When it comes to the First Amendment, Team Obama believes in Global Chilling.
Cass Sunstein, a Harvard Law professor who has been appointed to a shadowy post that will grant him powers that are merely mind-boggling, explicitly supports using the courts to impose a "chilling effect" on speech that might hurt someone's feelings.
He thinks that the bloggers have been rampaging out of control and that new laws need to be written to corral them.
Advance copies of Sunstein's new book, "On Rumors: How Falsehoods Spread, Why We Believe Them, What Can Be Done," have gone out to reviewers ahead of its September publication date, but considering the prominence with which Sunstein is about to be endowed, his worrying views are fair game now.
Sunstein is President Obama's choice to head the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. It's the bland titles that should scare you the most.
"Although obscure," reported the Wall Street Journal, "the post wields outsize power. It oversees regulations throughout the government, from the Environmental Protection Agency to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
"Obama aides have said the job will be crucial as the new administration overhauls financial-services regulations, attempts to pass universal health care and tries to forge a new approach to controlling emissions of greenhouse gases."
Sunstein was appointed, no doubt, off the success of "Nudge," his previous book, which suggests that government ought to gently force people to be better human beings.