GLEICHSCHALTUNG: Brendan Eich was only the beginning.
Sullivan grudgingly acknowledges that “thanks to the principles of the First Amendment–Mr. Kinsley is certainly entitled to freely air his views.” But she scathes Kinsley’s editor at the Times, Pamela Paul, for allowing him to do so in that newspaper.
“There’s a lot about this piece that is unworthy of the Book Review’s high standards, the sneering tone about Mr. Greenwald, for example; he is called a ‘go-between’ instead of a journalist and is described as a ‘self-righteous sourpuss.’ . . . Surely editing ought to point out gaping holes in an argument, remove ad hominem language and question unfair characterizations; that didn’t happen here.”
By “here,” Sullivan means in the editing of Kinsley’s review. But she herself characterizes the review unfairly. . . . Here is where Kinsley runs afoul of Times doctrine. As this column has noted repeatedly, the paper’s editorial page has championed harsh restrictions on political expression while also claiming that the rights of “media companies” such as the New York Times Co. are absolute or nearly so.
Kinsley’s offense is to question the authority of the press, not its freedom; Paul’s is to allow such dissent to appear in the pages of the New York Times. Sullivan’s title is “public editor,” but what public interest is served when she acts as the Thought Police?
Hey, the gleichschaltung must proceed.
GLEICHSCHALTUNG! Climate Science Defector Forced to Resign by Alarmist ‘Fatwa.’
KIRSTEN POWERS: Liberal Thought Police Usher In New Dark Age. “We have slipped into an age of un-enlightenment where you fall in line behind the mob or face the consequences. How ironic that the persecutors this time around are the so-called intellectuals. They claim to be liberal while behaving as anything but. The touchstone of liberalism is tolerance of differing ideas. Yet this mob exists to enforce conformity of thought and to delegitimize any dissent from its sanctioned worldview. Intolerance is its calling card.”
Gleichschaltung. But my calling card is Nemo me impune lacessit. Hey, maybe I should have some of those printed up.
GLEICHSCHALTUNG! Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich forced to resign for supporting traditional marriage laws. To be clear, for holding, in 2009, the view of gay marriage that Barack Obama held, instead of the view that Dick Cheney held.
As someone who was publicly supporting gay marriage even before Dick Cheney, I find this degree of bullying and blacklisting repellent. I’m beginning to think that the only thing the left found wrong with the 1950s blacklists was that they were aimed at . . . the left. And so I find myself in agreement with Andrew Sullivan:
Will he now be forced to walk through the streets in shame? Why not the stocks? The whole episode disgusts me – as it should disgust anyone interested in a tolerant and diverse society. If this is the gay rights movement today – hounding our opponents with a fanaticism more like the religious right than anyone else – then count me out. If we are about intimidating the free speech of others, we are no better than the anti-gay bullies who came before us.
Yeah, pretty much. Disgraceful.
THE GERMAN WORD IS GLEICHSCHALTUNG:
If you don’t recognize my description of the bill, then you probably followed the press coverage, which was mendacious and hysterical — evincing no familiarity with the legal issues, and endlessly parroting the line that the bill would institute “Jim Crow” for gays. (Never mind that in Arizona it’s currently legal to discriminate based on sexual orientation — and mass discrimination isn’t exactly breaking out.) Allegedly sensible centrists compared the bill’s supporters to segregationist politicians, liberals invoked the Bob Jones precedent to dismiss religious-liberty concerns, and Republican politicians behaved as though the law had been written by David Duke.
What makes this response particularly instructive is that such bills have been seen, in the past, as a way for religious conservatives to negotiate surrender — to accept same-sex marriage’s inevitability while carving out protections for dissent. But now, apparently, the official line is that you bigots don’t get to negotiate anymore.
Which has a certain bracing logic. If your only goal is ensuring that support for traditional marriage diminishes as rapidly as possible, applying constant pressure to religious individuals and institutions will probably do the job. Already, my fellow Christians are divided over these issues, and we’ll be more divided the more pressure we face. The conjugal, male-female view of marriage is too theologically rooted to disappear, but its remaining adherents can be marginalized, set against one other, and encouraged to conform.
When weak, the left preaches tolerance. When strong, conformity. But it has shown itself ready to cave over a few beheadings, which makes me wonder if people have thought this whole thing through. As a mild-mannered law professor who was supporting gay marriage when Barack Obama was still a “bigot” on the issue, I won’t be the one sawing off heads. But people tend to emulate what works, and the evidence of the past decade or so is that violence in support of one’s religious views wins, while “negotiation” does not.
GLEICHSCHALTUNG! Cuomo: Pro-life people have “no place in the state of New York.”
ROGER KIMBALL: Meanwhile, Back In The Fatherland. . .
What brought me up short today, however, was a news story from a friend about a worrisome development in Germany. The homeschooling movement is a vibrant and growing force in this countries. Leftists don’t like it, because it presumes to challenge the indoctrinating powers of the state with the civilization imperatives of parents, informed by churches, local communities, and moral commitments foreign to the left-liberal narrative.
Leftists — there is nothing “liberal” about them, so I am trying to avoid using that much abused term — leftists in the United States don’t like the homeschool movement, but so far anyway, it has thrived, and is indeed one of only a few bright spots in the story of primary and secondary education in this country.
Things are different in the Fatherland of Germany, where a judge recently ordered that parents may not have custody of their children because “the family might move to another country and homeschool, posing a ‘concrete endangerment’ to the children.”
Got that? Let me repeat it just in case. A German judge took children away from their parents because “he family might move to another country and homeschool, posing a ‘concrete endangerment’ to the children.”
In August, 20 armed police, equipped with a battering ram just in case, arrived at the door of this Darmstadt family and forcibly took four children, ages 7 to 14.
Was there anything wrong with the children? Nope. The judge — whose name, by the way, is Marcus Malkmus, in case you have a voodoo doll handy or wish to burn him in effigy — the judge admitted that the children were 1) academically proficient and 2) well adjusted socially.
He just didn’t like homeschooling.
Why? Pay attention now: this takes us deep into the heart of a leftist: because he feared that “the children would grow up in a parallel society without having learned to be integrated or to have a dialogue with those who think differently and facing them in the sense of practicing tolerance.”
The invocation of “tolerance” is especially cute, don’t you think?
Everything within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state. Gleichschaltung!
BRIAN DOHERTY: Of Ducks and Gays and Tolerance.
The advantages of classical liberal market cosmopolitanism–the idea that it’s best to set aside peaceful differences of opinion and creed and worries about different races, nationalities, and genders when deciding how we interact with the world–has a great track record of making us all richer and happier.
The idea that that people should be punished with boycott or losing their jobs over having wrong beliefs hobbles the flowering of tolerant classical liberal market cosmopolitanism.
There may have been a good reason why classical tolerance of expression was summed up in the epigram: “I disagree with what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it!”
That has a different feel than: “I disagree with what you say, I think you are evil for having said it, I think no one should associate with you and you ought to lose your livelihood, and anyone who doesn’t agree with me about all that is skating on pretty thin ice as well, but hey, I don’t think you should be arrested for it.”
Free speech was fine when it was needed to protect communists. Now it’s not anymore, so it can be abandoned. Gleichschaltung!
USA TODAY: A&E fowls up ‘Duck’ flap: The ‘tolerance’ society demands from Christians really is silent compliance. My own view is that everyone gets to state an opinion, but nobody has to listen to the opinions stated. That is a view, however, that is inconsistent with gleichschaltung.
UPDATE: From the comments: “I suspect this is an attempt to get Obamacare off the front pages and I suspect that we are all falling for it.” I’m still covering ObamaCare, but I think that’s probably right.
GLEICHSCHALTUNG NEWS: Ann Althouse Unpacks the Phil Robertson Kerfuffle.
He didn’t compare “being gay to bestiality.” He put homosexual conduct — not the status of being gay — into a category of sins that included “sleeping around with this woman and that woman” as well as bestiality. We don’t see the heterosexual men who enjoy multiple sex partners getting hotheaded over Phil Robertson. Why not? They’re not organized to make political demands at the moment, but they haven’t had to fight for the right to fornicate recently. So those who are organized and in the middle of a movement are taking Robertson’s bait (or answering his duck call or whatever). It’s “anti-gay.” The “bestiality” business is forefronted.
This is the political game of the moment.
You must have no unacceptable thoughts or criticisms, comrade.
IT’S BOUND TO MAKE JEWISH STUDENTS “UNCOMFORTABLE.” AMONG OTHERS. How can these U.S. universities justify membership in American Studies Association after Israel boycott? The ASA’s gleichschaltung is in opposition to everything higher education in America is supposed to stand for. Supposed to. . . .
NOTHING CREEPY HERE: White House Creates “Nudge” Squad To Shape Behavior. I mean, it’s not like they’re in bed with Google, Facebook, and all the old-style media or anything. Key quote: “Nudges can turn into shoves pretty quickly.”
GOING KOCH-CRAZY: The Paranoid Style In Liberal Politics.
Plus, how the
two-minute two-year hate was organized: Remember when “Common Cause” was supposed to be a non-partisan good-government group? Me neither. But I do remember the 1990s, when the same sort of thing was ginned up against Richard Mellon Scaife and the WSJ editorial page. The important point is to ensure that there are no voices of opposition that have not been delegitimized. Feel the gleichschaltung!
AT THE WASHINGTON POST, BOOK WARS. And, from the comments, this:
Why are Huttner and Salzman given a Washington Post blog to respond to criticisms from a third party website? Has Steven Levingston ever given over the keyboard to a conservative author so s/he can respond to the numerous criticisms of what s/he wrote?
Moreover, how stupid does Levingston have to be to uncritically accept the authors’ claims that “The book rises above partisanship” when its title explicitly endorses helping Obama?
Perhaps with the time Mr. Levingston saved by having these authors write a completely self-serving post, he could actually try finding someone at the Post to write just one review of the several conservative books dominating the bestseller list.
Helping Obama isn’t partisan. It’s “service.” Gleichschaltung!
THE ANCHORESS: Feel the Gleichschaltung!
RADLEY BALKO: The “Tenther” Smear.
The American Prospect, The New Republic, and other left-of-center outlets are pushing the ‘Tenther’ smear, aimed at lumping those who, horrors!, still take seriously the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in with the Obama birth certificate deniers and 9/11 truthers.
It’s such a transparent attempt at marginalizing the other side (mostly with respect to the health care issue) it seems almost a waste of time addressing. But one might start by pointing out that unlike any convincing evidence that Obama isn’t a U.S. citizen, or proof that the Bush administration orchestrated the September 11 attacks, the Tenth Amendment actually exists. You can actually go to the National Archives and read it. There’s also a historical record of its drafting and ratification. Really.
But if it stands in the path of power, it must be eliminated or marginalized. Gleichschaltung!
BREAKING NEWS: National Endowment for the Arts Renamed National Endowment for Propaganda. Stay Tuned. “This is Only the Beginning.” “There is a German word for what we are witnessing at the NEA and elsewhere in the Obama administration’s effort to push its agenda. It is Gleichschaltung. It means two things: first, bringing all aspects of life into conformity with a given political line. And second, as a prerequisite for realizing that goal, the obliteration or at least marginalization of all opposition.”