What Do These Folks Have in Common?

Pamela Bondi
Elaine Chao
Kristen Nielsen
Sarah Sanders

They are all Republican women who have been publicly harassed by the #Resistance.

I find it noteworthy that, with the exception of Ms. Chao who was with her husband Senator McConnell, this harassment was directed solely at women. In the time and place where I was raised, any woman who perpetrated such an incident would have been seen as ill-mannered, and any man who was part would have been viewed as a coward.

What Would Buckets Do?

Buckets was the name of a neighbor’s dog when I was growing up. He was loyal and protective and very, very stupid. Buckets liked to chase cars, and he liked to chase us kids when we rode by on our bicycles. One day, I stopped and let him catch me. He was puzzled and had no idea of what to do next, but that didn’t stop him from chasing me the next time I rode by.

The Occupy ICE crowds remind me of Buckets. They’ll engage in their protests with no real understanding of what to do next if they were successful. A post over at American Thinker describes the protest in Portland this way:

Meanwhile, neighborhood businesses, including restaurants, have had to hire private security because occupiers are stealing (or “borrowing”) everything that isn’t nailed down and trespassing on businesses’ parking lots, impeding commerce.

At a number of points, the mobs have literally taken over and closed down one or more streets as the police do nothing.

This wave of insurrection aimed at ICE is one element of a broader effort to frustrate and curtail law enforcement in many other areas and to intimidate government officials.

These are people marching … no, that’s not right … lying down under banners reading “No ICE,” No Borders,” and “No Prisons.” If they have nothing to lose (or be stolen), it makes a certain kind of law-of-the-jungle sense to join such a mob. But what would they do if they won? Would they want an effective police force to protect them in their new circumstances?

If they were to win, how many of them would still be prols? There’s only so much room in the outer party, and the inner party is even more exclusive. And the inner party will be sure that there is an effective police force.

They’re Not Going to Like the New Rules

John Hinderacker has a post over at PowerLine about the recent mobbing incidents of Republican officials and Maxine Waters’ call for more of the same.

We are rapidly approaching the point where there won’t be any alternative but to fight fire with fire. Where does Waters do her grocery shopping? Where does she gas up her car? Does she go out to eat? Does she attend movies or concerts? Does she walk on foot to her House office? Any time Maxine Waters is in public, why doesn’t she fear that a mob of conservatives will descend on her like the mobs of Democrats she incites?

Obviously, she relies on the knowledge that conservatives are better people than liberals and will not engage in the liberals’ contemptible tactics. But that assumption has gotten to be way too comfortable for liberals. Isn’t it about time that we act to deter further outrages from the Left, like the ones we are now seeing on a daily basis?

Read the whole thing.

I don’t endorse such harassment of anyone. Indeed, I wonder why Waters should be immune from the sort of civil actions being filed against rightwing bloggers for the acts of third parties.

Exit question for the ACLU: If the protections of Brandenburg v. Ohio don’t apply to someone who said nothing to incite violence, why should Waters and others who appear to be actively inciting mob action get a free pass?

UPDATE—Glenn Reynolds suggests that a soft civil war has already begun.

The rules of bourgeois civility also helped keep things in check, but of course those rules have been shredded for years. We may come to miss them.

Read the whole thing.

Another Failing Institution?

Robby Soave has a post over at Reason that deals with a movement within the American Civil Liberties Union to move away from their century-long-held principle of robust support for the First Amendment.

“Our defense of speech may have a greater or lesser harmful impact on the equality and justice work to which we are also committed,” wrote ACLU staffers in a confidential memo obtained by former board member Wendy Kaminer.

It’s hard to see this as anything other than a cowardly retreat from a full-throated defense of the First Amendment.

If it’s true, I find not only worrisome but also disappointing. The ACLU has been a valuable ally in the opposition to legislation here in Maryland that would gag the Internet by making speech that hurt the feelings of a minor punishable by upto three years in prison. If the ACLU were to switch sides on that, a bill would certainly pass our legislature.

It seems fairly clear to me what’s happening here. Leadership would probably like the ACLU to remain a pro-First Amendment organization, but they would also like to remain in good standing with their progressive allies. Unfortunately, young progressives are increasingly hostile to free speech, which they view as synonymous with racist hate speech. Speech that impugns marginalized persons is not speech at all, in their view, but violence. This is why a student Black Lives Matter group shut down an ACLU event at the College of William & Mary last year, chanting “liberalism is white supremacy” and “the revolution will not uphold the Constitution.” Campus activism is illiberal, and liberal free speech norms conflict with the broad protection of emotional comfort that the young, modern left demands.

The ACLU’s capitulation to the anti-speech left should serve as a wake up call for true liberals. What has taken place on campus over the last decade does matter, and though the scope of the problem is frequently overstated, we should all be concerned when the nation’s premiere civil liberties organization is increasingly afraid of defending the First Amendment—not because the Trump administration scares them, but because college students do.

Read the whole thing.