Describing the subjective reactions which accompany the miscalculations of a driver who finds that the automobile he is driving is going to do a rollover seemed to be material which would provide an excellent metaphor to be applied to the sensations that were experienced by advocates of a free press while they were witnessing this week's vehement reactions by the Republicans to the latest WikiLeaks document dump.
In their January 1969 issue, Esquire magazine (the writer of one of their articles would be a more precise way of putting it) declared that race car driver Masten Gregory was the last of the great crashers. He would exit a Ferrari that was traveling at a hundred miles an hour toward a wreck situation with the same savoir fair and sang froid as if he were agent 007. He has successfully done that maneuver more than once in his life. It is good to have that bit of trivia available if you happen to find yourself in a vintage Volkswagen (remember the kick peg to access the last gallon of gas in the fuel tank?) that is tilting precariously to one side. A decision about departing from a vehicle as a crash becomes imminent is a quick-draw gun fighter reaction and not an occasion for a prolonged and detailed debate weighing the pros and cons of a binary choice: "Should I stay or should I take the option to get the hell outta here?" It's a "think fast" type situation that is focused on and decided in one short moment in time
We all know that Republicans are fanatical in their devotion to the Constitution, but when it gets to the Amendments, then they begin to go all wobbly and the issues start to get a little bit fuzzy. Thus while they give titular approval to the concept of a free press, they do consistently balk when it comes to most debates over the application of the principles established by the First Amendment. This week, it seems, some Republicans were on the verge of suggesting a return to vigilante justice and an endorsement of the idea that Julian Assange should be stoned to death in front of the New York Times home office. (Does stoning a sinner in public equate to "Second Amendment" remedies?)
Obviously teabaggers would be eager to debate the topic "Is Julian Assange the new victim of "The Ox-Bow Incident" mentality?" and slip in clever bits of equivocating and blur the terms of the debate because they are clever fellows who fully appreciate the art of fine oration. They seem oblivious to the point of view that the effort to quash Assange comes perilously close to replicating the level of tolerance for dissention held by Germany's National Socialist Workers Party in Germany during the Thirties
Republicans with highly developed debating skills would be quick to point out that an occasional application of denial of the public's access to biased propaganda is not the same as news censorship and therefore an acceptable remedy for the crisis that the WikiLeaks has precipitated in the realm of information management.
The Republicans ignore requests to show what specific information has endangered American lives by being published and completely ignore questions about how Assange qualifies for the death penalty on that count while Dick Cheney got a full pass for the damage he caused by outing Valerie Plame.
Some villainous Democrats have taken the debate over Assange as an opportunity to smudge and fudge and make gullible rubes think that a stifling of the WikiLeaks affront to the diplomatic corps of the "greatest country on God's green earth" is comparable to the efforts of Herr Goebbels to implement mind-control on a national level.
The Democrats exaggerate the threat so greatly that they would have folks believe that the choice regarding killing Assange ASAP or sparing his life, putting him on trial, and then executing him for treason, is important and an occasion comparable to giving a crowd of members of the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club the choice of granting a full pardon to either Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, or to a legendary brigand name Barabbas. They would have us believe that the Republicans are actually crying: "Death to the free press!"