Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Intimidation Game: We’re on the Losing Side

 

“Then it was the five-year-old’s turn. You could tell she’d been thinking hard about her answer. She fixed both her brother and sister with a ferocious stare and said: ‘Free speech is that you can say what you want—as long as I like it.’”

This was the lead-in anecdote to Kimberley Strassel’s article in the latest issue of Imprimis from Hillsdale College. She was having a conversation with her children about free speech, and her five-year-old basically mimicked the words of the Left. Fortunately, she has time to grow out of it!

In Strassel’s piece called, “The Left’s War on Free Speech,” she focuses on the origins of the current assaults on free speech and the destructiveness of the Left. (She also has a book called The Intimidation Game on this topic.) She traces the drastic assaults on free speech to the Citizen’s United case in 2010. Although the Right saw this ruling as a victory, the Left doubled down to use every trick in the book to destroy free speech. As Strassel says:

In the weeks following the Citizens United ruling, the Left settled on a new strategy. If it could no longer use speech laws against its opponents, it would do the next best thing—it would threaten, harass and intimidate its opponents out of participation. It would send a message: conservatives choosing to exercise their constitutional rights will pay a political and personal price.

And they’ve made good on their promise.

Strassel cites the harassment by the IRS of around 400 conservative organizations. She also reminds us of the shocking pursuit by prosecutors, called John Doe probes, particularly in Wisconsin:

In one terrifying instance, the target of such a raid was on an out-of-town trip with his wife, and their teen-age son was home alone. Law enforcement came into the house and sequestered the boy, refusing to allow him to call a lawyer or even his grandparents, who lived down the road. They hauled items out of the house, and as they left they told the boy that he too was subject to the gag order—that if he told anyone what had happened to him, he could go to jail.

A lawsuit and the Wisconsin Supreme Court eventually shut down the probe.

In her last example, Strassel described the intimidation tactic against corporations and non-profits. Referring to the attack on the American Legislative Exchange Council, which played a small role in writing the “Stand Your Ground” laws, the organization lost half its donors in just a few months. .

For those of you who think that there is nothing the Right can do to change this assault on free speech, I ask you to re-think your position. When Donald Trump was elected to drain the swamp, some of us might have been tempted to sit back, wait for him to transform the country, and meanwhile put in our earplugs to block out the Left’s diatribes. I think Strassel would disagree with this approach. She makes the following points:

  • These attacks are strategic and there is no end in sight. We need to cut the size of federal and state bureaucracies. (EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke are both conducting major reviews to eliminate or reduce boards, committees, and other entities. It’s a limited effort but it’s a start.)
  • We need regular reviews of agencies’ use of powers to ensure they aren’t overreaching and violating citizens’ rights. Like the IRS, for one.
  • Corporations need to “get a backbone,” push back and defend their rights to free speech.
  • Disclosure laws need significant modifications to defend the privacy of organizations and their members.
  • We need to publicly and loudly call out intimidation whenever and wherever it happens.

I say it’s time for all of us to be creative and assertive in finding new ways to protect free speech. For example, if an organization on the right is holding a demonstration, local police or sheriff departments should not only be informed, but should be consulted to ensure the group’s protection against violence. If law enforcement does not step in, media outlets should be told that they stood back and watched. We need to empower law enforcement as our partners in protecting free speech.

I’d also like to see a creative venture that either uses YouTube or even television to promote a regular show. It could be called “To Tell the Truth” or “Truth or Consequences.” (Get it?) It would be a weekly program that showed videos of those on the left telling lies, then have a celebrity (country-western singers, conservative actors, retired but respected politicians – I’m thinking of Joe Lieberman) — who immediately follow the “untruth teller” with the truth. The responses would be honest and respectful. The producer, corporate investors, and everyone involved will have to put up with a lot, but eventually the production will start gaining attention. (If you don’t like this idea, rather than attacking it, improve upon it!)

There are probably lots of things that we can do and that our politicians can do to stop the intimidation. Kimberley Strassel says one last thing in her piece that I think is important:

Finally, Conservatives need to tamp down any impulse to practice such intimidation [against the Left] themselves. Our country is best when it is engaging in vigorous debate. The Framers of the Constitution envisioned a multiplicity of interests that would argue their way to a common good. We succeed with more voices, not fewer, and we should have enough confidence in our arguments to hear out our opponents.

Let’s have some fun and be creative folks! What are your ideas to stop the intimidation and the attacks on free speech?

There are 56 comments.

  1. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher

    You tube belongs to the enemey. It won’t work as a venue.

    • #1
    • May 14, 2017, at 4:04 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    You tube belongs to the enemey. It won’t work as a venue.

    Darn it, you’re right, Bryan. Google’s got it. Well, I guess we’d have to try to for networks or cable. Some conservative producer out there (@roblong) might be able to make something happen!

    • #2
    • May 14, 2017, at 4:15 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  3. Slow on the uptake Thatcher

    How to the intimidation and the attacks? I don’t know.

    But I do know this: So long as good men and women refuse to be silenced by intimidation, by threats, by whatever cost we face, they have not won. So long as good men and women stand, bloody but unbowed, they have not won. So long as we do not go silent, they have not won.

    • #3
    • May 14, 2017, at 4:29 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Chuckles (View Comment):
    How to the intimidation and the attacks? I don’t know.

    But I do know this: So long as good men and women refuse to be silenced by intimidation, by threats, by whatever cost we face, they have not won. So long as good men and women stand, bloody but unbowed, they have not won. So long as we do not go silent, they have not won.

    Maybe we need to focus more on supporting and encouraging those good men and women. How do we project our message, our determination, to not be silenced? I agree, we must not go silent, but how do we become more vocal? I appreciate your chiming in,
    Chuckles!!

    • #4
    • May 14, 2017, at 4:32 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  5. blood thirsty neocon Inactive

    I’m not sure that we need to do anything that we’re not already doing. The left defeats itself by silencing dissent. Susan, you mention the fascist tactics in Wisconsin, but didn’t we win Wisconsin for the first time in over 30 years? Organize, vote, and if you’re brave enough to protest, be smart enough to carry a weapon. Without #2, #1 will die.

    • #5
    • May 14, 2017, at 4:36 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  6. blood thirsty neocon Inactive

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Chuckles (View Comment):
    How to the intimidation and the attacks? I don’t know.

    But I do know this: So long as good men and women refuse to be silenced by intimidation, by threats, by whatever cost we face, they have not won. So long as good men and women stand, bloody but unbowed, they have not won. So long as we do not go silent, they have not won.

    Maybe we need to focus more on supporting and encouraging those good men and women. How do we project our message, our determination, to not be silenced? I agree, we must not go silent, but how do we become more vocal? I appreciate your chiming in,
    Chuckles!!

    Gofundme pledge drives for brave small businesses like Memories Pizza in Indiana. We need similar efforts to support conservative academics and the conservative victims of hate crime on campus. Conservatives have a few extra bucks, use it.

    • #6
    • May 14, 2017, at 4:43 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    blood thirsty neocon (View Comment):
    I’m not sure that we need to do anything that we’re not already doing. The left defeats itself by silencing dissent. Susan, you mention the fascist tactics in Wisconsin, but didn’t we win Wisconsin for the first time in over 30 years? Organize, vote, and if you’re brave enough to protest, be smart enough to carry a weapon. Without #2, #1 will die.

    I disagree, btn. How do you see the Left defeating itself? In what areas or in what ways? Do you see any sign that their supporters are giving up on them or leaving them? They are on a roll, and they will continue their strategies until they have defeated US, unless we counter their rhetoric and their actions.. I don’t think you can draw a line between the Leftists losing Wisconsin and the horrible actions they took against the people they targeted there; it’s too soon to know if there’s a correlation. Please don’t take this wrong, but I think your points are an excuse to wait and see. Which means doing nothing. That concerns me greatly.

    • #7
    • May 14, 2017, at 5:05 PM PST
    • 1 like
  8. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    blood thirsty neocon (View Comment):
    Gofundme pledge drives for brave small businesses like Memories Pizza in Indiana. We need similar efforts to support conservative academics and the conservative victims of hate crime on campus. Conservatives have a few extra bucks, use it.

    Now this I love!! What a great idea! There must be a way to either inform people/businesses to take these actions, because plenty of us will support them!

    • #8
    • May 14, 2017, at 5:07 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  9. Guruforhire Member

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    You tube belongs to the enemey. It won’t work as a venue.

    Support good people via patreon.

    • #9
    • May 14, 2017, at 5:26 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Guruforhire (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    You tube belongs to the enemey. It won’t work as a venue.

    Support good people via patreon.

    Guru, could you please explain a little more about it in this context? Sounds fascinating .

    • #10
    • May 14, 2017, at 5:35 PM PST
    • Like
  11. blood thirsty neocon Inactive

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    blood thirsty neocon (View Comment):
    I’m not sure that we need to do anything that we’re not already doing. The left defeats itself by silencing dissent. Susan, you mention the fascist tactics in Wisconsin, but didn’t we win Wisconsin for the first time in over 30 years? Organize, vote, and if you’re brave enough to protest, be smart enough to carry a weapon. Without #2, #1 will die.

    I disagree, btn. How do you see the Left defeating itself? In what areas or in what ways? Do you see any sign that their supporters are giving up on them or leaving them?

    Thank you for asking. I saw this dynamic playing out during the 2016 presidential campaign at liberal activist website Daily Kos. I noticed during the primaries that Bernie supporters were demeaned and shouted down with regularity. This got worse as the primaries dragged on and the general campaign started. I, as a faux Bernie supporter, had my comments hidden and my commenting privileges frozen on multiple accounts. Many real Bernie supporters were similarly silenced. I saw this as an opportunity to exploit and exacerbate that divide and promote overconfidence, in the hopes of suppressing the Bernie turnout.

    After the election, there was a huge backlash on Daily Kos, as Bernie supporters demanded openness and a reckoning for why their legitimate concerns were silenced. People wanted to know why they lost. I realized that liberal intolerance of dissent was self-defeating. As long as we don’t become like them, we will be fine. We don’t need to “fight back” by intimidating others. We need to stand up for our beliefs and promote freedom of expression.

    • #11
    • May 14, 2017, at 5:37 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  12. Guruforhire Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Guruforhire (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    You tube belongs to the enemey. It won’t work as a venue.

    Support good people via patreon.

    Guru, could you please explain a little more about it in this context? Sounds fascinating .

    Tim Pool is a stand up guy trying to do independent conflict journalism, he has generally been demonetized.

    Pretty much everybody has a patreon account where they put a link for people to make donations to their account for the work they do.

    https://www.patreon.com/

    So if you like what Tim is doing, you would donate to his patreon account.

    • #12
    • May 14, 2017, at 5:42 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  13. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    blood thirsty neocon (View Comment):
    After the election, there was a huge backlash on Daily Kos, as Bernie supporters demanded openness and a reckoning for why their legitimate concerns were silenced. People wanted to know why they lost. I realized that liberal intolerance of dissent was self-defeating. As long as we don’t become like them, we will be fine. We don’t need to “fight back” by intimidating others. We need to stand up for our beliefs and promote freedom of expression.

    Thanks for your response BTN. A couple of comments in return: first, on the Daily Kos, they were in effect attacking their own. Nobody cares if they attack the Right. So it’s self-defeating for them to attack those who disagree with them in their own ranks. I don’t think we need to fight back by intimidating them (although they may feel that way–I doubt it). We need to speak up for ourselves and let them know we are not afraid to meet them where they are. I agree that we need to stand up for our beliefs and promote freedom of expression: it sounds like a great idea, but what are ways to show that through our actions?

    • #13
    • May 14, 2017, at 6:24 PM PST
    • Like
  14. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    BTW, I’m impressed with how sneaky you are–nice going!

    • #14
    • May 14, 2017, at 6:24 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  15. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Guruforhire (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Guruforhire (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    You tube belongs to the enemey. It won’t work as a venue.

    Support good people via patreon.

    Guru, could you please explain a little more about it in this context? Sounds fascinating .

    Tim Pool is a stand up guy trying to do independent conflict journalism, he has generally been demonetized.

    Pretty much everybody has a patreon account where they put a link for people to make donations to their account for the work they do.

    https://www.patreon.com/

    So if you like what Tim is doing, you would donate to his patreon account.

    I’ve never heard of this–it’s awesome! Thanks for filling us in.

    • #15
    • May 14, 2017, at 6:26 PM PST
    • 1 like
  16. blood thirsty neocon Inactive

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    blood thirsty neocon (View Comment):
    After the election, there was a huge backlash on Daily Kos, as Bernie supporters demanded openness and a reckoning for why their legitimate concerns were silenced. People wanted to know why they lost. I realized that liberal intolerance of dissent was self-defeating. As long as we don’t become like them, we will be fine. We don’t need to “fight back” by intimidating others. We need to stand up for our beliefs and promote freedom of expression.

    Thanks for your response BTN. A couple of comments in return: first, on the Daily Kos, they were in effect attacking their own. Nobody cares if they attack the Right. So it’s self-defeating for them to attack those who disagree with them in their own ranks. I don’t think we need to fight back by intimidating them (although they may feel that way–I doubt it). We need to speak up for ourselves and let them know we are not afraid to meet them where they are. I agree that we need to stand up for our beliefs and promote freedom of expression: it sounds like a great idea, but what are ways to show that through our actions?

    NR gave Andy Ngo, victim of political correctness at Portland State, a forum to tell his story. I just followed him on Twitter.

    If he writes for a magazine I will subscribe to it. If he writes a book I will buy it. I encourage others to do the same. Thus a brave, marginalized soul is brought into the warm embrace of our conservative community. Action.

    • #16
    • May 14, 2017, at 7:17 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  17. Jason Turner Member

    In regards to free speech the US is ahead of Australia, you have the first and second amendments we have 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act which has been used to silence conservative journalists, cartoonists and university students, the left are now attempting to add religious discrimination to the act which will result in a blaphsemy law by default, we also have draconian gun laws which make it extremely difficult for law abiding citizens to own firearms and even when they do gun storage laws make it almost impossible for firearms to be used either in self-defense or against tyranny.

    The left in Australia like in the US use a combination of lawfare and protests to prevent speech that they disagree with and also to prevent vital infrastructure. In Queensland an important coal mine operated by the Indian company Adani has been delayed by a series of fruitless legal action with no prospect of success they do this for for two reasons, first they have driven up the cost for Adani which means there is now the very real prospect of Adani pulling out which will have a massive negative impact on the Queensland economy, secondly by delaying the project they open up the possibility that when a new socialist government is elected in Canberra they will cancel the project. This happened in my state of Western Australia the previous conservative government were committed to build the Roe 8 transport project, this project was delayed for so long by legal action and protests that it was not completed by the March election, when the new Socialist government was elected they promptly cancelled the project. The left have been doing this in Australia since at least the 1980’s when they prevented the building of the Gordon below Franklin dam in Tasmania, they have perfected these tactics and are extremely difficult to counter.

    I think we conservatives need to stop being the silent majority, we must fight back against the left in the media and in schools and in universities, at the moment our message is not reaching enough people, unless we counter the left in these areas we risk losing the battle. Socialist indoctrination in schools and universities is particularly concerning we must provide an alternative argument or risk losing the youth entirely.

    • #17
    • May 14, 2017, at 7:25 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  18. fidelio102 Coolidge

    Susan Quinn: If law enforcement does not step in, media outlets should be told that they stood back and watched. We need to empower law enforcement as our partners in protecting free speech.

    You still have to find media outlets which are not on the side of the intimidators.

    Seriously, though, intimidation only works if the victim allows it to. As a 13-year-old in a British boarding school I was once cornered in a basement by three or four bullies. Instead of running away, as they expected, I just stood my ground and stared them down. This elicited a ‘He’s a cool one. Leave him be,’ or something to that effect, and I wasn’t picked on again.

    It is regrettable that in this country, and others, persons in authority seem to be only too happy to take the line of least resistance and give in to the loudest faction. This seems particularly prevalent on college campuses.

    We conservatives may be undemonstrative, even self-effacing, but we still have backbones (Richochetti obviously do), so let’s show those who wish to intimidate us that such tactics will get them nowhere.

    • #18
    • May 14, 2017, at 7:36 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  19. RightAngles Member

    One of our biggest problems is the way we’ve allowed them to rig the debate so that any time we object to any of their shenanigans, we’re a “racist,” a “misogynist,” a “homophobe,” or, if they can’t attach a specific cause to it, a “neanderthal.” We have to learn to stand up and unapologetically stick to our objections. It would be nice if the GOP in congress could learn that.

    • #19
    • May 14, 2017, at 8:00 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  20. Lash LaRoche Inactive

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    One of our biggest problems is the way we’ve allowed them to rig the debate so that any time we object to any of their shenanigans, we’re a “racist,” a “misogynist,” a “homophobe,” or, if they can’t attach a specific cause to it, a “neanderthal.” We have to learn to stand up and unapologetically stick to our objections. It would be nice if the GOP in congress could learn that.

    Yep, and Republicans need to learn to never argue particulars when they disagree with the premise.

    • #20
    • May 14, 2017, at 8:28 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  21. RightAngles Member

    I keep waiting and hoping for a Republican leader who will, instead of looking at the floor and then skulking away, stand up and say, “You’re damn tootin’ we oppose big hulking men in the ladies’ room with our children, and here’s why!” But No-o-o-o.

    • #21
    • May 14, 2017, at 8:48 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  22. Lash LaRoche Inactive

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    I keep waiting and hoping for a Republican leader who will, instead of looking at the floor and then skulking away, strand up and say, “You’re damn tootin’ we oppose big hulking men in the ladies’ room with our children, and here’s why!” But No-o-o-o.

    And they also need to hammer home the point that the Democratic Party, with its lax approach to immigration and border security, doesn’t give a damn about the safety of American citizens.

    • #22
    • May 14, 2017, at 8:51 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  23. RightAngles Member

    While we keep quiet and allow them to cow us into submission out of fear of being called bigots, they’re mainstreaming deviant behavior. Current TV commercials featuring transgender women include:

    -Secret Deodorant (a trans woman hiding in a bathroom stall afraid to come out: Secret deodorant sees her through this stressful moment)

    -Dove “Real Moms”

    -Canadian insurance company Sonnet – a commercial with a transgender bride

    -Vicks – commercial in India with a trans mother

    All are presented in a heartwarming, positive manner such that anyone who could possibly object must be a monster.

    • #23
    • May 14, 2017, at 9:03 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  24. Lash LaRoche Inactive

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    While we keep quiet and allow them to cow us into submission out of fear of being called bigots, they’re mainstreaming deviant behavior. Current TV commercials featuring transgender women include:

    -Secret Deodorant (a trans woman hiding in a bathroom stall afraid to come out: Secret deodorant sees her through this stressful moment)

    -Dove “Real Moms”

    -Canadian insurance company Sonnet – a commercial with a transgender bride

    -Vicks – commercial in India with a trans mother

    All are presented in a heartwarming, positive manner such that anyone who could possibly object must be a monster.

    Just horrible. Corporate America is actively assisting in the undermining of American culture.

    • #24
    • May 14, 2017, at 9:08 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  25. RightAngles Member

    Mike LaRoche (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    While we keep quiet and allow them to cow us into submission out of fear of being called bigots, they’re mainstreaming deviant behavior. Current TV commercials featuring transgender women include:

    -Secret Deodorant (a trans woman hiding in a bathroom stall afraid to come out: Secret deodorant sees her through this stressful moment)

    -Dove “Real Moms”

    -Canadian insurance company Sonnet – a commercial with a transgender bride

    -Vicks – commercial in India with a trans mother

    All are presented in a heartwarming, positive manner such that anyone who could possibly object must be a monster.

    Just horrible. Corporate America is actively assisting in the undermining of American culture.

    I know, and they’re catering to a fraction of a tiny percent of the general population, which means they’re depending on the rest of us to be too afraid to object to it.

    • #25
    • May 14, 2017, at 9:13 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  26. Profile Photo Member

    Instead of just accusing “the left” of trying to silence people, we should criticize individual members of the left; we must tell people exactly who these people are and what they have done. A major factor in Scott Brown’s temporarily winning a senate seat in Massachusetts was the fact that his opponent, Martha Coakley, had conducted a witch hunt and put an innocent man in jail, and then did everything she could to keep him in jail even when it became evident that he was innocent. I live in Massachusetts, and local conservatives like Howie Carr never stopped talking about how evil Martha Coakley was, and never stopped informing people of all the details of what she had done. So, even many liberals couldn’t bring themselves to vote for her. A different liberal probably could have defeated Scott Brown, but Martha Coakley couldn’t, because she was so tarred with what she had done.

    Some may argue that most liberals won’t care, and that may be true, but if you can peel off 10% or even 5% of them, that can make the difference in lots of elections in lots places. We don’t need everyone to care. We just need to speak the truth.

    • #26
    • May 14, 2017, at 9:33 PM PST
    • 10 likes
  27. Richard Easton Member

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    Mike LaRoche (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    While we keep quiet and allow them to cow us into submission out of fear of being called bigots, they’re mainstreaming deviant behavior. Current TV commercials featuring transgender women include:

    -Secret Deodorant (a trans woman hiding in a bathroom stall afraid to come out: Secret deodorant sees her through this stressful moment)

    -Dove “Real Moms”

    -Canadian insurance company Sonnet – a commercial with a transgender bride

    -Vicks – commercial in India with a trans mother

    All are presented in a heartwarming, positive manner such that anyone who could possibly object must be a monster.

    Just horrible. Corporate America is actively assisting in the undermining of American culture.

    I know, and they’re catering to a fraction of a tiny percent of the general population, which means they’re depending on the rest of us to be too afraid to object to it.

    The HR departments for large corporations are largely controlled by leftists. Diversity is perhaps the most overused word in their lingo. They are the vanguard of the revolution.

    • #27
    • May 14, 2017, at 9:54 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  28. Joe P Member

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    While we keep quiet and allow them to cow us into submission out of fear of being called bigots, they’re mainstreaming deviant behavior. Current TV commercials featuring transgender women include:

    -Secret Deodorant (a trans woman hiding in a bathroom stall afraid to come out: Secret deodorant sees her through this stressful moment)

    -Dove “Real Moms”

    -Canadian insurance company Sonnet – a commercial with a transgender bride

    -Vicks – commercial in India with a trans mother

    All are presented in a heartwarming, positive manner such that anyone who could possibly object must be a monster.

    I feel like this is where we need to fight back.

    I mean, yeah, we need to root out all the nonsense in federal agencies and whatnot, but politics is downstream from culture, and this advertising is all part of cultural brainwashing. And it’s happening because the advertising is downstream from the writing on these shows. We need to start subverting popular culture narratives on television that are insane with those that are not. This should be easier to do these days despite the apparent insanity of everyone working in television, because disintermediation means you can get away with targeting smaller audiences and go around all of the traditional gatekeepers who want your show to have the token gay guy before they’ll air it.

    • #28
    • May 15, 2017, at 3:54 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  29. Hartmann von Aue Member

    Mike LaRoche (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    One of our biggest problems is the way we’ve allowed them to rig the debate so that any time we object to any of their shenanigans, we’re a “racist,” a “misogynist,” a “homophobe,” or, if they can’t attach a specific cause to it, a “neanderthal.” We have to learn to stand up and unapologetically stick to our objections. It would be nice if the GOP in congress could learn that.

    Yep, and Republicans need to learn to never argue particulars when they disagree with the premise.

    Attack the premise first. Gingrich does this all the time.

    • #29
    • May 15, 2017, at 4:51 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  30. Larry3435 Member

    Susan Quinn: They hauled items out of the house, and as they left they told the boy that he too was subject to the gag order—that if he told anyone what had happened to him, he could go to jail.

    This is a tactic that first appeared during the Obama Administration – I saw it in my law practice for the first time in about 2012 (with the threat issued by the National Labor Relations Board to a witness who they had interviewed). Frankly, I was stunned that an administrative agency could possibly claim this kind of authority. I researched it up one side and down the other, and I could find no legal basis for the agency to make this kind of threat. Even Grand Jury witnesses are free to speak publicly about their testimony to the GJ or anything else. And, even if there had been some legal authority for this kind of a threat, I highly doubt that it would be Constitutional.

    The Trump Administration needs to track down when and how the Obama Administration purported to authorize this kind of threat, make it public, and rescind any memos or internal procedural directives that authorized agencies to threaten witnesses so that they could conduct secret investigations. This is an appalling abuse of the Constitution and of basic human dignity. I can’t believe it hasn’t gotten more attention. Administrative agencies anoint themselves as a police state, and nobody even seems to notice. Just awful. Awful.

    • #30
    • May 15, 2017, at 5:48 AM PST
    • 7 likes