It begins like this:
Thank you for contacting me regarding First Amendment protections for free speech. I appreciate hearing from you.So like all the other responses from the Senator, we now have to figure out WHICH letter he's answering.
Turns out closest letter (and you'll see why it's not a match in a bit) is this one, my thirty-eighth dated November 28, 2017.
Hey, that's a thirty-eight day turn-around, interesting coincidence!
Anyway, what was I asking in that letter?
What triggered it was this tweet from the early-bedded cheeseburger-eater:
I contrasted that tweet with responses from conservative columnist David Frum and former NSA and CIA head Michael Hayden who each in his own way protested Trump's disrespect of the First Amendment press protections..@FoxNews is MUCH more important in the United States than CNN, but outside of the U.S., CNN International is still a major source of (Fake) news, and they represent our Nation to the WORLD very poorly. The outside world does not see the truth from them!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 25, 2017
And from there, I asked Senator Pat Toomey a simple question: Whose side are you on?
And this is how Pat Toomey, Junior Senator from Pennsylvania responded:
As you know, the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition. Specifically, the Constitution states that Congress shall make no law "abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press."Take a close look. I was specifically asking about Donald Trump's assault on the First Amendment as it applies to a free press and Toomey responded with a defense of the First Amendment as it applies to free speech.
Free speech is a fundamental right that is expressly protected in the First Amendment. Attempts to punish or repress speech undermine the basic purpose of the First Amendment and erode the foundational importance of the "marketplace of ideas" in contributing to a free, open, and prosperous society.
I share your concerns regarding preserving free speech, and I value your input. Please be assured that I will keep your views in mind on this issue should related legislation come before the Senate for consideration.
Thank you again for your correspondence. Do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of assistance.
Sadly, I'd say that constitutes a non-answer to the very important question: WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON, SENATOR? ARE YOU IN FAVOR OF DEFENDING THE FIRST AMENDMENT PROTECTIONS NECESSARY FOR A FREE PRESS OR AREN'T YOU?
There is really only one right answer to this, Senator, and you failed to provide it.