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.

Published in Politics
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

There are 350 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. JudithannCampbell Inactive
    JudithannCampbell
    @JudithannCampbell

    JudithannCampbell (View Comment):

    Hammer, The (Ryan M) (View Comment):
    you would defend Facebook’s right to disassociate its platform from the despicable character of Jones, regardless of whatever nice things he might say about Trump, or whatever bad things he might say about people who you don’t like.

    I have no idea what Alex Jones says about anyone; for you to insinuate that I am defending him because he says nice things about Trump is despicable, you are not arguing in good faith, I am not wasting any more time on this, or on you. Goodbye.

    Apparently, the idea of defending someone whom you don’t agree with is incomprehensible to you. I am sorry that you are unable to grasp the concept.

    • #91
  2. Mendel Inactive
    Mendel
    @Mendel

    DrewInWisconsin (View Comment):

    Hammer, The (Ryan M) (View Comment):
    on the other hand, you going to argue that Facebook and YouTube can’t do what they want? You want to confuse that with government censorship and talk about the constitution?

    Free speech is about much more than just legalities. Remember, the government doesn’t grant freedom of speech. It’s already yours by natural right. The government only promises to make no laws infringing on this natural right.

    Facebook shutting you down does infringe on your freedom of speech. It’s just a situation that the government has no jurisdiction over. Nor do we want it to. But you are being censored nevertheless.

    I strongly object to this logic.

    The problem is that Facebook owns the servers that run its site. So if you say that free speech is a natural right that Facebook is denying when it denies service, you’re essentially saying that free speech allows you to use somebody’s property against their will just because they call their property a “forum”.

    If I build a wooden dais in my backyard and invite friends over to give speeches to some other neighbors, your “natural right” of free speech doesn’t allow you to walk onto my property just because I’ve set up some kind of forum for exchanging ideas. Moreover, my telling you to get off my lawn isn’t “censorship”. It’s me exercising my property rights.

    Same principle in digital form with Facebook.

    It’s certainly fair to complain that Facebook portrays itself as being fair and balanced yet doesn’t act that way. But that’s faulty advertising, not censorship.

    • #92
  3. Hammer, The (Ryan M) Member
    Hammer, The (Ryan M)
    @RyanM

    JudithannCampbell (View Comment):

    JudithannCampbell (View Comment):

    Hammer, The (Ryan M) (View Comment):
    you would defend Facebook’s right to disassociate its platform from the despicable character of Jones, regardless of whatever nice things he might say about Trump, or whatever bad things he might say about people who you don’t like.

    I have no idea what Alex Jones says about anyone; for you to insinuate that I am defending him because he says nice things about Trump is despicable, you are not arguing in good faith, I am not wasting any more time on this, or on you. Goodbye.

    Apparently, the idea of defending someone whom you don’t agree with is incomprehensible to you. I am sorry that you are unable to grasp the concept.

    I believe I asked you what connection those three individuals had to one another.  You’re deflecting, or maybe you think EJ’s post is about freedom of speech?  I’m not sure.  But ok – since I am incapable of comprehending the idea of defending someone with whom you don’t agree (irony, of course, being that I am a defense attorney), let’s assume that this is the point of the post.

    Where do you draw the line?  You’d defend Kavanaugh, Moore, Jones…  Ok, again, I’m not sure what connects those three.  I’ve pretty strongly defended Kavanaugh, so we agree on 1 of 3.  What else do we agree on?  Do we defend everyone against whom some allegations have been made?  You defended Hillary when she was accused of pay to play?  You defended Ted Cruz against charges that his father murdered Kennedy?

    Alright, then…  you’d defend Anthony Weiner, Al Franken, Bill Clinton…  how about non-political figures?  You’re going to defend Roman Polanski, Harvey Weinstein?  Louis Farrakhan?  Anyone else?  What’s your limiting principle?  How do you determine who to defend and who not to defend – I’ll take your word that this isn’t defined by whether you agree with the person (on what?  Anything, I suppose).  So what is it?  Why do you defend these people?

     

    • #93
  4. Hammer, The (Ryan M) Member
    Hammer, The (Ryan M)
    @RyanM

    JudithannCampbell (View Comment):

    Hammer, The (Ryan M) (View Comment):
    you would defend Facebook’s right to disassociate its platform from the despicable character of Jones, regardless of whatever nice things he might say about Trump, or whatever bad things he might say about people who you don’t like.

    I have no idea what Alex Jones says about anyone; for you to insinuate that I am defending him because he says nice things about Trump is despicable, you are not arguing in good faith, I am not wasting any more time on this, or on you. Goodbye.

    You really should discover what a person is saying before you spend too much energy defending that person.

    Ramzan Kadyrov had his facebook account deleted by facebook.  Are you defending him, or would you care to know who he is, first?

    • #94
  5. Lash LaRoche Inactive
    Lash LaRoche
    @MikeLaRoche

    Great post, <span class="atwho-inserted" contenteditable="false" data-atwho-at-query="@ejhill“>@ejhill. No one ever won a war by surrendering.

    • #95
  6. Archie Campbell Member
    Archie Campbell
    @ArchieCampbell

    2018 Ricochet: Hey, look at the outrageous thing the Democrats are doing to someone! Let’s figure out how to blame a subpopulation of ourselves for it! Whee!

    Sheesh.

    • #96
  7. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    Anyone who says “I have no idea what Alex Jones says about anyone” can not understand what we are arguing about (hint: it’s not free speech) and by their own words, should at least look it up before commenting. 

    • #97
  8. JudithannCampbell Inactive
    JudithannCampbell
    @JudithannCampbell

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Anyone who says “I have no idea what Alex Jones says about anyone” can not understand what we are arguing about (hint: it’s not free speech) and by their own words, should at least look it up before commenting.

    I am not defending a person, I am defending a principle. A principle that a few people here either do not believe in or do not understand. When I was growing up, the ACLU used to defend the right of the KKK to march in Jewish neighborhoods; everyone understood that the ACLU did not agree with the KKK, but defended their rights anyway. You are old enough to remember this, Gary, I should not have to explain it to you.

    • #98
  9. Mendel Inactive
    Mendel
    @Mendel

    Lash LaRoche (View Comment):
    No one ever won a war by surrendering.

    Correct, but nobody ever won a war with the attitude that “we can never fire any of our generals, no matter how bad they are, because that would make us look weak”, either.

    • #99
  10. E. Kent Golding Member
    E. Kent Golding
    @EKentGolding

    Not Roy Moore or Alex Jones.  Sorry.   I don’t think being crazy makes you conservative or defensible.   I voted for Kerry Bentvolio; thats as crazy as I intend to go.   Don’t let the progressives pick your battles or who you need to defend.

    • #100
  11. Mendel Inactive
    Mendel
    @Mendel

    JudithannCampbell (View Comment):
    A principle that a few people here either do not believe in or do not understand. When I was growing up, the ACLU used to defend the right of the KKK to march in Jewish neighborhoods; everyone understood that the ACLU did not agree with the KKK, but defended their rights anyway.

    The difference is that the KKK was marching through public streets. I doubt the ACLU would have defended the KKK had they wanted to convene that gathering in the synagogue or the deli of the same Jewish neighborhood. Would you?

    Nobody is arguing that Alex Jones should be silenced. Several of us are arguing that private companies that provide forums on their private property shouldn’t be coerced into letting voices onto that property that they don’t want to have. And while we have a robust tradition of free speech in the US, our history of forcing private platforms to carry all comers is much weaker, and correctly so.

    If Alex Jones wants to march through the public streets of Crown Heights yelling about how the Jews were responsible for 9/11, I’ll support his right to do that. But he has no right to use Facebook for that purpose, nor does Facebook have any legal or civic duty to provide him a platform.

    • #101
  12. Fred Cole Inactive
    Fred Cole
    @FredCole

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    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.

    You might be able to make that argument if you took the one single sentence without any of the rest of the tape.  Or maybe you could make it if there weren’t a long list of women accusing Donald Trump of sexual conduct. 

    But, with all due respect, If you believe the bolded section, you’re deluding yourself. 

    • #102
  13. Arizona Patriot Member
    Arizona Patriot
    @ArizonaPatriot

    I defended Moore, and I stand by that defense.  I think that it was cowardly and reprehensible that so many on the Conservative side went along with the weak allegations against him.  It cost the Republicans an important Senate seat and led directly to the current mess with Judge Kavanaugh.

    I recall arguing this is a post at the time, pointing out that only one (1) involved an allegation of alleged sexual conduct with a minor.  The others were of age — 16 or older — which was the age of consent in Alabama at the time, and still is, in Alabama and 30 other states.  (See here.)  The general response was that they didn’t care, it was still “creepy” for a guy (around age 30) to be interested in girls age 16 to 19.  This struck me as ludicrous, and actually motivated by extreme animus toward Moore’s brand of religious conservatism and his association with Steve Bannon.

    I urge you to look at the allegations about the women’s allegations against Moore, summarized here at Wikipedia.  One is serious — alleged sexual assault of a 14-year-old.  I did not find it credible.

    Two are quite minimal actions, involving women of the age of consent.  One was an allegedly awkward pass in a parked car, involving touching the breast (over clothing) and pushing her head toward his crotch (he was clothed).  Not good behavior, if true, but not rape.  The third was a woman who claimed that Moore grabbed her buttocks when she was 28 years old.  Oh, and he commented on her looks in a way that made her uncomfortable.

    The timing on these events ranged from the late 1970s to 1991.  Ancient history, frankly.

    But wait, you say!  Aren’t there nine accusers? Well, look at the Wikipedia article.  There are six others who Moore either dated, or asked on dates, with no allegation of sexual assault or groping.

    I hate this entire debate, because it put me in the position of defending allegedly boorish behavior.  But there needs to be some proportionality, and some recognition that acting like a cad 30 or 40 years ago — allegedly — does not make you unfit for office today.

    Frankly, in my view, all of you who condemned Roy Moore on flimsy allegations — and probably without paying attention to anything beyond a couple of salacious details — are part of the problem.  I hope that the Kavanaugh hearings will bring you around to see the error of your ways.

    To be clear, the error is not to be concerned about inappropriate behavior.  The error is to abandon the two fora available to victims — criminal charges and a civil suit — and instead agree that character assassination based on uncorroborated, decades-old allegations should influence elections and appointments.

    • #103
  14. Fred Cole Inactive
    Fred Cole
    @FredCole

    DrewInWisconsin (View Comment):

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    There is a whole wikipedia page devoted to cataloging allegations of Trump’s misconduct in this area.

    Wikipedia, which can be edited by anyone, is totes legit.

    There’s references at the bottom of the page. That particular article has 150 of them. 

    And no, it can’t be edited by anyone. That’s not how it works anymore. 

    • #104
  15. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Hammer, The (Ryan M) (View Comment):
    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.

    If the only reason we defend people is that they are worth defending, then this country has thrown away a heritage that we once had reason to be proud of.

    • #105
  16. Nerina Bellinger Inactive
    Nerina Bellinger
    @NerinaBellinger

    Well, I emailed every member of the judiciary committee today and told them to end this farce of a confirmation process and confirm Kavanaugh already.  I also let the Republicans know that if they abandon him based on the evidence we have before us, I won’t be voting in November. 

    • #106
  17. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Fred Cole (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin (View Comment):

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    There is a whole wikipedia page devoted to cataloging allegations of Trump’s misconduct in this area.

    Wikipedia, which can be edited by anyone, is totes legit.

    There’s references at the bottom of the page. That particular article has 150 of them.

    And no, it can’t be edited by anyone. That’s not how it works anymore.

    And the operative word remains allegations.  So can we stop trying to treat it as truth.  As far as the editing process, let’s also not pretend that it’s not replete with political bias and shading.

     

    • #107
  18. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Spin (View Comment):
    My principles are well intact, irrespective of whether I agree with EJ Hill on this or that.

    That’s the problem.  :-)

    • #108
  19. Sash Member
    Sash
    @Sash

    He didn’t deny dating teenagers he just said their mother’s said it was okay.

    I’m really glad I didn’t need to choose between Moore and a Democrat.  I don’t care much about it.  But he’s been creepy long before the women came out.

    Plus, he doesn’t have anything to do with me.

    Kavanaugh, isn’t my first choice off Trump’s list.  I have no memory of hearing his name before.  But he’s innocent.  That gal’s story… it doesn’t add up.  I can have my opinions.

    • #109
  20. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Mim526 (View Comment):
    I have a strong suspicion that even if GOP take the vote and fall short of 51 (including Pence), they will fare much better in midterms than if they fold and don’t hold a vote on Kavanaugh.

    For better or worse, people try to keep their distance from losers.   One way is to stay away from the election booth. 

    • #110
  21. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Hammer, The (Ryan M) (View Comment):
    EJ is somehow implying that we ought to have aligned ourselves with Alex Jones and Roy Moore,

    I don’t think he is implying that. I don’t even think he is “somehow” implying that. You’re reading something into it. The ACLU didn’t align itself with the KKK when it defended its right to march in the streets. 

    • #111
  22. Cato Rand Inactive
    Cato Rand
    @CatoRand

    What if I just honestly believed the multiple, consistent, and fairly well corroborated allegations against Roy Moore (in addition to thinking him a loon unsuited to the Senate or any other position of responsibility)?  I don’t see the “principle” that requires me to have supported him.  I think you’re confusing principle with partisanship.

    • #112
  23. Hammer, The (Ryan M) Member
    Hammer, The (Ryan M)
    @RyanM

    Mendel (View Comment):

    Lash LaRoche (View Comment):
    No one ever won a war by surrendering.

    Correct, but nobody ever won a war with the attitude that “we can never fire any of our generals, no matter how bad they are, because that would make us look weak”, either.

    Nor do people generally win wars against ill-defined enemies.  

    … or when they accept mercenaries of any persuasion, who are likely to kill off just as many as their own side as the opponent.

    But, I hope at least most of us can agree that the war analogy is simply a terrible one.  Politics is not war.  This is not war.  The more we take that view, the worse off we will be.  Go outside, take a walk around – many of your friends and neighbors disagree with your politics, and they aren’t your enemies.

    • #113
  24. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    Reti, the OP is shaming those who laughed at Moore but defend Kavanaugh as short-sighted at best. It’s not an abstract post about the Constitution; it’s a partisan political call–if you support Brett, why didn’t you support Roy? Damn right I didn’t support Moore, and I stand by that. “Support” has nothing to do with his constitutional rights. He’s not on our side, he’s a showboating clown to whom I owe nothing. I saw the same tapes Az did, and I thought Moore was pathetically weak on TV trying to deny the allegations; his accusers, unlike Kavanaugh’s were entirely believable.  

    • #114
  25. DrewInWisconsin Member
    DrewInWisconsin
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Hammer, The (Ryan M) (View Comment):
    No, there is no “first they came for Jones, then they came for Moore.” Why do we limit ourselves to those?

    You seem to be limiting yourself to those. I’ve also added Prager, Rubin, and heck, let’s throw in Williamson as well. Where’s your hill?

     

    • #115
  26. Hammer, The (Ryan M) Member
    Hammer, The (Ryan M)
    @RyanM

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Hammer, The (Ryan M) (View Comment):
    EJ is somehow implying that we ought to have aligned ourselves with Alex Jones and Roy Moore,

    I don’t think he is implying that. I don’t even think he is “somehow” implying that. You’re reading something into it. The ACLU didn’t align itself with the KKK when it defended its right to march in the streets.

    right…  I addressed this in several comments.  So why don’t we die on the hill that is Harvey Weinstein?  Why not die on the hill that is Al Franken?

    It’s all about free speech, right?  We’re totally not aligning ourselves with these people who have praised Trump or attacked the left, right? 

     

    • #116
  27. DrewInWisconsin Member
    DrewInWisconsin
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Mendel (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin (View Comment):

    Hammer, The (Ryan M) (View Comment):
    on the other hand, you going to argue that Facebook and YouTube can’t do what they want? You want to confuse that with government censorship and talk about the constitution?

    Free speech is about much more than just legalities. Remember, the government doesn’t grant freedom of speech. It’s already yours by natural right. The government only promises to make no laws infringing on this natural right.

    Facebook shutting you down does infringe on your freedom of speech. It’s just a situation that the government has no jurisdiction over. Nor do we want it to. But you are being censored nevertheless.

    I strongly object to this logic.

    The problem is that Facebook owns the servers that run its site. So if you say that free speech is a natural right that Facebook is denying when it denies service, you’re essentially saying that free speech allows you to use somebody’s property against their will just because they call their property a “forum”.

    Nope. I’m saying that although there would be nothing illegal about it, it is a form of censorship.

    • #117
  28. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Hammer, The (Ryan M) (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Hammer, The (Ryan M) (View Comment):
    EJ is somehow implying that we ought to have aligned ourselves with Alex Jones and Roy Moore,

    I don’t think he is implying that. I don’t even think he is “somehow” implying that. You’re reading something into it. The ACLU didn’t align itself with the KKK when it defended its right to march in the streets.

    right… I addressed this in several comments. So why don’t we die on the hill that is Harvey Weinstein? Why not die on the hill that is Al Franken?

    It’s all about free speech, right? We’re totally not aligning ourselves with these people who have praised Trump or attacked the left, right?

    Good point. It’s very possible that Al Franken was treated wrongly.  I haven’t jumped on the bandwagon about any of the #me2 cases as I am not a position to know (unlike the Kavanaugh case) but I believe I did make a few remarks about Franken’s stolen election.

    • #118
  29. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Cato Rand (View Comment):

    What if I just honestly believed the multiple, consistent, and fairly well corroborated allegations against Roy Moore (in addition to thinking him a loon unsuited to the Senate or any other position of responsibility)? I don’t see the “principle” that requires me to have supported him. I think you’re confusing principle with partisanship.

    The issue (or “problem” if you will) is that the left does not draw the line between “principle” and “partisanship.”  That is not  to necessarily say “we” shouldn’t, and it is not intended as a defense of Moore or Jones. 

    But when there is such a noticeable disparity in approaches, and those on the other side of that disparity are relentless, I think it’s necessary to finally find some hill.  And let’s be clear, there are some putative conservatives who won’t even defend Kavanaugh’s hill.   

     

    • #119
  30. blood thirsty neocon Inactive
    blood thirsty neocon
    @bloodthirstyneocon

    I, for one, didn’t believe Roy Moore. I believe Kavanaugh. It’s that simple. I get your argument, EJ, but I find it wanting.

    • #120
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.