Peggy Noonan has a blistering column in today’s Wall Street Journal about what happens when people on the right try to express their dissent to the liberal line on issues. You guessed it: We’ll shut you up. Strange, lefties are all for voices crying in the wilderness, as long as it’s their voices. But when conservatives try to excercise their right to free speech, it’s all: “What First Amendment?”

Peggy cites four instances, all during the last 10 days, of efforts (some highly successful) by the oh-so-liberal to stifle their opposition:

1. Representatives of the Minutemen are invited by Columbia University to explain why they believe America should enforce its immigration laws. The upshot:

“As Jim Gilchrist, the founder, spoke, angry students stormed the stage, shouting and knocking over chairs and tables. ‘Having wreaked havoc,’ said the New York Sun, they unfurled a banner in Arabic and English that said, ‘No one is ever illegal.’ The auditorium was cleared, the Minutemen silenced. Afterward a student protester told the Columbia Spectator, ‘I don’t feel we need to apologize or anything. It was fundamentally a part of free speech. . . . The Minutemen are not a legitimate part of the debate on immigration.'”

2. On Katie Couric’s newscast for CBS, the father of a boy killed at Columbine declares that the root causes of the recent murder of five Amish schoolgirls has to do with a general decline of moral standards in America. Here is how many liberals regarded Brian Rorbough’s heartfelt outburst:

“Mr. Rohrbough was quickly informed he was not part of the legitimate debate, either. Howard Kurtz in the Washington Post: ‘The decision . . . to air his views prompted a storm of criticism, some of it within the ranks of CBS News.’ A blog critic: Grief makes people say ‘stupid’ things, but ‘what made them put this man on television?’ Good question. How did they neglect to silence him?”

3. And there’s that ur-champion of liberal values, Barbra Streisand, on her farewell tour at Madison Square Garden:

“Suddenly she decided to bang away on politics. Fine, she’s a Democrat, Bush is bad. But midway through the bangaway a man in the audience called out. Most could not hear him, but everyone seems to agree he at least said, ‘What is this, a fund-raiser?’

“At this, Ms. Streisand became enraged, stormed the stage and pummeled herself. Wait, that was Columbia. Actually she became enraged and cursed the man. A friend who was there, a liberal Democrat, said what was most interesting was Ms. Streisand made a physical movement with her arms and hands–‘those talon hands’–as if to say, See what I have to put up with when I attempt to educate the masses? She soon apologized, to her credit. Though apparently in the manner of a teacher who’d just kind of lost it with an unruly and ignorant student.”

4. And finally, Rosie O’Donnell on “The View”:

“She was banging away on gun control. Guns are bad and should be banned. Elizabeth Hasselbeck, who plays the role of the young, attractive mom, tentatively responded. ‘I want to be fair,’ she said. Obviously there should be ‘restrictions,’ but women have a right to defend themselves, and there’s ‘the right to bear arms’ in the Constitution. Rosie accused Elizabeth of yelling. The panel, surprised, agreed that Elizabeth was not yelling. Rosie then went blank-faced with what someone must have told her along the way is legitimately felt rage. Elizabeth was not bowing to Rosie’s views. Elizabeth needed to be educated. The education commenced, Rosie gesturing broadly and Elizabeth constricting herself as if she knew physical assault were a possibility.”

Isn’t it great how tolerant of dissent liberals are?