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That’s because of problem number two: once you start calling for federal legislation against bullying, you have to define your terms. Lady Gaga calls bullying a “hate crime,” when it is really, as many commentators have pointed out, a thought crime – it is an attempt to divine what is in somebody’s head when they do something awful. Hate crimes legislation is the gateway toward stifling free speech.
That’s eminently clear in the case of bullying. Typically, bullying is words –ugly, nasty, vitriolic words, but only words. Threats of violence are not protected by the First Amendment, but ugly language about the actions of others certainly is. Controlling that language undoubtedly encroaches on free speech. That holds especially true when we are talking about hot button issues like homosexuality. Citing the Bible could get someone suspended or prosecuted. That is an unacceptable outcome.
Leaving aside bullying, the bigger question is why President Obama is now taking legislative advice from Lady Gaga. His party has already openly kowtowed to her on “don’t ask, don’t tell” – in fact, Harry Reid tweeted Lady Gaga after the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” to celebrate. Now she’s getting private meetings with the President of the United States to deal with other issues on her agenda.
Why? For two reasons. Just like the rest of Hollywood, Gaga contributes huge cash to Obama. That means that she, like any other “evil” corporation, has the ear of the most powerful man on earth. Secondly, though, Gaga gets to meet with Obama because she has followers who will do anything for her. Obama knows a constituency when he sees one.
Lady Gaga’s meet-up with President Obama tells us more about President Obama than it does about Gaga. He is in the pocket of liberals in the entertainment industry, and he will stay that way so long as they keep his pockets full. And he will undoubtedly take their advice on anything and everything, including formal legislation that affects us all.
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