Kavanaugh Clean-up

The Black Men Who Identify with Brett Kavanaugh Understand the Stakes

The people aiming to throw out due process will be the ones hurt the most by its absence. To be sure, black victims of lynch mobs weren’t given due process, and it’s been a long battle to guarantee those rights to everyone. It’s a battle that’s still going on.

However, at least in these cases, there was a standard that was being violated. What would those who would eliminate that standard offer in its place?


No, Kavanaugh Didn’t Lie

The media is now engaged in a full-court press to establish that Kavanaugh drank to excess — when he admitted in his testimony that he drank to excess.
[snip]
His specific denial is that he never blacked out. So far, in all the people who knew him who have emerged to say he slurred his words or stumbled when he’d been drinking, no one has credibly alleged that Kavanaugh told them after a bout of drinking that he had no idea where he was or what he did the night before.

The other charges of lying are picayune. A cluster concerns his high-school yearbook and his allegedly dishonest explanation of the slang terms “boof” and “Devil’s Triangle.” His critics say those terms refer to sex acts, whereas Kavanaugh says they refer to flatulence and a drinking game, respectively.

The evidence suggests that he’s right. A history of farting — yes, there is such a thing — notes that “boof” was one slang word for flatulence, and former classmates of Kavanaugh’s wrote a letter saying that they played Devil’s Triangle, and explained how it was done.


The Complete Case for Kavanaugh

by David French, at NRO
A lengthy article, that ends up by saying:

The evidence indicates that Brett Kavanaugh faced false or mistaken claims, responded to those claims with understandable and appropriate emotion, and contested them with truthful testimony. He should be confirmed, and if he’s confirmed expect him to serve until he retires with dignity, intellectual rigor, and the same deep commitment to judicial ethics that we’ve seen throughout his entire career on the federal bench.


Democrats, It’s Time to Recognize That Your Kavanaugh Playbook Didn’t Work

I’d like to think it worked against them.


Rich Lowry’s brilliant column this week: Atticus Finch Was on the Wrong Side. It soooo catches the hypocritical Left in the hypocrisy that cannot be helped if you are an acolyte of the Alinsky School of Public Mayhemery.


NRO Editorials:

Do the Right Thing, Jeff Flake. From the editorial:

Democrats are, predictably, complaining that the FBI investigation was too limited in duration and scope. But since there is no evidence for Ford’s account beyond her own memory — and she herself testified before the Senate last week under oath — there wasn’t much for the FBI to probe.


From the editorial:

None of the people Ford identifies as witnesses to her story say that they recall the party. (Another perjury charge against Kavanaugh is that he exaggerates how exculpatory these witnesses are, but this makes him guilty of slight error, not deceit.) As a report outlined by Judiciary Committee outside counsel Rachel Mitchell makes clear, Ford has repeatedly changed some key details of her account and cannot remember others. (If Kavanaugh had similar slip-ups, the critics would be crying “perjury” about that too.) Mitchell argues that Ford’s allegation does not meet even a preponderance-of-the-evidence standard.


Victor Davis Hanson weighed in with a brilliant analysis, that the Left’s antics and tactics polluting America’s campuses have now come to Capitol Hill. From his piece:

On campus, all can present equally valid narratives. What privileges one story over another is not necessarily any semblance to reality, at least as established by evidence and facts. Instead, powerful victimizers supposedly “construct” truths based on their own self-interests. As a result, self-described victims of historical biases are under no obligation to play by what they consider to be rigged rules of facts, evidence, or testimony.

The women who have known Kavanaugh all his life came out swinging on his behalf. Alexandra DeSanctis recounts some remembrances of a decidedly decent guy. From her report:


Jonah Goldberg says lefties should be thrilled that a “strict constructionist” such as Brett Kavanaugh is appointed to SCOTUS. From his column:

Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative to the core, hated flag burning just as much as those on the right who favored banning it, but he ruled it constitutionally protected free speech all the same. On criminal procedure, he was often the defendant’s best friend on the Court. Neil Gorsuch, appointed by Trump, is another conservative in the Scalia mold, and in one of his first decisions he joined with the four liberals to deliver a defeat to the Trump administration in Sessions v. Dimaya, an immigration case. Kavanaugh himself threw out one of the first Obamacare lawsuits — hardly the act of a rank partisan.


The polygraph hoopla brought on by Ford’s accusation of Kavanaugh gets a dose of reality from Jibran Kahn. From the start of his piece:

Polygraphs have featured heavily in the discussion because the accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, took one (albeit with a very unusual set of questions). And why shouldn’t they? We’ve all seen spy films and crime dramas with truth-detecting polygraphs, the scourge of the guilty, which only psychopaths have a chance to thwart; their efficacy is broadly accepted, much like the harmlessness of sugar or the fact that lightning never strikes the same place twice. The power of the polygraph is widely believed, and on a bipartisan basis. Jeff Sessions has called for their use in the White House as a way to catch leakers, and Kamala Harris highlighted Ford’s polygraph and Kavanaugh’s lack of one. There is, however, a hitch. Despite the senators’ endorsement, psychologists have argued for decades that polygraphs are built on pseudoscience, and the Supreme Court was aware of this consensus by 1998


Lots more where these came from.

More privilege for the left

The ability of the left to use these is a form of privilege.

Whether we’re bickering over comic books or Supreme Court appointments, we keep getting bitten by the same intellectual mosquitoes. Can I exterminate them all by myself? Not in one blog post. Probably not even in a hundred blog posts. But right now, I can at least smack a few annoyances and, hopefully, entertain my readers in the process.

1. Believe All Women.

No. I’m sorry for the upcoming language, but that is bug-fuck crazy. Were these people never the targets of mean girls in junior high? Some women absolutely are evil enough to spread bullshit if it gives them a social advantage and/or sympathy points.

Sure: like male rapists, female pathological liars are very rare. But we don’t even have to assume a large population of prospective malicious accusers to understand the importance of due process. We just have to understand some basic human psychology.

In brief: Our memories are not digital cameras. On the contrary, our memories are susceptible to influence. For example, in one study, participants who were asked to remember the sentence “the ball hit the window” later reported being told that “the ball broke the window.” These people were sober, yet their own assumptions altered what their memories recorded. Do you really think the recollections of a drunken tryst are going to be any more reliable? Or the memories of something that happened more than three decades ago?

We cannot rely on one person’s account of an event. That’s why we presume the innocence of the accused until we can gather more evidence. Yes: a full-scale investigation and cross-examination is very stressful for someone who sincerely believes she’s been the victim of a crime, but the alternative leads to Salem.

2. Stay in Your Lane.

When white people opine on race relations, this denial of the universal accessibility of the truth always manages to make an appearance. Recently, I tweeted the following reply:

“I have severe rheumatoid arthritis. I am an expert on how this has impacted me personally. But I would never presume that I am therefore more qualified to speak on RA than a board certified rheumatologist, even if he/she were healthy.

“My understanding of RA is pretty educated, but it’s still a layman’s understanding. Thus, it would be ridiculous for me to pass myself off as an absolute authority based just on my personal experience alone.

“Hell, I can’t even speak for other sufferers of RA! There are commonalities among us sufferers that led to our diagnoses in the first place, but our disease courses are still going to be individualized based on severity, life situation, etc.

“The same is also going to be true for issues surrounding American race relations, gender, sexuality, etc. If you identify as a particular minority, you definitely have some important insights to share. But to declare yourself an absolute authority is wrong.

“‘Outsiders’ may have access to important data that are germane to the discussion. Your perceptions could be wrong, so have some humility and recognize the limitations of your viewpoint.”

3. Alt-Right Hate Group.

There is such a thing as the alt-right, but it has a very specific, narrow definition. To be alt-right, one must believe that national identities are racial/ethnic in character — that the idea of a nation-by-creed is fundamentally ridiculous. That’s why members of the actual alt-right have attacked author Sarah Hoyt, a libertarian and extremely patriotic Portuguese-American immigrant, as a pseudo-American.

According to the left, however, Sarah is herself “alt-right.” So am I. And so is anyone else who has participated in any or all of the consumer revolts that have dominated discussions in geekdom over the past several years. Gamergate, the Sad Puppies, Comicsgate — all of these have been smeared as “alt-right hate groups” by leftwing journalists and creative “professionals” based on the thinnest of evidence. Why? Because they want to silence our critiques of popular culture and its increasingly obtrusive political tilt.

I’m not saying we’ve never been salty. We’re human beings, after all. But have you noticed that SJW’s keep using the same few lapses in judgment to build their weak-sauce case against us? When ConCarolinas rescinded its invitation to John Ringo this past year, for example, everyone defending the decision used the same Ravencon panel from twelve years ago as evidence that Ringo was a “sexual harasser.” And whenever anyone wants to discredit prominent Comicsgate personality Richard C. Meyer – a.k.a. Diversity and Comics – they always, always dip into that one ill-advised “dark roast” from 2017 for ammunition. If Ringo and Meyer were as bad-bad-terribad as SJW’s claim, we would have been presented with evidence of long-standing patterns of behavior a long time ago. But we haven’t — because they aren’t.

Hey, we’re imperfect. I’ll cop to that. But that makes us neither “alt-right” nor members of a “hate group.” See above. “Alt-right” has a meaning, and it’s not “opposes identity politics” or “is generally conservative or libertarian” or even “criticizes the works and behavior of minority creators.” The alt-right calls itself the alt-right precisely because it wants to distance itself from conventional rightwing beliefs. Thus, if you’re calling ordinary individualist fans “alt-right,” you either don’t understand what you’re talking about or you’re being a dishonest prick.

4. Racist/Sexist/Homophobic.

Racism, sexism, and anti-gay sentiments also exist, but once again, the left is playing games with their definitions to mendaciously attack people they disagree with. If you’re calling Frank Oz a homophobe simply because he won’t accede to your wishes and agree that Bert/Ernie is canon, you are part of this problem. If you are calling fans sexist simply because they don’t like the all-female Ghostbusters, you are part of this problem too.

The leftist’s world is a bizarre world in which treating everyone the same is in fact proof you’re a monster. The aforementioned Richard Meyer has repeatedly gone after Mark Waid and other straight white men for their unprofessional behavior and crappy product — but since he’s also gone after “creators-of-color” or LGBTQ creators for the same, he’s a Nazi. As Meyer himself has accurately observed, “They hold minorities to a different and lower standard.” Indeed they do. Why this hasn’t been called out as rank bigotry is beyond me.

As a teacher in a majority-minority neighborhood, I understand that certain groups face extra challenges in the aggregate. But the solution to that is to provide struggling people from all groups whatever additional resources or encouragement they need to clear life’s hurdles and meet the same standards demanded of everyone else — not to treat them like helpless babes and tell them they don’t have to “git gud” to succeed because they’re oppressed and are therefore owed that success — and the fawning praise that comes with it.

 

Liberal Privilege

Sarah Hoyt demands an end to liberal privilege.
So what is “liberal privilege”? You can start, I suppose, with the ability to say “check your privilege” and be taken seriously.

First of all, before I start this, let me say I disagree with most of the usages of the word “privilege.”

The left refers to people of “privileged background” for instance, when what they really mean is “rich” or, these days, “middle class and with parents who insisted on education.”

I suppose this makes some sense in the context of a leftist world view, but it makes no sense in reality.

You see, privilege means “private law.” In terms of the past, noblemen were privileged because the law either didn’t apply to them (at all) or they had special laws that applied to them. For instance, in many jurisdictions, noblemen were exempt from the capital penalty. In most “clergy” were exempt from the death penalty. And the benefit of clergy would be given to anyone who could read and write. That was privilege. Private law. “The laws don’t apply to us, and you can’t make us obey them” if you prefer.

So in terms of left-Marxist world view, it makes sense to think that anyone who has more has somehow cheated the existing laws. Or to believe that anyone who has better outcomes than someone else is taking advantage of a “private law,” that is, cheating.

The problem is that this only makes sense if you buy into the leftist world view, in which every human being is a widget, or if you prefer a game piece, with exactly the same qualities as any other game piece.

In actuality, humans can get rich without cheating anyone and outcomes of anything vary a lot depending on the qualities of the human beings involved and, yes, on their level of effort too.

Which brings us to real privilege: the de-facto exertion of a private law.

For instance, take the Kavanaugh hearings when all the liberals were assuring us that we didn’t need to presume innocence until guilt was proven. Did you notice that not only didn’t any of them revise their opinion of the sexual scandals of Bill Clinton – against whom guilt was overwhelmingly proven – but they were also adamant that the same principles they were trying to apply to Kavanaugh didn’t apply to Keith Ellison?

This makes absolutely no sense. If you “believe all women” (and btw, that too is privilege. Where is the “believe all men?”) why not believe Ellison’s battered girlfriend, who has the hospital visit to prove it, or Juanita Broderick before you believe Christine Ford?

The liberals handwavium explanation amounted to a lot of handwavium and what my grandmother used to call “trying to remove the butt from the path of the syringe.” I.e. “it’s a job interview” or “she is credible” or whatever were not so much arguments for believing one person and not believing the other as attempts to make you look elsewhere and forget to argue.

You see, they know the principle but can’t say it aloud – some of them not even to themselves – because that would cause them to admit that they are chock-full of privilege, which their theories force them to view as a sin.

In fact, all their claims of other people’s privilege are to excuse their own establishment of a private law for themselves.

For instance, how many discussions have you seen in which some white man is told to stop talking because he’s full of “white privilege” and should “educate himself.”

And yet, I can honestly say that in my decades in this country and in association with white men (husband, friends) I’ve never seen any of them have recourse to private law that excuses their crimes or gives them an easier time in surviving. In fact, and contra one of my colleagues in science fiction, who claimed that being a white male in America is “life on the easiest setting,” white people in the US (and white men in particular) get fewer opportunities at scholarships, fewer set-asides in either positions in education or employment, and preference in promotion, and in general a rougher path through life, regardless of background. (Of course, those who come from greater wealth have an easier time relatively, and sufficient wealth makes up for all other conditions. That’s just part of being human.)

Then there is the time my son was told he was privileged because we had lots of books in the house and encouraged reading. That particular teacher must have been having a flash back to that “benefit of clergy.” Or something.

And yet, there is one glaring form of privilege in the United States today.

In fact, I think that’s what my colleague was confused about. You see, he’s a vocal liberal, and I think that’s why he’s experienced a meteoric rise through the field, despite a … passable talent and an absolute refusal to work harder or reach higher than strictly needed.

The same could be said about other liberals in the public eye, male and female and of every race: for instance, can anyone imagine a Republican of any race of sex having the meteoric rise Barrack Obama experienced, from Freshman Senator to President?

Did anyone see Sonya Sotomayor, a woman stupid enough to think that being Latina confers special wisdom, being questioned about her obvious racism and sexism? Does anyone think a Republican nominee of any race – remember Clarence Thomas? – would get as easy a ride into the Supreme Court of the United States?

Has anyone noticed that when there’s any reason to call on a speaker to explain a public disaster or event, outside explicitly conservative venues, the “expert” called upon is always leftist?

I’ve been jaw-dropped on more than one occasion to see a freshman colleague of mine called to comment on say space developments when this person might have written one or two books and none of them concerned with space. But, you know, it’s liberal privilege.

Liberal privilege ranges from quite literal private law — anyone see a Republican who left a girl to die in his car go on to become the Lion of Senate? — To an easing of the way, a magic carpet ride to the top for good little boys and girls who express the right (left) position.

Being liberal means never having to say you’re sorry.

And you know why as well as they do: for near on a hundred years, they’ve had control of the bureaucracy, as well as of those fields that shape the narrative, including the news, entertainment, and literature.

Their crimes are excused, while crimes are invented in the account of everyone who opposes them.

All of which would be galling enough without the newest wrinkle.

It started a long time before the Kavanaugh hearings. For a long time, they’ve been trying to deny anyone to the right of Lenin the rights secured to us by the Constitution of the United States. Their attacks on the Second Amendment are legendary, but latel,y they’ve been trying to extend the fight. For instance, we’ve seen them not only declare that certain words should be crimes, but working through those companies they control to prevent the free speech of those they don’t like or consider dangerous (often the same thing.)

And in Kavanaugh’s hearing, they tried to deny that anyone they oppose can have the right to due process and the presumption of innocence.

It’s not just that the left wants their own private law. It’s that the rights they’re arrogating for themselves under that de-facto law are the rights all of us are entitled to.

We are not peasants. We will not get in line. And we will continue to demand equality under the law. It’s the least we’re entitled to as Americans: an end to liberal privilege.

…Like With a Brillo?

TheNewNeo notes some curious things about Professor Ford.

One of the strangest aspects of Ford’s story is that, by the time her identity was revealed, much information about that identity had been removed from the internet with an unusual degree of thoroughness for a layperson, indicating the participation of someone who knew exactly what he or she was doing, not an amateur such as Ford herself. How was this done, and who did it?

For me, one of the most curious aspects of all is that her high school yearbooks disappeared from their online site as well, not long after almost all of her personal information was scrubbed . Ford did not have the power to do this because the yearbooks were not displayed at her site or social media pages. So who did it for her, and why, and at whose behest? What’s more, the site that claimed to have archived and displayed the yearbooks disappeared as well not all that long after.

It takes quite a bit to get me into conspiracy theories, but this has been extremely odd. Are the yearbooks that were displayed at that site authentic? If so, why did the site that offered them disappear without any explanation? The yearbooks revealed massive drinking and partying by the young ladies of Holton Arms, including Ford herself. I’d love to get some clarification on all of this.

 

KavaYashi Maru

Jonah Goldberg has a piece titled, “The Price of Victory“. Essentially, whoever won was going to pay a very high price.  The culture war will only escalate from here.

Along the way, he cites some tweets from PoliMath:

Here’s a #TerribleOpinion for you:
1) I think Kavanaugh is likely innocent
2) It may be better for the country (and SCOTUS) if he withdraw
3) He can’t do that w/o essentially committing reputational and career suicide
4) No one should ever have to be in that position
5) Assuming innocence, we as a culture have absolutely no path for Kavanaugh to take. If he withdraws for the good of the country, his career is over. His family will be vilified. Big chunks of the cultural left will parade his head on a pike for YEARS.
6) that is all bad

7) My ideal scenario is for Kavanaugh to withdraw on the condition that Senate Dems take out a full page groveling apology to him and his family in the NYT.
Then Dems can get what they want, but only if they can give up the cultural political win it would have provided them.

8) I don’t think you can overstate how furious the right is at Kavanaugh’s treatment.
The first allegation caused pause among center-right.
The second *looked* like a political calculation.
But people (esp the media) taking the Avenati thing seriously blew it all apart.

Last thing: For Kavanaugh to withdraw, you would have to convince the right that the *next* nominee would be treated fairly.
That is impossible.
The die is cast, the ship has sailed, the right firmly believes the next nominee will see the same vilification.

The right was willing to at least consider the first allegation, despite the way the timing of the whole thing stank to high heaven. When a second and third came along, not only did the timing stink, they lacked even the credibility the first had. What’s more, Kavanaugh had already been through six full-field FBI background investigations.

While I’ve never been through such an investigation myself, although at one point it was a possibility, I’ve heard quite a bit about them.

FBI agents interview everyone they can find who’s been in the live of the target of the investigation. And they ask the people they interview if they can think of anyone else who might have something to contribute. Then everything that is said, good, bad, indifferent, unhinged — everything — is put in the file. This is the “raw” file. They don’t try to assess truth, falsity, or even credibility.

I work at what amounts to the complaint department for any matters regarding water quality in my city. We get phone calls whenever the water is misbehaving. If it’s discolored, we get calls. If it smells bad, we get calls. If it crawls from the glass and chases the customer around the kitchen, we get calls.

I personally have dealt with at least two people who were convinced their neighbors were poisoning their water. One of them claimed the neighbor was spraying plutonium on her roof. My staff has dealt with their own callers who have been a step away from reality. Imagine the FBI doing a background check on someone who lived next to one of these people. What do you imagine they told the FBI about their neighbors?

And it would wind up in the background file.

The point here is not just to point out that the FBI doesn’t try to reach conclusions about the contents of the raw file, but to make the point that the more people come forward to accuse Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, the more it destroys any credibilty that might otherwise attach. It’s vaguely possible that one instance, one time, three and a half decades ago, might have escaped this background check process. It’s much less likely two would. When we get to three, with the third involving a rape factory, it’s just not conceivable that the FBI would have missed it.

Maybe the first has some truth to it, but when everyone involved in bringing these accusations seems to accept the lot of the accusations as Gospel, they sacrifice any credibility they have.

Kava-Notes from National Review

Saving for future reference…

www.nationalreview.com/corner/christine-blasey-ford-therapy-notes

This is a serious problem, and it undercuts any effort to prove her claims against Brett Kavanaugh. The American legal system is characterized by mandated transparency. In criminal cases, the prosecution is required to release exculpatory information. In other words, it can be required to undercut its own case. In civil litigation, parties are generally required to turn over not just all relevant, non-privileged documents to the other side, they’re required to also turn over all documents that could lead to the discovery of relevant information. That’s one reason why the decision to litigate should never be taken lightly. File a lawsuit, and you’re opening the book on your life.
[snip]
This policy is vitally important for the fact-finding process. Ford’s failure is all the more troubling given that she’s not even promising to turn them over to the FBI unconditionally. And keep in mind that if she turns over the records, there is nothing stopping her from including a written explanation of their contents, including an explanation of perceived inconsistencies or damaging excerpts.

Moreover, let’s not forget that the FBI is not the relevant decision-maker. The Senate is rendering final judgment on Kavanaugh’s confirmation, and this action disrespects the entity that’s constitutionally entitled to render its advice and (perhaps) its consent. In civil litigation, the persistent failure to turn over relevant information can lead to dismissal of a plaintiff’s case. In criminal cases, the failure to release exculpatory evidence can overturn convictions. Here, at the very least, the reluctance to cooperate should adversely impact the Senate’s consideration of Ford’s very serious claims.

www.nationalreview.com/2018/10/christine-blasey-ford-must-provide-therapy-notes-to-senate

www.nationalreview.com/2018/10/brett-kavanaugh-case-against-nominee-collapsing

www.nationalreview.com/2018/10/brett-kavanaugh-perjury-allegations-farce

It’s certainly true that Kavanaugh tried to minimize the least admirable aspects of his adolescence — understandably, given the withering fire he was under and the basic irrelevance of the matters under discussion — but there is no evidence he lied.

Much of the focus is on his drinking. There are two main lines of argument here. The first: Kavanaugh has misleadingly portrayed himself as a “squeaky clean” “choir boy,” but there is plenty of evidence that he was a heavy drinker. This begins from a false premise. Kavanaugh has said he was pious and hardworking in high school and college, but he also said in his Senate testimony that he drank excessively on occasion: “I drank beer with my friends. Almost everyone did. Sometimes I had too many beers. Sometimes others did.” Drinking in high school and college is obviously compatible with attending church or participating in community service.

www.nationalreview.com/corner/kavanaugh-testimony-clinton-conspiracy-not-blamed

It’s amazing how many people believe, or at least say, things about Kavanaugh’s testimony that aren’t true. One of them is that he accused the Clintons of orchestrating a conspiracy against him or that he attacked the Clintons. Here’s the relevant portion of the transcript:

This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit, fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election, fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record. Revenge on behalf of the Clintons, and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups.

He didn’t say that the Clintons have been running the campaign against him, just that many of his opponents are motivated by anger and raw feelings over the 2016 election, which is self-evidently true.

www.nationalreview.com/2018/10/atticus-finch-was-on-the-wrong-side

The Kavanaugh martyrdom: when the Salem witch trial meets Mao’s Cultural Revolution — Bookworm Room

Brett Kavanaugh’s martyrdom before unfounded, bizarre, nonsensical accusations, is a Salem witch trial redux with hints of Mao’s Cultural Revolution. The ordeal of Brett Kavanaugh takes us back to the bad old days of the Salem Witch Trials, though our proggies add their own Maoist Cultural Revolution gloss. If they succeed with Kavanaugh, he will…

via The Kavanaugh martyrdom: when the Salem witch trial meets Mao’s Cultural Revolution — Bookworm Room

The Real History of Anita Hill

The kind of dirty trick being pulled in the Kavanaugh nomination began with Anita Hill. People are posting memes on social media claiming to believe Anita Hill, but it should be remembered, Anita Hill wasn’t that believable back in her day. From PowerLine:

THE FIRST TIME WAS FARCE, TOO

The Democrats’ current attack on Judge Brett Kavanaugh obviously recalls their failed assault on Clarence Thomas, who has gone on to a distinguished career as an intellectual leader of the Supreme Court. Memories fade, and I had forgotten some of what Hans Bader details at Liberty Unyielding. I remember this much: the Thomas hearing was televised and gripped the nation. At the time, most Americans concluded that Anita Hill, who accused Thomas of making inappropriate sexual references while she worked for him, was lying, and Thomas was confirmed by a Democrat-majority Senate. Over time, the Democrats kept hammering away, and now their press adjunct pretends that Hill somehow carried the day.

 

Southern Poverty Law Center: ‘Essentially a Fraud’ | National Review

It had to happen sometime. The Southern Poverty Law Center has made so many vile, unjustified, hysterical, and hateful accusations over the years, it was bound to pay a price. When it did, the bill due was $3.375 million. Such was the amount the SPLC agreed to pay the British Muslim Maajid Nawaz and his think tank, the Quilliam Foundation, after smearing them in a “Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists.” Nawaz, a former Islamist radical turned whistleblower who calls for the modernization of Islam in columns for the Daily Beast and on London talk radio, had threatened to sue the SPLC for defamation — traditionally and properly a difficult case to make in U.S. courts. Yet the SPLC caved spectacularly.
[snip]
The Nawaz settlement was the most damaging episode yet in what has become an increasingly dire situation for the SPLC’s floundering image. Image, painstakingly built since its founding in 1971, is its chief asset. Image is what keeps the dollars flowing in. The Right has long been calling attention to the SPLC’s questionable tactics, but these days even Politico, The Atlantic, and PBS are running skeptical pieces about the saints of the South. Politico wondered whether the SPLC was “overstepping its bounds” and quoted an anti-terrorism expert, J. M. Berger, who pointed out that “the problem partly stems from the fact that the [SPLC] wears two hats, as both an activist group and a source of information.” David A. Graham of The Atlantic wrote that the “Field Guide” was “more like an attempt to police the discourse on Islam than a true inventory of anti-Muslim extremists, of whom there is no shortage, and opened SPLC up to charges that it had strayed from its civil-rights mission.” PBS interviewer Bob Garfield suggested to its president that the SPLC is increasingly seen “not as fighting the good fight but as being opportunists exploiting our political miseries” and that this was tantamount to killing “the goose that lays the golden egg.” In 2015 the FBI dropped the SPLC from its list of resources about hate groups.

Lately the SPLC has taken on an increasingly desperate, self-parodying tone, denouncing such mainstream figures as the psychologist, author, and PJ Media columnist Helen Smith and the American Enterprise Institute scholar Christina Hoff Sommers, calling them “anti-feminist female voices” and adding them to its double-secret-probation list under the catch-all term “male supremacy.” Former Vanderbilt professor Carol Swain, who is black, wrote in the Wall Street Journal that the group had “smeared” her after she questioned the SPLC’s “misguided focus.” Mark Potok, then the SPLC’s national spokesman, de­nounced her as “an apologist for white supremacists” in a story published on the front page of Swain’s local news­paper, the Tennessean.

To sum up recent events: The SPLC has been crazily denouncing highly respected writers who are Muslim, black, and female for being anti-Muslim, anti-black, and misogynist. All of these contrived charges are in the service of the SPLC’s core mission, which is to separate progressives from their dollars.

Founded in 1971, the Alabama-based SPLC, dubbed “essentially a fraud” by Ken Silverstein in a blog post for Harper’s back in 2010, discovered some time ago that it could line its coffers by positioning itself as a scourge of racists. Silverstein reported that in 1987, after the SPLC sued the United Klans of America, which had almost no assets to begin with, over the lynching murder of Michael Donald, the son of Beulah Mae Donald, the grieving mother realized $52,000 from the court case — but the SPLC used the matter in fundraising appeals (including one that exploited a photograph of Donald’s corpse) that raked in some $9 million in donations. Today the SPLC typically hauls in (as it did in 2015) $50 million. In its 2016 annual report it listed its net endowment assets at an eye-popping $319 million. It’s now quaint to recall that, when Silverstein called the SPLC the wealthiest civil-rights group in America, it had a mere $120 million in assets. That was in 2000. President Richard Cohen and co-founder–cum–chief trial counsel Morris Dees each raked in well over $350,000 in compen­sation in 2015.

There’s more…

Source: Southern Poverty Law Center: ‘Essentially a Fraud’ | National Review