Intolerance intolerance

Intolerance intolerance
  •  emoticon

In 2008, two men campaigned against gay marriage. One wound up a social pariah. The other was elected president of the United States.

One of the great moral disgraces of Barack Obama, and indeed, one of the more revealing episodes of the man’s ugly cynicism as a politician, is the fact that he quietly reinvented himself as an anti-same sex marriage candidate for the purposes of his first presidential run. At the time, around 56% of Americans were polling against the idea, so Obama was against it too, despite having previously endorsed it during his time as a state legislator.

Obama won the presidency, but who knows if the flip-flop made a difference. In any case, now that more than 50% of Americans support gay marriage, he’s gone back to being cool with it. So win-win, I guess.

Anyway, that same federal election that put Obama in the White House — the anti-gay marriage Obama, not the new pro-gay marriage Obama that was actually the old pro-gay marriage Obama — also saw three states put same-sex marriage to statewide referendum, as had become common practice in the first decade of the 21st century. All three of them passed, including one in California, the now-infamous “Proposition 8,” which has since been overturned by the United States Supreme Court.

Prop 8 passed narrowly, with only 52% support. Campaign spending was equally tight, with the pro-SSM forces blowing through some $44 million to the anti side’s 39. Both campaigns were able to raise such enormous budgets through aggressive fundraising appeals targeting both big business and individuals alike. One of those individuals was Brendan Eich.

It’s still not entirely known why Mr. Eich decided to donate $1,000 of his own money to the anti-gay marriage campaign. A tech celebrity best known for inventing JavaScript in the mid-1990s, social conservative activism was hardly one of his known passions, and his stance certainly ran counter to the prevailing attitude of his own subculture. A pro-SSM post-mortem on the Prop 8 defeat even credited much of the pro side’s effectiveness at fundraising to the leadership role played by “former and current experts from Google, Facebook, and Yahoo.” Discussing the donation on his blog some years later, Eich made only the cryptic statement that “the donation does not in itself constitute evidence of animosity” towards gays, and fended off accusations of homophobia by challenging anyone to “to cite an incident where I displayed hatred, or ever treated someone less than respectfully because of group affinity or individual identity.” But he made the donation none the less.

Under the terms of a 1974 California sunshine law, the state is obligated to publicly release the name, address, and employer of anyone who donates more than $100 to a political campaign. This is a delight for journalists, as you might imagine, and the LA Times quickly drew up a searchable database exposing donors on both sides. It wasn’t until 2012, however that someone apparently got the idea to look up “Brendan Eich,” and there he was. Twitter got word, and the man was forever tainted in the eyes of the progressive left.

On March 24 of this year, Eich was appointed CEO of Mozilla, a company he helped found in 1998, and had worked at ever since. His first blog post in the new job was a robustly progressive promise — stated in all the right language and lingo — to respect the needs of “LGBT communities and allies” and generally foster a company that “includes and supports everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, age, race, ethnicity, economic status, or religion.” He also offered an atonement of “sorrow at having caused pain” in the past.

But it was not good enough. The 2012 firestorm that greeted the revelation of his Prop 8 donation was rekindled by Eich’s name returning to the headlines, and after an organized backlash — most notably a high-profile boycott from Okcupid.com that made the popular dating site inaccessible with Mozilla’s Firefox browser — Eich agreed to resign on April 3, after less than two weeks on the job.

In their official statement on the matter, the Mozilla board apologized that hiring Eich “didn’t live up” to their corporate values. In all, they’ve now released six different press releases on the CEO affair in some form or another, all of which apologize, atone, “clarify,” grovel, or otherwise nervously beg for a second chance in the face of a hostile mob.

I would hope most sensible people would regard all this as a fairly deranged state of affairs.

Most have used Eich’s resignation as an opportunity to discuss whether the gay rights crowed has evolved from tragic victim to aggressive bully, but I’m really more interested in the sheer arbitrariness of this crusade.

The social justice crowd — those members of the progressive left for whom no crime is greater than one that reeks of discrimination or intolerance for the historically marginalized (particularly racial and sexual minorities)  — is becoming a seek-and-destroy missile without any sense of priority or perspective. Its leaders simply seize upon a random target with some tangential link to an offensive act — usually an extraordinarily mild one, often committed years ago  — and demand they pay the ultimate price for the sin. We see this all the time now, from Paula Dean to Duck Dynasty to Alec Baldwin to #cancelcolbert to Chick-fil-A; niche-appeal celebrities and middle class chain stores getting called out and publicly shamed for some cringe-worthy turn of phrase or act, followed by an uncompromising demand for a total boycott or firing.

The targets in question are usually harmless, and certainly not involved in any ongoing act of oppression against the minority group they’re accused of hating. Indeed, in many cases it seems social justice crusaders get most riled up about figures who actually have otherwise strong progressive bona fides; the goal is to merely discover a single deviation from politically correct orthodoxy, and use that as the pretext for the most sweepingly judgemental conclusion about the target’s entire moral worth.

At some point, however, this haphazard approach simply becomes too hypocritical and preposterous to sustain. Why are we boycotting Alec Baldwin but not the entire state of Mississippi? Why Russian vodka and not Nigerian oil? Why Eich and not Obama?

When discipline for what George Orwell famously dubbed “crimethink” — acts and opinions which are taken to be self-evidently evil —becomes so unpredictably enforced, with no regard to the power or influence of the crimethinker, or the larger context in which his misdeeds were committed (such as, say, opposing gay marriage at a time when most Americans did) the end result is a social justice movement that cannot be taken seriously because it refuses to take its own mission so. It becomes less a journey to right the world’s substantial wrongs, and more a safe quest for quick, symbolic victories over soft opponents — most of whom will never fight back.

America’s social justice movement has risen from humble beginnings to become increasingly large and powerful. They’ve proven their ability to gleefully squash the small bugs. How about picking on someone their own size?

 




^ 36 Comments...

  1. Turning

    OKCupid did not prevent people from using Firefox from accessing the site: they were shown an interstitial page that presented the issue, then given a link to continue as usual at the bottom.

  2. Jake_Ackers

    Again the main problem I find is that, it's not that people are against gays or gay rights. It's that when you use the word "marriage" is a loaded word. Legally speaking its domestic partnerships, civil unions, then marriage. In terms of most rights. However, everyone seems to forget about the contract clause in the Constitution. A "personal contract" would be the term with the most amount of rights, not marriage. I think most people would agree.

    After all many people support civil unions for gay people in addition to the those people who support gay marriage. It starts to near about 2/3.

    Maybe Obama is a flip-flop, maybe not. My point is this. It seems him, like many people, want to give gays rights but without having gov't touch religion/touch the loaded word, that is marriage. Yet know that civil unions don't offer the same rights. So kind of caught in the middle.

    But if there was that 4th option I'm sure many would support it for straight and gay people to have "personal contracts." Which again has more rights than domestic partnerships, civil unions, or marriage and doesn't carry the loaded word. In short, give gays AND, (note I said AND) straight people the same rights, give them even more rights. Just call it a word other than marriage. In a LEGAL setting. Gay and straight people can use "marriage" in a religious or personal and social setting. Legally call it something else. No one calls a business contract, a "business marriage."

    I think the "gay hate" has largely stopped (to a degree). Now it is mostly just people caught in the politics of it all. Like Obama. However, it is quite ironic that blacks are the group most opposed to gay marriage.

  3. bobwulf

    The only issue with that argument is that the idea of marriage is very much culturally ingrained. If the government fully removed itself from anything called marriage and only involved itself in other forms of union people would still refer to those unions as marriages, I believe. I, therefore, think that if the government were to take this route that the people who current object to gay marriage would object to the new form of union that has taken its legal place.

    Even if I am incorrect with those assumptions I do not think that people who are against gay marriage would actually want the government uninvolved because the only way to prevent gay marriage is to have the government involved.

  4. Jake_Ackers

    Valid point. However, my overall point is that those who are against gay marriage are about less than a 1/3. Most would end up supporting a "personal contract" option. Aka marriage under a different name. And I think people like that, including Obama, are caught in this legal wording trap.

  5. bobwulf

    True, true, fully agree, assuming you mean, as I think you do, that the personal contract option would replace all government marriage. I just don't see the cultural psyche shifting in such a way to make such a thing possible. It could some day but I honestly thing it will shift towards full acceptance of gay marriage first.

  6. AshburnerX

    "We see this all the time now, from Paula Dean to Duck Dynasty to Alec Baldwin to #cancelcolbert to Chick-fil-A; niche-appeal celebrities and middle class chain stores getting called out and publicly shamed for some cringe-worthy turn of phrase or act, followed by an uncompromising demand for a total boycott or firing."

    I object to the Chick-fil-A comment. When you do business with anyone, you aren't just supporting their product… you are also supporting their viewpoints with your dollars. You are enabling them to use your dollars however they wish, which may include ways that you don't approve of. Sometimes this is unavoidable: some products (like oil and gasoline) are so vital that you can't get around buying them without considerable effort. In this case all you can do is bite the bullet or prepare to make your life significantly harder for your beliefs.

    But often times you have a choice. If I don't want to support Chick-fil-A because it's owner uses my money to fight causes that I believe in, I don't have to shop there and I'm perfectly allowed to tell others they shouldn't shop there if they have the same beliefs. It's not an unreasonable course of action and is basically the softest protest you can make.

    Capitalism isn't an isolated box: the choices that those in charge make have consequences beyond the products they make and sell… and in today's information rich world, it's almost impossible to hide anything from the public anymore. If they want to risk their business supporting causes and individuals that may affect their bottom line, that is their choice… but the last time I checked, Chick-fil-A is still posting record profits despite the fact that some people don't want to give them money. If it makes people feel better, let them do it.

  7. Jake_Ackers

    To a degree yes. But then it becomes a major problem. Half the country buys from one place and the other half doesn't. It is capitalist at work when people boycott. I got no problem with it. But it is difficult though. Should we ask our employees what they do with their money?

    I'm not against the boycotts. What I am against is people that disagree with something, demanding it closes down. Take Duck Dynasty. Don't want to watch it? Fine. Don't need to go around demanding it gets off the air.

    Okcupid was guilty of this. If someone doesn't want to use Firefox, it's their business. Okcupid didn't demand people not use Firefox but Okcupid went close. I think there should be a quieter protest. Put the information out their but don't bully people into your position. No matter the side. Let the information stand on its own.

    For example, it's like saying, "You know Chick-fil-A's owner's position on gay people. Not saying you can't eat there. Just if you do, you are a horrible, bad and outright disgrace of a person. And if I see you going into one, I'll take a picture and post it on the internet. etc. etc." That is over the top. Which has happened. Like that guy that went all nuts on a Chick-fil-A employee in the drive-thru. Let the business's or person's action speak for themselves. We cannot call ourselves tolerant if we do not tolerate other people's opinion.

    it is not the action or the end result but rather the methods. Otherwise these protesters just become Machiavellian. Anyone watch "Continuum?" That is an extreme case but it pretty much becomes that.

  8. bobwulf

    "But it is difficult though. Should we ask our employees what they do with their money?" I agree with a lot of what you said but I take issue with that bit. Ignoring the fact that a low level employee is not hired to represent the company in the same way that a C.E.O. is the controversy was not around private donations. They worked through the corporate entity itself and therefore made their position inextricably linked with the restaurant.

    I am by no means saying that they should have been forced to be shut down. I, simply, would have a much, much, harder time justifying giving any money to a company that itself donates to such causes rather than one that is headed by someone who gives their own money.

  9. Jake_Ackers

    Yes that I agree with. Which is why it pissed me off when OREO did the rainbow cookie ad. I don't want politics in my food (even if I agree with it). Same when the Phoenix Sun named themselves "Los Suns." Keep politics out of my sports.

    However, did Chick-Fil-A give money or the CEO did? Firefox I know was the CEO not the company.

  10. bobwulf

    Unless I am mistaken Chick-Fil-A did it through a charitable subsidiary so for them it was through the company. I also do agree that the Firefox thing was really over the top considering the time frame, personal nature, et al. As for things like the Oreo ad, with which I'll admit unfamiliarity, I have no issue with such things but the company needs to be prepared for all the baggage of wading into such things, including people who dislike the fact that they are wading into such things no matter the side.

  11. Guest

    I support all people's rights, and that okcupid shit made me START using firefox again just out of spite of their heavy handedness.

  12. AshburnerX

    "Should we ask our employees what they do with their money? "

    Many large employers already send out packets to their employees, asking them to donate to specific causes chosen by them. So yeah… we already do that. You still have the option to say no, just as the guy running the company can say no. But the guy running the company has a lot more money to play with and his donations have a much greater effect than someone lower on the totem pole.

    "I'm not against the boycotts. What I am against is people that disagree with something, demanding it closes down. Take Duck Dynasty. Don't want to watch it? Fine. Don't need to go around demanding it gets off the air. "

    You went from "I respect the consumer's ability to demand change in the market…" to "…but only if it doesn't harm the business they are trying to change." How is boycotting A&E until Duck Dynasty is cancelled any more out there then not buying Chick-fil-A until they agree to stop spending their money on anti-gay causes? It's the exact same thing: asking for a market change in exchange for continued patronage.

    "We cannot call ourselves tolerant if we do not tolerate other people's opinion "

    Tolerance isn't a zero sum game. You only have to respect the right of someone to hold an opinion different of your own and their right to speak about it… you don't have to respect that opinion as valid, respect the individual for having it, or their privacy once they've made it public. This is why you see counter protests any time the KKK (or any other supremacist group) goes on the march: their opinion on race relations is so toxic… so negative… that to allow it to go unchallenged is to the detriment of society. They have the right to march, but you have the right to call them out on their hatred as they are doing it.

  13. Jake_Ackers

    It's one thing to boycott. It is another thing to deny people the right to watch a show. If the show has 2 million viewers (random number here). If 1.5mil don't watch it. The show gets cancelled. Which is fine.

    It is another thing to have 0.25 mil former viewers or even people who never watched it, protest to the point that the show gets cancelled. Even though there are still 2mil willing to watch it. They are denying others the right to watch a show they like.

    The last point you made was my point. You can protest. But it becomes different when you walk over and tape the person's mouth shut. Not liking what someone is saying is one thing. Denying them the right to freedom of speech is another. That was my main issue with protesters.

  14. Simeon

    How are 250k protesters going to "force" a show to stop? The network will pull it if they think it's bad for business. If they think they'll make money overall, they'll keep it.

    Are you politically opposed to network executives cancelling shows at all? In that case, just *one* person can be denying millions the right to watch the show. That's an even greater injustice, right?

  15. AshburnerX

    Exactly. The company wouldn't kill the show unless it felt that it's bottom line would be more affected by keeping it around than by canceling it. A&E kept the show on the air, so they felt it would make them more money to have a show full of fake red necks/real bigots than to cancel it. It's an odd choice but it's theirs to make… I still don't watch and likely never will.

  16. Guest

    Can't we disagree without being disagreeable?
    Reconciliation is not achieved by harsh reparations but by genuine tolerance, forgiveness where necessary, and a commitment to a better tomorrow.
    Mandela showed enormous grace in how he treated those who had wronged him and all of his people.

  17. Stranger

    Reconciliation wont, no, but the problem with tha line of thinking is that it places all the responsibility on the victimized party. Why should the victim have to forgive anything? It demands that the people who are abused by society just grin and bear it for future stability. Its like someone cutting off your leg, then giving you a crutch and expecting you to not complain.

  18. Brandon

    Are they really still the victimized party if they've grown strong enough to destroy a person based on what they believe, merely by dragging them into the public arena to be cut to pieces by the mob?

    True tolerance does not seek to destroy what they don't agree with. I did not agree with all of what made up Mandela, but his willingness to reconcile, and heal wounds that would otherwise fester is a shining example of what makes a great man(or woman).

    Bitter efforts to "get even" once you have the upper hand does is hardly a position you can stand in and claim the moral high ground after all.

  19. Stranger

    Its not really a matter of the moral high ground in my view. The damage has been done, the wronged party has been irreperably hurt by previous social policy, why are they required to just forget that? The problem with the idea that tolerance means that the wronged should just forget all the slights against them is that it doesnt wipe the slate clean, it basically forces them to shake hands with their former tormentors, while said tormentors get away with no real consequence, other than losing their former power. Yes, clinging to said offenses is not productive, and wont help in the long run, but it always irked me that its somehow seen as a failing if you arent forgiving enough. If someone wrongs you, you are entitled to a pound of flesh atleast

  20. Guest

    What's sadly and sorely missing for your post, JJ, is the fact that persecuting and launching a "social (IN)justice" crusade against a person for their own political ideas or beliefs is the most intolerant, oppressive and border-line fascist. I remember your old cartoon with Voltaire facepalming itself in a framed portrait… I think it would have been appropriate.

    It would have been vile it were the case of a gay rights activist ridiculed and fired for his own ideas, and rightfully there would have been an enormous backlash.
    It would have been vile even if it were an active KKK member (although I doubt many would agree – but it's the principle of the thing that counts).

    If every time a new political perspective were to become dominant we would need to feel the urge to purge away everybody else, it would be a sadly dysfunctional system. And one where no political activity could be truly waged without fear of reprisal, even by reformists.

    In case of Eich, it's doubly vile. Ruining one's lifetime contribution to a very progressive cause, and marking down of the great geniuses of its own field out of envious spite for not being "correctly thinking", when that same person didn't once act discriminating towards the said community.
    By the way, I'm in favour of gay marriage too, but this attitude collective attitude has made me feel ashamed by association.

    The final groveling to the angry, foaming, irrational masses of armchair activists is the most painful part, however.
    Truly resembling the "self-critiques" of "mistaken comrades" of a certain ideology. Truly, a notable part of the left can never let go of the pretense of holding the ONE AND ONLY TRUE THOUGHT.
    Tolerance in the mouth of these people becomes not a way to say "You think differently, we agree to disagree, and we'll see whose idea will win most hearts", but magically works out to something like "You think differently from me, therefore your thought and yourself should be purged at all occasions".

  21. Sven

    When conservatives boycott things because of their stances on same-sex marriage (Betty Crocker, Starbucks, JC Penny, World Vision, just to name a few), it's an expression of free speech and the free market.

    When liberals boycott things because of their stances on same-sex marriage, suddenly it's a mean-spirited Stalin-esque attack on free speech, and a slippery slope toward "thought-crime".

    The double standard is astounding.

  22. Jake_Ackers

    It the method in which it is done. Some people in the Republican Party in NJ wanted MTV to shutdown Jersey Shore because it made NJ look bad. Most of the Republicans told them to shove it. Don't like it? Don't buy it or watch it.

    The line is crossed when you demand someone else now be allowed. Don't want to eat at Chick-Fil-A is one thing. To have a Mayor illegal not allow Chick-Fil-A to open up shop is wrong.

  23. bobwulf

    Agreed. If any company is donating to something that makes them worthy of being shut down, through means other than economic pressure such as boycotting that is, the proper course of action, I would say, is to address the organization to which they are donating.

  24. Colin Minich

    I think you're missing the point. Nobody is agreeing with what the conservatives do in their missions. It's all about the execution. Liberals, or rather the flimsy and shameful folks that dare to call themselves liberals, have taken a twitter/tumblr approach of outright stupidity and vitriol that ironically turns them into that which they hate. It's not about double-standards. Please, tell me if you've seen this brazen idiocy of #cancelcolbert or #banbossy in some of those conservative campaigns. Tell me.

    The thing is, many conservative campaigns are just as stupid. They're just not as awfully ironic or hypocritical about it. Social justice warriors, particularly those of the internet, have become just about the most annoying and hate-inspiring people due to their absurdity and ironic intolerance.

  25. Sven

    Let's look at the World Vision nonsense, for example. They never even did anything political. They didn't contribute to anti-Prop-8 campaigns or anything like that. Their offense, their unforgivable sin, was DARING to hire gay folks. That's it. How can you act like the World Vision boycott is *less* hateful than, say, the Chik-fil-a botcott?

    The stupidity is there too. Have you heard about the recent Christian-right outrage against the Hallmark Channel? Read up on it, it's based on staggering ignorance, above and beyond the #cancelcolbert whining (which, in my experience, wasn't widely adopted by leftists anyway, just a few idiots who didn't understand a poorly-executed joke).

    It IS a double standard and it IS BS. How is the boycott of Mozilla substantially different from the boycott of Starbucks? How is it more or less hypocritical?

  26. Stranger

    Its not that I disagree with the idea that the concept of Internet protests have basically dilluted protesting, and just allows people to scream at whatever catches their eye for the moment with no real thought behind it, but saying that boycotting is wrong because it removes a product from the market for other consumers, that I dont agree with. If Chick-Fil-A's CEO was the only problem, I could overlook it. I wouldnt eat there, but I wouldnt protest it. But the company funds actual anti-gay groups with their profits, how is that not damaging to the gay community? Why should they suffer just so people can eat fried chicken? Absolute free speech is well and good, until you're on the side thats being harmed by it.

  27. Anonymous

    I honestly see nothing wrong with this approach; it is nothing new and many groups and voting blocs have done it before, and to great effect.

    The queer movement has worked ceaselessly to win the political battles that is has faced to date. We've won a lot of ground – but the problem is that the enemy in America hasn't been routed just yet. It would be foolish for American queers to sit on our hands and vow to play nice with the opposing camp. Using this recent string of victories as an excuse to entertain dangerous notions of going on unwinnable foreign adventures would burn up resources needed at the home front and would risk allowing the anti-queer camp to regroup unmolested. Examples need to be made of two-bit players like Eich to let the world (particularly that part of the world that has money to burn on campaign donations) know that providing moral and/or material support to our enemies will have consequences. JJ is right in that some of the examples being singled out are rather ridiculous, but I see this more as a symptom of the movement's unfinished transition towards status as a mobilized, professionalized interest group. We need to start adopting the tactics of efficient NGOs like AIPAC and the Chamber of Commerce. And I also agree with JJ in that I certainly hope that we'll eventually start taking bigger heads in the near future.

    I remember hearing somewhere about a story that was attributed to Sun-Tzu. He recalled the case of a general that had caught the opposing army – that was superior in force to the general's – crossing a river and therefore vulnerable to attack. The general, however, held back from attacking until the opposing force reached dry land and had time to prepare itself for battle. Predictably, the general lost the battle, and was question by his superiors as to why he didn't attack while the opposing force was crossing the river. The general justified his actions by claiming that he had taken the honourable course of action, since attacking a defenceless enemy is a cowardly action. Sun-Tzu concluded by deriding the gentlemanly general as stupid, since the only thing that matters in conflict is the outcome – you are either victorious or you are defeated.

  28. Guest

    'It would be foolish for American queers to sit on our hands and vow to play nice with the opposing camp. Using this recent string of victories as an excuse to entertain dangerous notions of going on unwinnable foreign adventures would burn up resources needed at the home front and would risk allowing the anti-queer camp to regroup unmolested. Examples need to be made of two-bit players like Eich to let the world (particularly that part of the world that has money to burn on campaign donations) know that providing moral and/or material support to our enemies will have consequences'

    Nothing new. Liberalism is nothing more than the vehicle of self-advancement of the Monied Middle Class, and the sooner liberalism is wiped from the face of the Earth, the better.

    Pendulums swing back and forth.
    No one knows just what the situation will be like 10 years from now.

    ;This is a delight for journalists, as you might imagine, and the LA Times quickly drew up a searchable database exposing donors on both sides. It wasn’t until 2012, however that someone apparently got the idea to look up “Brendan Eich,” and there he was. Twitter got word, and the man was forever tainted in the eyes of the progressive left.'

    Excellent. Time to start drawing up lists of persons – both human and corporate – who at any point in their existence have been involved in a progresive cause. Call it the Nurnberg Files.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6n9f9snPpCo

  29. zach

    But Eich supported open source software. He stood for a lot of great things. I'm part of a minority. Many good people voted against marriage equality, punishing them is petty, vindictive, and pointless.

  30. Simeon

    A couple of points:

    * There was no organised campaign against Mozilla of any kind. There was certainly no call for a "total boycott" by any significant constituency except OKCupid, which is, what a couple dozen people who run a popular website? All the anti-Eich activism not done by OKC consisted of people Tweeting and writing blog posts.
    * The CEO of a business is, in a very real sense, the public face of that business. As such, they must present an image consistent with the image the business wants to present. Eich obviously felt that he could not publicly represent Mozilla given his past public activities. If video had surfaced of Eich chugging beer from a yard-glass and trading beads for "flashes" at Mardi Gras a few years ago, and Eich had resigned in the wake of that scandal, would you cast a similarly critical eye at this punishment of "crimethink"?

  31. Guest

    This is, what, the third or fourth article recently critical of American social justice movements' chosen tactics or targets? Each time they're doing it wrong, apparently… but you never get onto setting out your vision. OK, you're a journalist, I get that knocking stuff is your job. But if this is going to be a running theme it would be nice to know where you're coming from – at the moment it's hard to take your criticism seriously when you give no clear indication of what you think is the right course of action for the movement.
    I'm genuinely interested to know – do you think civil rights groups should even exist?

  32. anonymous

    How about since the issue was basically over and done with and they won, they don't do shameful shit like they did against Eich. He lost, you won, it was all done without bloodshed because the legal system was used. Stop the brownshirt act, it's not befitting progressive causes.

  33. Bill

    Given that in 2008 Obama' official position on gay marriage was "I'm a Christian and thus theoretically oppose it, but frankly I don't actually care what the states do" and his later position, where he explicitly noted in a press release that he'd changed, was essentially, "all right, I'm convinced, looks like most of the states want it anyhow, so the fed will err on the side of individual liberty with regards to employment/taxes"…

    … I don't really think that this was the major, policy-shifting "reinvention" you're making it out to be. Dude didn't care but leaned one way, shifted to not caring but leaning the other way after people presented their arguments. That's not so much a cynical manipulation of populist politics as what rational human beings tend to do by default on issues that don't impact them or their job directly.

  34. Anonymous

    @Guest Social justice frauds have taken over the internet and are beginning to enact insane laws. Cmon son.

  35. sbman

    brilliant.