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The Instapundit – Now with attacks from all sides!

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So Glenn Reynolds – the Instapundit – mentions on his blog one day that he’s actually worked with the ACLU and that “demonizing” them is “silly.”

You know what happens next…immediate shock and outrage from some on the political right that loathe everything that even remotely has a connection to the ACLU. And with a Kos-like fervor, calls for a boycott ring out from the far reaches of the blogosphere.

A sampling of the insta-hyperbole:

“It’s no wonder Glenn loves the ACLU, he is a fellow Lawyer and as with Clinton they all stick together no matter what.”

“Well I will delink the SOB, maybe he does eat puppies after all…creep!!”

“I have read his stuff for about a year and never realized that he had a dark side…”

Cue the evil “dark side” music…

Glenn must feel really special today. Not only is he regularly called a “rabid wingnut” by those on the Kos left, he is now getting equal treatment from their counterparts on the right. The impugning of motives, the polemical rhetoric, the strawmen…it’s almost as if it’s the same people on both sides!

He’s certainly earned his libertarian stripes on this one. And I couldn’t be prouder…

You can read more of Dave Johnston’s takes at newdave.com.


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About Joshua Johnston

  • Blah blah.

  • oh Bambenek, you have another one to add to your ‘bring down the ACLU’ club.

    Maybe I should start reading the instapundit again.

  • (also posted under John Bambenek’s immediate-response take above)

    I’m not taking a stand on the ACLU, or even taking a stand on Glenn taking a stand.

    What I am pointing out is the instant outrage and quick-trigger strawman arguments that pop up on both sides of the political spectrum. Since Glenn has worked with the ACLU in the past, it somehow follows that he must then support all the positions the ACLU takes that conservatives loathe. It’s a stretch, at best. But many in the blogosphere have no problem making that leap, immediately. It’s classic Kos argument style, just from the other end of the political spectrum.

    For too many, 2+2=6 when it serves their strongly-held convictions.

  • RJ

    I don’t always agree with Professor Reynolds, but he’s hardly with “the dark side”…

  • I don’t think that they started this because Reynolds had a past association with the ACLU. This was over the belittling of their whole cause as silly. Maybe it’s too nuanced a position for me to take, but I support STOP the ACLU in the hope of just changing it, and limiting it’s influence in the legal system. His rebuffing of the whole idea is what offended some.

  • I just wish the ACLU would impartially defend all of the rights of all abused people rather than being so selective and biased.


  • The Right Wing consists of a bunch of cannibals. They’ll eat their own if the have to.

    Their so brainwashed by their own propoganda that they cannot even see the forest through the trees anymore.

    I’m glad we have an ACLU. Heck yeah!

  • Eric Olsen

    I’m glad we have an ACLU as well: the whole point is to defend positions that are often unpopular at the time. I’m totally with you on this one Dave, thanks!

  • Jay

    Glenn is the one who jumped to conclusions by slamming Alan Sears new book, ACLU Vs. America as biased without reading it, or providing any facts to back up a claim like that.

  • Jay that type of thinking / approach is pretty much why I lost interest in Glenn early.

  • how about his rudness to the guy who said he was debookmarking him .. shameful ..

  • I’ve always thought it was crazy to demonize an organization that exists to protect people’s rights.

    Now, this “Kos left” thing is getting out of hand as well. There are certainly fringe elements on both the left and right, but Kos is simply a partisan Democrat. If that makes you a demon in today’s America, that also means we’re left with a one-party system.

  • but eric, haven’t you heard? we DO have a one-party system. 1. republicans 2. people who hate america.

    things ‘r so much simpler now.

  • The People Who Hate America Party has kind of a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

  • yea…i was very happy when we voted that as our title at the last meeting.

  • Raidernation1

    “I’ve always thought it was crazy to demonize an organization that exists to protect people’s rights.”

    I would think it was crazy too if we were talking about an organzation that actually did that. We are long past the idea that ACLU is an organization that just sometimes takes “unpopular cases” (as another poster suggested). LOOK at them up close and ignore their cute rhetoric.

    The ACLU is THE biggest threat to our liberties in this country today. I would suggest the Sears book — it is a well-supported (the bulk of the book draws DIRECTLY from the ACLU’s own words/briefs/position papers/etc.) point-by-point lesson on what the ACLU really stands for. This book is not your typical “attack” — very little gratuitous invective, mostly critical evaluation of what the ACLU has said and done over the years and how all this differs from what they claim to be. The more people that read the Sears book, the less dupes.

    Check out this review:

  • I love how it’s fashionable to criticize those who delinked, rather than actually pay attention to why.

    As the blog that started the whole thing with Stop the ACLU’s Jay, I think y’all need to realize that we didn’t do it because someone wasn’t spouting the ‘party line’. For G’d’s sake, people. Pay attention to the reasons.

    1) He is pro-ACLU, which is an organization that supports terrorism and terrorists.

    2) He was so arrogant about his position that he basically insulted the person who simply wanted to say “Hey, I think you’re wrong and I’m not going to read you anymore.”

    All of you lefties are acting like we’re somehow children, Nazis, and G’d knows what else simply because we exercised OUR right to disagree, publicly with his opinions.

    I have one word for you: Filibuster.

    When it comes to public disagreement, you guys have no right to complain. It’s all you do.

  • He is pro-ACLU, which is an organization that supports terrorism and terrorists.


    Otherwise that’s about as irresponsible a statement as you can put in print.

  • And funny… you’d think the Bush Administration would be prosecuting its ass off to shut down an organization with the U.S. that “supports terrorism and terrorists…”

  • Should read “…within the U.S.”

  • billy

    thats the laugher of the year. what “right” has the aclu worked to deny americans? its just the oppositte,

    unless you consider it a right to “intimidate a woman trying to get an abortion”.

    or the right to “shut down the free speech of someone you disagree with.”

    that isnt a right.

  • I’ve read your statement a few times, Billy, and I seriously can’t determine the point you’re trying to make.

  • Billy is saying that the ACLU has not worked to deny any rights except maybe the right to intimidate women or the right to shut down free speech.

    Of course, those aren’t rights, which is Billy’s point.

  • billy

    see comment 16, the person said

    The ACLU is THE biggest threat to our liberties in this country today.

    i am just wondering. what liberty is the ACLU fighting against? that is ludicrous. they fight for liberties.

    from post 16 i summarize this person believes his rights to harrass abortion protestors or to impose his religion on atheists in school is som liberty the ACLU takes away from him.

    he is misguided.

    the terrorist part I leave alone because it is beyond absurd. its like saying Bush eats babies!

  • The ACLU does a good job in many areas, but they do have some significant blind spots. They don’t support gun rights or in most cases religious freedom. They’re not perfect by any means, and I’d love to see them be ideologically consistent, but they aren’t actively evil.


  • billy

    They don’t support gun rights or in most cases religious freedom

    you are right, the aclu doesnt NOT support gun rights but they dont fight vigorously to protect the 2nd amendment as they do other amendments.

    religious freedom? you must be a christian to make an assinine statement like that. they protect religious freedom for minority religions all the time.

    the majority religion pushing it in school is not religious freedom, its religious opression.

  • Billy, you pay no attention to who is who at all, do you.

    I’m an atheist, not a religious nut – no one is more opposed to religious propaganda in schools. But I’m also not a fascist. And the ACLU trying to stop Christmas displays at public facilities is over the top.


  • billy

    hi dave, welcome to the club. i disagree with you there. while im an atheist too im a cultural jew.

    it depends on what is a public place. there are some places people have to go, ie court, dmv, school. those places it is completely offensive to celebrations of the birthday of Jesus.

    if it is in you own home, or store, thats fine. do as you please. i dont have to go there. but public places are different.

    how would you feel if the koran or a witch’s bible was placed prominently in front of you where you were forced to go stand in line having messages like, the witch;s bible is the only true bible, you must folow its tules , all other bibles are fake … this is religious opression in my view.

  • First off, there is no ‘witches bible’ as such.

    And the ACLU is doing things like blocking putting up Christmas Trees and light displays and anything which commemorates the date which Christians celebrate.

    I may not be religious, but I do like Christmas as a holiday and I don’t mind seeing some recognition of it in a public place. But that’s probably just because I’m not an ideologically enslaved ultra-left whack-job.


  • Jay Sekulow of the ACLJ said something good about the ACLU the other day on the radio. Maybe everyone should boycot him, too?

  • Thanks Steve, I got caught in the double negative of the statement, I think!

  • They back CAIR, which is a thinly-veiled terrorist organization. Three of its founders have been convicted of terrorist activity, and most of them are former members of the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP), known as the American arm of Hamas.

    Hamas senior leader Mahmoud al-Zahar, in a recent interview with Arab newspaper Asharq Al Awsat, said: “We do not and will not recognize a state called Israel. This land is the property of all Muslims in all parts of the world. Let Israel die!”

    Proof ACLU supports CAIR (from http://sherzieve.com/index.php?id=P7):

    The ACLU is working with CAIR and Amnesty International…to defend Ghassan Elashi and his brothers who were convicted of terrorism.

    • In 2001, the ACLU joined CAIR and other Islamic support groups to challenge the detention of potential terrorists.

    • In 2003, the ACLU joined CAIR and other Muslim advocacy groups to challenge portions of the Patriot Act.

    • Also, in 2003, the Ohio chapter of the ACLU awarded its yearly “Liberty Flame Award” to the Ohio chapter of CAIR “for contributions to the advancement and protection of civil liberties.”

    • In 2004, the ACLU joined CAIR in demanding the FBI make its files public as to [its] surveillance of Chicago Muslim groups and ‘expressed special concern today over the FBI’s targeting of Muslims and Arabs in the Chicago community’. Note: Remember it was two Illinois groups (the IAP and Quranic Literacy Institute) that were convicted of terrorist murder.

    • In North Carolina 2005, the ACLU joined forces with CAIR toward including swearing on the Koran (as opposed to the Bible) for Muslims. Note: The push for Shari’a law in Canada has already become a strong force. Will the US be next?


    As I said before, they support terrorists and terrorist organizations.

  • billy

    and there are plenty of lawyers who defend murderers. are those lawyers pro-muderer too? your post provides nothing to prove your point.

    Dave, the only whack job here is you.

  • Your analogy is pretty poor. Defense lawyers are generally scum. You’re not helping your case. 😉

  • Ah yes, Amnesty International… that sinister cabal (wonder where I got that from?) of evil no goodniks… set about across the globe in search of Nefarious Acts of Treachery…

    Give it up, Kit.

  • Dave Johnston: “For too many, 2+2=6 when it serves their strongly-held convictions.”

    Well, 2+2 can equal five… for very large values of 2.


    Raidernation1: “The ACLU is THE biggest threat to our liberties in this country today.”

    A threat? Yes. The biggest threat? Uhm, no. That would be the ball-less and/or scoundrel congresscritters who allow (or encourage) legislating by anti-democratic judicial fiat, when what should be done with “legislating” judges/justices is a little *ahem* judical application by Dr. Tarr and Mr. Feather shortly before being provided public uhm “rail transport” outa town.

    billy: “what liberty is the ACLU fighting against? that is ludicrous. they fight for liberties.”

    Uhm, no. It fights for the “rights” of NAMBLA pervs to commit statutory rape on young boys. It fights for the “right” to keep terrorists safe from law enforcement. etc. It is not concerned with your liberties, billy. It is concerned with forwarding the agenda it has had since its founding. Roger Nash Baldwin, a founder who later made a public show of “purging” communists from the ACLU, was himself a communist who once pledged to use the American legal system to bring about the fall of our government (preparatory to the eventual rise of a communist state).

    Strange that many of the efforts of the ACLU over the years have been in areas designed to weaken the social fabric of our country, make the Constitution into something that would be unrecognizable to the Framers and—as with their stance against any action designed to protect citizens from terrorist attacks—make people who want YOU dead, safe.

    No, they are not the greatest danger to America and Americans. That would be the critters the American electorate sends to D.C., but the ACLU is a dangerous organization, and that largely because they do public relations as well as they do bullying and twisting truth in courtrooms.

  • TJ

    “The Right Wing consists of a bunch of cannibals. They’ll eat their own if the have to.” … as opposed to MoveOn owning the DNC?

    “and there are plenty of lawyers who defend murderers. are those lawyers pro-murderer too?” … when they come out in support of the murderer, YES.

    “Amnesty International… that sinister cabal” – truer words are hard to come by (intentionally ignoring your sarcasm, as it is misplaced)

    Stop the ACLU! Indeed!

  • The aclu does indeed fight for liberties….

    The liberty of pedophiles to have child porn..(ACLU position on child porn…bad to make but protected once created under the first amendment…they defend possession of child porn)

    The liberty of terrorists (NOT AMERICAN CITIZENS) to have the same rights under the Constitution as American Citizens.

    The liberty of of illegal aliens (NOT AMERICAN CITIZENS) to have the same as the terrorists.

    The liberty of “sensitive” (read whiny) groups to not be subjected to our AMERICAN HERITAGE AND CULTURE. (Nativity scenes, christmas carols in schools, memorials that have crosses on them, city seals that have crosses on them, shall I continue this one?)

    Yes, the aclu defends the liberties of those AGAINST America!!!

    Get a clue!!!!

  • billy

    The liberty of terrorists (NOT AMERICAN CITIZENS) to have the same rights

    right. and who decides what terrorist is no longer an american? bush? no thanks. id rather be protected by the aclu.

    aclu defends the liberties of those AGAINST America!!!

    no, only those against christians trying to have their absurd and devilish symbols where they dont belong.

    thanks, long live the aclu!

  • Anthony Grande

    A little taste of what the AClu is: Here is the L.A. area we have a huge gang problem. Then one day the law one a battle. We passed a law that would allow us to arest known and suspected gang members. So the police rounded up thousands. Gang violence was down by 80%. Then the ACLu steppped in and won a legal battle saying we couldn’t arrest gang members for being in a gang, it was against their “civil rights”. So all the gang members were released and crime was up higher than it was before.

  • RogerMDillion

    Do you have any evidence to back up any part of your story?

  • Are you writing a sequeal to “minority report,” anthony grande?

  • Charles Giacometti

    I am very late to the game here, but the idea that Glenn Reynolds is a libertarian is hilarious. If Reynold is a libertarian, then George Bush is a siamese cat.

    Reynolds is an unvarnished Republican hack of the first order. All you have to do is read his Katrina coverage. (1) Not a single word about what a libertarian response might be. (2) One attack after another at any Democrat involved in the situation. (3) Not a single word of criticism of Bush.

    Reynolds toes the Bush party line on virtually every topic. The only ones he doesn’t (stem cell research is the best example) are ones that any one with a brain knows the Bushies are wrong about.

    So praise Glenn Reynolds all you want, but don’t call him a Libertarian. He is, at the beginning and end of the day, a partisan hack–a leading dittohead in the wingnut echo chamber.