I am of two different but far from dissimilar minds on this issue. On the one hand, I'm very happy to see that the proposed amendment failed in the United States Senate today. On the other hand, I'm more than a bit concerned that it was by the smallest margin ever. One more vote, and the measure would have advanced. Furthermore, the very fact that 66 Senators out of a Senate comprised of 100 members voted in favor of the proposed amendment is, frankly, terrifying. One of the cornerstones of this representative democracy is the concept that all speech, no matter how offensive, is protected, in whatever form it may take, as long as said speech does not lead to the direct harm of others (such as shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theatre), and with other very proscribed restrictions. In fact, as numerous points of case law and our own nation's history attest, offensive speech, or rather, the right to it, is particularly critical to the health of our society. In the earliest days of the United States, we had very vicious personal attacks during the course of campaigns for public office or by various newspapers against public officials they disliked. Look at some of the early "broadsides", which have evolved into today's pussified editorial cartoons.
My response to this was going to be some utterly brilliant quote I heard once. However, I was unable to locate this gem, so instead, I'll go with a lesser one that starts to express my opinion, a gem from Doug McLeod: "I still say a church steeple with a lightening rod on top shows a lack of confidence." Or perhaps this quote from Ambrose Bierce is more apropos: "In our civilization, and under our republican form of government, intelligence is so highly honored that it is rewarded by exemption from the cares of office."