Two-faced hypocrisies of Fatheaded Ed and the ACLU
Above: Cartoon courtesy of the Wall Street Journal
Left: Mugshot of Ed's smirking face
I submitted the following comment for a post titled Ed Brayton’s doublespeak — When Glib writes it, he’s “ignorant,” when Wendy does, she’s right on the StoptheACLU blog (Wendy Kaminer wrote a Wall Street Journal feature article titled The American Liberal Liberties Union: The ACLU is becoming very selective about what it considers "free" speech):
I agree that Fatheaded Ed Brayton is a lousy two-faced hypocrite. For crying out loud (Fatheaded Ed's trademark expression), he kicked me off his blog permanently just because he disagreed with my literal interpretation of a federal court rule -- and BTW he did not even give me a single chance to respond to his objection to my interpretation. And since then this despicable BVD-clad blogger has not given me any chance to respond on his blog to personal attacks that he makes against me on his blog.
One of Ed's specialties is nitpicking and hairsplitting pettifoggery. For example, he tries to make a distinction between "reasonable criticism" and "batshit wingnuttery" -- but the "batshit wingnuttery" is often just truthful "zealous advocacy."
And you are right about the ACLU. Even when the ACLU's priorities prevent the ACLU from directly participating in lawsuits that the ACLU supposedly supports, the ACLU could just give moral support to those lawsuits but often fails to do so. I found that out when the ACLU of Southern California refused to even just make a public statement against California's grossly unconstitutional $300 "smog impact fee" on out-of-state vehicles (this fee was collected for about 8-9 years and was struck down by the state courts and most victims then got refunds). In contrast, the ACLU was a plaintiff in a lawsuit against an unconstitutional Florida tax on out-of-state vehicles.
Of course, I would like to post this comment on Fatheaded Ed's blog but cannot.
Ed Brayton's reply to the StoptheACLU post is here. Here is a discussion of Ed's kicking me off his blog.
"Batshit wingnuttery" -- LOL. That is almost as good as Wesley "Ding" Elsberry's "pseudo-aggrieved put-uponness".
Wendy Kaminer's WSJ article said,
Despite its professed commitment to religious liberty, for example, the ACLU tends to absent itself from cases on college campuses involving the associational rights of Christian student groups to discriminate against gay students, in accordance with their religious beliefs. But conservative students might be grateful for the ACLU's absence. Consider its intervention in a successful federal court challenge to an unconstitutional speech code at Georgia Tech, brought by the Alliance Defense Fund in 2006 on behalf of two conservative religious students. The ACLU of Georgia filed an amicus brief proposing a substitute but still overbroad "antiharassment" policy that included a prohibition on "injurious communications . . . directed toward an individual because of their characteristics or beliefs." In other words: Students should be punished for sharply criticizing or satirizing each other's beliefs if their remarks are deemed "injurious." Occasionally an ACLU affiliate does intervene in defense of politically incorrect speech and vigorous debate on campus. But the Foundation for Individual Rights In Education has become a much more reliable advocate for the rights of all college students, regardless of ideology or religion. (I serve on both FIRE's advisory board and the board of the Massachusetts ACLU affiliate.)(emphasis added)
Ed's response to the above statement was,
I agree with this completely. Yes, the ACLU takes an official position against hate speech codes on campus . . .
WHAT? Whaddya mean, "Yes, the ACLU takes an official position against hate speech codes on campus . ."? The WSJ article said, "The ACLU of Georgia filed an amicus brief proposing a substitute but still overbroad 'antiharassment' policy that included a prohibition on 'injurious communications . . . directed toward an individual because of their characteristics or beliefs.' " Sheeesh.
Also, Glib Fortuna, the author of the above StoptheACLU post, wrote on Ed's blog,
. . . I was no more harsh on the ACLU than WK [Wendy Kaminer] was. As a matter of fact, she went further than I did in my criticism on campus issues. I criticized the ACLU for being absent. WK actually went further by saying that the ACLU's rare involvement has been deleterious as the ACLU has supported reconstituted speech code-lite. So as far as your charges of my post being hyperbolic and "overblown," you cannot avoid attaching the same rider to WK's "constructive criticism" if you're being consistent.
Glib then astutely observes,
This post is the perfect example, Ed, of you depending on your readers to read nothing beyond your selective analysis, cherry-picked to serve you, but to disserve the people who trust you.
And one of the ways that Ed assures that his readers read nothing beyond his selective analysis is by censoring dissenting comments.
Also, Ed said the following about Wendy Kaminer:
. . . .she's one of the good guys and she speaks not as an enemy of the ACLU out to demonize the organization but as a passionate supporter and longtime civil liberties activist out to save the ACLU from itself . . . . I think her criticisms deserve to be taken seriously.
Glib Fortuna is right -- why in the hell should the validity of criticism of the ACLU depend on who is doing the criticizing?
Also, it is noteworthy that Ed lets Glib post comments on his blog but won't let me do so. The reason for this discrimination is that cowardly Ed is afraid of Glib because Glib blogs on a big, popular blog, StoptheACLU.
I don't agree with StoptheACLU on a lot of issues, but I certainly agree with them on this one.
Also, Fatheaded Ed says on his blog,
Any and all emails that I receive may be reprinted, in part or in full, on this blog with attribution. If this is not acceptable to you, do not send me e-mail -- especially if you're going to end up being embarrassed when it's printed publicly for all to see.
I therefore have no qualms about publishing the following reply that Ed made when I emailed him the above comment that I submitted to the StoptheACLU blog:
Larry, exactly how fucking stupid are you?
The trolls here -- Voice in the Wilderness, Voice in the Urbanness, Hector, Bill Carter, etc. -- will now say what a wonderful guy Ed is and that Glib Fortuna and I are the bad guys.