February 12, 2006

The Right Plays ACLU

The ACLU is famous for defending interests that are disreputable, even odious, in order to defend free speech. As far as I can tell, having visited the ACLU and run a couple of searches, they are totally missing in action regarding the Cartoon Wars. At the very least, a statement of solidarity would have been appreciated. Apparently, they don't feel that it's in their interest to uphold the principle of free speech against the chill wind of State Department disapproval.

Their banner of defending the rude and worse is being carried, instead, by their usual nemesis, movement conservatives. I strongly doubt, had there been no violent reaction, that most of these conservatives would have batted an eye or risen to the defense of the cartoons and their illustrators had they been on the receiving end of nastygrams and words of pain and shock at sacrilege. This is par for the course. There might even have been a little shared commiseration, a "welcome to the club" as it were that would have somewhat tightened the bonds of conservative christian and muslim groups.

But violence was committed, the principles of free speech, diplomatic immunity, and proportionality were all grossly violated, and the right swung to defend the West in a strategy script that could have been carbon copied out of the ACLU's defense of any number of objectionable defendants.

Such an occurrence should be remembered the next time the 2 minute hate is about "right-wing intolerance of free speech".

Posted by TMLutas at February 12, 2006 11:22 AM