The View From 1776

1st Amendment Freedom: Obama And The ACLU

Obama sympathizes with Islamic thugs whose feelings were hurt by a film clip demeaning Mohammed.  We’ve never heard anything from him lamenting continual attacks on Judeo-Christian morality in the United States, however hurtful those attacks may be.  Liberal-progressives’ sneering reply is, “Get used to it!”

Islamic fanatics across the Middle East demand that we suspend 1st Amendment guarantees of free speech and prosecute an exercise thereof.  That’s a mirror image of the ACLU’s historical assertion of the right to use whatever force necessary to attack our nation and to destroy its moral core.  According to the ACLU’s official history, In Defense of American Liberties, [Roger] Baldwin [co-founder of the ACLU] argued that “standards of civil liberty cannot be attained as abstract principles or as constitutional guarantees” because rights “are not granted” by those in power. They could be won only by militant action. ( The Liberal Jihad - The Hundred-Year War Against the Constitution).

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/16 at 02:33 AM
  1. Thomas,

    I find your reference to the ACLU in the sentence following the comment on the first amendment puzzling. The ACLU has historically been on the forefront of maintaining the principal of freedom of speech, and most particularly when that speech was particularly hateful, degrading and despicable. When conservatives longed to ban flag burning, the ACLU stuck up for the flag burners as supporting free speech.

    As the Arab world asks the US government to ban this now-famous video that pokes fun of Mohamed, it is the ACLU vision of free speech that defends the right to make this video without repression of the state.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  09/18  at  03:57 PM
  2. J. Jay,

    So, now, we are supposed to believe that you, who have ever argued for statists and socialism, are a staunch civil-libertarian?!

    Thomas calls the Islamist demand for speech-suppression “a mirror image of the ACLU’s historical assertion” recognizing speech as a right. There is nothing even a liberal-socialist should find puzzling in that (or objectionable). He goes further, however, by asserting the ACLU has abused that right to harm the nation and its “moral core”; which would very likely puzzle a liberal-socialist, but no one else. He has legitimate cause for thinking and saying this, as the ACLU has frequently taken on or supported cases which make a mockery of free-speech and civil-rights; and the ACLU’s guiding documents make clear this is by design. Its founders were social-radicals opposed to Constitutional principles, who laid out a plan of oblique subversion according to which they would wrap themselves in patriotism expressly to undermine our Constitution from within. Cause enough havoc, they reasoned, and rights they appeared to defend would become so strained as to render them meaningless and useless; and that is pretty much what has happened. For this reason, they [most likely] chose the most bizarre of all possible cases to champion; knowing that the outcome could only sully the rights they pretended to support. In so doing, they appeared to be taking on cases no one else would touch (for good reason), creating a myth, thereby, of great nobility.

    Consider some of the high profile cases and causes the ACLU has championed. In the 1920s they defended draft-dodgers by claiming refusal to serve was the equivalent of speech. In 1923, the ACLU defended the Klu Klux Klan’s right to hold meetings, to demonstrate and to recruit members; and did the same for Nazis in the 1930s and 1970s. They have defended pornography and pedophilia on multiple occasions, and their public policy statement suggests they will gladly defend almost any perversion. Plus the flag burning you so piously point out. In keeping with founder Roger Baldwin’s brand of stealth-socialism, the Communist Party USA was for a long time its most favored client. CPUSA enjoyed a high level of support from ACLU despite frequent battles with CPUSA over conservative cases ACLU occasionally chose to defend (as cover for the real agenda). This ought to have spiked the relationship early on, yet didn’t. ACLU briefly distanced itself from CPUSA and other subversive groups during the so-called ‘McCarthy Era’, but quickly reestablished its affinity for radical-leftists and subversive causes. The ACLU was at the forefront of eviscerating Constitutionally guaranteed ‘state-rights’, which for 150 years represented our principal bulwark against Federal encroachment. Baldwin and [ACLU co-founder] Eastman were also close to Margret Sanger; and, the ACLU has a long history of first promoting and then defending abortion under the auspices of Sanger’s bigoted creation – Planned Parenthood. In 1947, the ACLU supported a law banning picketing outside of courthouses that flies in the face of your characterizing ACLU as unflinching civil-rights guardian. In that same year, it took an ambivalent posture regarding Truman’s executive order listing subversive organizations and barring them from Federal employment. From its inception, the ACLU has aggressively promoted ‘state-&-church separation’ cases in which it actively subverts the meaning of the religious clauses in our 1st Amendment; making any assertion the ACLU is, first and foremost, a 1st Amendment defender a mockery.

    It is often true it is easier discerning a groups’ agenda by its disassociations and obfuscations than by its associations and public pronouncements. In the ACLU’s case, this is especially true given its radical origins and continued instincts. Publicly, ACLU associates with a wide range of ‘soft’ leftists that it has helped legitimize through its influence over education and the media. It has avoided associating with hard-leftists not because of any philosophical differences, but because such associations interfere with Baldwin’s stated aim of masking his organizations’ agenda from within a cloak of patriotism. The ACLU has been even more reluctant to defend or associate with conservatives or conservative causes than with totalitarians and flag-burners, even when clear they represent the truer patriotism. It has gladly defended liberal miscreants of every stripe proclaiming to do otherwise would be to shirk their duty, but refuse to defend conservatives (unless it is a high-profile case with a potential to cause damage to conservatism more than it defends a particular conservative) regardless of the virtue of the defendant or merits of the case.

    By this, do I mean every member of ACLU is a card-carrying subversive? Not at all, and not even most. But ACLU’s founding members were openly subversive (until they decided stealth was the better way to go), and ACLU continues to attract large numbers of dues paying radical-socialists, many of whom are perfectly happy to see the Constitution overthrown or corrupted as to amount to overthrow. To these, the Constitution is an impediment and personal-rights a distraction from ‘larger issues’.

    To that end (i.e., masking subversion), it has successfully altered our language and usages by corrupting words and meanings. By 2002 the meanings of words like ‘patriotism’, ‘speech’, ‘rights’, and ‘defense’ were so corrupted that social-Democrats could honestly proclaim theirs a sort of ‘patriotism’ even as they sabotaged our defenses and encouraged enemies of freedom; and the ACLU has a large share of the credit for that. In fact, ACLU brags how much of the cultural-shift is due to their efforts. Over time, the organization’s composition has mutated from socialist-statist (founding to 1930s, communists masquerading as classic-liberals), to left-libertarian (1940s-1980s), to the broad mix of radical-libertarians and centrist-socialists we see today.

    In the 1920s, Baldwin’s New York group partnered with a similarly radical group in Chicago, forming the core ACLU. In the late 1930s and early-1940s, ACLU success led to it merging with other civil-rights groups as ‘affiliates’ under the ACLU banner. While ACLU retained leadership of the new organization, it had to share power; and that led to factional infighting which resulted in Baldwin and others of the core group losing control of the umbrella organization. Soon these affiliates gave up their separate identities by becoming ACLU state-groups, yet retained much of their prior operating philosophies which made it appear the ACLU was less subversive than it was. Baldwin was forced out of his directorship in 1950, after which his influence over the organization waned considerably from then to his death in 1981. An organization does not need to be totally or even mostly subversive to be subversive, however, and the enlarged ACLU of mostly genuine civil-libertarians served to mask Baldwin’s core objectives, and the Baldwin/Eastman principles continue to guide ACLU operations to this day. Therefore, it is incorrect to characterize the ACLU as one thing for all times and places, and the masked-subversion that featured prominently under Baldwin’s tutelage has been largely replaced by an acceptance of the mask itself as genuine article (i.e., ‘patriotism’ and the concern for defending [mangled and imagined] rights). ACLU Lawyers mostly believe they are fighting for your rights and liberties (though comparing their descriptions of rights with the original, it is hard to see how), but end up merely reinforcing the counterfeit we have all been taught (by ACLU) to accept. Today’s ACLU is a mix of sincere civil-libertarians and radicals to whom subterfuge is an accepted means and ‘gaming the system’ an accepted practice.

    That done, let us now examine your assertion that: “it is the ACLU vision of free speech that defends the right to make this video”. To credit ACLU with providing the ‘vision of free speech’ now operating in this country is tantamount to saying their vision of speech has effectively replaced (i.e., subverted) that of the Founders. It also assumes that theirs [ACLU] is the accepted version of speech in this country because the ACLU alone could not sustain such a vision, and would need to have the full and conscious backing of a majority of the people and social institutions for that to be true. That is easily challenged and would be more accurate to say we are engaged in a contest over the meanings of these rights with the Constitution, history, and a majority of citizens on one side; and a coalition of government, radicals, their propaganda organs, and the easily duped on the other.

    I am guessing you don’t actually know of what the ACLU’s “vision of free-speech” consist and haven’t bothered researching it, but am certain the ACLU is not about to defend this video or its videographer. If it does, it will only be because it sees a chance to alter the ideological landscape more to its liking. Nor is this the first case of ACLU shying away from causes which its public purpose is to energetically defend. Instead, it will equivocate regarding its reasons for refusing the case. Rather than go into the reasons that it will almost certainly ignore this particular case, please read the links below. You will quickly see that while today’s ACLU is definitely in the ‘civil-liberties business’ (and it is a lucrative one), it is not really or mainly about defending your rights, and never has been. Some of the rights and principles ACLU defends are nowhere to be found in the Constitution, and it has only been through an accreting of court cases, each moving the goal post a little further left, that it can be claimed the ACLU has an impressive record of defending ‘liberties’. The problem with this is they often aren’t the liberties enshrined by our Founders, or have been so distorted by the ACLU that they are of little utility in defending freedom in any guise. Except for the 2nd Amendment, this is nowhere more true than for speech; which, from defending it in case after bizarre case, the ACLU has succeeded in mangling political-speech beyond recognition. It is the founder’s vision, and not the ACLU’s, that defends real speech. Theirs only defends a counterfeit of their own creation. Whether the right extends to this particular videographer is yet to be seen as speech does not appear to be at issue in his case. What is at issue is whether or not he violated parole terms; and, it is only by a stretch into conspiratorial waters that implicates Obama and Holder that any lawyer can make a case based on speech; and I just don’t see ACLU doing that.

    Research for this post:
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  09/29  at  08:19 AM
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