Patterico's Pontifications


Constitutional Vanguard: Elizabeth Warren Violates the First Amendment with a Tweet

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:17 pm

So Trumpy!

The tweet itself, in my view, should be disqualifying. It’s a blatant abuse of power and it is a violation of the First Amendment. Yes: even if she takes no further action, the tweet itself is a violation that could lead to legal consequences for Warren. I explain in my latest newsletter, which you can access here, and get in your inbox by subscribing here.

UPDATE: Great post by Mike Masnick at TechDirt making essentially the same points independently.

22 Responses to “Constitutional Vanguard: Elizabeth Warren Violates the First Amendment with a Tweet”

  1. Amazing that so many people are defending her on this.

    Patterico (27c55f)

  2. And this is what the danger has been all along. The mask slips here, but it was clear that it was there all along.

    Look at what happened. For four very long years, the tech cpompanies allowed Trump to violate their terms of service with impunity. Why? Because he has this kind of power over them. Any time he wanted, his DoJ could have brought an antitrust suit against Facebook, Google, Amazon (and AWS) and maybe even Twitter. The very moment when his power self-destructed (Jan 6), they all recovered their balls and locked him out.

    Now, you might say “About time!” but the fact that they were doing the obvious bidding of the incoming administration ought to give even the most mouth-foamy Trump hater some pause.

    Now, Warren seeks to use this power more directly. I’m sure that everyone is pissed off at her because now they’ll have to wait a bit. Kind of like Poindexter with his Total Information Awareness (which did come to pass, but quietly).

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  3. Question: Can a company that has significant control of a type of public speech, where that company’s choices of who to ban effectively throttle the speech of identifiable people, yet is subject to a constant threat of governmental disapproval, actually be independent?

    Clearly there is some tension between the first amendment and (however needful) censorship applied by a company that has governmental partisans expressing a desire to punish it for what they view as misbehavior.

    It’s a club that indirect and inaccurate, but everyone knows it’s there.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  4. Tell us more about how people game the system, Fauxcahontas.

    norcal (01e272)

  5. I have seen some of Elizabeth Warren’s cult followers on Reddit. Some resemble fifth-graders with crushes on their teacher. More broadly, they like her because she babbles the same Progressive Fuzzthink that they do.

    So I am not at all surprised that they argued besides Patterico’s point and then accused him of disingenuousness. Non sequitur is their dominant thought process, and passive-aggressive their favorite rhetrorical tactic. EBHarrington, the “posed 2 questions” guy, made me snorfle, honestly. Very typical.

    nk (1d9030)

  6. *lady* not *guy*. Just saw that EBHarrington is a woman.

    I had already seen that she’s a professor. That is very typical, too, in scholastic settings, in my experience. Although more common with high school assistant principals. Didactic and patronizing, and not engaging with the other person (students mostly) if it threatens to pull them out of their intellectual rut.

    nk (1d9030)

  7. I mostly agreed with Johnny Agreeable’s take in the comments.

    The statement is pretty awful. But more for normative issues.

    nate (1f1d55)

  8. UPDATE: Great post by Mike Masnick at TechDirt making essentially the same points independently.

    Patterico (27c55f)

  9. “fair share” may be the progressive meme I despise the most.

    Dave (1bb933)

  10. Not even a 1/1024th share, Mr. Dave?

    (I’ve been itching to stick this in from the moment I saw the post.)

    nk (1d9030)

  11. It’s a maddeningly stupid tweet because it’s going ok (IMO — taking down amazon seems to be a bipartisan issue these days) then falls apart in the last 5 words. “Make sure you’re not powerful enough to” — what? You’re on twitter ma’am, literally everyone is heckling everyone with snotty tweets. It’s not behavior unique to our tech overlords. Just stupid and should be self-disqualifying but it’s what her fans want I guess which is disappointing. I have good sensible friends and family who love this woman and I don’t get it. I say the same thing about the ones who love Trump.

    JRH (52aed3)

  12. It’s also mind bogglingly stupid because she’s now given amazon’s lawyers prima facie evidence that the legislation she’s sponsoring isn’t a good faith effort to solve a problem, but rather an attempt to punish companies for speech.

    She’s just completely undermined her own agenda.


    aphrael (4c4719)

  13. The Greeks have a saying: The flower pot gets watered along with the basil.

    The Democrats have just as many plutocrats donating to their campaigns as the Republicans. Maybe more. It would take some finagling, and then some, to tax Amazon and not the Big Media or Hollywood. Just for a couple of examples. If they could have, they would have done it already.

    Senator Fulla Bull is fooling her following with a big hat and no cattle, just like her all talk and no effect socialist soulmate to the North of her. Who beat her in her own state in the primary, BTW, FWIW.

    nk (1d9030)

  14. Perhaps the lovely Senatrix Warren is correct, that the “armies of lawyers and lobbyists” wrote the ‘loopholes’ in the law, but, in the end, did she not cast her vote for that law?

    The Distinguished Gentlelady from the Bay State is herself an attorney; we have seen her application for her Bar Association license, the one in which she told us, honest Injun!, that she was a Native American! So, she ought to have been able to recognize those ‘loopholes,’ and done something about them before she voted for the law.

    The Dana in Kentucky (88b836)

  15. Warren’s supporters start clapping like apes when she blames corporations for society’s problems, just as Trump’s fans went apesh*t when he faulted China for our country’s ills.

    norcal (01e272)

  16. Since everyone with a brain and neutral principles apparently agrees Warren’s Tweet was indefensible, I’m left with a nit of the least possible consequence to pick. A labeling one. To wit, I don’t know that the Warren-tweet-apologists are necessarily “Warren stans.” I mean, no doubt some of them are, but all of them? No. Most of them? Maybe? Who knows? Just like it was hard to distinguish between Trump apologists who genuinely loved their imbecilic orange avatar from those whose deepest commitment was anti-anti-Trump, I’d bet the same thing is going on here. As a practical matter, does it matter if we conflate heartfelt cultists with fanatical anti-antis? Not really. They’re all unprincipled, so they can jump in the same tribal lake as far as I’m concerned. But having no lawn from which to shoo playing children, taxonomical pet peeves are my contribution to the social order.

    lurker (59504c)

  17. But having no lawn from which to shoo playing children, taxonomical pet peeves are my contribution to the social order.

    Eloquently put.

    norcal (01e272)

  18. Thank you. I like to think occasional eloquence is a byproduct of time not spent on lawn care.

    lurker (59504c)

  19. 🙂

    norcal (01e272)

  20. Elizabeth Warren is a female Native American Indian, so she is a member of the protected class twice over. Expecting her to face any consequences for her tweets is risible.

    Hoi Polloi (b28058)

  21. Actually, thrice over. She’s a Democrat too.

    Hoi Polloi (b28058)

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