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Marco Rubio’s Attack on Free Speech

Joel Mathis explains [1] why Marco Rubio’s “Combating BDS Act” is an unconstitutional assault on freedom of speech:

You don’t have to weigh the merits of Israeli policy, though, to think Rubio’s bill is bad. The ACLU, for example, is fighting against anti-BDS laws but hasn’t taken a position for or against these boycotts themselves. The argument isn’t about whether such boycotts are good, wise, or just. It’s about whether state, local, and federal governments in the United States should be able to punish people — like an attorney who provides legal services for poor defendants, or a teacher who helps other teachers get ready for the classroom — for making the political decision to boycott something.

Rubio desperately wants to deny that his bill infringes on the First Amendment when it that is what it clearly does. That is why he has started hurling bogus charges [2] of anti-Semitism and making lame excuses that governments should be “free” to refuse to do business with people because of their political views. The senator doesn’t understand or won’t admit that giving a government license to penalize people for holding certain views is an attack on basic constitutional protections. Members of Congress swear to protect and defend the Constitution, but Rubio would prefer to trash the First Amendment in order to pander to “pro-Israel” hard-liners. Protecting the constitutional rights of Americans should always take precedence over shielding a foreign government from the consequences of its actions, and it is a sorry state of affairs when half of the Senate doesn’t know that.

Rubio wants to portray his legislation as a defense of boycotting the boycotters, but our local, state, and federal governments don’t get to do that. A government entity can’t require someone to affirm or renounce particular political views as a condition of employment. A contractor shouldn’t have to sacrifice some of his protected political freedoms in order to work for one of these governments. These laws that penalize supporters of boycotting Israel are an affront to our country’s values and traditions, and it is just a matter of time before they are all struck down.

13 Comments (Open | Close)

13 Comments To "Marco Rubio’s Attack on Free Speech"

#1 Comment By Fred Bowman On January 10, 2019 @ 2:38 pm

Wonder how much money Rubio is getting from AIPAC and other “Isreal First” lobbyist?

#2 Comment By Whine Merchant On January 10, 2019 @ 3:05 pm

His “defence” is just window dressing for a symbolic stance that gains favour and donations from a powerful pro-Israel lobby, that he hopes will propel his presidential aspirations.

#3 Comment By Williamsburg On January 10, 2019 @ 7:46 pm

Our government has been for sale. One result is that some politicians have taken so much Israel money they don’t know which side is up anymore. Rubio, having already helped to sell our foreign policy to Israel, is now trying to sell basic American liberties to Israel, too.

What a guy, huh? A US senator who defecates on the Constitution for Israel.

Of course the really bad actors are those who paid him to do it.

#4 Comment By Pennsauken On January 10, 2019 @ 9:13 pm

@Williamsburg — “Our government has been for sale.”

This was first piece of legislation offered to the US Senate after two weeks of government shutdown. Can you believe it?

Americans are hurting. Federal workers aren’t being paid. The wall for border security isn’t getting built.

And Rubio chooses this moment to introduce a law to give Israel seven or eight times more money than Trump wanted for the wall – and to threaten Americans who criticize Israel.

Out of control. Things in Washington have got to change.

#5 Comment By BobS On January 10, 2019 @ 9:29 pm

“Wonder how much money Rubio is getting from AIPAC and other “Isreal First” lobbyist?”

It’s not just money when it comes to what drives Knesset West (that would be the US Congress). For sure, that’s part of it, but much of it is simply fear of finding oneself on the pointed end of the lobby’s spear, some of it is the [email protected]#it crazy Christian Zionists, and then there’s those who can arguably be called dual-loyalists (find Schumer’s 2017 speech to AIPAC on YouTube).

#6 Comment By Farmer’s Market On January 10, 2019 @ 10:34 pm

ennsauken wrote “Rubio chooses this moment to introduce a law to give Israel seven or eight times more money than Trump wanted for the wall – and to threaten Americans who criticize Israel.”

Sorry to burst your bubble, Pennsauken, but all this means is that Rubio gets it. Welcome to 2019. Rubio is in tune with the times, and he knows which side of his bread is buttered. Any ideas you may have about the US government serving the interests of the American people are hopelessly out-of-date.

#7 Comment By B Topp On January 11, 2019 @ 12:53 am

Marco Rubio and AIPAC are foreign agents. I can criticize the U.S. and my state and town I live in if I want to and that’s OK per the 1st Amendment. I can’t say bad things about a FOREIGN COUNTRY? When this is eventually taken to the U.S. Supreme Court it needs to be overturned or we no longer have a functional 1st Amendment in America anymore. My concern is many in Washington think this is legal because it’s Israel.

#8 Comment By Lobman On January 11, 2019 @ 9:33 am

Is Rubio ignorant of the Bill Of Rights, or just so easily bought that he would trample the most fundamental right of Western democracy?

You decide for yourselves, but I will oppose Rubio in any future national campaign with full-throated vigor.

#9 Comment By Uncle Billy On January 11, 2019 @ 3:15 pm

Rubio is bought and paid for by AIPAC.

#10 Comment By Anon2017 On January 11, 2019 @ 7:18 pm

Before y’all get too excited about Rubio pandering to the Zionists (Christian and Jewish), remember that it was the five Catholic men on the US Supreme Court that voted in favor of Citizens United in 2010, a decision which opened the floodgates for campaign contributions from billionaires. The three Jewish members and the one Catholic woman voted against the decision. Rubio’s major backers in his run for president were a billionaire hedge fund trader and a billionaire who had made his money in the car dealership business. Both are strong backers of Israel.

During the 2016 AIPAC annual meeting, presidential candidate Trump promised to be the best president Israel ever had. I think he has kept his word on that issue. But he wasn’t running for president of Israel.

Don’t get too excited about politicians not respecting the constitution. After all, it was designed to protect the rights of the people and to limit the powers of politicians. Even the Supreme Court has disgraced itself on occasion when it came to protecting the rights of unpopular Americans. The 1896 decision Plessy v. Ferguson comes to mind. You can read about this decision on Wikipedia at [3]

#11 Comment By January Bug On January 12, 2019 @ 7:04 am

Marco Rubio — Stripping Us of Traditional Liberties And Flooding Us With Immigrants Since 2011

#12 Comment By Protect This Country First! On January 14, 2019 @ 6:19 am


Sen. Tester of Montana mentions this at 3:05


Boy is he pissed. And boy does he have a right to be. A real American who makes Rubio look like the bought little punk he is.

#13 Comment By TR On January 14, 2019 @ 10:02 pm

If you look at Rubio’s chief financial support for his primary campaign last year, it did not come from AIPAC, but I believe most of it–and in any case, a lot of it–came from two individuals who could very well be members of AIPAC. And I suspect he is keeping them happy for his next attempt.