Our old pal Glib Fortuna is back with yet another idiotic post about the ACLU, in which he manages to misunderstand a court ruling while simultaneously engaging in the single dumbest anti-ACLU argument in existence. The headline screams:
ACLU’s Favorite Hate Cult Can’t Attack Families at Heroes’ Funerals
This may be the all time most ridiculous slur against the ACLU, the notion that if they defend a group they must agree with that group. Nothing could be further from the truth and only an idiot or a demagogue – Glib, take your pick – would make such a claim. The ACLU is strongly pro-gay rights, for crying out loud. Does Glib really think they like or agree with the uber-bigot Fred Phelps? If he does, he’s an idiot; if he doesn’t, he’s a demagogue. It really is that simple.
The fact is that the ACLU often defends the rights of those they find loathsome, which is exactly what they should do (and I do the same, quite often). Because they recognize that if the first amendment was written precisely to defend unpopular ideas; no other idea requires such protection. Here’s a great example of why Glib’s slur is such nonsense: Vic Walczak. Vis is the legal director for the ACLU of Pennsylvania, known to readers of this blog as co-counsel in the Dover case.
But that’s not the only case he’s ever had. Vic has also, on many occasions, defended the free speech rights of the KKK and other neo-nazi groups. Why is this significant? Because Vic is a Polish Jew who knows the horrors of Naziism first hand. His grandmother died at Treblinka. His grandfather, a violinist, wasn’t killed; they just surgically removed the tendons from his bowing hand so he could never play again. Yet by Glib’s reasoning, the neo-nazis whose rights he has defended must be his “favorite groups”. This is more than stupidity; it’s stupidity on roller skates. The ACLU only has one true client and it’s the bill of rights; which group happens to be benefiting from its application is irrelevant.
Glib also gets his facts wrong. The court did not rule on the case yet, only on a motion for a preliminary injunction. The fact that the judge won’t grant a preliminary injunction does not mean the law is constitutional or that the ACLU won’t win the case. And isn’t it interesting how, to the right, the Phelps gang only became this horrible “hate cult” when they started protesting the funerals of soldiers? They did the same thing at the funerals of gay people for years before they started protesting at military funerals, with nary a peep from the religious right. What a coinkydink that is.