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IRS Scandal: One-Way Civility in Academia

My "etiquette" upsets legal scholars more than the scandal does.

by
J. Christian Adams

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April 18, 2014 - 10:51 am
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Yesterday, I posted this piece about how the IRS scandal has evolved into something far more sinister than Tea Party groups having their tax exempt applications delayed. Judicial Watch had found emails that show officials at the IRS and DOJ as well as outside left-wing lawyers were tossing around ideas to criminally charge someone to make an example that would frighten other groups from engaging in speech. I also alluded to the fact that many posters (though apparently not all) at Rick Hasen’s Election Law Blog are deliberately ignored if they do not agree with the orthodoxy of the left.

That’s fact. In fact, nobody disputed the facts in my piece.

What some didn’t like is the fact that I mentioned Rick Hasen’s blog, and how it is used to advance the left-wing narrative on election law. As one professor told me by email:

One of the Left’s tricks is to make calling them out seem like a breach of etiquette.

Yesterday, instead of joining in the rightful criticism of what occurred at the IRS, Hasen spent his energy rounding up notes of support from a smattering of conservatives who use his blog.

I don’t suspect we’ll see too much criticism of the IRS emails describing Larry Noble’s plot to have some people made an example of by having criminal charges brought against them. Calling Hasen’s blog out seems to be a bigger breach of etiquette than the IRS abusing the power of the state.

As I promised yesterday, below are some of the cross posts. Hasen leads with a post from Rob Kelner of Covington and Burling:

Rick Hasen’s listserv is an institution. A valuable one. Attacks on Rick are unfounded. Civility is the glue that holds democracy together.

I wasn’t sure if Kelner was trying to be funny. Civility and Hasen in the same sentence? Hasen hardly practices what Kelner preaches. Hasen’s blog and his writings have become a forum for repeated personal attacks on people — people who are my friends.  He accuses them of deliberate deception, attaching derogatory names to them as a group — the “Fraudulent Fraud Squad.”

Here’s a sample about Thor Hearne, which Mr. Kelner could be forgiven for not having read, as it appeared at Slate. But Hasen didn’t stop with Hearne back in 2007. He repeatedly labels those with whom he disagrees part of the “fraudulent fraud squad.” If “civility is the glue that holds democracy together,” then his blog needs some glue.

Professor Jeff Milyo latched onto civility also:

You consistently achieve a balance between the goals of civility and open participation (a task none of us envy!).

I’ll give Milyo the benefit of the doubt and assume he is unaware of the very uncivil repetitious attacks by Professor Hasen on certain conservatives, questioning their truthfulness. But would it make a difference to the blog participants if they were fully schooled in Professor Hasen’s incivility and name-calling? Perhaps. Perhaps not.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Rick Hasen and his cohorts truly seem to be digital brownshirts. I will not be civil with fascists.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
If you are not a tenured prof, you are not quite human to these people. Such presumption (and small-mindedness) is a direct consequence of the laughably mis-named "academic freedom of speech" really a nastily-guarded little privilege adhering to slivers of educators -- the tenured ones. Given its exclusivity, it operates not so much as a right but as a velvet rope across the doorway, to keep the riff-raff and their scary thoughts out of the very tiny discotheques of their minds.

Demands of civility-for-thee-but-not-for-me is the hoof and mouth disease of these clowns. Yanked from their tenured nests (which we subsidize either directly or through generous support of all such institutions through tax exemptions and federal grants) they are rarely able to do much more than go seeking privilege in other arenas, like politics.

Ironically, it is academia, with its triple-dippling law professors using their affiliation to make big bucks as expert witnesses instead of teaching, and scientists using public resources to pocket the proceeds of their research, and presidents and administers demanding six and seven figure salaries while the school runs on adjunct labor -- these folks should all have their nonprofit status reviewed, starting with Mr. Real Estate over at NYU.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Civility is the glue that holds democracy together." Utter and unmitigated hogwash. Bovine excrement if you will. Jeremiah Wright... Bill Ayers... Brett Kimberlin... Civility? Really? What holds any free society together is the rule of law. Patriotism is no longer the last refuge of scoundrels; today it is "civility."
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (78)
All Comments   (78)
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It's well past the time to take the governance of public universities and colleges out of the hands of the academics - let them find out that there are consequences to their actions and that the public isn't pleased with them at all. I'd love to see the legislatures remove control of the curricula from them, control of who teaches what, how many courses minimum have to be taught by the tenured professors (increase it to five per term), and the loss of tenure, for starters.

And if they don't like it, they can find work elsewhere. There are more than enough replacements out there who could do the job just as well.

Let them find out that they don't control a damn thing and that they're going to dance to our music from here on out.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Where Liberals are concerned, civility is a one way street and it's my way or the highway followed by a visit from your friendly neighborhood Liberal Brown Shirts.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Actually, this has been going on for more than three years, maybe longer. Comments and posts are quickly deleted that do not follow the status quo "lemming group think" are quickly removed.

Every month, a new "ground breaking study" is released by a "renown" professor demonstrating that conservative/libertarians are "low thought" thinkers, uneducated, etc etc even though the study consisted of a faulty and bias survey of 30 people in a Connecticut bar.

Or try the Lewandowsky "Recursive Fury" attempt to classify anyone who DARES to question Group Think as psychotic conspiracy theorists....based on anonymously going after hated successful scientists, taking their posts out of context, and without every meeting them, assigning medical conditions and naming them publically in a paper.

Now we are seeing the leftists are fighting to stop FOIA processes which they now call harassment.

Ever see how quick a leftist names and blames? Its because they are doing that thing and want everyone to look the other way. So Tolerant [sarc}

Our response? Call them on it every time and make it VERY public. Enough is enough. This article is a perfect example.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Civility is over. It is time to see who really ends up in the dustbin of history.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment

In the news today the lefties are lamenting the death of Gabo. Gabriel Garcia Marquez has died. He is surely gone to the Great Kremlin up in the sky where Hugo Chavez and Simon Bolivar were waiting for him. I hope Fidel follows soon so they can at least play a round of poker.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
When is the funeral? I must remember to send a nice card saying that I approve.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
He was cremated yesterday. I sent them a pint of gasoline. Maggots were pleased with the cremation idea.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm of a mind to start requiring some 'Olde Timey' political civility.
Namely a movement to repeal the Anti-Dueling laws. Then proceed with the discussions.

And by the way, my money is on any Conservative that takes the 'Field of Honor'.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
"What we've got here is failure of civility"
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Civility is the glue that holds democracy together. I said, good day sir!

I did a spit take, unfortunately with wine, reading that. Pompous assholes, and not a word about the DOJ and IRS.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Any pretense of "civility" has been thrown aside now that the left openly seeks to criminalize opposition or dissent. They now seek, as despots always will , to silence the opposition through fear and intimidation. The war has begun and it is time to gather feathers and set pots of tar to boil. Examples must be made.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm starting to think the answer is violence. Break some Liberal heads. Shank a few kidneys. They should be afraid of us.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yep, that's the proper response to a mailing list for sure.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
We are long past the point of this nonsense over civility. We are now at the point where we force them to kill us in significant numbers on national television.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, but if they do, it will never be shown on national television. Any story that does not advance The Narrative is like the tree falling in the forest without making a sound.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
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