Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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Eric the .5b
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by Eric the .5b »

But is it Jewish or goyish to get wrong basic details like when the ACLU was founded, or to wander into talking about "natal males"?
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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Rather than learning how the First Amendment has been a precondition for every social, political, legal, and cultural advancement secured by marginalized groups in America, it would tragically appear that indoctrinating the latter-day beneficiaries of these struggles in the belief that they are helpless against “oppressive structures” and “systems” has convinced many that free speech is their enemy.
Ah yes, that time-honored persuasion technique "presenting minorites as dupes too stupid to recognize their own interests."

For all the hagiography, I don't see much attempt to grapple with the reality that Glasser was ultimately a failure in the only goal he recognizes. While he was picking off occasional battles, he was getting massively outflanked from all sides in the war. The minorites the article declares indoctrinated have dismissed the mission of the ACLU because the ACLU spent decades doing fuck-all for them. The people who used to support them have blown them off because what good is an ACLU that's essentially powerless before the Patriot Act, even 20 years later? Meanwhile, the people they used to fight most have won, because while the ACLU was fighting in the courts on an ad hoc basis, their opponents were executing an actual strategy to take over the courts. Declaring recognition of that "politicization" doesn't change it.

This is what frustrates me about this whole debate. It's always about "what happened to us." Never any attempt to assess how the choices that were made have led us to this point. It's victimhood all the way down.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by thoreau »

Shem wrote: 01 Apr 2021, 15:49 Meanwhile, the people they used to fight most have won, because while the ACLU was fighting in the courts on an ad hoc basis, their opponents were referring an actual strategy to take over the courts. Declaring recognition of that "politicization" doesn't change it.
Will their current posture on speech do anything to help fight the conservative turn of the courts? Will it bring in allies? Help them in a nomination battle? Will it enable them to groom a select pipeline of talent the way conservative orgs did?

Because from where I sit, conservative ascendancy in the courts came from electoral victories, party discipline in the senate, and a curated talent pipeline. If the ACLU failed it was a failure of tactics, not principles. You can groom people for any cause you want, but if you don't groom them then you fail for not having your people in place, not for having them committed to a controversial cause. (God knows the conservatives groom their people for controversial causes.)

The woke turn means that their people are well-positioned to get jobs as legal affairs commentators for Vox/Vice/Vulture/etc. Meanwhile conservatives are grooming Yale Law students for clerkships, then installing them in subsequent jobs that will prep them to be judicial nominees in a future Red administration.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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And, yeah, maybe the previous strategy only prepared people to become legal affairs commentators for some lefty print rag sold in independent bookstores. Well, soft-pedaling speech issues hasn't improved things.
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Shem
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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thoreau wrote: 01 Apr 2021, 16:10 And, yeah, maybe the previous strategy only prepared people to become legal affairs commentators for some lefty print rag sold in independent bookstores. Well, soft-pedaling speech issues hasn't improved things.
Considering it turned Arizona and Georgia blue, and flipped all four of their Senate seats, setting up the strong likelihood of at least the restoration of the Voting Rights Act if not an end to partisan gerrymandering in Federal elections altogether, I think they'd say you're wrong. I mean, you can argue about how important the one was to the other, but most people are going to look at the respective W/L records and judge accordingly. And the Glasser faction doesn't really have the record to compete on that front.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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What did the ACLU de-emphasizing speech have to do with AZ and GA flipping? Yes, voting rights issues are important, and the ACLU never had a problem walking and chewing gum, i.e. working on both issues. Where is the evidence that shutting up about free expression helped in GA?

Also, GA is hardly a shining example of judicial and legislative advances in voting rights over the past several years. GA flipped in spite of atrocious electoral laws and procedures mostly remaining in place. The win came from a mix of effective GOTV organizing (not at all in the ACLU's wheelhouse), changing demographics, decent candidates, and the modern GOP alienating the center. It didn't come from the ACLU social media interns adopting intersectional slogans and layoffs in the First Amendment team.

Mind you, I will be donating to the ACLU of Georgia because voting rights in Georgia are a crucial battleground. But the political situation in GA is way bigger than them.
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Shem
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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thoreau wrote: 01 Apr 2021, 17:40 What did the ACLU de-emphasizing speech have to do with AZ and GA flipping? Yes, voting rights issues are important, and the ACLU never had a problem walking and chewing gum, i.e. working on both issues. Where is the evidence that shutting up about free expression helped in GA?

Also, GA is hardly a shining example of judicial and legislative advances in voting rights over the past several years. GA flipped in spite of atrocious electoral laws and procedures mostly remaining in place. The win came from a mix of effective GOTV organizing (not at all in the ACLU's wheelhouse), changing demographics, decent candidates, and the modern GOP alienating the center. It didn't come from the ACLU social media interns adopting intersectional slogans and layoffs in the First Amendment team.

Mind you, I will be donating to the ACLU of Georgia because voting rights in Georgia are a crucial battleground. But the political situation in GA is way bigger than them.
The whole article you just posted is about how terrible it is that the ACLU subordinated itself to Democratic causes rather than continuing to fight their one-off battles against all comers. In other words, joining the Democratic coalition. The one that flipped those states and seats. Why do you suppose they joined that coalition?
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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I mean, the whole thing is SLC Punk!; "I didn't sell out son; I bought in."
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by thoreau »

So, what should a Blue Team ACLU do if a Blue state attorney general or mayor or governor is standing in the way of the sort of criminal justice reform that both the old and new ACLU support? Should they be good Team Blue soldiers and look elsewhere for test cases, lest they embarrass a member of the team? Or should they stand for principle and pursue worthy test cases regardless of which color jersey the AG wears?

I don't mean it as a straw question. Being a loyal team member comes at a price. Being a real member of a coalition means shutting up sometimes. It means sometimes focusing on the speck in someone else's eye instead of the beam in your own. (At least in public.) It means that when you've spent capital and cred helping someone get a job you have to back them even when they disappoint, and find a way to help rather than fight.

If you want a partisan ACLU you will indeed get a partisan. We'll have to see if it is still an ACLU.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by thoreau »

Eric the .5b wrote: 01 Apr 2021, 15:09
But is it Jewish or goyish to get wrong basic details like when the ACLU was founded
Are you talking about this part?
The ACLU was created during the post-World War I Red Scare to provide a politically neutral defense of constitutional rights at a time when federal and state governments faced little opposition to their repression of unpopular individuals and groups.
The wiki says that the ACLU was founded in 1920 after the Palmer Raids, which targeted groups suspected of communist sympathies. That seems consistent with the article's statement. Or are you referring to something else?
Eric the .5b wrote:or to wander into talking about "natal males"?
That is definitely a weak point of the article. I think the criticism of Strangio's stance on offensive books would be stronger if the author had referred to transgender women with more respectful terminology.
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Eric the .5b
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by Eric the .5b »

thoreau wrote: 01 Apr 2021, 20:00Are you talking about this part?
That may be on me; I was certain it said post-WW 2 when I read it.
thoreau wrote: 01 Apr 2021, 20:00
Eric the .5b wrote:or to wander into talking about "natal males"?
That is definitely a weak point of the article. I think the criticism of Strangio's stance on offensive books would be stronger if the author had referred to transgender women with more respectful terminology.
That and maybe not referring to the person in charge of transgender justice for the ACLU as one of those people "consumed by this issue". I'm critical of Strangio's statements mentioned, but after that and "natal males", I hit my go fuck yourself threshold with the writer.

Which is ironic, because here, I'm mostly sympathetic to the complaint and not even sure what Shem's argument even is, besides blaming the ACLU for every success and appointment the GOP has ever had?
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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I was reading that piece a few days ago, and halfway through I was liking it and kinda planning to link it here.

And then at the halfway point it went from "interesting history" to "ranty soapboxing" and I didn't finish it.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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Shem wrote: 01 Apr 2021, 17:53
thoreau wrote: 01 Apr 2021, 17:40 What did the ACLU de-emphasizing speech have to do with AZ and GA flipping? Yes, voting rights issues are important, and the ACLU never had a problem walking and chewing gum, i.e. working on both issues. Where is the evidence that shutting up about free expression helped in GA?

Also, GA is hardly a shining example of judicial and legislative advances in voting rights over the past several years. GA flipped in spite of atrocious electoral laws and procedures mostly remaining in place. The win came from a mix of effective GOTV organizing (not at all in the ACLU's wheelhouse), changing demographics, decent candidates, and the modern GOP alienating the center. It didn't come from the ACLU social media interns adopting intersectional slogans and layoffs in the First Amendment team.

Mind you, I will be donating to the ACLU of Georgia because voting rights in Georgia are a crucial battleground. But the political situation in GA is way bigger than them.
The whole article you just posted is about how terrible it is that the ACLU subordinated itself to Democratic causes rather than continuing to fight their one-off battles against all comers. In other words, joining the Democratic coalition. The one that flipped those states and seats. Why do you suppose they joined that coalition?
As with the NYT and all the other institutions engaging in this kind of behavior, it is perfectly fine to be an explcitly political partisan organization. Its just that you can't do that while simultaneously acting like you are different from Fox News. There isn't a principle to fight for, it's all politics all the way down, will to power and so forth. Fine. But don't expect to ever be able to leverage influence as other than team donkey partisans.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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We'll know that the transformation is complete when, instead of demanding removal of religious instruction from the curriculum, the ACLU demands equal time for Episcopalianism.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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Not wokeness per se, but definitely weird. The ACLU wants the post office to get into banking.

https://www.aclu.org/news/racial-justic ... ealth-gap/

Not everything that's good for poor people is civil liberties, and banking is a complex industry of its own. Feels like mission creep for both the USPS and the ACLU.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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Mission creep is quite the understatement, but an interesting note is that this would *also* benefit the rural poor, maybe even more. There are post offices in some pretty BFE places that would have both poor people, poor internet, and few if any bank branches.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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thoreau wrote: 02 Apr 2021, 11:30 Not wokeness per se, but definitely weird. The ACLU wants the post office to get into banking.

https://www.aclu.org/news/racial-justic ... ealth-gap/

Not everything that's good for poor people is civil liberties, and banking is a complex industry of its own. Feels like mission creep for both the USPS and the ACLU.
So in looking for precedents on postal banking in practice in other countries, I found out that the postal bank in Finland was originally named the equivalent of "Post bank" but because it's Finnish, it's Postipankki and I am in love with the sound of the Finnish language all over again.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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JasonL wrote: 02 Apr 2021, 08:47 As with the NYT and all the other institutions engaging in this kind of behavior, it is perfectly fine to be an explcitly political partisan organization. Its just that you can't do that while simultaneously acting like you are different from Fox News. There isn't a principle to fight for, it's all politics all the way down, will to power and so forth. Fine. But don't expect to ever be able to leverage influence as other than team donkey partisans.
I would argue that it is absolutely possible to be a partisan political actor while still maintaining principles. National Review spent decades both blatantly partisan and fully principled. We as a country just chucked trying to find the line in favor of cynical dismissal. And if we want to get back to politics being "hashing out a compromise" instead of "war without shooting people," we're going to have to get it back.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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thoreau wrote: 02 Apr 2021, 11:30Feels like mission creep for both the USPS and the ACLU.
For the ACLU yes, but not so much for the USPS, who were acting as banks into the 1960s.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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Shem wrote: 02 Apr 2021, 13:58
JasonL wrote: 02 Apr 2021, 08:47 As with the NYT and all the other institutions engaging in this kind of behavior, it is perfectly fine to be an explcitly political partisan organization. Its just that you can't do that while simultaneously acting like you are different from Fox News. There isn't a principle to fight for, it's all politics all the way down, will to power and so forth. Fine. But don't expect to ever be able to leverage influence as other than team donkey partisans.
I would argue that it is absolutely possible to be a partisan political actor while still maintaining principles. National Review spent decades both blatantly partisan and fully principled. We as a country just chucked trying to find the line in favor of cynical dismissal. And if we want to get back to politics being "hashing out a compromise" instead of "war without shooting people," we're going to have to get it back.
I freely grant that the two can be balanced in some cases. That's easier when your focus is an opinion journal rather than litigation. You can always argue "We support this party because it's the best venue for [cause], and that's why we have no choice but to criticize its latest move in the opposite direction." Going to court for civil liberties, however, will mean going to court against the government, even when some of the officials you're up against are Blues, and zealously defending your client.

Also, while it's important for a cause to have advocates inside the party tent, it's also important for a cause to have advocates outside, especially when the cause is focused on precedents. The ACLU doesn't just defend pro-life protesters so that they can get a pat on the head from Republicans who will never donate to them. They do it because setting a precedent for any protester will set precedents that they can use when a pro-choice demonstrator is arrested for protesting a stringent abortion regulation.

It saddens me, as someone who has put quite a bit of my own financial skin into the game of supporting the ACLU, to see the organization evolving this way. Tell me as many times as you wish how fine and important it is for an organization to pivot partisan, tell me as many times as you wish that a new generation doesn't share my old stodgy ecumenical version of civil libertarianism. Nonetheless, this dinosaur wants a place to donate to in defense of my archaic values.

Maybe FIRE will take my money. I just hope their junior staff don't demand to check my bookshelf for offensive materials before running my credit card. Just to be safe, I'll hide Lolita and the 2 Live Crew CD...
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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Shem wrote: 02 Apr 2021, 13:58
JasonL wrote: 02 Apr 2021, 08:47 As with the NYT and all the other institutions engaging in this kind of behavior, it is perfectly fine to be an explcitly political partisan organization. Its just that you can't do that while simultaneously acting like you are different from Fox News. There isn't a principle to fight for, it's all politics all the way down, will to power and so forth. Fine. But don't expect to ever be able to leverage influence as other than team donkey partisans.
I would argue that it is absolutely possible to be a partisan political actor while still maintaining principles. National Review spent decades both blatantly partisan and fully principled. We as a country just chucked trying to find the line in favor of cynical dismissal. And if we want to get back to politics being "hashing out a compromise" instead of "war without shooting people," we're going to have to get it back.
Agree we've made the decision to chuck anything that's off message as a betrayal. Activists promote this view. There used to be institutional forces advocating for committing to hard truths. I see no evidence of that anywhere, and so credibility is in the toilet as is democracy and all of our institutions. People are stupid trash who see themselves as righteous revolutionaries fighting white supremacy or maoism or whatever and that's what we elect and that's what our news looks like and that's what the ACLU is. Garbage on top of stupid garbage no way out.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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Which decades was National Review principled?

Because it seems like my entire adult life, they were getting called out for abandoning their principles...
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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Shem wrote: 02 Apr 2021, 14:00
thoreau wrote: 02 Apr 2021, 11:30Feels like mission creep for both the USPS and the ACLU.
For the ACLU yes, but not so much for the USPS, who were acting as banks into the 1960s.
Huh, TIL.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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Cashing checks and offering savings accounts is one thing. Those are fairly low-risk activities. If people want to talk about returning the USPS to those roles, OK, we can talk about it.

The ACLU article seems to suggest that the Post Office should try to compete with payday lenders. Lending to high-risk individuals is, well, high-risk. It will only be sustainable with high interest rates. It will necessitate the Post Office getting involved in debt collection (either directly or by contracting with someone else), and suddenly the USPS will be a bad guy. You can't do risky loans and be a good guy. You can clear the low hurdle of being less scummy than the current market participants, but being nicer than those guys doesn't mean you're nice on some sort of absolute scale. You'll have to tell people that they either pay or there will be consequences. Those consequences can be 100% legal but still have implications for credit reports, still leave people with debts, and still be unpleasant. Eventually courts get involved if the agreements behind those debts are to be enforceable in any way.

Unless the USPS becomes a very forgiving lender, in which case it will be effectively a welfare agency. And that will create its own set of political problems.

EDIT: Oh, and the USPS has its own law enforcement agents. I suspect that any real-world scenario that involves the USPS as a lender also involves federal law enforcement in some aspect of debt collection. Maybe we should ask the ACLU what they think of that scenari...oh.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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Shem wrote: 02 Apr 2021, 14:00
thoreau wrote: 02 Apr 2021, 11:30Feels like mission creep for both the USPS and the ACLU.
For the ACLU yes, but not so much for the USPS, who were acting as banks into the 1960s.
I cannot speak for USPS, but its Canada Post used to do deposit banking until about 1960. A relic of that was postal money orders. Their security on money orders was so bad they published lists weekly of money orders stolen from their offices. Since they would not honor stolen money orders, banks would put holds on postal money orders deposited - and Canada Post's records were so slack that they would often dishonor money orders months after they were deposited (the rules for the central clearing agency were that dishonored items had to be returned no later than the second business day after clearing.)

Eventually, the banks tried to stop accepting postal money orders, but the government at the time strongarmed the banks into reversing the decision.

I would not trust Canada Post to act as a secure depository institution. I would be surprised if USPS is any different.
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