I'm old enough to remember when American liberals cherished the freedom of speech guaranteed by the First Amendment. They celebrated especially the freedom accorded those with unpopular beliefs and protested attempts to squelch the expression of differing opinions.
Today things are different. American liberals are not challenging the Supreme Court rulings extending First Amendment protection to nude dancers, flag burners and students wearing antiwar armbands. They are content to leave these as forms of protected free speech.
But political speech is a whole other thing. Currently 43 Democratic senators are co-sponsoring the constitutional amendment introduced by New Mexico's Sen. Tom Udall to amend the First Amendment so that it no longer protects political speech.
"To protect the integrity of the legislative and electoral processes," the text reads, "Congress shall have power to regulate the raising and spending of money and in-kind equivalents with respect to federal elections," including limits on contributions to and spending by or against candidates. The same power is given to state governments.
Delphically, the amendment adds, "Nothing in this article shall be construed to grant Congress the power to abridge the freedom of the press." So the New York Times can keep commenting on elections. Maybe bloggers can, too. (Are they the press?)