Annals of Hypocrisy


The New McCarthyism

Walter Olson blogged:

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) took a quote in which Brett Kavanaugh summarized the positions taken by litigants in a lawsuit, snipped off his “But they said” language introducing the summary, and represented the remainder as Kavanaugh’s own position. News organizations like CNN, along with many persons in my timeline, ran with her version as a story.

I’ve been warning about Sen. Harris since back when she was California Attorney General and kept ignoring the ethical rules in high-profile cases. Among those cases: the Moonlight Fire litigation (judge, ordering state to pay $32 million to its opponent, said he could recall “no instance in experience over 47 years as an advocate and a judge, in which the conduct of the Attorney General so thoroughly departed from the high standard it represents”) and the Backpage prosecution (courts reject her theory of criminal liability over online sex ads, she orders execs raided and arrested anyway).

What’s Good for RBG is Bad for Brett Kavanaugh, or So We’re Told

A typical headline in the liberal media and by progressive activists (excuse the redundancy) this week was Brett Kavanaugh’s ‘Obergefell’ Comments On Gay Marriage Will Give You Pause. As put it:

Brett Kavanaugh’s comments on Obergefell and gay marriage rights revealed little about his personal opinions on the matter. … Despite [Sen. Kamala] Harris repeatedly asking for Kavanaugh’s personal opinion on the case, Kavanaugh never directly gave it.

This is only surprisingly to those who are unfamiliar with the so-called Ginsberg Standard, named after liberal icon and current Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who during her own confirmation hearing refused to indicate how she would rule on controversial matters that could come before the court. While this hesitancy certainly wasn’t new, Ginsburg clearly enunciated the principle that judicial nominees must avoid offering “hints,” “forecasts” or “previews” of how they might rule since decisions should be made based on the evidence presented and application of the law, not preexisting personal beliefs.

While RBG clearly didn’t want to seem biased by revealing she would oppose any limitation on abortion on demand up until at least the baby’s delivery, regardless of its previous viability outside the womb at time of termination, the principle in itself was and is sound.

Liberal media and activists are trying to argue that what was good and right for RBG is evil and nefarious for BK, but it’s just partisan blather.

As we noted earlier, Kavanaugh was a safe, solid choice and progressives were poised to denounce anyone Trump nominated as an extremist ideologue (and they know all about being extremist ideologues). Moreover, as we posted when Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement:

The New Inquisition

Walter Olson posted:

Brown University assistant professor Lisa Littman’s research, subjected to peer review, accepted and published in the journal PLOS One, “explored the reportedly growing phenomenon by which clusters of socially connected teenage girls, some beset by autism spectrum disorder and other mental health challenges, suddenly express feelings of gender dysphoria apparently without having experienced these earlier in life, as is more commonly the case.”

At, Jeffrey S Flier writes:

“Dr. Littman’s preliminary research suggested that this often occurs after heavy exposure to social-media content extolling the benefits of gender transition….[Following criticism by activists on social media and after hearing directly from unnamed individuals] Brown University deleted its initial promotional reference to Dr. Littman’s work from the university’s website—then replaced it with a note explaining how Dr. Littman’s work might harm members of the transgender community….
“Increasingly, research on politically charged topics is subject to indiscriminate attack on social media, which in turn can pressure school administrators to subvert established norms regarding the protection of free academic inquiry. What’s needed is a campaign to mobilize the academic community to protect our ability to conduct and communicate such research, whether or not the methods and conclusions provoke controversy or even outrage.”

More. David E. Bernstein writes:

Establishment voices that are usually raised very quickly at any hint of the politicization of science from right-wing political sources were notably silent. But can you imagine the reaction if the study had been one favorable to, say, same-sex marriage, and the same thing had happened after conservative evangelical Christian activists complained?

Gail Heriot writes, “This reminded me of when I drew the ire of transgender activists two years ago.”

Unintended consequences.

McCain’s Passing

Log Cabin Republicans President Gregory T. Angelo issued the following statement:

Log Cabin Republicans had a long and positive history with Senator McCain. The support of Log Cabin Republicans members in his 2000 bid for President of the United States that was derided by then-candidate George W. Bush became a badge of honor for our organization. Our PAC was proud to endorse him in his 2008 bid for that same office, as we were for his most recent reelection to the U.S. Senate in 2016. His support for ENDA in 2013 opposing employment discrimination against the LGBT community will go down in history as a legacy vote proving his evolution in support of LGBT Americans followed in the historic footsteps of Barry Goldwater, the United States Senator whose seat he inherited. Tonight Log Cabin Republicans join in mourning with Senator McCain’s family, and stand in solidarity with a man who will go down in history as a maverick and American patriot.

But a great many liberal political and media voices, praising McCain for his feud with Donald Trump, we’re saying something quite different about him when he ran for president against Obama.

All About Compulsion

As Williamson notes:

What [Phillips] declines to do is to make cakes for certain events, participation in which, even as a vendor, would violate his conscience. As he put it: “I serve everybody. It’s just that I don’t create cakes for every occasion.”

Phillips has been prosecuted under a civil-rights law, but this is not really a case about civil rights: It is a case about compulsion. …

The point is not to see to it that gay and transgender people can live their lives as they wish to — the point is to coerce Jack Phillips into conformity.