Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 10/24/17: It’s The Andrew Sullivan Show!

Still trying to clear the decks..

1 Last week, Andrew Sullivan delivered a couple of excellent pieces of commentary with ethical clarity. My definition of an ethical analyst is one who can steer away from the magnetic pull of cognitive dissonance, and realize that, for example, just because Democrats and progressives deplore President Trump as much as you do doesn’t mean you have to regard their battiest and most unethical positions as better than they are. Sullivan qualifies. Here he is making what I once thought was an obvious point: that Democrats and progressives embracing open borders (and condemning as racist anyone who doesn’t) was irresponsible:

I don’t believe it’s disputable at this point that the most potent issue behind the rise of the far right in America and Europe is mass immigration. It’s a core reason that Trump is now president…[and the] reason why I have dwindling hopes that the Democratic Party will be able to defeat Trump in 2020. Instead of adjusting to this new reality, and listening to the electorate, the Dems have moved ever farther to the left, and are controlled by ever-radicalizing activists. There’s a nuanced, smart — and shockingly honest — piece in Vox by Dara Lind about this. Money quote:

For Democrats, it’s been a simple calculus. Democrats’ attempts at “tough love” centrism didn’t win them any credit across the aisle, while an increasingly empowered immigrant-rights movement started calling them to task for the adverse consequences of enforcement policies. Democrats learned to ignore the critics on the right they couldn’t please, and embrace the critics on the left who they could… Democrats in 2017, in general, tend to criticize the use of immigration enforcement, and tend to side with those accused of violating immigration law, as a broad matter of principle beyond opposing the particular actions of the administration … Democrats are no longer as willing to attack “illegal immigration” as a fundamental problem anymore.

This is, to be blunt, political suicide. The Democrats’ current position seems to be that the Dreamer parents who broke the law are near heroes, indistinguishable from the children they brought with them; and their rhetoric is very hard to distinguish, certainly for most swing voters, from a belief in open borders. In fact, the Democrats increasingly seem to suggest that any kind of distinction between citizens and noncitizens is somehow racist. You could see this at the last convention, when an entire evening was dedicated to Latinos, illegal and legal, as if the rule of law were largely irrelevant. Hence the euphemism “undocumented” rather than “illegal.” So the stage was built, lit, and set for Trump.

Bingo.

2. A post that fell through the cracks months ago involved one more example of California morphing into Bizarro USA. Then the post was about a speech-dictating bill passed by the legislature; this month, Jerry Brown signed it into law. The bill was SB-219, changing the laws regarding health care facilities, including nursing homes.

The bill ‘s sponsor, Democratic state Sen. Scott Wiener, said that it was aimed at protecting transgender and other LGBT individuals in hospitals, retirement homes and assisted living facilities, such as allowing them to use whatever  bathroom they prefer to use. Let’s accept that as a legitimate legislative objective. However, the bill, now law, also says…

“It shall be unlawful for a long-term care facility or facility staff to take any of the following actions wholly or partially on the basis of a person’s actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) status,” and among those “actions” is “willfully and repeatedly” failing to use a transgender person’s “preferred name or pronouns” after he or she is “clearly informed of the preferred name or pronouns.”

Naturally, since this is the bifurcated and almost worthless journalism culture the U.S. now has, no mainstream media news source was bothered by this sufficiently to cover it, but the conservative media, including Fox, went bonkers, with headlines like, “New California law allows jail time for using wrong gender pronoun.”

Weiner denies that this could happen, claiming that in reality nobody would be criminally prosecuted for using the wrong pronoun. “It’s just more scare tactics by people who oppose all LGBT civil rights and protections,” he said in a statement last month.

Yes, I think all Americans should trust that even when a law says they can be prosecuted for something the Constitution says they can’t be prosecuted for, they won’t be because, “Come on, we wouldn’t do that! Have some faith!”

In truth, the law itself constitutes scare tactics, leaving open the possibility of fines and even jail time for being a jerk when a an elderly, perhaps demented resident wakes up one day and decides he identifies as a she, or non-binery, or whatever new versions of gender surface in the coming months. I seriously doubt that the law’s imposing penalties for not using politically correct pronouns—I get it, this would be part of a pattern of “abuse”—would survive First Amendment scrutiny. If the government can’t tell us what words to use, then it also can’t dictate that someone else can tell us what words to use.

Coincidentally, Andrew Sullivan, a gay man who identifies as a gay man, also sheds light on this issue in the same New York Magazine essay quoted above, writing..

“For me, as regular readers know, few things seem as ominous as the fate of free speech in the West. In democratic countries without a First Amendment, writers and speakers are now routinely hauled into court for hurting someone’s feelings or violating some new PC edict. In Canada, it is now a crime to use pronouns that have served the English language well enough for centuries, if you are not careful. You are compelled by law to say “ze” or “xe” or “ve” or an endlessly proliferating litany of gobbledygook — “(f)aer,” “e/ey,” “perself” — invented out of thin air by postmodern transgenderists. Justin Trudeau doesn’t just want you to be criminalized for saying things he regards as “hate,” he wants to use the criminal law to force you to say things you don’t believe in and can’t even remember….”

Slippery slope?

I don’t see no slippery slope…

3. Let’s segue to Fox for this morning’s final warm-up item. The Bill O’Reilly scandal rose from its coffin and bit Fox News with a vengeance, as the New York Times revealed last week that the network signed its former star to a huge new contract AFTER it learned that he had paid $32 million dollars in an out of court settlement to a woman he allegedly abused and harassed. O’Reilly fired back, claiming he had done “nothing wrong”—I wonder how many people have paid $32 million to settle an accusation when they have done nothing wrong? My assumption is that this means that the payer has a unique definition of “wrong”—and blamed God for the misunderstanding. Fox News clearly wants this story to go away, for Bill to crawl into a hole, and for his God knows how many victims to shut up and stop reminding everyone how sleazy the network was and probably still is. I can understand that. BUT…

Former Fox News host Juliet Huddy appeared on NBC’s “Megyn Kelly Today”—Megyn has her own harassment complaints regarding Fox News— to dish about Huddy’s sexual harassment claims against O’Reilly. A few hours later, Fox fired her brother, Jerusalem-based foreign correspondent John Huddy.

What a coinkydink! In a statement, Fox attributed John Huddy’s firing to “a thorough investigation into a physical altercation.”

Now THAT’S an appearance of impropriety! Whether Huddy was fired to punish his sister or not, I don’t understand how nobody at Fox could see how it looks. It looks like a Mafia-like message to any woman tempted to talk about their harassment at Fox, saying: “Shut your mouth, or we’ll hurt you and your family. We have ways.”

If Huddy had done something that was a legitimate firing offense, Fox News should have waited until Kill Bill 3 was off the news radar unless it wanted to intimidate victims and saw a way to kill two birds with one stone.

I think Fox wanted to intimidate victims.
 

47 Comments

Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Business & Commercial, Citizenship, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Family, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement, Rights, This Helps Explain Why Trump Is President

47 responses to “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 10/24/17: It’s The Andrew Sullivan Show!

  1. Rusty Rebar

    Yes, I think all Americans should trust that even when a law says they can be prosecuted for something the Constitution says they can’t be prosecuted for, they won’t be because, “Come on, we wouldn’t do that! Have some faith!”

    I’m just gonna leave this here: http://archive.is/nrEY6

    • Unsurprised at the settlement and the person prevailing in it. It floors me, though, that after all these years there is still a police department so totally clueless as to think they can arrest someone for burning the flag. Didn’t the Supreme Court rule on this way back in the 60s or maybe the early 70s?

      Sheesh.

  2. Re: The Bill O’Reilly Debacle.

    I always hated Bill O’Reilly. I always thought he was a loud mouth and a blow-hard. He was never interesting or insightful about anything. I refuse to read any of his books – which may be just fine objects of literary and historical works. I am annoyed but not surprised at his countless payouts to women he has harassed over the years. Those have been open secrets.

    That being said, the real jerk in all of this is Sean Hannity. Why Sean? Because for the last two weeks (or ever since Harvey had his little problem in Hollywood), Hannity has been droning on and on and on and on and on and. . . . about exposing the sick Hollywood culture of depravity and sexual harassment. He openly declared that he was going to take the whole thing down. Wooooooo!! You are a brave one, Sean.

    You wanna show us how strong and fearsome you are? Take down Fox for its culture of depravity and sexual harassment. Why don’t look at your open company and expose the sickness at Fox? Point that high powered analysis and insight into why its media giant (O’Reilly) had to be run out of town. Talk to the Megyn Kellys and Juliet Huddys and Gretchen McCords about what they had to deal with on a regular basis from these bozos. You won’t do that, will you, Sean? Oh, why not? That’s right – Fox pays you tons of money to spew your trivial nonsense. You are a jerk, Sean Hannity. Do us a favor and go away.

    Oh, and don’t think CNN is any better. No way. They couldn’t find a stage big enough to fit all of the pundits horrified that Fox paid O’Reilly a bigass contract renewal 32 seconds after he paid $32 million smackaroonies to settle his clearly baseless claim. No, CNN had about 56 people yelling at how awful Fox is. Don Lemons? Stop. Just stop. You downplayed Harvey’s problems until you did not have a choice, so jumping on the anti-Fox bandwagon just makes you look dumber than you usually do. And as an aside, you should shelve your “BY GOD! TRUMP IS A TERRIBLE HUMAN BEING” bias for a while. You look petulant and stupid. That goes for you, too, Anderson.

    jvb

  3. Other Bill

    Again. A thirty-two million dollar settlement? $32,000.000,00? He paid that personally? Fox paid it? Their insurer paid it? Mind boggling. There’s that much money to be made in TV punditry and political news? Yikes!

    • I don’t know EXACTLY the numbers and the rankings, but Bill probably was in the top 10 of TV earners. That he HAD that money isn’t exactly newsworthy to me, that he thought it was a reasonable settlement for something where he “did nothing wrong” is fucking insane.

  4. “Coincidentally, Andrew Sullivan, a gay man who identifies as a gay man, also sheds light on this issue in the same New York Magazine essay quoted above, writing.”

    And Jeff, who is a gay man that identifies as a Hind-D Attack helicopter ratatatatat pewpew, who’s gender pronouns are his majesty/his majesties/his magesty (And if you don’t spell them exactly the right way dependent on grammar, you’re obviously a Nazi), wants to point out that:

    “In Canada, it is now a crime to use pronouns that have served the English language well enough for centuries, if you are not careful.”

    Is not actually true. That’s not the law in Canada, that’s the law in Ontario, which is kind of like Canada’s California. And the moment someone actually falls victim to this stupid, badly reasoned, legally illiterate law, SCOC will slap it down like a red headed stepchild.

    Just not before it makes someone’s life a five year series of bureaucratic hells.

    • Glenn Logan

      And Jeff, who is a gay man that identifies as a Hind-D Attack helicopter ratatatatat pewpew, who’s gender pronouns are his majesty/his majesties/his magesty (And if you don’t spell them exactly the right way dependent on grammar, you’re obviously a Nazi), wants to point out that:

      My chili just coated my monitor. Thanks. 🙂

    • JLo

      “In Canada, it is now a crime to use pronouns that have served the English language well enough for centuries, if you are not careful.”

      Why would the esteemed Andrew Sullivan rely on an excerpt from the Daily Caller for proof of his underlying facts? I don’t care how well he writes or how laudable are his conclusions, if he supports them with untruths he is not writing ethically. It ain’t no “crime” in Canada.

      See, for example: https://lop.parl.ca/About/Parliament/LegislativeSummaries/bills_ls.asp?Language=E&ls=c16&Parl=42&Ses=1&source=library_prb#a10

      That being said, under Canadian Human Rights and Ontario Human Rights regimes, there may be a conclusion of discrimination if services are provided in a manner that discriminate on the basis of gender identity or gender expression. Bill C-16 did amend the Canadian Human Rights code. Due to our division of powers between the feds and the provinces, this impacts few people. However, in our largest province, the Ontario Human Rights Commission has apparently expressed the view that not using an individual’s chosen name and pronoun could result in discrimination. I think this is what Humble Talent is referring to.

      Arguably then, for as many years as marital status has been a protected status, it would likewise be discrimination not to reference (caution: gender assumption alerts) a married woman as Mrs., if that was her choice. No one has complained about that compelled speech to my knowledge.

      On a complete side note, HT, you had a great comment the other day that recounted a stirring moment at a Bomber’s game. However, you wrote, and I am paraphrasing, the Bombers had some Jets that looked like a particular plane but you were not sure fly overhead. I read this twice thinking you meant two Jets players and not two jets. How did they find hockey players that looked like planes!

      • “No one has complained about that compelled speech to my knowledge.”

        So what? It’s compelled speech, whether someone complains about it or not.

        For the record, here are the rationalizations from the Ethics Alarms list that you just nicked, evoked, or implied. ( I count 16. I may have missed a couple.)

        1. The Golden Rationalization, or “Everybody does it”
        3. Consequentialism, or “It worked out for the best”
        8. The Trivial Trap (“No harm no foul!”)
        13. The Saint’s Excuse: “It’s for a good cause”
        22. The Comparative Virtue Excuse: “There are worse things.”
        33. The Management Shrug: “Don’t sweat the small stuff!”
        34. Success Immunity, or “They must be doing something right!”
        41. The Evasive Tautology, or “It is what it is.”
        42. The Hillary Inoculation, or “If he/she doesn’t care, why should anyone else?”
        43. Vin’s Punchline, or “We’ve never had a problem with it!”
        50. The Apathy Defense, or “Nobody Cares.”
        50A. Narcissist Ethics , or “I don’t care”
        58. The Golden Rule Mutation, or “I’m all right with it!”
        59. The Ironic Rationalization, or “It’s The Right Thing To Do”
        61. The Paranoid’s Blindness, or “It’s not me, it’s you.”

        • JLo

          My point was not in support of the OHRC at all. I was providing an analogy and, with the support of the analogy, submitting that refusing to reference someone by a chosen name/pronoun is discrimination under the Ontario Code is absurd. No on has complained because it is not a logical outcome – to ban discrimination on the basis of marital status or gender identity/expression does not compel someone to use specific speech in a context of providing a service, etc. within the confines of the Code.

          I agree with HT and thus have the same opinion that our courts would not support this conclusion. I like to think that the majority among us are not speech compellers but we seem to be fighting more and more battles. We do have lots of people, especially under the guise of promoting human rights, who would like to compel speech and sadly many other jurisdictions do too. I am not one of them. And from my reading of HT’s comments over the few years I have been lurking on this blog and occasional suffering your wrath Jack, neither is he.

          I also recognize and abhor that when there are “bad laws” that are enforced the enforcement itself becomes the punishment. No one wants to spend thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours fighting a claim before a tribunal backed by a law that is unconstitutional. You never really come out a winner. Ask (read) Mark Steyn.

          All that being said, we do some crazy stuff up here to make some people feel good. Quebec recently passed a law that will force every member of the public to reveal their face, even if only temporarily, if they want a provincial government service. Seems that there has been some backpedalling over enforcement and potential exemptions, if any, but having the law available is problematic for the same reasons. And the current government’s view on enforcement may change with the political winds. See –
          https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/quebec-justice-minister-says-bill-62-on-face-coverings-is-not-repressive/article36701091/

          I love the line, “We do not have the intention of setting up an uncovered-face police.” Maybe not now but this is the Canadian jurisdiction that has French language “police” who roam the province viewing and measuring to ensure signage meets Bill 101 language requirements for French. https://www.oqlf.gouv.qc.ca/accueil.aspx

          Now that is an example of compelled speech in Canada. Yet there are instances in the US of signage language laws too, though maybe not as comprehensive.

          Thanks HT for clarifying the jets!

      • I don’t blame Andrew Sullivan for this, Americans tend to forget that Canada is bigger than Toronto, and they might be forgiven for that, because something like a third of Canada lives in one city.

        “However, in our largest province, the Ontario Human Rights Commission has apparently expressed the view that not using an individual’s chosen name and pronoun could result in discrimination. I think this is what Humble Talent is referring to.”

        Right on the money. And while I take your point on “Mrs.”, this situation parallels the Californian example Jack laid out; it’s almost inconceivable that someone would actually be charged with a hate crime for misgendering someone, and even if they were, and even if they were actually convicted, I stand by my assertion that that conviction or those penalties wouldn’t stand up to appeal. BUT… The changes to the Human Rights Code, using the outlines on the OHRC website leaves the door open for abuses like what we’re talking about. And really… I’m not sure that even proponents of this bill would be able to verbalize what the goal of C-16 was without at least implicitly suggesting legal consequences for being a jerk.

        I don’t see a good reason to trust the good will of the OHRC’s litigators not to abuse this system.And if the contention is that the law will never be used that way, it ought not be the law.

        However on a more pleasant topic, I did some digging and I found the press release, the jets in question were CF-18 Hornets, and they flew approximately 500 feet above the highest point of the structure. I was awesome…. Maybe not as awesome as firing Blake Wheeler and Patrik Laine out of a cannon…. but still awesome.

  5. Glenn Logan

    No. 2: Is the First Amendment just a dead letter to the Democrats? I get that the college left thinks it’s somehow inapplicable to their feelz, but one would think that fully grown adult legislators would know that such a law regulating pronouns is flagrantly unconstitutional. Apparently not.

    This is massive legislative incompetence. Sometimes, legislators try to nibble around the edges, like in McCain-Feingold and other attempts to regulate speech, which arguably are in good faith and, at least in their view, close calls. This one isn’t just obvious, it should be obvious to a fourth-grader educated before 1990.

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

  6. In truth, the law itself constitutes scare tactics, leaving open the possibility of fines and even jail time for being a jerk when a an elderly, perhaps demented resident wakes up one day and decides he identifies as a she, or non-binery, or whatever new versions of gender surface in the coming months. I seriously doubt that the law’s imposing penalties for not using politically correct pronouns—I get it, this would be part of a pattern of “abuse”—would survive First Amendment scrutiny. If the government can’t tell us what words to use, then it also can’t dictate that someone else can tell us what words to use.

    this begs the question of whether or not such laws, infringing on freedoms, to protect certain classes of persons, would aggravate resentment against such classes of persons.

  7. Chris

    What a coinkydink! In a statement, Fox attributed John Huddy’s firing to “a thorough investigation into a physical altercation.”

    Now THAT’S an appearance of impropriety! Whether Huddy was fired to punish his sister or not, I don’t understand how nobody at Fox could see how it looks. It looks like a Mafia-like message to any woman tempted to talk about their harassment at Fox, saying: “Shut your mouth, or we’ll hurt you and your family. We have ways.”

    If Huddy had done something that was a legitimate firing offense, Fox News should have waited until Kill Bill 3 was off the news radar unless it wanted to intimidate victims and saw a way to kill two birds with one stone.

    I think Fox wanted to intimidate victims.

    I’m at a loss as to how this differs from the firing of Comey.

    • Are you really? Because I’ll take the time if you really need me to.

      • Chris

        I’m all ears. As of now, I could modify Jack’s statement to be about Comey and it would work perfectly:

        Now THAT’S an appearance of impropriety! Whether Comey was fired to punish him for investigating the Trump campaign or not, I don’t understand how nobody at the White House could see how it looks. It looks like a Mafia-like message to any investigator who looks into Trump, saying, “Shut your mouth, or we’ll hurt you. We have ways.”

        If Comey had done something that was a legitimate firing offense, the White House should have waited until Russiagate was off the news radar unless it wanted to intimidate investigators and saw a way to kill two birds with one stone.

        • I’d start with the distinction that James Comey is an idiot, and everyone knows it, or knew it at one time or another, to various degrees. He’d alienated both sides of the aisle by alternatively capitulating and grandstanding for certain interested parties. At this point, I question both his integrity and his courage. You’d probably be hard pressed to find a politician of any stripe who had: 1) commented on Comey and 2) Hadn’t called for his firing at one time or another. The appearance of impropriety requires that there actually be the appearance that the firing was improper.

          Second… The director of the FBI is a more material position than any person in any news organization, period. Where Huddy could have been given a job in a closet counting paperclips, James Comey was in charge of a major government division. Even if there was the appearance of impropriety, and again, see above, at some level the importance of the job overcomes the optics.

    • Then you need to think about it some more.

    • valkygrrl

      The same reason why basic human decency is evil forced speech but forcing football players to engage in political speech is good and pure.

      • Just stop. Standing as part of a ceremony that is part of an entertainment medium’s performance isn’t political speech any more than singing “you’re a Grand Old Flag” if you’re a paid member of the chorus of “George M!” is. Drop the straw men. This is a dishonest argument, as has been shown in multiple threads.

      • Standing to respect the flag that represents the values of our nation during the national anthem is not political speech. Your entire comment is trash.

        • valkygrrl

          Of course it’s political speech, just as much as sitting is. You just fail to understand it because you can’t conceive of how anyone would disagree with the message. When I say slavery is bad, that’s political. And when I stand or don’t, that’s political either way. I already linked Justice Jackson’s opinion in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette. Did you forget it already?

          https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/319/624

          There is no doubt that, in connection with the pledges, the flag salute is a form of utterance. Symbolism is a primitive but effective way of communicating ideas. The use of an emblem or flag to symbolize some system, idea, institution, or personality is a short-cut from mind to mind. Causes and nations, political parties, lodges, and ecclesiastical groups seek to knit the loyalty of their followings to a flag or banner, a color or design. The State announces rank, function, and authority through crowns and maces, uniforms and black robes; the church speaks through the Cross, the Crucifix, the altar and shrine, and clerical raiment. Symbols of State often convey political ideas, just as religious symbols come to convey theological ones. Associated with many of these symbols are appropriate gestures of acceptance or respect: a salute, a bowed or bared head, a bended knee. A person gets from a symbol the meaning he puts into it, and what is one man’s comfort and inspiration is another’s jest and scorn.

          Over a decade ago, Chief Justice Hughes led this Court in holding that the display of a red flag as a symbol of opposition by peaceful and legal means to organized government was protected by the free speech guaranties of the Constitution. Stromberg v. California, 283 U.S. 359. Here, it is the State that employs a flag as a symbol of adherence to government as presently organized. It requires the individual to communicate by word and sign his acceptance of the political ideas it thus bespeaks. Objection to this form of communication, when coerced, is an old one, well known to the framers of the Bill of Rights.

          • It’s been demonstrated exhaustively that the pledge of allegiance arguments are not analogous to this.

            Thanks for spending the time though.

            Your original comment is still trash.

            Just because throwing the kneeling temper tantrum is a political speech does not mean the opposite, that is rendering respect also is.

            • (And a huge diversion from the topic of the post, in case you think we don’t see what you are trying to do here)

              • valkygrrl

                Trying to do?

                You mean establish a pattern. Compelled speech is bad, till it’s something you care about. Firing as a form of intimidation is bad, unless Trump does it. Sexual harassment is bad, unless it’s Trump’s “locker room banter.”

                • 1) It isn’t compelled speech.
                  2) Comey wasn’t fired to intimidate others.
                  3) Locker room banter is banter.

                  See how easy that was?

                  Quit embarrassing yourself.

                  • valkygrrl

                    1: of course it is, you even said yourself you believe it’s to show respect. That’s political.

                    2: Oh of course not, it just happen when he wouldn’t call off investigations that Trump wanted called off. No one down the chain would ever think for a moment their jobs were in jeopardy should they investigate accusations of Russian meddling.

                    3: It sure sounded like he was confessing to sexual harassment and sexual assault.

                  • Chris

                    1) It is, though it’s compelled speech by an employer, not the government. And yet there is a government aspect to it; the employer is compelling speech that is inherently patriotic, and thus political in the exact same way Justice Jackson described the pledge as being:

                    Symbols of State often convey political ideas, just as religious symbols come to convey theological ones. Associated with many of these symbols are appropriate gestures of acceptance or respect: a salute, a bowed or bared head, a bended knee. A person gets from a symbol the meaning he puts into it, and what is one man’s comfort and inspiration is another’s jest and scorn.

                    Over a decade ago, Chief Justice Hughes led this Court in holding that the display of a red flag as a symbol of opposition by peaceful and legal means to organized government was protected by the free speech guaranties of the Constitution. Stromberg v. California, 283 U.S. 359. Here, it is the State that employs a flag as a symbol of adherence to government as presently organized. It requires the individual to communicate by word and sign his acceptance of the political ideas it thus bespeaks.

                    To say that the anthem is not at all analogous to the pledge is to completely ignore Jackson’s argument here.

                    2) You don’t know that, and in fact, it’s pretty gullible of you to believe that.

                    3) It could be “banter,” but at the very least it is revealing of the mindset of one who would commit sexual assault. Given that Trump has had multiple allegations leveled against him, that we know he has this attitude is reason to believe the allegations are true.

                    • Hughes made explicit “communication by word” because there’s a material difference between actually compelling speech, and all the things you’re trying to lump into compelled speech. But more importantly, Hughes decision did not refer to the ability of Private employers to require specific performance in a job setting. Even if one were to concede that the anthem in the context of sporting events was political… And I don’t concede that…. It does not matter from a legal standpoint, which is the only standpoint he was interested in.

                      Merriam Webster defines “political” as:

                      1 a :of or relating to government, a government, or the conduct of government
                      b :of, relating to, or concerned with the making as distinguished from the administration of governmental policy
                      2 :of, relating to, involving, or involved in politics and especially party politics
                      3 :organized in governmental terms: political units
                      4 :involving or charged or concerned with acts against a government or a political system political prisoners

                      Basically… “political” refers to the systems and processes surrounding policy. I think asserting that the anthem in this context is political begs two questions:

                      1) What policy do you think the anthem in this context interacts with?
                      2) Which party or parties are in opposition to the policy that the anthem interacts with, and which party or parties are in support of it?

            • valkygrrl

              If you’d like to try to demonstrate that I’m wrong, by all means, try. So far, all you’ve done is to assert it. What you call respect for the flag, even though the flag is always flying up there over the stadium and the standing, or not, is for the anthem, is political.

    • This is an embarrassing comment.

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