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People Who Falsely Claim That Their Opponents Support the Bad Guys:

Henry Farrell (Crooked Timber) is running, in response to my query about Westerners who defend the Iraqi insurgents, a query about people who "make egregious claims that a substantial section of those who opposed the war are, in fact, rooting for the other side."

Falsely claiming that someone (or the majority of some group) is rooting for the bad guys in a war is indeed pretty egregious misbehavior. (Accurately claiming that, of course, is not egregious.) I haven't followed the responses, so I can't speak to their merits, but to the extent that they uncover and condemn such false claims, they are doing reasoned debate (and basic decency and fairness) a great service.

As to whether it is indeed accurate to say that a "substantial section of those who opposed the war" is rooting for the other side, I can't speak helpfully to that, since "substantial" is pretty vague, and since I haven't followed closely the range of public commentary on the subject. My tentative guess is that the percentages of Americans and Europeans who want America to lose in Iraq may be quite different, though I'm not sure. But whether the number is "substantial" in either place is hard to tell in any objective fashion.

Duncan Frissell (mail):
Nearly a quarter of respondents to a Gallup Poll said that if they had 15 minutes to talk to the president they would tell him to end the war in Iraq, making it the No. 1 response.


--April Gallup Poll.

That means that 25% of Americans want the US to lose the war (accouding to this poll). Unless they mean that he should end it in his good time. I would guess that support for an immediate withdrawal might be as high as 25% -- if carefully surveyed.

Thus we "lost Vietnam" because we left and the Democratic Congress cut off support for RVN forces. Certainly the enemy in Iraq has no forces capable of forcing us off the field so a defeat could only occur by a forced political withdrawal. Those who support such a withdrawal can logically be said to seek a defeat for the US. Obviously, the percentage of foreigners who would support such a withdrawal would be much higher.
8.12.2005 11:33pm
John Jenkins (mail):
I don't think that's a reasonable interpretation of the data considering one can make a colorable case that we already won in Iraq.

Armies fight battles, kill people, and break things. That is their sine qua non. To the extent that we have done those things (and we have) we won.

If you define a win as a peaceful and stable democratically elected western-style government, you've set an unattainable winning condition. The institutions that support that kind of government develop over long periods of time. (But wait, what of Germany and Japan? Different kettles of fish, as it were: largely homogeneous societies relatively free of religious strife are not what we hae in Iraq).

Personally, I supported the punitive expedition version of the war, but not the extended occupation. Leaving now would not be a loss so much as a loss of face for the administration because, inexplicably, the one thing you can never do in politics is admit you were wrong and change course.
8.12.2005 11:46pm
Public_Defender:
Why didn't Professor Volokh check to see if there was anything behind the WSJ smear before he highlighted it? What made him think there was anything behind the WSJ's assertions in the first place?

Maybe the motto of this blog is, "Smear first, ask questions later, don't apologize if your smear (or the smear you repeated) was unfounded."
8.12.2005 11:49pm
Jim Rhoads (mail):
Who are you defending, Public? Your comment makes no more sense on this post than it did on the post yesterday.
8.13.2005 12:05am
Glenn Bridgman (mail):
It seems to me that the number one fallacy in the whole Iraq debate is acting as if their is a coherent enemy. Because that engenders the idea that all we need to do is defeat the enemy and everything will be hunky dory. The reality is that the insurgency is only the most visible part of the Iraq problem and is subsidiary to the issue of putting together a liberal democracy.
8.13.2005 12:07am
Public_Defender:
Jim,

Volokh reprinted a smear that was designed to apply to all war critics. If you don't think that's true, take a look at the Crooked Timber site. A common conservative rhetorical device is to blur the distinction between being critical of the war and supporting terrorists.

Volokh played right along, although I suspect he did so out of ignorance rather than malice.
8.13.2005 12:17am
Glenn Bridgman (mail):
Additionally, there is a heavily narrcisstic streak about it. A lot of the insurgency has to do with internal power politics within iraq. It isn't so much about whether america stays or goes but about who is in power.
8.13.2005 12:17am
horus (mail):
Duncan Frissell, wanting the US to withdraw from Iraq (and thus lose the war, in some sense) is not the same thing as "rooting for the other side". The issue is with people who claim that war opponents are rooting for the other side, not with people who claim that war opponents are rooting for an end to the war.
8.13.2005 12:20am
Justin (mail):
Professor Volokh, sadly to say, this is the end of

1) any chance you ever had at a judical appointment

2) your relevance.

This witchhunt is starting to become sublime.
8.13.2005 12:42am
Jim Rhoads (mail):
Justin and Public:

Are you trying to shame the good professor into withdrawing his post? Any bets on your effectivenes? My bet is not very. Why was his quote from the WSJ so over the top? More over the top than some of the stuff from Professor Cole? Is Professor Cole any more relevant than Professor Volokh? Why? Why not?
8.13.2005 12:59am
cw (mail):
You can make a rational and moral case as an American for wanting the US to lose in Iraq.

We invaded Iraq claiming that (among other things) we were trying to prevent Saddam from inflicting suffering on his people. Lets just call all the suffereing together casualties and say that there were 20,0000 (or whatever) causalties per year under Saddam. This case for invading was based on our estimation that our actions will reduce Iraqi casulaties per year. Of course our invasion will cause Iraqi casualties and we have to add our casualties to the mix. So the equation would be Iraqi casualties under saddam vrs. Iraqi + american casualties as a result of regime change. Basically, we have to believe that if we invade, overall suffering will be reduced.

A moral case against the war based on levels of suffering would claim that suffering would be increased if we invade Iraq. If we think this is true we might root for the US "lose." If we lose, we leave sooner and suffering is reduced. We also might root for the US to lose if we think that vctory in Iraq will encourage further military adventures and therefor, raise casualty rates in the future. In other words, that a loss in Iraq, while costly, would prevent further invasions that would be even more costly.

I don't know which of these psotitions are correct.
8.13.2005 1:16am
Elrod (mail):
cw,
Your second point about rooting for the US to lose in order to prevent further misadventures is precisely the course that common people in totalitarian regimes take all the time. They root for their leaders to fail so that, in the humiliation of defeat, their leaders get deposed and replaced by somebody better. The problem here is that we can vote out a government that goes to war unjustifiably.

Duncan,
According to a more recent poll (I don't remember where and I can't find it), 33% of Americans now favor immediate withdrawal. Many of those people probably believe the mission was already accomplished and if the Iraqis can take care of business from here on out then, well, that's their own problem. But I gather a majority of those 33% are people who opposed the war from the beginning and just want it done with. They also likely see a continued US presence in Iraq as destablizing, and not stablizing, force.
8.13.2005 1:46am
David M. Nieporent (www):
A common conservative rhetorical device is to blur the distinction between being critical of the war and supporting terrorists.

Ooh, can I play? A common liberal rhetorical device is to pretend that criticisms of extremists are really criticisms of all liberals, and then feign outrage over the "smears" purported directed at them.
8.13.2005 2:06am
Justin (mail):
Yes. I indeed think the proper response to McCarthyistic political warfare is *not* to take the opposition up on the merits and assume the defensive in a battle that ultimately is (intentionally) poisoned by the rediculousness of the accusations.

The first amendment isn't an indicia to say that all speech is good and valuable, but an indicia that bad speech is better met with scorn and retribution than with government regulation.

I know you like the idea of Democrats having to take the argument of "we're not traitors" to the American people. But the better, more useful argument is, "do you really want a political party in office whose misdeeds are so bad that they can do nothing better than embarrass themselves by resorting to their opponents as traitors?" It's certainly an argument that's more based in truth, as the pathetic response to Volokh's previous, pathetic post was.
8.13.2005 2:31am
Richard Bellamy (mail):
Volokh gets caught up on the phrase "substantial section", but if you look at the quotes garnered on CT, they could almost all qualify if "substantial section" were replaced by "all."

Is Volokh willing to condemn all of Glenn Reynolds, Karl Rove, the Wall Street Journal editorial page, and David Horowitz, each of whom explicitly state that "liberals/the left/the antiwar" want the U.S. to lose?

-------------

Glenn Reynolds: I think that this "pressure of public opinion" language is a recognition by Saddam that the "anti-war" movement is objectively on his side, and not neutral.

Michael Medved: In moments of candor, critics of the Iraq war make it increasingly clear that they want America to lose.

David Horowitz: Of course, because they want America to lose. That's what defines the left.

WSJ: The silver bullet offered by some on the right, meanwhile, is more U.S. troops. Senator John McCain is the leader of this camp, and unlike the left he is rooting for American victory.

Karl Rove: "Let me just put this in fairly simple terms: Al Jazeera now broadcasts the words of Senator Durbin to the Mideast, certainly putting our troops in greater danger. No more needs to be said about the motives of liberals."

-----------

It is the stated editorial position of the WSJ that the left is not "rooting for American victory." Please denounce them at least as loudly as you implicitly supported them by quoting their recent post (which you mistakenly thought was directed at only a half dozen pro-insurgents, and not the entire left).
8.13.2005 2:31am
Elrod (mail):
Well, here's a guy who says, straight up, that he is pulling for the insurgency. Problem is, I've never heard of him.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article8716.htm
8.13.2005 2:38am
Elrod (mail):
Here's a link that works.

Supporting the Insurgency
8.13.2005 2:40am
Shelby (mail):
Eugene: Henry clarified "substantial section" here. I find it quite counter-intuitive, but there you are.

Richard: I destroyed that argument (if you look at the quotes garnered on CT, they could almost all qualify if "substantial section" were replaced by "all.") in the CT comments. I didn't pretend to address every claim, just most of them.

More important, CT's argument is NOT the antithesis of Eugene's. He's not even making an argument; he's seeking examples of a particular kind of statement. Henry is not even seeking the opposite statement; his definition does not mirror Eugene's. This leaves aside the issue of who is substantively correct -- a political question that cannot be resolved by a he-said/she-said listing of quotations.
8.13.2005 3:42am
Warmongering Lunatic:
Saying that being anti-war was objectively pro-Hussein is specifically not the same as saying they were rooting for the other side.

Let's try some examples of the same statement, applied here:

"Voting for Nader in a swing state is objectively pro-Bush."
"Supporting continuing Prohibition was objectively pro-Capone."
"Strictly applying stare decis even to poorly-reasoned Supreme Court opinions is objectively pro-choice."
"Supporting states' rights in 1964 was objectively pro-segregation."

The desire of the person taking the position is not necessarily to be pro-Hussein, pro-Bush, pro-Capone, pro-choice, or pro-segregation. They may be honestly pacifist, Green, anti-alcohol, in favor of stare decis, or in favor of the abstraction of states' rights. But the effect of their preferred policy is clearly to the advantage of Saddam Hussein, George W. Bush, Al Capone, abortion rights supporters, or segregationists.

Is anybody going to deny that Saddam Hussein would have been in power longer if the Coalition hadn't overthrown him? Then opposing the invasion, whatever the motives, was objectively pro-Hussein. The Glenn Reynolds quote does not speak to motivation, only consequences.

Horowitz, the WSJ, and Meved, on the other hand, actually did speak to motivation.

Rove may have been saying that the motives of the Left was American defeat, but based on that short snippet, he may well have instead been saying that the motives don't matter, only the effects.
8.13.2005 4:08am
=0=:
Well, then.

So, I do suppose this little experiment is about done, we can all be proud that the legal minds who rightly turn to this site have failed to turn up much beyond Moore and a few nutcases, and we can put this canard to bed now, can't we?

I look forward to Eugene rightly calling out the egregious behaviour, which he called correctly, of those who incorrectly paint the antiwar folks as {...whatever it is now, pro-saddam, pro-insurgent, anti-US, um; maybe kitten killers}.

And since he's now persuing pockets of horrible thought, mayhap he has time in his busy schedule for that lobbiest tinkerer, you know the one. A fair mind, of course, is not required to comment on everything, but Volokh seems to persue the extremes, so I'm sure he'll pick up Jack Abramoff.

Or perhaps he'll pick up the growing racist involvement at our Southern border, with the, I'm sorry, ahem, Minutemen.

But none of that is important. More important, to me, is the drift. A once fair minded libertarian is now apparently actively attempting to smear a large segment of the country. Duncan has it right: if a quarter of the population wants the war over, what exactly does that mean? As is obvious, the canard that {liberals, maybe some liberals, Moore (sucks!), that guy ranting at the coffee shop} want us to lose the war is, I think you'd agree, silly, for any measure of applicable discusion.

Please do tell, when do we drop the straw man? I admire your analytic skills, expertise and intuition. I think, if you're actually interested in furthering our nation, you'd be best served by deploying them against the mess we're in, rather than rhetorical attacks on the party that you don't favor. I know you have a justification for supporting your party even if you don't support the issue. I guess I wonder where party loyalty and nation intersect. For you.

Much less interesting, but I used to hit volokh.com every day. (I was on CYBERIA-L, too, back 'when.) Lately, I'm tempted to put you on the same list as instapundit and those others - a category I should pay attention to, but if I lose a few posts, who cares, nothing interesting is happening anyway. And that would be sad.
8.13.2005 5:08am
=0=:
I thought of a way out.

Say, "I support the war.". Then, you posit situaions that may be feasable, and the mefia makes some degree of sense. Then we have A Problem. No matter if anyone can spell it out, Bow to Authoratay. Next, weell, theren't a problem, per se, but we spread, um, democr-um, demr-um, demoracability. (Yes, I'm mocking him now.).

So. Please, step on out. I would welcome a conservative voice that stated a consistent goal between the onset of our attack on Iraq and the present. Bonus points for what we do now. Love kisses for explaining how this was provoked, and not part of a plan that is now public knowledge. It has to be consistent with political statements. This will be a fun game.
8.13.2005 6:12am
Duncan Frissell (mail):
Comments posters should probably read the question first.

The question asked in this post is:


Whether it is indeed accurate to say that a "substantial section of those who opposed the war" is rooting for the other side, I can't speak helpfully to that.

The question asked in the previous post is:

Westerners Who Defend the Iraqi Insurgents?


Try and discuss each question in the comments section of its post.

My only point was that if we withdraw now, everyone (both opponents and proponents of the war) will say that the US was defeated and they will be right. Therefore, it would be appropriate to characterize those who favor immediate withdrawal as advocating the defeat of the US and -- since a loser implies a winner -- the victory of the enemy.
8.13.2005 8:25am
Public_Defender:
Jim,

Before these last few posts, I did have more respect for Volokh than Cole. Cole was just a leftwing flamethrower while Volokh was a thoughtful conservative who did not attack the motives of people he argued with.

But, unfortunately, the last few Iraq posts are much more Cole-like in rhetoric. It's disappointing to see a good blog go downhill.

I don't think Volokh should be proud that he is being compared to Cole.
8.13.2005 8:46am
Adam (mail):
I was about to say, roughly, the same thing:

Why was his quote from the WSJ so over the top? More over the top than some of the stuff from Professor Cole?

Is that our standard now? Being as least as good as Cole?
8.13.2005 9:23am
nk (mail) (www):
I have traveled to Europe on more than one occasion and have talked to Europeans here and I believe that there is a substantial number, but not a majority, who resent America and would like to see us fall on our face.

I do not believe that more than a handful of extremist kooks in America support the enemy or want us to lose the war BUT there is a large number, not quite a majority, of people with a visceral hatred of President Bush whose attacks on him make them sound as thought they side with the enemy. Can I say, "What we have here is a failure to communicate"?
8.13.2005 10:41am
gr (www):
Warmongering lunatic: "Then opposing the invasion, whatever the motives, was objectively pro-Hussein. The Glenn Reynolds quote does not speak to motivation, only consequences. "

I think the word "pro" connotes motivation.
8.13.2005 10:43am
EstablishmentClaus (mail) (www):
I can't imagine this series of posts being the end of Professor Volokh's "relevance" or "chance at a judgeship." However, Jim, if you are going to analogize him to someone in defending his chances at a judgeship, you should choose someone who either a) is a judge or b) has a chance at becoming a judge. Otherwise, the logical force of your defense is negligible.

So I'll ask: After President Nader and Vice President LaDuke are elected in 08, do you really think they'll have a sizable enough Senate majority to confirm Juan Cole to the federal bench? If you don't think a) they'll be elected with b) that significant a majority, then what exactly was the point of your comparison? If you were going to take a random potshot, taking one at Judge Guido Calabresi, or Justice Ginsburg, would have been, of course, objectively unfair, but would at least have been a logically coherent response.
8.13.2005 11:12am
=0=:
NK - yes, there are. I probably spend too much time in EU nations to be considered a Flag Waver.

It is a paternalistic sort of thing - a hope that we'll learn a lesson, etc.Part of the notion is that we're a young country, divorced from history. Or, at least, this is a popular idea in the northern part of the EU (I do business where I know my languages).

There is a massive disconect between what the US does and what it tells the world. This leads, of course, to distrust. "talk to me about your moral authority when you stop waging wars to avenge your leader's father". That sort of thing can be brushed aside domestically (especially when we have first rate legal minds investigating the nonexistent traitorous leftist desires abut a dumb occupation), but we don't own Finnish media.

Have to say, bad for business.
8.13.2005 11:23am
=0=:
Just a followup on my last post: I don't work in energy. That might explain why I'm not "rich" yet. I am doing my best to make IT a service industry, so that problably means I'm a terrorist. Darn, and I had a flight coming up.
8.13.2005 11:35am
Public_Defender:

A common conservative rhetorical device is to blur the distinction between being critical of the war and supporting terrorists.


Ooh, can I play? A common liberal rhetorical device is to pretend that criticisms of extremists are really criticisms of all liberals, and then feign outrage over the "smears" purported directed at them.

Look at the Crooked Timber site for examples of prominent Republicans (Karl Rove, Senators, etc.) who conflate criticism of the war with a hope for defeat. The first comment to this post claimed that, "Those who support such a withdrawal can logically be said to seek a defeat for the US."

QED

P.S. We liberals need to stop calling the smears a "witch hunt." "Snipe hunt" is more accurate.
8.13.2005 11:44am
NR:
Falsely claiming that someone (or the majority of some group) is rooting for the bad guys in a war is indeed pretty egregious misbehavior

This quote reveals much about Professor Volokh's assumptions. Insurgents are "bad guys"; the U.S. and its allies are *good guys.* It is wrong to "root[] for the bad guys" in a war.

Therefore, explanations of the insurgents' "actions as being a supposed campaign for self-determination, allegedly justifiable rage at Western misbehavior, and so on" are properly characterized as efforts to "defend . . . or at least justify" the insurgents' actions (i.e., car-bombings, attacks on civilians and American troops, etc). Good guys have good motives; bad guys have bad motives. Those who attribute anything other than bad motives to the bad guys are "worthy of criticism" because they are taking the wrong side in a war. [I acknowledge that Professor Volokh doesn't say this outright, but I think these are the operative assumptions.]

So what's an acceptable explanation of the insurgents' motives? That they *hate freedom*?

If someone says that the insurgents have legitimate grievances against the U.S. for launching an unjustified invasion, inflicting massive suffering on the populace, and bungling the occupation and reconstruction of the country, does that mean he is excusing every comb-bombing and sneak attack committed by the "bad guys"? Or that he is happy when American troops are killed in combat? Of course not.

Even if you disagree that the insurgents have any legitimate grievances at all, it's not fair to characterize those who take that position as "justify[ing]" or "defending" their actions, or as cheering on death and destruction. It's entirely consistent to deplore the tactics employed by the insurgents, to mourn every American life lost, and to pray for American *victory,* (whatever they may mean at this point) while simultaneously understanding that the insurgents are not just motivated by innate evil and a hatred of freedom. In fact, without that kind of understanding, it will be difficult to "win" this conflict at all. We are not going to simply eradicate every insurgent.
8.13.2005 12:22pm
NickM (mail) (www):
Has no one here read George Orwell's writings? Google "objectively pro-fascist" and read what you find.

Eugene has, over the last 2 days, asked for examples of prominent people making 2 different types of statements. Pray tell how you would determine the accuracy of a generalization about a group without seeking supporting evidence (and the lack of supporting evidence to be found is itself opposing evidence).

Is the Socratic method now unacceptable to use in public debate?

BTW, comments that "the left" wants some particular odious goal, as opposed to saying "liberals" or "progresives" want that, are not a smear, because "the left" is not a common term of public political self-description, unlike the other two. "The left" is a category that is as you make it, and if you happen to pick a marker that makes those in "the left" noxious to most of America but also limits its adherents to a few, all you have really done is defined your opponents as not being of "the left".

Nick
8.13.2005 12:28pm
MA:
This whole thread started when esteemable Prof. Volokh chose to pass along a (not necessarily true) piece of gossip regarding a recently killed man, who, by most accounts, was a brave and decent person. Whatever was the politico-social point said Professor wanted to make, it was tangental to Stephen Vincent. Professor, you made a mistake by dragging him into it, and it is this for which you should be apologizing about now. The left, the right, and who is rooting or appears to be rooting for whom is irrelevant. What is also irrelevant is "who started it all": WSJ, Cole, or whoever their sources are may say what they want about Vincent's personal life, but you, Professor, could have refused to participate in this particular gossip. Just apologize, it is not the end of the world, all of us fail to act with honor and class every once in a while...
8.13.2005 12:28pm
Public_Defender:
Here's a better way of describing the WSJ smear that Volokh repeated.

Assume there are two sets of ideas. Idea A includes the perspectives that the Iraq war was a bad idea, that we should leave now, and/or that the US cannot win the war. Idea B is the perspective that it would be a good thing if the U.S. lost.

Based on the Crooked Timber survey, as well as on some of the posts in this thread, it's clear that many conservatives believe that A = B, even though that's demonstrably false.

Knowing its audience, the WSJ denounces B, knowing that its readers will take that as an attack on both A and B (because the readers conflate the two, and the WSJ knows it).

When criticized, the conservatives defend the WSJ by saying, "We never denounced 'A', you 'A' people are just being overly sensitive."

Neat trick. Not honest, but neat.

Because this set of posts was an anomaly for the generally fair-minded professor, I predict he will eventually make a post expressing, at a minimum, regret for reposting the WSJ's smear.
8.13.2005 12:46pm
Public_Defender:
On a different note, another proof of the cruelty of the WSJ was its choice to use Vincent's death to argue its point. There are plenty of other examples of the evil of the insurgents. But the Journal chose to use one that required prying into the private life of a dead journalist who can't defend himself. The Journal's editorial staff has no shame.

I've made this point several times, but no one has taken the bait to defend the Journal's choice of example (if I missed someone's post, I apologize in advance). Can anyone defend the Journal on this point?
8.13.2005 12:55pm
Constant:

Knowing its audience, the WSJ denounces B, knowing that its readers will take that as an attack on both A and B (because the readers conflate the two, and the WSJ knows it).


That is reading between the lines and it is probably mistaken.

The WSJ quote in question is:


Those Westerners who side with the "Iraqi resistance" against America and its allies are defending the equivalent of the murder of Emmett Till.


A frequent reader of the quoted page myself, I interpret this quote as referring only to those who side with the Iraqi resistance ("B"), and I know them to be a small minority within the anti-war crowd ("A"). I certainly don't conflate the two.


But the Journal chose to use one that required prying into the private life of a dead journalist who can't defend himself.


The reason that Steven Vincent was murdered is of great legitimate interest to Americans. Actually, though, if he was murdered for personal, family reasons, this is then not obviously connected to the "Iraqi resistance" per se, so the inference drawn seems invalid.
8.13.2005 1:12pm
Public_Defender:
Constant,

I take you at your word about your personal beliefs. But based on other comments on the thread, as well as the Crooked Timber survey, many on your side of the aisle do conflate "A" and "B". The WSJ folks are bright enough to know that.
8.13.2005 1:20pm
Challenge:
Here's some support for that "egregious claim that a substantial section of those who opposed the war are, in fact, rooting for the other side."

"On what grounds can I be barred from speaking them in public? Because speaking them will undermine American goals in Iraq? Bless you, sir, that's what I want to do in the first place. I am confident that U.S. forces will be driven from Iraq, and for that reason I am rather enjoying the war."

"But doesn't hoping that American forces are driven from Iraq necessarily mean hoping that Americans soldiers will be killed there? Yes it does."

"Your soldiers are just a bunch of poor, dumb suckers that have been swindled out of their right to choose between good and evil."

Read the full email here.
8.13.2005 2:05pm
Public_Defender:
Challenge,

Congrats! You've discovered one more nobody who found his way to NRO's inbox. Now, compare that to Crooked Timber's list of prominent Republican politicians who claim their opponents support the insurgents.

Responding to other posts, Glenn Reynolds "objectively pro-Hussein" comment was either malicious or stupid. On its face, it certainly appears to at least imply that people who opposed the war thought it would have been good for Hussein to stay in power. That's the malicious hypothesis.

If Reynolds did not mean to be malicious, his comment was stupid. Bush opposes invading Cuba, Syria, North Korea, Iran, and numerous other places.

So using Reynolds' logic, we could say that Bush was "objectively pro-Castro," "objectively pro-Assad," "objectively pro-Kim Jong il," "objectively pro-Ahmadinejad," and "objectively pro-every-other-scumbag-dictator-on-the-planet."
8.13.2005 2:18pm
Houston Lawyer:
I think the left has reverted to type here in a replay of the Cold War during which they were against the anti-communists. Now they are against the anti-terrorists. If the enemy of my enemy is my friend, who's friend are you?
8.13.2005 2:20pm
Eugene Volokh (www):
As it happens, I did criticize InstaPundit for his "objectively on his side" post, shortly after it was posted.
8.13.2005 2:29pm
Public_Defender:
Houston Lawyer:

One irony is that there's a lot more terrorism in Iraq today than there was under Hussein. Does that mean Bush is "objectively pro-terrorist"? And that those who opposed the was from the start were the anti-terrorists? And that those who criticize the anti-war crowd are the anti-anti-terrorists?

As I've said before, I cautiously supported the war in the beginning. I still hope it leads to a stable, democratic government. But I also think that it diverted resources that could have been used against the terrorists who bombed us (you know, the ones in the Afgan and Pakistani mountains).

Since Bush diverted resources to Iraq that could have been used in Afganistan, could I fairly say that Bush -was "objectively pro-Al Qaida"?
8.13.2005 2:35pm
Eh Nonymous (mail) (www):
Howdy all,

I hate to get involved an a flame-war, since each side prefers to think it is the center of the universe and of all reason, but I wanted to say this to Jim Rhoads, in response to his query to the two (presumed liberal) commenters:

Well, can you imagine a reason they would criticize and publicly shame Prof. Volokh, or try to? I can suggest a plausible reason.

They find the WSJ smear, which is what it was, to be unethical and tendentious; they believe that repeating such smears lowers discourse; they want Prof. Volokh to not repeat his mistake; and they are using publicly and commonly accepted methods of urging a change in his behavior.

What's the mystery here? Why they don't support Bush's botch-job? :)
8.13.2005 2:36pm
frankcross (mail):
To the extent that the defenders of NRO are reduced to relying on anonymous emails, I think the point has been made.

Actually, I get the impression from reading my "liberal" NYT that there are a fair number of Europeans who are rooting for the Iraqis over the US, though I don't have the links to meet the Volokhian standard. I think this phenomenon is much less common in the US. Virtually all the criticisms cited by conservatives in this thread are really descriptive -- the action will fail, was unwise, etc., rather than normatively rooting for the US to lose.
8.13.2005 2:41pm
DRJ (mail):
For what it's worth:

Shrink Wrapped on PC
8.13.2005 2:41pm
Challenge:
Eugene, as usual, points out it depends on what one views as "substantial." They exist, to be sure.

As evidence of how "substantial" the movement is within the Democratic Party, witness the choice of placing Michael Moore in a place of honor, next to Jimmy Carter, at the National Convention. Where was the deafening cry from the majority of leftists when that happened? I am sorry, but you ARE judged by quality of your company.

"They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow—and they will win."
8.13.2005 2:55pm
Challenge:
Substantial?

http://www.indcjournal.com/archives/mmoore2.jpg

"They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow—and they will win."
8.13.2005 2:59pm
Public_Defender:
Eh Nonymous,

Thanks for restating my position, only with more eloquence and brevity than I have managed to use. I respect the professor and his site, even though I frequently disagree with the arguments presented.

Part of the reason I respect the professor's opinion is that he generally tries to be fair, like when he attacked the Reynolds quote that others have defended.


(And Challenge, the Michael Moore quote has been discussed ad nauseum in these three threads. I don't think there's anything left to say about it.)
8.13.2005 3:05pm
Challenge:
"And Challenge, the Michael Moore quote has been discussed ad nauseum in these three threads. I don't think there's anything left to say about it.)"

Sorry, didn't read all the comments in each thread. Did you defend what he said? And are you OK with him sitting next to Jimmy Carter?
8.13.2005 3:07pm
Challenge:
The choice to place Michael Moore in a position of honor shows that the Democratic Party thinks this supposed "fringe" is "substantial" enough to appease. If the Michael Moore wing of the party were "insubstantial," then why embrace him and his sack of lies?
8.13.2005 3:12pm
Jim Rhoads (mail):
PD and the rest:

To summarize my position on the series of posts that drew your ire:

1. It began with a post without comment of an item from James Taranto's Best of the Web. I have read Taranto's column since its inception. In my opinion, he has been generally supportive of the current administration's manner of dealing with the horrific events of September 11 and their aftermath. He favored the war in Afghanistan against the Taliban and the war in Iraq against the Hussein regime. He has also generally supported the handling of the events after the rapid fall of Hussein, albeit not wholly and not without recognizing the messiness and acknowledging the inevitable screwups in the difficult task of rebuilding of Iraq. Taranto generally subscribes to what I would term the Victor Davis Hansen school of thought these issues. Scarcely a flamethrower. Whether you agree with him or not, James Taranto is not a zealot. He is not "outside the mainstream" either. Certainly not among veterans and others like me.

2. The gist of the posted column was that the so called "Iraqi Resistence" that killed Steven Vincent committed a heinous act which was not justified under any circumstances. If as was reported in the Scotsman the murder was to avenge Vincent's relationship with his translator, an Iraqui woman (which they considered improper), the murder could be compared to the murder of Emmitt Till. Till, of course, was killed by the Ku Klux Klan fifty years ago for "looking the wrong way" and whistling at a white female. Supporting such a group of Iraqui thugs, Taranto suggested, could be compared to supporting the Ku Klux Klan in the fifties. Taranto did not identify anyone who was supporting this act. Rather he was arguing this act was unsupportable by "Westerners".

3. Eugene's post without comment of the Taranto article caused a firestorm of criticism among many of his commenters suggesting that even posting the cited article was so scurrilous as to imperil Volokh's reputation as a fair minded scholar.

4. I took the position that Volokh's post was no more an endorsement of the Taranto column than assigning a case without endorsement for discussion in class using the Socratic method. For this I was labeled, among other things, unserious and obtuse.

5. I believe the Taranto column is within the realm of fair discussion. It is a legitimate position that Vincent's killers had no justification whatever. Vincent was a non-combatant journalist. He was murdered. I agree with Taranto's implicit point that no Westerner should support these killers. I do not think this is an over the top position in a country that has freedom of speech among its constitutionally recognized freedoms.

6. Volokh's questions which followed sought to find out where the idea came from that a substantial number of Americans overtly supported the "Iraqui Resistance", desiring to see it win. These certainly were an attempt to further legitimate discussion.

How is my reading of this situation improper?
8.13.2005 3:16pm
Public_Defender:
Bottom line: In context, Moore was prediciting defeat and hoping that American soldiers would be pulled out before more of them died. There's nothing to add to that argument, so I'll rest on the previous comments made. I've also commented that I think Moore is an obnoxious jerk with whom I do not agree (see my general position on the war stated above and in other comments).

And who cares which seat he got? Even if you grant that Moore wanted the insurgents to win (which I do not), the most prominent "pro-insurgent" Democrat would be an independent film-maker with a nice seat for one day in the spectator section of the convention.
8.13.2005 3:22pm
Public_Defender:
Jim,

Where do I think you are wrong? Take a look at this comment (http://volokh.com/posts/1123899586.shtml#12486), posted above at 11:46am today.
8.13.2005 3:30pm
SteveMG (mail):
Well, this little exercise by Professor Volokh might be raising heart rates but not really helping their overall health too much.

The accusation that the anti-war movement _as a whole_ is objectively in favor of the US losing the war is an inaccurate and unfair one. It's pretty clear from the examples (or paucity of citations) to the original post below that there are very few instances of anti-war types (noted ones) explicitly wishing for that defeat. The Taranto piece was cheap and unfair and, worst of all, false. Professor Volokh shouldn't have linked to it; or at least should have more carefully worded his post. To his credit, he did later criticize Taranto.

But it can be confusing (to this person's ears at least) to hear people denounce the war as immoral, illegal and imperialistic and to describe the Bush Administration as corrupt and malevolent and dishonest and yet say they don't want the US to lose.

Hmm, why not? Why not wish for the defeat of an unjust enterprise? I'm puzzled as to what should happen. Bush to lose but not the US? Bush to fail but somehow things to turn out okay for the US and the Iraqis?

I can certainly see that those holding this view don't want to see Americans killed. I'm quite sure they grieve and are saddened over the losses as much as anyone. Although why _some_ denounce Bush and not the killers themselves for the deaths leaves me bewildered.

And I can also see that they don't really want the insurgents to win. I'm sure the _overwhelmingly_ majority of those in the anti-war camp believe the above.

But if the _real_ causes for the war were completely corrupt ones and the action done for evil reasons - rewarding Halliburton or big oil or the war industry - why not wish for a defeat? Or, at least, not for a victory? And again not for the deaths of US soldiers, mind you; but for the death, if you will, of the neo-con imperialist cause or whatever unjust cause you think motivated the war.

I think part of the confusion over this issue is that there ARE elements on the left (and some on the right) who wish to see BUSH defeated in Iraq. They wish for him to fail. They do not wish for American soldiers to be killed or even for the insurgents to win.

But those who do wish to see Bush lose fail to see, it seems to me, that the results may be, inter alia, politically advantageous for them here but disastrous for, among other things, those pro-democratic forces in the Middle East.

Whether one likes it or not, the success of things that the left believes in - pluralism, freedom, secularism, et cetera - can only happen IF we succeed in Iraq. And that, for now, can only result if Bush succeeds and NOT fails.

Because Bush is not your enemy. The Islamists are.

SMG
8.13.2005 3:36pm
arthur (mail):
For gods sake, morons, shut the fuck up about Moore having an allleged place of honor at the Democratic National Convention. Moore isn't a Democrat, he's a Green. He worked hard to defeat the Democrat Al Gore in 2000 (on the Nader team), and to defeat the Democratic John Kerry in the pimnaries in 2004 (on behalf of Wesley Clark). He got in the building for the convention because he had journalists' credentials as newspaper reporter covering the convention for USA Today (as did Anne Coulter, for what it's worth). He happened to be in the proximity of Jimmy Carter when the cameras focused in that direction. There was no place of honor.
8.13.2005 3:40pm
frankcross (mail):
Challenge, as I recall, the Democratic Party apparatus went to some length to keep Moore out of the convention. Jimmy Carter, not the biggest team player, invited Moore with one of his designated guest seats, which angered some people. Unwilling to tell its ex-President he could not invite guests, though, the party went along.
8.13.2005 3:43pm
Public_Defender:
The more I think about, the more I regret the attacks on Volokh for his posts. The posts have only served to demonstrate two points. First, the American Left is patriotic. Second, many on the Right don't make a distinction between criticizing the decision to go to war and hoping that American troops die.

It's easy to support your country when your party runs it. It's a lot harder when you're out of power. And even though many (if not most) Democrats think Bush is a dishonest warmonger, no one of substance wants Bush to fail in Iraq. When the conservatives search for examples, they find only leftists who never had power and people the Left has excluded from power (Galloway comes to mind).

This must come as a shock to some on the Right. A common theme of Republican politicians is that Democrats and the Left are unpatriotic. In the end, these threads have demonstrated that the Democrats are patriotic and that many prominent Republicans (some intentionally, some negligently) conflate criticism of Bush with a hope that American soldiers will die.
8.13.2005 3:57pm
Atrios:
I happened to be in the skybox with Moore AND Carter, so at the very least you could all condemn the Democratic party for putting ME in the "honored position" also.

But, as the story has been told many times, the democratic party didn't place moore anywhere. His group was wandering around the skybox area and when they wandered by the carter skybox someone there (not jimmy carter, who wasn't there at the time, and no terry macauliffe or howard dean or Zool), invited them in.
8.13.2005 4:00pm
Challenge:
"In context, Moore was prediciting defeat and hoping that American soldiers would be pulled out before more of them died."

Pardon me for breaking the civility code, but that's complete bullshit.
8.13.2005 4:27pm
Challenge:
"The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not "insurgents" or "terrorists" or "The Enemy." They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow -- and they will win. Get it, Mr. Bush?"

They're not the enemy? Sounds like somebody is "objectively" pro terrorist to me.
8.13.2005 4:33pm
Challenge:
As far as Moore "hoping that American soldiers would be pulled out before more of them died." How about this gem, "I'm sorry, but the majority of Americans supported this war once it began and, sadly, that majority must now sacrifice their children until enough blood has been let that maybe -- just maybe -- God and the Iraqi people will forgive us in the end."
8.13.2005 4:35pm
Challenge:
I love this spinster tale of Michael Moore's chance seating, where he just happened to be in the "proximity" of Carter. Give me a break.
8.13.2005 4:37pm
Atrios:
Well, I was there and you weren't, so...
8.13.2005 4:43pm
Jim Rhoads (mail):
Public:

I do not think the 11:46 post fairly meets my reading of the Taranto column. Let's try it in bight sized pieces.

1. The Taranto column expressly condemned Vincent's killers.

2. Vincent's killers deserve express condemnation.

3. Nothing you have written so far indicates you disagree with that condemnation.

4. You and Volokh's regular readers (as represented by the commenters to these posts) share that condemnation, as I do.

Am I at least right about statements 1 through 4?
8.13.2005 4:45pm
Challenge:
And let's not forget about Daily "Screm them" Kos:

"Every death should be on the front page

Let the people see what war is like. This isn't an Xbox game. There are real repercussions to Bush's folly.

That said, I feel nothing over the death of merceneries [sic]. They aren't in Iraq because of orders, or because they are there trying to help the people make Iraq a better place. They are there to wage war for profit. Screw them."
8.13.2005 6:53pm
Adam (mail) (www):
I didn't realize that the Iraqi insurgency that wants the US out of their country was comprised of the same folks launching terrorist attacks against the US mainland. Wow.
8.13.2005 10:45pm
Duncan Frissell (mail):
After reading 66 posts I'm ready to say that if all the anti-war types who posted will e-mail me PDF files of their signed and notarized affidavits of their promise not to claim that the US was defeated if it withdraws immediately, I'll return a certification that you, personally, are not rooting for the other side.

Just another service from a genuine right-wing nut. AU H20.
8.13.2005 11:22pm
nk (mail) (www):
I will continue to insist that we are a good people who love our country but we let our passion and shrillness interfere with a reasoned discussion of our government's policies.
8.14.2005 12:33am
TL:
I am extremely disappointed that I read more than half this thread. This waste of 30 minutes while my brother's friends watch the movie "Elf" in the background was an enormous waste of time.

If you skip to the bottom to see how this ends up: STOP!! DO NOT WHAT PRECEDES THIS. All you will find is the word smear, and "Volokh is no longer relevant." And the "right" equates A with B and the WSJ knows this.

Stellar stuff. The vehemence of the posters is silly.
8.14.2005 1:22am
Jim Rhoads (mail):
TL:

If you spent 30 minutes reading this stuff, you were watching Elf most of the time.
8.14.2005 1:55am
Public_Defender:
Jim,

I generally agree. However, I'm not convinced that Taranto is right about the motive for the murder. Taranto provides one plausible explanation, but there are other plausible explanations that don't involve peering into the private life of a dead man who can't defend himself.

I stand by my comment that Taranto was trying to smear all opponents of the war with the support-for-terrorists label. Crooked Timber (with a little help from some of the right wing posters to this blog) has pretty conclusively demonstrated that prominent conservatives regularly conflate the two concepts.
8.14.2005 7:00am
JoeSlater (mail):
To SteveMG:

Appreciate the tone, and you ask a good question. In my opinion, the reason there is no significant presence on the liberal-left openly rooting for the U.S. to lose is that people on the liberal left recognize how truly awful (and deeply illiberal) Islamist theocracy is. But the liberal left has long had what a majority of the country is now coming around to sharing: a sense that the right was wildly over-optimistic and naive about this venture. At this point, the liberal left doesn't have much by way of widely-supported, coherent ideas about what exactly to do in Iraq today (even as support for Bush's handling of it slips into the 30% range). But neither does the Bush admin., beyond vague generalities like "stay the course."

So the issue really is expectations: the liberal left is and has been pessimistic that anything good can come this war. I hope it's obvious that the liberal left would be delighted to see liberal, western-style democracies in the region, but it just never seemed all that realistic to us. Maybe that's partly because the liberal left generally lacked the right's confidence that Bush knew what he was doing. But even though it increasingly appears the liberal left was correct on that point, the liberal left (as a generalization) doesn't want the region to devolve into chaos or have the theocrats take over.

So what's a liberal leftist to do? Yes, we can and should think about what the U.S. should do now to produce the best result. That is challenging, to say the least, but we should try. Is it fair to try to score a few political points off of Bush's mishandling of this war? I dunno, was it fair for the Republicans to try to score points specifically against "unpatriotic" Dems. when they thought the war was going well?
8.14.2005 1:36pm
Challenge:
"Crooked Timber (with a little help from some of the right wing posters to this blog) has pretty conclusively demonstrated that prominent conservatives regularly conflate the two concepts."

And this thread has demonstrated quite conclusively that moonbats like yourself won't even concede Michael Moore's statements rise to the level of rooting for the enemy. I'm sure under your standard, the Rosenberg's "loved" their country and were loyal, patriotic Americans.
8.14.2005 2:04pm
TL:
The comments that I highlighted make Elf look like an extraordinary use of time.

Look at how smart we are! We caught Volokh in bed with the right. We hate the right and their mind control techniques so much. . .etc.

That type of reasoning by pejorative is un-becoming of people with all of your intelligence (and I mean that sincerely).
8.14.2005 4:12pm
Jamesaust (mail):
As someone who works across the street from the federal courthouse in Topeka, Kansas, I am treated at least once a week to demonstrators with signs saying things like, "Thank God for I.E.D.s." I'm not sure how to take this to be anything other than 'supporting the bad guys.'
How representative is this of Kansans? I suspect not much. But to add perspective the majority of demonstrator's signs say things like "God hates fags." This is a state that couldn't wait for the first opportunity to ban same-sex rights to marriage or civil unions, and that, until Lawrence v. Texas, was one of the 'sodomy four' -- states that criminalized same-sex sodomy acts while legalizing opposite-sex sodomy acts.
I'm all for limiting the demonization (nazification?) of one's political opponents. But at times you also need to take them at their own word. Experience teaches that there is little limit to what people will support when you combine (a) a firm belief in the certainty of a cause, (b) with an echo-chamber of demogogues egging them on.
Too many on the left are blinded by dislike (!) of Bush to rationally evaluate the GWOT (or SAVE), just as too many on the right seem incapable of questioning bad policy or even incompetence by this Administration. Mr. Volokh (who no doubt focuses on the former rather than the later) would be more pointed in questioning: at what point does open opposition to my political opponents become a de facto alignment with my opponents other opponents?
8.14.2005 4:25pm
Challenge:
Public Defender and others act as if these sort of allegations have sprouted out of thin air, dismiss clear examples such as Michael Moore, and then try to portray the whole thing as some sort of witch hunt.

I have seen and read many leftists struggle with their unhealthy desire to see Bush fail in Iraq.

One excellent example (even if lighthearted) is that found in the exchange between John Stewart and Nancy Soderberg:

Stewart: But what do you make of--here's my dilemma, if you will. I don't care for the way these guys conduct themselves--and this is just you and I talking, no cameras here [audience laughter]. But boy, when you see the Lebanese take to the streets and all that, and you go, "Oh my God, this is working," and I begin to wonder, is it--is the way that they handled it really--it's sort of like, "Uh, OK, my daddy hits me, but look how tough I'm getting." You know what I mean? Like, you don't like the method, but maybe--wrong analogy, is that, uh--?

Soderberg: Well, I think, you know, as a Democrat, you don't want anything nice to happen to the Republicans, and you don't want them to have progress. But as an American, you hope good things would happen. I think the way to look at it is, they can't credit for every good thing that happens, but they need to be able to manage it. I think what's happening in Lebanon is great, but it's not necessarily directly related to the fact that we went into Iraq militarily.

Stewart: Do you think that the people of Lebanon would have had, sort of, the courage of their conviction, having not seen--not only the invasion but the election which followed? It's almost as though that the Iraqi election has emboldened this crazy--something's going on over there. I'm smelling something.

Soderberg: I think partly what's going on is the country next door, Syria, has been controlling them for decades, and they [the Syrians] were dumb enough to blow up the former prime minister of Lebanon in Beirut, and they're--people are sort of sick of that, and saying, "Wait a minute, that's a stretch too far." So part of what's going on is they're just protesting that. But I think there is a wave of change going on, and if we can help ride it though the second term of the Bush administration, more power to them.

Stewart: Do you think they're the guys to--do they understand what they've unleashed? Because at a certain point, I almost feel like, if they had just come out at the very beginning and said, "Here's my plan: I'm going to invade Iraq. We'll get rid of a bad guy because that will drain the swamp"--if they hadn't done the whole "nuclear cloud," you know, if they hadn't scared the pants off of everybody, and just said straight up, honestly, what was going on, I think I'd almost--I'd have no cognitive dissonance, no mixed feelings.

Soderberg: The truth always helps in these things, I have to say. But I think that there is also going on in the Middle East peace process--they may well have a chance to do a historic deal with the Palestinians and the Israelis. These guys could really pull off a whole--

Stewart: This could be unbelievable!

Soderberg:---series of Nobel Peace Prizes here, which--it may well work. I think that, um, it's--

Stewart: [buries head in hands] Oh my God! [audience laughter] He's got, you know, here's--

Soderberg: It's scary for Democrats, I have to say.

Stewart: He's gonna be a great--pretty soon, Republicans are gonna be like, "Reagan was nothing compared to this guy." Like, my kid's gonna go to a high school named after him, I just know it.

Soderberg: Well, there's still Iran and North Korea, don't forget. There's hope for the rest of us.

Stewart: [crossing fingers] Iran and North Korea, that's true, that is true [audience laughter]. No, it's--it is--I absolutely agree with you, this is--this is the most difficult thing for me to--because, I think, I don't care for the tactics, I don't care for this, the weird arrogance, the setting up. But I gotta say, I haven't seen results like this ever in that region.

Soderberg: Well wait. It hasn't actually gotten very far. I mean, we've had--

Stewart: Oh, I'm shallow! I'm very shallow!
8.14.2005 5:45pm
=0=:

...sigh. So, the only way one can be a patriot is to be a Rebublican?

Don't mind me, I'll get my freedom from the clerk...
8.15.2005 12:17am
Challenge:
=0=, come on. You can think of a better strawman than that!
8.15.2005 12:42am
Public_Defender:
Challenge,

First of all, I have never called this a "witch hunt." I have repeatedly insisted that it's more of a "snipe hunt," so please don't attribute the "witch hunt
phrase to me.

Second, your quote again proves my point that the no one substantial wants the US to lose. After saying that she likes it when bad things happen to Bush, she immediately said, "But as an American, you hope good things would happen." I'm sure many Republicans felt the same way about Bosnia during the Clinton Administration.

As to the North Korea and Iran quotes, those were obviously jokes, and they were appropriate for the venue (a comedy show). They even tempered the jokes by saying they were being "shallow, very shallow."
8.15.2005 6:50am
Steve J. (mail) (www):
I FOUND ONE!!!!

'Good and honest' Iraqis fighting US forces

By Phil Sands, Staff Reporter
Published: 9/6/2005, 06:25 (UAE)
Link
Tikrit
A senior US military chief has admitted "good, honest" Iraqis are fighting American forces.
Major General Joseph Taluto said he could understand why some ordinary people would take up arms against the US military because "they're offended by our presence".
In an interview with Gulf News, he said: "If a good, honest person feels having all these Humvees driving on the road, having us moving people out of the way, having us patrol the streets, having car bombs going off, you can understand how they could [want to fight us]."
General Taluto also admitted he did not know how many insurgents there were. "I stay away from numbers how can I quantify this? We can make estimates by doing some kind of guesswork," he said.
He added: "Who knows how big these networks are, or how widespread? I know it's substantial enough to be a threat to the government and it will be for some time."
8.15.2005 9:50am
Steve J. (mail) (www):
DUNCAN- "not to claim that the US was defeated if it withdraws immediately"

Is it okay to say that the PNAC traitors were defeated?
8.15.2005 9:55am
Steve J. (mail) (www):
Is Volokh willing to condemn all of Glenn Reynolds, Karl Rove, the Wall Street Journal editorial page, and David Horowitz, each of whom explicitly state that "liberals/the left/the antiwar" want the U.S. to lose?

Don't forget Hannity, Limbaugh, Coulter and their many epigones.
8.15.2005 10:00am
Steve J. (mail) (www):
GLENN - "putting together a liberal democracy."

The most basic social structure in Iraq is what it was about 4500 years ago: tribes (150) and clans (2000). Not promising soil for a liberal democracy.
8.15.2005 10:11am
Public_Defender:

Is Volokh willing to condemn all of Glenn Reynolds, Karl Rove, the Wall Street Journal editorial page, and David Horowitz, each of whom explicitly state that "liberals/the left/the antiwar" want the U.S. to lose?

Don't forget Hannity, Limbaugh, Coulter and their many epigones.

I don't hold Volokh responsible for the bile spewed by Karl Rove, Glenn Reynolds, Ann Coulter, etc. There's enough despicable (but protected) speech out there that you could devote an entire career to rebutting it. I'm sure the good professor's students are happy that he puts some of that time into lesson plans and teaching.

That said, I do hold him responsible for condemning bile that he reprints on his own blawg.
8.15.2005 10:49am
=0=:
I don't hold Volokh responsible for the bile spewed by Karl Rove, Glenn Reynolds, Ann Coulter, etc. There's enough despicable (but protected) speech out there that you could devote an entire career to rebutting it.

An important point, to be sure. And people talk about what they want to talk about; there is no responsibility to cover a particular angle implied by having a blog.

That said, it is instructive to notice those one chooses to attack and those one doesn't.
8.15.2005 12:56pm
Challenge:
"After saying that she likes it when bad things happen to Bush, she immediately said, "But as an American, you hope good things would happen." I'm sure many Republicans felt the same way about Bosnia during the Clinton Administration."

Public Defender has reading comprehension difficulties. Notice she doesn't say which she wants to happen. She says that as a Democrat, she wants Iraq to go badly. But as American she doesn't. Which one wins out? I don't know, she is apparently somewhat ambivalent!!!
8.15.2005 2:07pm