HOW THEY DO IT
In 1993, Elena Kagan wrote an article for the University of Chicago Law Review that included this sentence:
I take it as a given that we live in a society marred by racial and gender inequality, that certain forms of speech perpetuate and promote this inequality, and that the uncoerced disappearance of such speech would be cause for great elation.
The meaning of that seems clear to me: If speech that helps perpetuate race and gender inequality were to cease to exist all by itself (i.e., vanished from the earth "uncoerced"), some people would be very happy (it "would be cause for great elation").
That's what the sentence means -- right?
Well, apparently not -- not according to the right-wing propaganda machine. The sentence is quoted in a World Net Daily article that offers a different interpretation in its title:
"Kagan: Some Speech Can Be 'Disappeared.'"
And that WND article is quoted at Fox Nation right now:
And the quote (and other quotes from the WND article) show up in the petition page of Vision to America, under the heading
Petition to Stop Kagan & Protect Free Speech Now!
FREE SPEECH IS DEAD! SOCIALIST DICTATORSHIP IS ALIVE!
Sign FREE Petition to Stop Elena Kagan's Nomination & Protect Free Speech!
(Vision to America, as Mother Jones reports, just sent out a blast e-mail headlined "Obama Nominates Lesbian Elena Kagan.")
A version of this is also showing up in the Ron Paul/Alex Jones-o-sphere -- at the Daily Paul, at Prison Planet, at InfoWars ("Kagan: 'Disappear' Free Speech If The Government Deems It Offensive").
And now the meme is spreading. And so, if you live out in the heartland, chances are one of your neighbors is going to the comments section of a legitimate news site and posting something like this:
The queer, non-judge, barely-a-lawyer, no-paper-trail pick for SUPREME COURT JUSTICE, Jewess Elena Kagan, has written FEW things, but even those show her HATRED for FREEDOM and the Constitution.
Here's the latest discovery:
NEW YORK – President Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan, argued certain forms of speech that promote "racial or gender inequality" could be "disappeared." ...
And at the backyard barbecue this weekend, he'll tell you the same thing.
And she never said any such thing. And objective reality dies a little bit more.