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December 27, 2013

Do As We Say, Not As We Do...

...say the brave defenders of free speech (even when it offends someone!):

Sarah Palin's PAC praises NBC for suspending Alec Baldwin and demands to know when and how NBC will punish Martin Bashir for offensive speech:

After applauding the network's decision to suspend Alec Baldwin over his anti-gay slur, Crawford's letter asks: "We would now like to know what disciplinary measures you are taking about Martin Bashir’s appalling statement on his MSNBC show last Friday ...

"You fired Don Imus for offensive language in describing the Rutgers University Women’s Basketball team, you suspended Alec Baldwin, and yet nothing has happened to Mr. Bashir," the letter reads. "Are we to assume then, that disciplinary procedures at your network take place based on the target of the remarks rather than the remarks themselves?"

Conservatives call on Fox to fire Shepard Smith for offending them.

John Hawkins and 25 leading conservatives call for Capitol One to fire Alec Baldwin for offensive speech.

Mark Levin calls for the firing of Al Sharpton for offensive speech.

Conservative group Campus Reform calls for firing of liberal prof for offensive speech.

This one really pains me, as I think both these sites perform an invaluable service. Newsbusters, a conservative site affiliated with the deeply conservative Media Research Center, appears to have no free speech objections to the Catholic League's calls for Bill Maher to be fired for offensive speech.

Hot Air blogger appears to have no free speech objection to the possible suspension/possible resignation of Martin Bashir for the crime of offending others with his speech.

Sometimes, a picture is worth a thousand words:

irony.jpg

So here's an inflammatory debate question for the assembled villainry. By the logic expressed here, shouldn't every single one of these conservatives who have openly called for, applauded, or condoned calls for various people to be fired for offensive speech be subjected to the very same treatment? Shouldn't we all be calling for them to be fired?

Why shouldn't social pressures be brought to bear against social pressures in the same way? If a group attempts to use social pressure to get someone fired for saying things they find objectionable, shouldn't those people themselves be pursued (and their employers subject to demands that they be fired at once)?

That sounds like a pretty unpleasant place to live. Those calling for civility are doubtless thinking of that. I wonder if the proper analogy, though, isn't to nuclear war. Mutually-Assured Destruction proved an effective restraint, just because a post-war world would have been such an unpleasant place to live.

In the current moment we see not only organizations but ad-hoc movements engaged in a sort of blood-lust, in love with the unrestrained power to destroy. There is no legal recourse against them, because the government only properly restrains the government. It is society that must restrain society.

I yield to none in my respect for courtesy. Certainly I have no desire to live in the kind of world in which our every expression is carefully watched by our ideological enemies in the hope that some public expression of religion, some joke, some interview should produce an opportunity to destroy our lives.

There are only two roads to avoid that world, though, and the first road is to avoid all public expressions of religion, all jokes, or the giving of interviews. The other is to make clear that this is a two-way street, if they insist upon it.

The supposed deterrent effect of calling for people to be fired in the name of free speech does not appear to have had much of a deterrent effect to this writer. But even if it did, would that be the right thing to do?

I said pretty much everything I have to say on this issue over 5 years ago:

Conservatives - and especially conservatives online - need to think about what kind of world it is we want to live in. If what we want is a bare knuckle free for all where personal attacks are not only condoned but applauded (but only so long as the attacker is firmly on "our side"), that's one thing. But if we want to have any credibility when we object to our opponents treating conservatives and their families with contempt and derision, we might want to consider actually practicing what we preach.

We might want to consider not calling women who dare to voice opinions we disagree with sluts and whores; to consider speaking up when some on our own side forget themselves.

We might want to take a long, hard (heh... she said 'long and hard') look in the mirror, because our online community - any community - is what we decide to make it. Standing up for civility is not political correctness and it's not wimpy. In fact, there's quite a bit of evidence for the proposition that there are times when taking offense plays an essential part in maintaining a well ordered society:

You could say our lives as social beings are ruled by the three R's: respect—the sense that proper deference has been paid to our status, reputation—the carefully maintained perception of our qualities, and reciprocity—the belief that our actions are responded to fairly. ...Being on the alert for scoundrels is exhausting, and confronting those who violate social rules is potentially dangerous. But humans feel compelled to do it because without vigilance, fairness and cooperation break down. Gazzaniga cites experiments that show that individuals who take the risk of punishing cheaters enhance their own reputation within a group. (Here's a real-life example.)

Humans' sense of indignation is not just limited to violations against us. Even if you're able-bodied, think of how offended you feel when you see another able-bodied person pull into a handicapped parking spot. Most of us will just walk on, quietly irate, but a few will yell at the driver. These moral enforcers are vital to society. Frans de Waal writes that experiments with macaques show that if you remove the individuals who perform this policing function, hostilities increase among the entire band.

Perhaps this is why, unlike Jules, I was encouraged by Ed Whelan's decision to apologize for outing Publius. I was encouraged because whatever one thinks of his actions up until that moment, Ed Whelen did the right thing. He acted the way I expect a conservative to act. He elevated what was right over what was personally expedient.

And that took enormous courage, because in so doing he had to admit that he was wrong. That takes integrity, a quality I see all too rarely on our side of the blogosphere these days.

Ed Whelan made me proud to be a conservative.

His actions, and those of conservatives who urged him to do the right thing, gave me hope that perhaps we do stand for something after all. They gave me hope because if conservatives continue to condone the substitution of personal attacks for civil discourse when it suits our purposes, there will be no place for people like me on the Internet. They will be driven away and the only voices left will be the ones who enjoy shouting and feces flinging. The conservative side of the blogosphere will be blissfully free of dissent or thoughtful discussion. We'll become the echo chamber the Left makes us out to be: a place where only those willing to defend and agree with the tribe are heard.

Posted by Cassandra at December 27, 2013 12:35 PM

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On the other hand, the only way to stop bullies is to fight them. Civility does require a certain quid pro quo, and the Democrats have been lacking in it. I bring up "Robert Bork's America", and "They are coming for the Children!"........

Posted by: Robert M Mitchell Jr. at December 27, 2013 02:17 PM

So you're saying that all those conservatives who called for others to be fired for offensive speech should be treated to a dose of their own medicine?

Or maybe you're saying anyone who can say, "but they did it first" gets a pass? (of course that only works for direct retaliation - it's not transferrable).

Posted by: Cassandra at December 27, 2013 02:34 PM

I think it is an attempt to make the Left play by their own set of rules (conservatives can read Alinsky too), with the hope that an Irony Bomb will detonate inside their heads. Because every time a conservative or Republican says something slightly off, the Left goes at them hammer and tong, and the offender is thrown out or resigns. So, now, we ask the same of them. And every now and then, a head rolls and they learn how it feels.

I think everyone should be allowed to say anything they like, but their parents should teach them not to. Not gonna happen, though.

Posted by: MathMom at December 27, 2013 03:24 PM

I think it is an attempt to make the Left play by their own set of rules...

...while we violate our set of rules? :p

I think everyone should be allowed to say anything they like, but their parents should teach them not to. Not gonna happen, though.

I agree, my friend. I think people should be allowed to say whatever they like (with very few exceptions).

And I think other people should be allowed to say, "People who talk/act that way are not the kind of person I wish to associate with or employ."

I think it would be really refreshing if conservatives didn't respond to frankly ridiculous hyperbole from liberals with their own unique brand of Godwin's Law rhetoric, in which Stalin replaces Hitler as the "Seriously??? You went there?" ne plus ultra of Boogeymen.

I wonder how survivors of real re-education camps in which people were brutally tortured and murdered feel when they see prominent conservatives comparing what happened to Phil Robertson (who wasn't fired, or imprisoned, or silenced, or anything even remotely close to any of these things) to a "re-education camp"? Why do we even pay attention to such silliness? Why do we admire it as uber-gutsy? No one's going to punish these folks. They're not brave. They're just loud.

I wonder what people who have lived in real totalitarian regimes think when conservatives describe opposing speech (the kind they defend as a vibrant exercise of a free society if it comes from someone with the correct opinions and target list) as "totalitarian"?

I wonder what alternate universe these folks are living in, where speech that is openly broadcast, debated, defended, attacked is viewed as having been "silenced"? Wherever it is, it's the same country Keith Olbermann thought he was living in while he got paid over a million dollars a year to shout his rubbish from a comfy chair into the world's biggest microphone while complaining that he was being silenced.

I wonder about the viability of a party whose leading lights equate disapproval and criticism with the way dissidents are treated under Communism?

The poor babies.

Posted by: Cassandra at December 27, 2013 03:53 PM

...shouldn't every single one of these conservatives who have openly called for, applauded, or condoned calls for various people to be fired for offensive speech be subjected to the very same treatment? Shouldn't we all be calling for them to be fired?

Posted by: Grim at December 27, 2013 04:07 PM

Strange code day.

...shouldn't every single one of these conservatives who have openly called for, applauded, or condoned calls for various people to be fired for offensive speech be subjected to the very same treatment? Shouldn't we all be calling for them to be fired?

Are you content to have Sarah Palin as your spokeswoman? I was always under the impression that you'd be happy to give her walking papers, if there was a good way to do it.

Indeed, to the degree that you think it's wrong, why shouldn't you want conservative agencies to find someone else?

Your despair over this discussion mystifies me a little. Usually we fight when you want to apply a universal standard where I think that there are important differences that ought to mean that we shouldn't want a single standard for everyone. But here I'm offering a universal standard, something that could hold for conservatives as well as liberals, right as well as left, black as well as white. It's just about not using the swarming power of the internet to destroy individual lives -- whether they are rich or poor, great or small.

You seem to be reading this as a call for violence, but it's not that at all. It's a call for a standard that, if enforced, might have a braking effect on this negative aspect that the Internet (among other technological changes) has brought to our society.

Posted by: Grim at December 27, 2013 04:07 PM

I am interpreting your suggestion as exactly what you posited here:

If a group attempts to use social pressure to get someone fired for saying things they find objectionable, shouldn't those people themselves be pursued (and their employers subject to demands that they be fired at once)?

You claim - despite the plain fact that this sort of thing has been going on for ages: all without eliminating itself - that somehow endorsing/committing the same wrong we complain of will result in less of that wrong being committed.

Are you content to have Sarah Palin as your spokeswoman? I was always under the impression that you'd be happy to give her walking papers, if there was a good way to do it.

She will never be my spokeswoman. Nor do I wish to get her fired. My hope has always been that exposing bad ideas and arguments is the best disinfectant - not calling for those we disagree with to be fired or persecuted.

Posted by: Cassandra at December 27, 2013 04:24 PM

That's what I said, and it's what I meant. If you will that someone should be fired to suit your social agenda, then why shouldn't you be fired to suit someone else's? It's a fair cop.

My hope is that, by putting skin in the game for people who do this, we'll see an end to the mob-howling-for-blood mentality. The state can't restrain such behavior, because the 1A explicitly protects the bad behavior in this case. So, the proper tool is not the law or the state but people acting together as private citizens or members of private groups.

Posted by: Grim at December 27, 2013 05:54 PM

The tragic flaws in your reasoning are twofold:

1. My hope is that, by putting skin in the game for people who do this, we'll see an end to the mob-howling-for-blood mentality.

Yeah. Just like tribal retaliation in Afghanistan has put a stop to murder/rape/maiming. Afghanistan is such a wonderful place to live, and the weak (women, children, people who aren't complete barbarians) fare so well there. In fact, "an eye for an eye" has worked so well throughout history - all people need to see is that something can be done to them, too, and they'll stop doing it. It's not as though a vicious cycle of offense/retaliation/offense/retaliation would *ever* result.

It's not as though civilized societies long ago rejected that line of thinking... which is pretty much what makes them civilized, as opposed to barbaric.

2. It's not as though, if conservatives excuse the behavior on the bizarre theory that more offense = less offense, there won't just be more of it. Again, that has NEVER happened before.

Posted by: Cassandra at December 27, 2013 06:35 PM

...while we violate our set of rules? :p

I don't know how to solve the problem, personally. How would Charlie Brown have convinced Lucy to stop pulling the football away at the last second? Charlie was a nice little boy who wanted to believe the best about Lucy, despite all prior experience. But she was untrustworthy, and would not change.

He might have just stopped kicking the ball. Or he might have offered to hold it for her, and then, just once, pulled it away at the last second so she got a taste of her own medicine.

The Left does this because they can. We let them, by attempting to win in the field of ideas, while behaving well. They are not interested in ideas. They are interested in personally bankrupting you or your company, then setting their sights on the next target.

I have a dear friend who steeps himself in the Word of God - reads three Bibles a year and has for decades. I haven't made it through the Bible the first time, yet! He quotes Matthew 5:39: "But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also."

He quoted that verse to me, then said that Jesus didn't say what to do if the evil person slaps the other cheek. He said, "I think if they slap the other cheek, you can deck them!"

Jesus did some serious temple trashing, yo. He didn't always bless them and walk away.

Posted by: MathMom at December 27, 2013 07:04 PM

Having worked tribal reconciliation in Iraq, if not Afghanistan, I disagree with your understanding of it. I especially object to the suggestion that they are uncivilized, which strikes me as deeply unfair to a people with clear standards and a complex history and law.

What gives rise to the ongoing feud is usually a question of valuation of the dead, which is why it is so important to have a place to come together to sort it out. But it is also driven by factionalism, which is absent in this suggestion. All that is wanted is a universal rule against taking out people's jobs to advance a personal social agenda. Nobody exists to enforce that rule in the state, as a point of the way the state was designed and properly restrained. So it must be done otherwise if it is to be done at all, i.e., by non-state actors among the community.

Posted by: Grim at December 27, 2013 08:12 PM

As to Al Sharpton accusing Republicans of genocide? That is incitement. His network should fire him out of shame, and for inciting riots. Of course, that's how Al Sharpton came into the public eye, isn't it? Too bad someone didn't stomp on him way back in the Tawana Brawley days.

Posted by: MathMom at December 27, 2013 08:45 PM

Asking for someone to be fired is one thing, and is more or less defensible depending on the particulars of the situation. However, asking why one person is fired by a given business entity for offensive speech while another person is not seems to be an entirely legitimate question. So I would not fault Sarah Palin's PAC for, essentially, highlighting the inherent bias at MSNBC.

Posted by: RonF at December 28, 2013 02:17 AM

Factionalism is absent in politics? Seriously?

For whatever it may be worth, I'm not entirely sure that suggesting someone be fired for offensive speech is actually morally wrong. That's Grim's formulation.

All I'm saying is, "If it's wrong, it's wrong. It's not right when we do it and wrong when they do and, and it's certainly not a case where only one side does this."

I spend only a few minutes looking for links to the few examples I cited. I can think of scores of others - boycott this! So-and-so should be fired for saying that!

To me, when someone chooses to say something inflammatory, they are assuming the normal risks of that activity. Those risks include the risk that people they care about for one reason or another will be among the offended.

If I began a public relations campaign to normalize pedophilia, I'm pretty sure my employer would fire my sorry butt so fast it would make my head spin. It's up to me to decide whether my beautiful and natural right to free speech is worth the risk of losing my job or not.

I happen to disagree - vehemently - with Grim that this is even much of a problem. I disagree even more with his proposed solution. The logistics alone make no sense - no one is going to track down every member of a large group and make sure they're all fired for backing a proposal to fire someone else.

It's unworkable. What's far more likely would be that Liberal Group X would say, "Conservative Group Y tried to get our sacred cow fired, so we're going to try to get one of *their* sacred cows fired." We've now added revenge to the list of motivations, with both groups actively looking for chances to "punch back twice as hard".

The retribution isn't even directed at the original offender and the collateral damage, as Grim already pointed out on his site, extends way beyond the offender. You hurt A&E, and they in turn lay people off or cancel shows to take some other action, meant to mitigate the financial damage, that "just happens" to hurt workers who did nothing wrong.

I don't care if people boycott companies whose values run contrary to theirs. And I don't care if employers fire employees whose values run contrary to theirs (and who insist upon publicly expressing those values). That's a normal risk of living in the world - something adults used to understand and accept.

Just like there's no such thing as consequence free sex, there's no such thing as consequence free speech. We ought to consider our words and our deeds carefully, and having the freedom to say something (or say it in a particular way) doesn't mean we should necessarily do so.

Posted by: Cassandra at December 28, 2013 09:12 AM

Asking for someone to be fired is one thing, and is more or less defensible depending on the particulars of the situation. However, asking why one person is fired by a given business entity for offensive speech while another person is not seems to be an entirely legitimate question. So I would not fault Sarah Palin's PAC for, essentially, highlighting the inherent bias at MSNBC.

SarahPac applauded the suspension of Alec Baldwin for putting down homosexuality. How is this any different from what just happened to Robertson?

If you'll recall, Ms. Palin leaped to Robertson's defense (without actually bothering to read the interview, mind you). So there's a disconnect there you could drive a MAC truck through.

Posted by: Cassandra at December 28, 2013 09:23 AM

The Left does this because they can.

So does the Right. Both sides do it. So either we say that neither side should be able to do it, or both sides should be able to do it, but "It's OK for us to do it but beyond the pale for them to do it" is pretty shameless.

No one actually has the power to fire an employee except an employer, and plenty of employers have simply responded to this by saying, "That's so-and-so's opinion. It doesn't reflect our stand on X." Third parties filing petitions or writing letters is essentially free speech: the expression of opinion. "I think you should fire John Smith (or I'll take my business somewhere else).

I don't think you should cut your hair short (can't force you, but I won't date you if you do). Oh well.... I think Chris Christie should lose weight (or I won't vote for him). I think Barack Obama should stop throwing people under the bus. Opinion, nothing more. There may also be consequences, and the idea that other people can't react to or disassociate themselves from things we do and say is suspect at best.

The interesting thing here is that I've seen quite a few left-leaning pundits and bloggers criticizing the push to fire Robertson. So there's really no monolithic "Left" or "Right" - there are groups and individuals on both sides who disagree and a whole bunch of folks in the middle who aren't even paying attention.

I've seen a TON of patently false statements from righty pundits on this story: "They (the Left) ALWAYS win" (no, they don't). "No one has EVER stood up to this kind of intimidation before" (actually plenty of public figures on both the left and right have refused to apologize for perceived offensive remarks).

And perhaps the funniest thing about this is that Robertson hasn't been fired. So the whole "fire him" thingy appears to be an epic failure. Nor has he been "re-educated", in a camp or otherwise, Mark Steyn's overwrought references to Stalin and totalitarianism notwithstanding.

How did we lose sight of reality here? If "social pressure" is suddenly too much for our too, too fragile modern souls to bear, I shudder to think of what that means for the future of this country. We can't bear the tyranny of the government and now we can't bear the tyranny of living in a society with other human beings?

The world is a dangerous place, and it behooves adults to act accordingly. If a person's top priority is absolute freedom to say (or do) what they like, they probably shouldn't be working for a company that doesn't share that view of things.

Posted by: Cassandra at December 28, 2013 09:39 AM

Hi Cassandra,
Admit I'm not so good w/ subtlety, but feel the need.

1. Quite agree w/ you that righties that indiscriminately scream for lefty heads for speech 'violations' are just as wrong as the lefties that appear to do it as a holy mission.

2. Disagree that speech offenders should always get a pass.
I'll actually defend Phil Maher's incredibly poor taste use of retarded (a next door neighbor and a couple family friends had kids that were both retarded and spastic, and I have huge feelings of sympathy for all involved); it just proved (again) that he is an insensitive jerk.
What Martin Bashir said about Sarah Palin probably actually qualifies as criminal assault,
and that kind of awfulness ought to be a fireable offense *every single time.*

Will cheerfully admit that this is not an issue with a clear clean solution. It requires *judgement.*

Very Best Regards,

Posted by: CAPT Mike at December 29, 2013 12:22 AM

Disagree that speech offenders should always get a pass.

Well, I may have failed to make myself clear on that point, but I'm not sure we disagree. The 2009 post I cited talks about the important role of "moral enforcers" in society:

Humans' sense of indignation is not just limited to violations against us. Even if you're able-bodied, think of how offended you feel when you see another able-bodied person pull into a handicapped parking spot. Most of us will just walk on, quietly irate, but a few will yell at the driver. These moral enforcers are vital to society. Frans de Waal writes that experiments with macaques show that if you remove the individuals who perform this policing function, hostilities increase among the entire band.

I don't actually have a problem with pushing back against offensive speech - that's how societies set the tone for public debate and discussion. I just think that when a person or group suggests something that they have absolutely NO power to enforce, we don't need to break out the tactical nukes. That whole tactic reminds me of the Heinlein quip: "Never frighten a little man. He'll kill you."

If public debate becomes little more than verbal fist fighting, a lot of people are intimidated or rightly conclude it's not worth the risks.

Merely calling for someone to be fired doesn't actually strike me as necessarily bad or beyond the pale. I certainly don't see that as any worse than the kind of completely overwrought (and deeply dishonest) rhetoric I've seen during this particular brouhaha.

What happened to Robertson was NOTHING like totalitarianism, Stalinist Russia, Communist purges, re-education camps, or any of the frankly silly rhetoric used to describe what actually amounted to a meaningless public gesture from A&E. Arguments like these amount to demagoguery - they are meant to whip up powerful emotions and incite exactly the kind of mob mentality Grim rightly fears. Hardly the way to foster the free exchange of ideas.

I have absolutely NO problem with the support for Robertson - in fact, it was very much a *good* thing. I didn't feel all that strongly about it, but don't object to others being outraged and saying so. That's how societies reach some kind of cultural consensus - they exchange ideas and debate the merits of various actions. To the extent that their arguments have merit, I'll listen. When they cross over the line, I'm going to point that out because that's part of the purpose of debate and evaluation.

In the end, plain old opposing speech worked just fine. There was no need for anyone to go after anyone's job (IOW, to do the very thing we claimed was so dangerous). GLAAD was publicly smacked down and A&E was clearly made aware that society values even Robertson's speech, though I will say I found it funny that so many pundits on the right airbrushed out or made excuses for the more objectionable parts of his interview just as pundits on the left airbrushed out the parts where Robertson made it perfectly clear that it is God's place to judge sinners, not his place.

As for Bashir, I think MSNBC should have fired him immediately for his unprofessional behavior. But this is the network that allowed Keith Olbermann to spew vitriol and nastiness for years. So I'm not surprised they didn't fire him. I don't listen to MSNBC - they don't get my money and never will. So I suppose you could say I'm "boycotting" them, though in actually I just decline to subsidize a shoddy and inferior product.

Posted by: Cassandra at December 29, 2013 08:52 AM

I think it's about time they were served some of the rancor they so often dish out. Although, I sincerely doubt that it will change their tactics in the future, maybe, just maybe, getting a little taste of the vitriol and intimidation they spew on a daily basis along with the fear and general anxiety such can, and does create - which face it, is their agenda in the first place - will give them pause before their next over-the-top, burr-under-the-saddle, snit fit.

"In the fallout over Wednesday’s suspension of “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson by A&E for anti-gay and racist remarks, GLAAD is experiencing record levels of backlash.

'In the five-and-a-half years I’ve worked at GLAAD, I’ve never received so many violently angry phone calls and social media posts attacking GLAAD for us speaking out against these comments,' the media watchdog organization’s vice president of communications Rich Ferraro told TheWrap.

He said those reactions range from those who simply believe as Robertson believes to those who feel that GLAAD and A&E’s actions limit the reality star’s free speech."

Posted by: DL Sly at December 29, 2013 12:01 PM

maybe, just maybe, getting a little taste of the vitriol and intimidation they spew on a daily basis along with the fear and general anxiety such can, and does create - which face it, is their agenda in the first place.

Is it? I think pundits who specialize in that sort of thing do it to whip up their *own* side. The message is aimed at their own audiences, and it works.

Very well.

Not that many conservatives read The Nation or mainstream liberal blogs. They don't check every morning to see what GLAAD has said or done that day.

Besides, I'm not even sure the more rabid sort of progressive even thinks conservatives can read :p

They're writing for their own side, as are the folks who would have us believe that open debate and free speech and the freedom to take our business where we will is somehow just like Soviet Russia.

Posted by: Cassandra at December 29, 2013 06:10 PM

Well, the guy that gave that quote sure seemed to be quite taken aback. He never, in his worst Tea-Party nightmares, thought that *normal* people would call, write articles and posts, make comments and jokes, jokes, in any sort of negative manner about them. By the tone of his comments, they were just "speaking out against comments" they didn't agree with, so why would anyone be upset with that?
Yet, they never once consider that Christians such as Phil Robertson (to use a recent example) are just speaking out against actions (not people) they personally don't agree with, but specifically go against their deeply held beliefs, as well.
Yet GLAAD seem to always be - automagically instantaneous, at the sniff of a whiff in the breeze of an imagined slight somewhere to someone, possibly - right there to start lobbing vitriol and siccing their activist and legal arms on businesses and individuals who don't support their view. I would use a pot/kettle analogy, but this relative hypocrasy is more equavalent to a black hole and ...? There isn't a comparison to be found, quite frankly.
The LGBT/GLAAD/lmnop...whatever, (I can't keep up anymore) lobby/political group will not allow any dissenting opinions on the national scene. Am I advocating that? No, shirley not! But I am advocating for a continuance of what has just happened wrt Mr. Robertson. The Silent Majority needs to stand up and say, as our beloved MaryAnn can only say, "Oh For F@#ks Sake! Enough!!"
0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at December 29, 2013 07:21 PM

Well, the guy that gave that quote sure seemed to be quite taken aback. He never, in his worst Tea-Party nightmares, thought that *normal* people would call, write articles and posts, make comments and jokes, jokes, in any sort of negative manner about them. By the tone of his comments, they were just "speaking out against comments" they didn't agree with, so why would anyone be upset with that?

Yep :)

I will admit to really enjoying that article.

The LGBT/GLAAD/lmnop...whatever, (I can't keep up anymore) lobby/political group will not allow any dissenting opinions on the national scene.

I don't think they control whether people are allowed to express themselves or not. As I noted before, far from being silenced, Robertson's remarks have been widely disseminated and discussed.

Am I advocating that? No, shirley not! But I am advocating for a continuance of what has just happened wrt Mr. Robertson. The Silent Majority needs to stand up and say, as our beloved MaryAnn can only say, "Oh For F@#ks Sake! Enough!!"

I didn't think you were calling for the silencing of progressives (if that were even possible, which I don't think it is). And I couldn't agree more on the value of pushing back. I just think it's far more valuable when people like that see that ordinary people (IOW, not baby slaughtering, kitten bouncing "Tea Party whack jobs") consider them WAY out of line ... and what's more, that they're damaging their cause with the over the top tactics and rhetoric.

Come to think of it, that's a lesson lots of people on both sides could benefit from.

Posted by: Cassandra at December 30, 2013 10:20 AM

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