Secretary of State John Kerry, in Berlin on the second leg of his first foreign trip since taking over as chief diplomat, took the opportunity to give a ringing defense of free speech.
It's a sentiment often expressed, but perhaps not quite as bluntly as Kerry chose to do it:
"In America," he said, "you have the right to be stupid."
John Kerry says Americans have the right to be stupid. Add that to the right to vote and you get the 2012 election results.— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) February 26, 2013
But in Germany, where the Nazi Party is banned, America's tolerance of that organization and others can be baffling.
Kerry's comments are an unabashed defense of the First Amendment, reminding friends and allies abroad of values that allow for videos like the one that sparked protests across the Middle East in September and actions of groups such as the Westboro Baptist Church.