So, if you haven't heard by now, the majority-Republican-appointee Supreme Court of the United States recently ruled that a high school student had no right to display a banner that read, "Bong Hits for Jesus" at his high school. Conservatives are hailing the decision as a victory in the War on Drugs and a victory for the conservative agenda in general. However, in their haste to score a victory against the threat to society posed by a lone teenager in full jackass mode, conservatives have basically declared illegal any opposition or dissent regarding anything that is currently illegal. This is a direct attack on American citizens' abilities to discuss, protest, or otherwise air grievances against significant segments of government policy. In short, this is utterly un-American.
Allow me to explain: Conservatives, in their zeal to declare a victory in a single case, have literally rewritten the law to enable the victory. Merits and demerits of the student's banner that read, "Bong Hits for Jesus" aside, the problem here is that the rewritten laws will extend far beyond this specific case. By extension, the Supreme Court has basically declared that any expression of opposition to any action that is currently illegal is, itself, illegal. In other words, if you don't like the way current laws read, you had better not protest. This is nothing less than totalitarianism.
The Supreme Court has established a precedent. The problem is, the "Bong Hits for Jesus" decision did not exist in a vacuum. Imagine if this Supreme Court had ruled on a "Beer for Jesus" case during Prohibition. It would have been illegal to voice an opinion that the Prohibition laws only gave rise to organized crime and that Prohibition, for all its self-righteousness, was a failure. In modern times, it would be illegal to advocate for the legalization of medical marijuana. It would be illegal to advocate for euthanasia for terminally ill people in states that do not allow euthanasia.
Indeed, the conservatives have a track record of altering the rules to accommodate specific outcomes of specific situations, without a thought as to the implications beyond said situation. For example, conservatives love the concept of suspending habeas corpus rights for individuals accused of being involved in terrorism. On the one hand, this sets the stage for the perception that great strides are being made in the fight against terrorism in that anyone who is even suspected of terrorist activity can be arrested and shipped off to any one of the Central Intelligence Agency's torture centers and those accused individuals can simply be treated as they were guilty all along. Accusation equals guilt in the conservative world. This is 180 degrees from 230 years of American jurisprudence. In pre-Bush America, one was innocent until proven guilty. Under the Bush regime, one is assumed to be guilty by accusation alone, no proof necessary; no trial necessary. Hey, its quick, decisive "justice."
This is exactly the same line of thought that led to the smashing success that was/is the invasion/occupation of Iraq. Bush simply assumed that Saddam had Weapons of Mass Destruction and that he posed an imminent threat to the United States, and that was good enough for him to launch an invasion. An assumed threat equals an imminent threat in the conservative world. Since actual evidence never enters the picture (especially if it doesn't exist) it is very easy to arrive at the desired conclusion. Thus, Bush has rewritten the rules as to what constitutes a legitimate reason to invade and occupy a sovereign state. We don't really need a reason at all anymore. Of course, this new doctrine has cost America its credibility, and that's not something that can be restored overnight.
The (not so) funny thing is, the argument that the promotion of illegal activity could just as easily bite conservatives in the ass as anyone else. For example, if a state or community has a law that says it is illegal to harass or obstruct employees or patients of abortion clinics, then according to this ruling, the promotion of such activities would be illegal. This would be like a midget basketball team taking on the San Antonio Spurs in a game where the midgets insisted that the hoops be set five feet off the ground so that they might have a chance to dunk the ball, not realizing that to reset the rim at five feet would allow a tremendous advantage to the Spurs. Suppose that I think the national speed limit should be raised to 90 miles per hour on Interstates in rural areas. Given the Supreme Court's decision regarding "Bong Hits for Jesus," I have no right to endorse higher speeds, since they are currently illegal.
Perhaps the Supreme Court would rule that I have no right to criticize this ruling because to do so would be a tacit endorsement of an activity that they found to be illegal.
Hmmm... A black van just pulled into my driveway. There's a knock at the door. Gotta go now...