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May. 27 2010 - 5:40 am | 16,118 views | 5 recommendations | 33 comments

Inside the Information Loop

On the subject of the American right, and whether or not its rank-and-file receive accurate information from the opinion leaders they trust, the events I’m about to lay out are telling.

On May 5, aka Cinco de Mayo, five students at a high school in Morgan Hill, California wore American flag attire to class. “The vice principal asked two of the boys to remove American flag bandannas that they wearing on their heads and for the others to turn their American flag T-shirts inside out,” the local NBC affiliate reported. “When they refused, the boys were ordered to go to the principal’s office.” The story got picked up in the national media, bloggers debated whether the boys were being patriotic or deliberately insensitive, and almost everyone at least agreed that in this country they were well within their rights to wear the American flag.

I am very interested in one aspect of the discussion that followed this story. The conservative blog Stop the ACLU is a natural place to begin. “Cinco De Mayo Means Suspension of Free Speech and Patriotism,” their post began. “At least in Morgan Hill, California where they live by the rules of political correctness gone crazy.” The ultimate reaction: “Absolutely ridiculous! Where is the ACLU?”

Says the most trusted man in conservative radio, Rush Limbaugh:

So they were sent home because the authorities thought they were trying to start trouble. Cinco de Mayo is not even an official Mexican holiday. Start trouble. American flags. Start trouble by wearing American colors in the Bay Area, San Francisco Bay area, Morgan Hills. Right. American flag, American colors, red, white, and blue are now judged in certain parts of the country as trouble, or hate speech, provocative. They were trying to incite violence. That’s what they were accused of: wearing American colors, inciting violence. That’s why they were sent home. They were sent home, they were viewed as troublemakers in the Bay Area.

I have a story from 2006 or 2007 in the Arizona Daily Star. It’s outta Tucson. The story is about a man who was arrested for burning a Mexican flag in Arizona. Arrested for burning a Mexican flag. Now, nobody gets arrested for burning the American flag. In fact, they are celebrated. They are elevated to hero status. And they have the ACLU and others coming after them to defend them.

At David Horowitz’s News Real Blog, David Forsmark writes:

The “American” Civil Liberties Union has forfeited any right to that moniker, and the proof has never been clearer than this week. The ACLU has defended students’ “rights” to do, say, and WEAR, just about anything while on a high school campus. But this week, they have nothing to say about the Morgan Hill Live Oak Five who were suspended for wearing American flags because they were “incendiary.”

Conservative Ralph Wenzinger, writing in the Bakersfield Californian: “This is the flag of the United States. It causes me to wonder if they fly an American flag at the school or whether that, too, was taken down. Maybe Morgan Hill has seceded from the United States? It also causes me to wonder, “ACLU, where are you?”

Speak Now America writes: “Two or three years ago a story in the Arizona Daily Star a man was arrested for burning a Mexican flag in Arizona. Arrested for burning a Mexican flag? You can’t get arrested for burning the American flag. In fact, they are celebrated. They are elevated to hero status. And they have the ACLU and others coming after them to defend them.”

Elijah Friedman: “There is not apology forthcoming from the school. And don’t cross your fingers about the ACLU getting involved this; defending the right to show patriotism isn’t exactly their type of case.”

The blog Pirate’s Cove: “The boys and their families have nicely told those offended by the wearing of American flags to shove it where the sun don’t shine. Good for them. Will the ACLU jump in and protect the rights of these boys? Doubtful.”

The Old Jarhead: “If they had burned the flag, the ACLU would already have the school officials in court.”

Jules Crittenden mentioned the controversy. Said his first commenter: “Where are the ACLU, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and their myrmidons to protest such egregious actions?”

At Radio Voice Online, a commenter asked, “Question of the day: why is it that when students wear Che shirts or pseudo erotic, near prostitute quality garments, or wear gang colors, or have their pants hanging mid thigh, the ACLU cockroaches come out of the woodwork to defend the student’s first amendment rights, but when students act patriotically, as in this case, the are suspended and sent home?”

Says another at Uncoverage.Net, “What will REALLY be interesting is: Will the ACLU jump right in and defend these student’s constitutional rights, just as they did in the Vermont case? I won’t hold my breath waiting….”

Dr. Hugo at The Mighty Righty conversation board:

I’m also puzzled at why, when such an obvious transgression upon those students individual rights of freedom of speech and expression was committed that the ACLU (American Communist Lawyers’ Union) didn’t immediately rally to their side and file an action in the appropriate District Court? Maybe they were conflicted and were considering filing on behalf of the Mexican-America students!

The blog Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop: “Can you imagine had this been July 4th and the school officials sent the Mexican-American kids home for wearing the Mexican flag on their tee shirt? The ACLU would have been all over that.”

I could go on. Other examples abound at outlets well-known and obscure, from big names and small, creators and commenters, all of them operating on the right side of the blogosphere. I didn’t even attempt to dig through radio archives or television broadcasts, though I’ll post other examples if they are sent to me.

Oh, if you haven’t caught on yet, the ACLU predictably sided with the American flag wearing students in this case:

Last week, five students at Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, Calif., were sent home on Cinco de Mayo for wearing T-shirts bearing the American flag. The students were reportedly sent home after Vice Principal Miguel Rodriguez told them the shirts posed a “safety issue” on a day celebrating Mexican heritage.

Punishing students for wearing T-shirts with the American flag is a clear violation of their free speech rights. The ACLU of Northern California responded to the incident by sending a letter (PDF) to Morgan Hill Schools Superintendant Dr. Wesley Smith, reminding him of the speech rights students are entitled to under the U.S. Constitution and California law.

The letter points out that students’ wearing of the American flag wouldn’t have been controversial but for the interest of other students in celebrating their Mexican heritage on Cinco de Mayo. The students’ patriotic display was particularly meaningful because of the context, and their right to express their patriotism in light of that context must be honored. The right to wear an American flag every day but Cinco de Mayo would do little to advance the important work of the First Amendment, whose protections must be enforced every day.

There is another important lesson for the school here. For displays of the American flag to create such a strong concern about disruption, it’s likely the school has underlying racial and cultural tensions that need attention. Using censorship to suppress student speech is exactly the wrong thing to do in this kind of situation. While the school superintendent did make a statement reaffirming the school district’s support for students’ speech rights, it’s also important that the Live Oak teachers and administrators use this incident as an opportunity to teach students tolerance, diversity and mutual respect.

A PDF of the more formal letter sent to the school is here. This shouldn’t surprise anyone familiar with the actual ACLU, as opposed to the movement conservative caricature of it. And indeed, a quick e-mail exchange with the ACLU’s admirably efficient Rachel L. Meyers yielded a summary of other cases where the organization took very similar stands on behalf of folks adorning themselves with the patriotic symbol:

Sampson County Schools Prohibit Student from Wearing American Flag T-shirt — September 2007 — the ACLU of North Carolina received information that a student in Sampson County was banned from wearing an American flag t-shirt to school the previous day to commemorate 9/11/01. The ACLU-NC contacted the school board attorney and sent a letter to the principal and superintendent, advising the school officials that this ban violated the student’s First Amendment free speech rights. By the end of the day, the school district notified all parents in Sampson County that the policy would not be enforced. On September 13, 2007, the Sampson County superintendent sent us a letter confirming that the policy had been repealed.

High School Honors Student Disciplined for Wearing an American Flag in Her Back Pocket — April 2006 — Fallbrook Union High School officials ordered 15-year-old honors student Malia Fontana to remove the small American flag she was carrying in her back pocket. The ACLU wrote a letter calling on the San Diego County school district to stop its practice of censoring students’ wearing of flags and comply with the constitutional protection of student speech laid out in Tinker v. Des Moines, which affirmed the right of students to wear black armbands in protest of the Vietnam War. The letter also demanded that the school clear Malia’s school record and provide a written apology to Malia and her mother.

Longboat Harbour Condo Association (FL) — 1989 — Our affiliate defended the right of a man to fly an American flag at his condo unit. The case was settled and then the Florida legislature passed a statute specifically allowing American flags to be flown at condos.

It being extremely rare for authorities to crackdown on American flag wearing in the United States, it says something that the ACLU has invested resources in four separate instances of this behavior.

It’s almost as if the conservative media complex is systematically misleading its audience about the nature of the ACLU, so much so that right-of-center commentators across the Internet spontaneously mocked the organization for failing to intervene on the right side of this case, despite it being precisely the kind of case where the ACLU reliably does exactly what the critics themselves would want.

Perhaps the confusion comes from listening to talk radio hosts and reading blogs that cast all of American politics as a grand struggle between the left and the right, liberals and conservatives, tyranny and liberty. The rank and file, rightly judging that the ACLU operates on the left, automatically concludes that they are the enemy in any case worth caring about.

Awhile back, Jonah Goldberg doubted whether or not there were actually compelling examples of epistemic closure on the right. Well, there you go: an information loop so faulty in explaining the ACLU to its audience that even a blog called Stop the ACLU doesn’t understand what’s going on.

The right cannot adeptly navigate a political environment that it is systematically misled about.


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  1. collapse expand

    Mr. Friedersdorf,

    The problem here is not that right-wing opinion mongers provide their fans with inaccurate information. The problem is that their fan base *wants* the story that the ACLU is unpatriotic and not “really” in favor of civil liberties. The real story would not interest Mr. Limbaugh’s fans, it would not generate web traffic at News Real Blog. This is a business based on selling advertising and the price that these outlets charge advertisers depends on how many people will hear the advertisements. The more people who listen, the more income is generated. A story about how the ACLU stood up for the the students wearing the American flag will not resonate with the right-wing base, it will not generate ratings and web traffic, it will not generate income.

    Limbaugh & Co. are selling their customers what their customers want and ACLU stories about protecting the rights of student’s who wore shirts that bear the American flag is not what they want to hear.

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    A while back I was at a political rally and saw a T-shirt quoting Adlai Stevenson: “We should make a deal with the Republicans; if they’ll stop lying about our policies, we’ll stop telling the truth about theirs.” (This quote seems so apt, it may be apocryphal.) I was also reminded of the politics of this period when I toured the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas. The museum contains ample evidence of the hate that “welcomed” JFK to Dallas, but, in line with Stevenson’s quote, none of the awful things attributed to JFK in the leaflets and newspaper ads were remotely true. They could have attacked JFK for wanting to integrate public accommodations, to give old folks medical care, to make it easier for blacks to vote, but they didn’t. Instead, they proffered bizarre charges so convoluted, confused and contradictory that I couldn’t remember the specifics of any of them shortly after I had left the museum.

    Fast forward to the present. The other day we got a mass e-mail from a friend saying that Obama was going to cancel the National Day of Prayer. A couple of weeks before that, we got a mass e-mail from another friend saying that the ACLU was litigating to ban crosses on military gravesites. In both cases, we spent a couple of minutes finding out if the allegations were true (Snopes makes it easy), and of course found out that they aren’t. We wrote back to our friends, and they acknowledged that we were right (though they did not forward the debunking e-mail to the mass e-mail list that received the original lie). But, what they meant by that wasn’t “Well, I guess Obama (or the ACLU) isn’t at war with Christians after all” but rather, “Obama and the ACLU, and liberals in general, hate Christians, but this particular allegation happened not to be true.”

    What links all this is a view of liberals as “the Other.” Identifying someone as a liberal opens up a nearly bottomless range of possibilities of evil – liberals hate America, the troops, “white culture,” religion and any other decent thing you can name, and anything they say or do must be viewed through this prism. So, when liberals think of reforming healthcare, they’re not trying to make decent healthcare available to the poor, middle-class and people with serious medical conditions, but instead making it possible for the government to euthanize the old or unproductive. We just know that Obama (and Pelosi and Reid) want to confiscate Americans’ guns – the fact that they’ve said nothing in public remotely hinting at the possibility is proof of how insidious the conspiracy is. (And allowing guns in National Parks is just a classic liberal feint, I guess.) Same with the Fairness Doctrine. Google “concentration camps” or “microchips” and you’ll find that the federal government is planning to round up dissidents and put them in trailers, or put microchips in their brains to corrupt their thoughts or keep track of them or whatever the hell it is that the microchips are supposed to do (I love the New Testament, but I’ve never been able to get through Revelations). Newt Gingrich is not regarded as an extremist crank, despite the fact that he claims, over and over again, with a somewhat straight face, that the Obama “secular-socialist machine” is the most “radical” in American history.

    It is sad, but sadly not surprising, that rank-and-file Americans have very dark suspicions about a substantial number of their fellow citizens, and, To Be Sure, there are a lot of liberals with crazy ideas about conservatives. The difference is that the lies about the liberal Other have a much more prominent place in the speeches and writings of mainstream conservative opinion leaders and politicians than such demonization has on the liberal side.

    And demonizing the liberal Other necessitates epistemic closure because it demands dismissal of wide swathes of objective reality. People who must surely know better channel the “thoughts”, fears and emotions of people who they think are ignorant. They abjure any pretense of critical thinking, because they think their audience is incapable of it, and surely incapable of understanding any “nuanced” argument that did not provide a clear contrast between pure evil and pure goodness. They believe in indoctrination, not education, because an educated person may think for herself. “You’re right to hate Obama and the Dems, but you probably aren’t smart enough to understand the real reasons for opposing him, so instead of the truth, I’ll use my creative juices to imagine a cartoonishly evil character named “Obama” and all the terrible things he’d do. Knowing how prejudiced and unenlightened you are, it should go down much easier than facts and reasoned analysis.” Or, more simply “You can’t handle the truth.”

    As far as I know, most conservatives today do not revere Bull Connor, Orval Faubus, George Wallace, Robert Welch or any of the other ugly demagogues of my youth. Thirty years from now – maybe forty – McCarthy, Levin, Limbaugh, Coulter, Malkin, Palin, Kristol and all the other agit-propagandists will also be held in low regard by most decent people, regardless of their politics. That’s the beauty part about truth – it can be obscured by lies, but it can’t be killed.

  3. collapse expand

    I have a sincere problem with this continued campaign to frame the right as “closed”, as if it’s unique to the right. I had the same problem with Sanchez’s original post — what you’re describing is partisan bias and groupthink. I know that two wrongs don’t make a right, and I’m not defending the right, but I could give the same examples of closure on the left. Sanchez’s response to this was that it’s more prevalent on the right, but I don’t know how this is measured. I find as many examples of closure on the left as I do the right, which makes me wonder why this problem is not directed at the fundamental causes. Do we present examples in a contest until the firt one to run out of examples is the loser? Do we say it’s 15% more prevalent on the right, so they are the worst violators? What’s the margin of error so we know when the violations of one group have reached a point above the other group that makes them the losers?

    There’s a sort of “high” people get by being in the group which shows the ignorance and hypocrisy of the other group. Charles Taylor wrote about this in A Secular Age. This is not a problem unique to the right, but a human problem of which myriad examples can be found going back in time to the first groups formed. But, you’re right, it’s a problem, and it would be good if the right took the high road and kept an objective mindset. In this political environment, though, one can see why they don’t take the highroad, because as soon as they did, the left would take advantage of their “weakness” and continue to lie, smear and marginalize, with many in the media supporting it every step of the way.

    • collapse expand

      Mike,

      You’ve got a blog. If you find an example as significant and egregious as this ACLU piece, write a post, let me know, and I’ll happily link to it.

      I think the conservative movement is suffering for its closedness, so I naturally focus my attention there, but I am happy to acknowledge that group think is present everywhere in American politics.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
      • collapse expand

        Okay, I’ll watch MSNBC and read Daily Kos the next two days, I should have several examples to write about.

        In response to another comment. See in context »
      • collapse expand

        This is another interesting dynamic of the epistemic closure phenomenon: the right’s tendency to brush off any larger criticism with the justification that “This is not a problem unique to the right, but a human problem of which myriad examples can be found going back in time to the first groups formed.”

        For example, when I try to call my conservative friends’ attention to the deep hypocrisy of this long wave of republicans who struggle with sexual sin in their private lives (yet legislate morality in their public careers), I get the exact same response. ‘Political hypocrisy is a human problem, not a Republican problem.’

        Flabbergasted, I go to great lengths to point out that THERE IS NO COROLLARY ON THE LEFT. Yet, I cannot make any headway. It’s as if any attempt to analyze an endemic problem (crisis, really) shuts down their ability to assess the state of things in their own party fairly.

        It’s bizarre, really. While there have certainly been times when lefties were deeply hypocritical ( I can think for instance of violent anti-war protesters of the 60s), we are not living in those times. Right now we really do have only one party that has gone off into the deep end. If one side of the political spectrum goes too far into extremism, there has to be a capacity for introspection and remorse. Without that, we cannot maintain a stable society.

        In response to another comment. See in context »
      • collapse expand

        The most analogous situation I can imagine over here on the left is assuming corporations are evil even if being evil isn’t in their self-interest. See assumptions that BP is actively preventing the Deepwater Horizon leak from being fixed, that they’re swindling coastal residents with premature settlements, etc. Lots of stuff that stands counter to facts and common sense yet goes largely unchallenged and uncorrected.

        As far as advocacy organizations go, though, I can’t think of anything. There are some minority views, but nothing like the near universal sentiment that the ACLU only helps liberals… that their interpretation of the 2nd amendment means they’ll never side with the right on anything.

        The ACLU doesn’t subscribe to a lot of radical interpretations of the constitution generally shared by the right (guns, reach of government, power of the judiciary)… I guess the problem is that different, valid apprehensions of the constitution are fundamentally at odds with each other.

        In response to another comment. See in context »
    • collapse expand

      Hello mfarmer,

      You are quite correct “groupthink” is hardly a unique feature of the right in the US. However, unlike other groups who live in an echo chamber, the right has been and remains extremely powerful and influential. There is no other similar group in this country that can do what the right can do while still being divorced from reality. The “Tea Party” is just one sub-group of the broader right and look at the fantastic amount of attention and influence it has had even though it’s policies are delusional. There is no group of centrists or liberals that disconnected from the real world with that sort of power.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  4. collapse expand

    I’m cutting and pasting my response from my ultra-fledgling blog at voxoctopi.blogger.com because I’d like Friedersdorf to see it:

    The moderate conservative blogger Conor Friedersdorf wrote a blog item giving supposed examples of “epistemic closure” on the right. He claims his examples show right-wing pundits crowing over the ACLU failing to intervene in a case when, in fact, they had intervened; this was supposed to show that right-wingers didn’t bother checking unfiltered sources of information. However, the ACLU’s intervention is dated the 10th and their blog item about it is dated the 11th. Most of the example conservative complaints pre-date this response, so they don’t support Friedersdorf’s point at all. There’s something parallel between Friedersdorf lazily failing to check the dates and just assuming they support his point and his targets’ lazily failing to check the ACLU and just assuming its actions support their point. He is, commendably, less vitriolic and unpleasant in his error.

    The example complaints that predate the ACLU’s response: Stop the ACLU, Limbaugh, News Real Blog, the Pirate’s Cove, the Old Jarhead, Jules Crittenden, Radio Voice Online, Uncoverage, Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop

    The example complaints which are actually examples of “epistemic closure”: the Bakersfield Californian, Speak Now America, the Mighty Righty forum

    Unknown: the Millennial Perspective

    • collapse expand

      Voxoctopi,

      There are many, many more examples of right-of-center commentators criticizing the ACLU even after their official statement — if that is the standard you’d like to use, the blog post could easily be re-written so that every example meets your criteria.

      But that shouldn’t be the standard. Those who posted before the ACLU issued a formal statement assumed that the organization would obviously never defend those kids — so much so that they invoked it disparagingly — despite the fact that it has defended exactly that type of case on multiple prior occasions.

      Nor, you’ll notice, did any of these people who posted before the ACLU statement correct their blog entries, an act that might have prevented other conservatives from making the same mistake. Instead, they either never became aware of the ACLU taking their side, or else they did become aware of it, and let their inacurate entries stand anyway.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
      • collapse expand

        That’s a fair point about the lack of corrections. It’s possible they corrected themselves in a later post and just didn’t edit their first post, but admittedly it’s pretty unlikely and I don’t have the stomach to wade through those blogs looking for updates.

        Criticizing them over making assumptions about the ACLU is trickier, though. It requires knowing how many chances the ACLU has had to defend this kind of thing – have they defended banned flag wearing four times out of six opportunities, or four times out of sixty? If it’s closer to the latter then they were making a reasonable assumption.

        In response to another comment. See in context »
        • collapse expand

          voxoctopi,

          There simply aren’t very many instances of people banning American flags in the USA. When they arise the ACLU reliably defends the flag wearers. Besides which, even if there were a lot more cases, percentage defended seems the wrong way to look at it. The NRA involves itself in very few gun rights cases as a percentage of all the legal incidents in the country. You’d never argue, as a result, that it is reasonable to question their stance on the matter.

          In response to another comment. See in context »
        • collapse expand

          Conor does include the 3 times that the ACLU defended students who sported the American flag in some manner, so those who said that the ACLU wouldn’t rise to the defense of the California students certainly weren’t looking at precedent. If they’ve produced retractions, please post a link.

          In response to another comment. See in context »
  5. collapse expand

    I think there’s something to be said for most Americans just being confrontational assholes. I live in Japan – which has its own problems – and I’ve learned a lot about my own country since coming here. I think an appropriate metaphor is that Japan has about 90% sheep and 10% wolves, which leads to a lot of good people being occasionally taken advantage of, but America it seems has about 10% and 90% wolves. There are too many people who literally leave their house looking for a fight. There’s much to be said for people just trying to avoid controversy.

    I remember being in elementary school and regularly getting in fights with other boys. When I got in trouble for said fights, I would usually defend myself with the “he started it!” mantra, and my mom would usually say, “it doesn’t matter. Look. You’re in trouble now.” It took me a while to really understand what my mother meant I think because American culture seems to encourage, and even glorify, direct confrontation.

    This is the stupidest news story ever. Who cares if Mexicans living in the U.S. celebrate Mexican holidays? And who cares if students wear American flag apparel to school on those holidays? Why do we, in a nation that supposedly loves freedom and freedom of speech, keep the ACLU so busy defending people of all political stripes?

  6. collapse expand

    As a liberal I would welcome a careful study of the amount of epistemic closure there is on prominent lefty blogs and by lefty pundits, versus those on the right. The closure I see on the right jumps out at me, closure on the left probably passes by unnoticed. Both sides should abhor any such closure in our arguments

    That said, I find it weird that the ACLU is demonized to the extent it is by the right. They fight to protect the rights of people on all sides of the political spectrum.

  7. collapse expand

    This is the same Rush Limbaugh who was defended by the ACLU during his prescription drug/pill popping scandal, right?

    Stay classy Rush!

  8. collapse expand

    Off topic comment, but I wanted to congratulate you on being published in Newsweek, Conor!

    http://www.newsweek.com/2010/05/25/is-rand-paul-crazier-than-anyone-else-in-d-c.html

  9. collapse expand

    What’s particularly wacky about this story is that Morgan Hill is a quite conservative town. It’s relatively rural/exurban, and it’s a long-ish commute, maybe 45 minutes with the traffic, from there to anywhere you might find a job in San Jose, which is in turn way at the southern end of the Bay Area, about an hour from San Francisco, more like one-and-a-half to two hours with traffic. I don’t really consider Morgan Hill to be “Bay Area” at all.

  10. collapse expand

    The ACLU (Anti-Christian Liberties Union), has long been biased toward conservative priciples given to us by our founders of this nation. When you say, “It’s almost as if the conservative media complex is systematically misleading its audience about the nature of the ACLU”, you sir, with all due respect, are misleading your readers about the ACLU. They have consistently sided for liberal, leftist causes.
    Hopefully, this will be the beginning of a trend for the ACLU where it is more balanced in it’s stance for freedom.

    • collapse expand

      “The ACLU (Anti-Christian Liberties Union), has long been biased toward conservative priciples given to us by our founders of this nation.”

      Go fuck yourself. This is a secular republic, not a goddamn cult sanctuary where pricks like you can pass around collection plates to fleece the rubes is the name of hayzoos. The constitutional government we have was hashed out over months of debate, argument and compromise. It was not passed down from on high, and no amount of baptist wahabi propaganda will make George Washington into Charlton Heston.
      It’s because of people like you that this country will end up looking like Beirut, you dirty lying xian cultist crackpot hack.

      Go fuck yourself.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
    • collapse expand

      Or, maybe what’s really bothering you is the possibility that liberal leftist causes are more in line with the concept of liberty than any right-wing xtian know-nothing fantasy where Hamilton rode a tiger into federalist battle and Adams could bench-press the Liberty Bell.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  11. collapse expand

    I hope that you will write another post, quoting the same sources, as they apologize for getting this wrong and post corrections.

    But I’m not going to hold my breath. I don’t think that they will post corrections.

  12. collapse expand

    I think the real reason the Right has such dislike for the ACLU is not because the ACLU vigorously defends the Bill of Rights. It’s because that the persons being defended are typically exactly the sort of the person the Right tends to dislike intensely: the marginalized (the poor, the LGBT, females, non-whites (Latino, African-American, Asian,…), and other than fundamentalist Christian religions. The Right generally views the marginalized with disdain and suspicion: if those people were okay, they would be male, white, elderly, and financially well-off. Those are the ones whom the Right calls “one of us.”

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    About Me

    Conor Friedersdorf is a writer, a Californian by upbringing, and a nomad at present. Refresh his page often.

    See my profile »
    Followers: 140
    Contributor Since: June 2009
    Location:Various cities, and sundry spots between them.