden on those who were offended, and then cash in on the whining circuit of right-wing talk-radio guest shots about how the P.C. crowd has made him a martyr to the cause of free speech, and can’t anyone take a joke anymore? Yeah, well, when it’s all about you, nothing else matters.

The point is that the people who complain the most about their restrictions of free speech rights are the ones who both abuse the right and have no compunction about restricting it for other people. They also don’t get the basic concept of taking responsibility for your own actions. The right of free speech includes the responsibility for using the judgment to know when to not say something that might come back and bite you in the ass. A mature and responsible person would know that and not blame the consequences on someone else.

There’s more to the right of freedom of speech than just saying something.