Where’s Your Hill?

 

When Roy Moore was in the process of being brought down in the Alabama Senate race last December, the standard response from the establishment side of the GOP was, “Look, Moore is a nutcase. This is not a court of law. There is no due process or presumption of innocence. He’s not the hill you want to die on.”

When Alex Jones was purged off of social media the response was, “This is not a government action, but the actions of private individuals. Besides, he’s a nutcase and this is not the hill you want to die on.”

Enter Brett Kavanaugh. As his reputation is destroyed by the minority party suddenly the establishment is appalled. Why? Well, primarily because even though he was nominated to SCOTUS by Donald Trump, Kavanaugh is seen as “one of us,” one of the good chaps whose pedigree of private high schools, Yale and all the right government clerkships and appointments was beyond question.

Is this the hill now? When you surrendered all of that territory before, when you tucked your collective tails between your legs and ran like scalded dogs, now you want to turn and fight? Look what you gave up before. Like the Alabama race, proceedings in the Senate Judiciary Committee are not the equivalent of a court of law. The ideas of due process and presumed innocence you gave away in December are a little hard to reclaim now. When you look at all of the private, non-government entities behind this smear job, how can you rebuke them?

Principles are funny things. If you don’t apply them to the people you dislike then they are unlikely to be of any use when you really need them.

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  1. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Hear, hear. 

    • #1
  2. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    EJHill: Principles are funny things. If you don’t apply them to the people you dislike then they are unlikely to be of any use when you really need them.

     From a Trump supporter? This is rich. I thought the hill to die on for you lot was Trump. Didn’t you bury your hearts there with pussygrabergate? How about applying principles to the people whose actions you seek to benefit from? Not very keen on holding people up to them then are you? It is funny how your principles always lead you to support your preferred political outcome. 

    It is fun to see that Mr. Establishment Kavanaugh is apparently the next hill over from Moore and Jones, two of the nuttiest weirdos to grace our public discourse. 

    None of this is being adjudicated in a court of law so none of it is subject to any kid of legal standards. It is all basically a gut call by private citizens about our own subjective sense of justice in each case. The three matters are for all intents and purposes isolated from each other. The standard is and remains as it has always been, do you think it sounds right. Not a very rigorous standard, but then again these aren’t rigorous circumstance. And with the exception of Moore where the people of Alabam got to vote on the matter the number of people to be convinced is very limited. In the case of Kavanaugh the only people who have to decide or care are the Senators that will vote for his confirmation. And the only people that have to decide what happens to Jones are the people establishing policy at You Tube, Apple, Google, etc. Everyone else’s opinion is at best superfluous. 

    • #2
  3. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Valiuth: From a Trump supporter?

    I have maintained, on a consistent basis, that I am more a supporter of Trump supporters than a supporter of Trump.

    Valiuth: None of this is being adjudicated in a court of law so none of it is subject to any kid of legal standards

    “No controlling legal authority.” Thanks, Al.

    • #3
  4. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    • #4
  5. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    The three matters are for all intents and purposes isolated from each other.

    Truly dim.

    • #5
  6. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    EJHill: Principles are funny things. If you don’t apply them to the people you dislike then they are unlikely to be of any use when you really need them.

    Apparently the Republican elite will only defend perfect people.  I guess that makes Jesus and the Virgin Mary the only candidates they’ll go to the mattresses for . . .

    • #6
  7. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    This is a much better hill to die on than either of those cases. There is a principled argument that social media has the right to ban whomever it wants. (Though they have been behaving so badly I think it is a complicated moral argument.)

    Roy Moore was toxic to the brand and he was morally… complicated. Weren’t there multiple accusers in his case? I do know multiple people can be coordinated to lie but that kind of coordination isn’t easy to do. There is a fine argument that he was less bad than the other guy, especially for pro-life conservatives but many conservatives should feel queasy about endorsing a guy who calls for the death penalty for homosexuality. 

    Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser has some of the flimsiest accusations I have ever heard and he has been accused in a manner that purposefully accused in such a manner as to deny him his right to refute the charges against him. That and everything we know about the guy is that he is a decent family man and an honest originalist. 

    While there are decent arguments for fighting on some of the hills back, this is a much better hill to die on. 

    • #7
  8. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Besides, Trump has shown we don’t have to die on a hill if we just fight back. People like fighters who persevere—just look at the success of Rocky through Rocky 15.  (Sorry, lost count of how many movies there actually are.)

    The left can’t take it because they’ve been shielded by political correctness and the MSM for so long. Just look at the hand-wringing, panties-in-a-wad hysteria they go through whenever Trump says, tweets, or does something they don’t like.  I propose we make the left decide what hill they want to die on.

    Oh wait, they’ve already decided, and it rhymes with “proportion” . . .

    • #8
  9. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    I make my own judgments. I’m not in court; I’ve got a right to. I believe Juanita. I didn’t believe Anita. I don’t believe Christine Ford. I did believe the Alabama women. 

    I’ll fight for friends and allies, not for enemies. Roy Moore is southern fried Kevin Spacey as far as I’m concerned. I never liked, respected or admired him and we owe him nothing. His selection, which Trump didn’t want, is on the Alabama GOP voters, nobody else. 

    Jones is worse than a kook. Doxxing the Sandy Hook people is evil. Promoting Pizzagate is evil–and insane. 

    You might as well beg us to defend Michael Moore or Van Jones. 

    No sale. 

    • #9
  10. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Henry Castaigne: While there are decent arguments for fighting on some of the hills back, this is a much better hill to die on. 

    The question, Henry, is did previous surrenders encourage the present smear? In the long run, I’m not talking about defending individuals, but fighting unfair tactics. When you say in “Case X,” yeah, that’s a dirty trick but it’s ok because I don’t like the target either, why be surprised when a whole string of copycat cases follow?

    • #10
  11. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Stad (View Comment):
    Apparently the Republican elite will only defend perfect people.

    Then why won’t they defend doctors?  Huh?

    • #11
  12. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    VDH says Obama won.

    By traditional metrics, Barack Obama’s presidency was mostly a failure. The economy, in a new first, never hit annualized growth of 3 percent. His signature domestic policy—Obamacare—caused chaos. Millions lost their coverage and doctors, and paid far more in deductibles and premiums. The stagnant recovery after the 2008 recession was the worst in 50 years.

    Yet in terms of culture, Obama clearly won.”

    link

     

    • #12
  13. Bill Nelson Inactive
    Bill Nelson
    @BillNelson

    The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.- Gen. George Patton

    • #13
  14. TES Inactive
    TES
    @TonySells

    When Brett Kavanaugh is credibly accused of sexual assault(he hasn’t been), or starts claiming that Sandy Hook was fake and the parents of murdered children were actors, I won’t die on that hill either.  

     

    • #14
  15. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Gary McVey: You might as well beg us to defend Michael Moore or Van Jones. 

    No sale. 

    If someone wants to fire them simply because of their political beliefs, yes, I’ll defend their right to do as they please. Fight them on their merits in the arena of ideas. 

    Again, you have to separate the target from the tactics. 

    • #15
  16. RyanFalcone Member
    RyanFalcone
    @RyanFalcone

    Hmmm that’s a tough call. I’m generally a “if its not a conviction, its not news” guy. Not a fan of Jones at all as I think his bluster and shock stupidity is more damaging than positive but what has happened to him needed to be fought with far greater intensity. As for Moore. I don’t believe his accusers as almost all of their stories were just as crooked as the one against Kavanaugh, the only difference was that there were more and his personality wasn’t as graceful as Kavanaugh’s. Its up to the individual to make judgments such but there can be no doubt that the Democrats are going to play this out for every white male from here on out. It isn’t going to get better. It will get worse. If you are white, male, Christian or any combination of them, you are a crime against humanity worthy of any persecution that can be mustered against you and there is no moral limits to what they will do to destroy us.

    • #16
  17. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor
    Tom Meyer, Common Citizen
    @tommeyer

    EJHill:

    Enter Brett Kavanaugh. As his reputation is destroyed by the minority party suddenly the establishment is appalled. Why? Well, primarily because even though he was nominated to SCOTUS by Donald Trump, Kavanaugh is seen as “one of us,” one of the good chaps whose pedigree of private high schools, Yale and all the right government clerkships and appointments was beyond question.

    Narrator: That wasn’t the reason.

    • #17
  18. DrewInWisconsin Member
    DrewInWisconsin
    @DrewInWisconsin

    EJHill: Principles are funny things. If you don’t apply them to the people you dislike then they are unlikely to be of any use when you really need them.

    Amen.

    • #18
  19. Brian Watt Inactive
    Brian Watt
    @BrianWatt

    I once scolded a prominent Ricochet contributor for not soundly rebuking primary candidate Donald Trump for encouraging violence during his campaign speeches. I was in turn soundly and properly rebuked for attempting to dictate to him what his duty was. I don’t think it’s a wise policy to shame other conservatives on what their responsibility or moral obligations are.

    Was it a shame that Alex Jones lost his YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter platforms? Perhaps. Does he have a right to appear on those platforms? Good luck with that argument and still maintain the mantle of a free market, laissez faire capitalist conservative. Has Mr. Jones’ free speech rights been trampled? I don’t think so. He’s still free to spout off his idiocy whenever he likes on other platforms, including his own website and attempt to get airtime by confronting politicians in hallways, or write books for those of his supporters who read material longer than the occasional tweet.

    Was I supposed to cheerlead and vocally promote the campaign of Roy Moore when I found him ethically challenged and frankly sleazy? How is this not an ‘ends justifies the means’ scenario? In other words, ‘Yes, we realize he’s a scum bag…but he’s our scum bag and we have to have the votes to beat the Dems!’

    Brett Kavanaugh, despite the baseless, last-minute and quite ludicrous accusations that have surfaced, by his public legal and judicial record and his personal, family, and community life strikes me as an honorable, decent, intelligent man who deserves to serve on the high court and is sadly being smeared. I never once have had the impression that Alex Jones or Roy Moore were honorable or decent men or that they were being unfairly smeared but rather that the characterizations of themselves were based on their own recorded behavior and utterances.

    So, I reject the thesis of the OP and won’t be told what my duty is or what hills to die on. With respect, I’ll choose my own hills, Mr. Hill.

    • #19
  20. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Valiuth: From a Trump supporter?

    I have maintained, on a consistent basis, that I am more a supporter of Trump supporters than a supporter of Trump.

    Valiuth: None of this is being adjudicated in a court of law so none of it is subject to any kid of legal standards

    “No controlling legal authority.” Thanks, Al.

    What legal authority is there for a dispute between two guys in a bar? Not one person in any of the cases cited has appealed to a legal authority. Though maybe Jones has sued the companies over their policies (as is his right and prerogative) in which case he will have to make a case in actual court. 

    There is no courtroom in which this is decided, there are no procedural rules to public discourse and argument. There is no body of appointed or elected judges to appeal to in all of this. Everyone gets to make up their own mind about this based on what these two people say and what is said about them. With no rules or guidelines to constrain our judgement. Is it arbitrary? Extremely. Unfair? Most certainly. But that’s life. 

     

    • #20
  21. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Tom Meyer, Common Citizen: Narrator:

    My new, least favorite non-argument cliche. Have a point you’d like to make? Then make it. Not you, nor anyone else, is “The Narrator.”

    • #21
  22. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor
    Tom Meyer, Common Citizen
    @tommeyer

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Tom Meyer, Common Citizen: Narrator:

    My new, least favorite non-argument cliche. Have a point you’d like to make? Then make it. Not you, nor anyone else, is “The Narrator.”

    Well, if I must be humorless about it…

    Your argument that class is the only substantive difference between Kavanaugh and Moore is crap. As @garymcvey said, the quality of the accusations — the contemporaneous accounts, etc. — is different.

    TL;DR: You say we are treating similar things the differently. I say we are treating different things differently. With respect, I know my mind better than you do.

    • #22
  23. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    From a Trump supporter? This is rich. I thought the hill to die on for you lot was Trump. Didn’t you bury your hearts there with pussygrabergate?

    Man, I hate having to defend against this, but the audio of Trump having a private conversation about women was, I believe, a statement of truth about what certain (many) women will tolerate from rich and famous men. It was not a statement about his personal behavior with women.

    But, you and the Left take every opportunity to slant unattractive truths Trump speaks to make them about him, rather than the truth (in this case about women and powerful men). Or, you call him a liar. These are the kind of tactics used by the Left we have to fight against to save the republic.

    Trump lacks the decorum we’re accustomed to in our presidents. He’s brutally honest in a New York kind of way. If he had been credibly accused of rape or criminality, it would have been exposed long before now.

    • #23
  24. Sweezle Member
    Sweezle
    @Sweezle

    Yes, this is the Hill to die on. Judge Kavanaugh, his wife, daughters, parents and friends deserve to be fought for. I just hope Senate Republicans are up to the job.

    • #24
  25. PHenry Member
    PHenry
    @PHenry

    To boil it down, does someone I consider to be a scumbag deserve the benefit of the doubt, innocence until proven guilty, and the right to confront their accuser? 

    Apparently, many don’t think so.  At least outside the legal system.  If they are scumbags, they probably are guilty.  So whatever is charged should be assumed to be true!

    That worldview gets rather inconvenient once someone you don’t think is a scumbag gets held to that same standard, especially when it is you or someone close to you. 

    Imagine your son or daughter being the accused. It might make it easier for you to withhold prejudice. 

    • #25
  26. Hammer, The (Ryan M) Member
    Hammer, The (Ryan M)
    @RyanM

    I think most intelligent people would say “yes, this is the hill, and those others were still most certainly not hills worth dying on.”

    You’re also forgetting – if you go around defending the indefensible, you’ll have no moral authority when it comes time to defend those who truly deserve the defense.  It is only because we didn’t choose those two awful cases as hills to die on that we have any chance of defending this one when it really counts.

    Not sure what your point is beyond that…  but yes, I suppose I agree.  Moore = indefensible, Jones = indefensible.  Thank God we have the sensibility and good judgment to defend what really matters.  Yes, Kavanaugh is worth defending.  

    • #26
  27. JudithannCampbell Inactive
    JudithannCampbell
    @JudithannCampbell

    Hammer, The (Ryan M) (View Comment):
    You’re also forgetting – if you go around defending the indefensible, you’ll have no moral authority when it comes time to defend those who truly deserve the defense.

    Sorry, I thought the principles of the Constitution applied to everyone; I thought most intelligent people believed in equal treatment under the law for everyone. Good thing we have you around to inform us of what most intelligent people think, I sure wouldn’t want to run afoul of most intelligent people.

    • #27
  28. EDISONPARKS Member
    EDISONPARKS
    @user_54742

    Tom Meyer, Common Citizen (View Comment):

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Tom Meyer, Common Citizen: Narrator:

    My new, least favorite non-argument cliche. Have a point you’d like to make? Then make it. Not you, nor anyone else, is “The Narrator.”

    Well, if I must be humorless about it…

    Your argument that class is the only substantive difference between Kavanaugh and Moore is crap. As @garymcvey said, the quality of the accusations — the contemporaneous accounts, etc. — is different.

    TL;DR: You say we are treating similar things the differently. I say we are treating different things differently. With respect, I know my mind better than you do.

    Valiuth, are these the two guys in a bar you were referencing?

    • #28
  29. Hammer, The (Ryan M) Member
    Hammer, The (Ryan M)
    @RyanM

    JudithannCampbell (View Comment):

    Hammer, The (Ryan M) (View Comment):
    You’re also forgetting – if you go around defending the indefensible, you’ll have no moral authority when it comes time to defend those who truly deserve the defense.

    Sorry, I thought the principles of the Constitution applied to everyone; I thought most intelligent people believed in equal treatment under the law for everyone. Good thing we have you around to inform us of what most intelligent people think, I sure wouldn’t want to run afoul of most intelligent people.

    Nobody is talking about “the principles of the constitution.”   And I won’t ask you to point to me how any of the 3 above named have been treated differently under the law…   

    I don’t have time to expand right now, but something to keep in mind is this. 

    The general principle to be learned from “first, they came for X, and I said nothing; then, they came for Y, and I said nothing…” is certainly valuable.  That said, the general principle to be learned from the story of the boy who cried wolf is also valuable.  Those two lessons are not mutually exclusive, and if you take one to its extreme, the other is implicated.  That is pretty important to understand, and it is the main point that EJ wildly misses with his OP, here.

    • #29
  30. JudithannCampbell Inactive
    JudithannCampbell
    @JudithannCampbell

    Hammer, The (Ryan M) (View Comment):
    Nobody is talking about “the principles of the constitution.” And I won’t ask you to point to me how any of the 3 above named have been treated differently under the law…

    Free speech? Innocent until proven guilty? Never mind….

    • #30
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