Good Morning After…
1 Damn First Amendment! I’m hoping that everyone was watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and missed it, but yesterady’s New York Time front page had very strange headline above the fold: “Using Freedom To Lead Attack On Gay Rights.” The online version was more descriptive of te tone of the article: “Fighting Gay Rights and Abortion With the First Amendment.” The article seeks to paint the Alliance Defending Freedom, which opposes policies that its members believe infringe on their right to live according to their religious beliefs, as sinister. By emphasizing the fact fact that the guarantees of the First Amendment aid and abet the dastardly objcetives of these horrible people, the Times appears—to me, anyway–to be questioning the First Amendment itself. Don’t all advocacy groups “use freedom” to argue for their positions? Doesn’t the New York Times fight the Republican Party and Donald Trump “with the First Amendment”? Yes, we have free speech in this country, at least until progressives acquire sufficient power to limit it, as their rhetoric increasingly portends. Where is the Times headline, “Progressive Use Freedom to Lead Attack on Liberty”?
From the article:
“We think that in a free society people who believe that marriage is between a man and a woman shouldn’t be coerced by the government to promote a different view of marriage,” said Jeremy Tedesco, a senior counsel and vice president of United States advocacy for the group, which is based in Scottsdale, Ariz. “We have to figure out how to live in a society with pluralistic and diverse views.”
But civil liberties groups and gay rights advocates say that Alliance Defending Freedom’s arguments about religious liberty and free expression mask another motivation: a deep-seated belief that gay people are immoral and that no one should be forced to recognize them as ordinary members of society.
Oh, no doubt, the civil liberty groups are correct about that, but so what? Motives have never been the criteria whereby legitimate use of the First Amendment is measured and limited. Whether religious groups believe that LGBT individuals should not have the same rights as other citizens because they have been condemned by God, or whether they just think they are inherently icky, or whether they are inherently icky because they have been condemned by God, or whether they have been condemned by God because God thinks thet thinks they are inherently icky, part of the First Amendment states that they have a right to their beliefs, and another part says that they have a right to argue for those beliefs without government interference. Yup: they are dead wrong about gays (though not necessarily about abortion), just as the Times is wrong about many, many things. But implicating the First Amendment while attacking Alliance Defending Freedom’s positions is a dangerous game, and one more bit of evidence that a large swathe of the ideological Left regards the nation’s core principles of freedom or speech and religion as problems rather than blessings.
2. It isn’t that I’m conservative, it’s just that the rhetoric and logic of liberals increasingly scare the hell out of me…I flagged another Times article for discussion two weeks ago, then lost my notes. Found them! Claudia Goldin, a Harvard professor of economics, wrote that rarity, and honest and factual article about the so-called “gender pay gap.” She explained what dishonest demagogues on the Left—like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton–always gloss over when they cite their old, deceitful “77 cents” trope:
The data shows that women disproportionately seek jobs — including full-time jobs — that are more likely to mesh with family responsibilities, which, for the most part, are still greater for women than for men. So, the research shows, women tend to prefer jobs that offer flexibility: the ability to shift hours of work and rearrange shifts to accommodate emergencies at home.
Such jobs tend to be more predictable, with fewer on-call hours and less exposure to weekend and evening obligations. These advantages have a negative consequence: lower earnings per hour, even when the number of hours worked is the same.
She cites other factors as well. While gender discrimination in the workplace can and does exist, a large portion of the “gender gap” arises out of conscious choices—and I thought the right to choose was a good thing.
So far so good…and then the professor concludes with this:
In sum, the gap is mainly the upshot of two separate but related forces: workplaces that pay more per hour to those who work longer and more uncertain hours, and households in which women have assumed disproportionately large responsibilities.
Equality on this court requires a level playing field at home and in the market. There are many battles ahead. Unfortunately, they need to be fought at several levels.
In other words, society and human nature must be upended, forcibly if necessary, because absolute gender equality in pay and the elimination of all disparities in gender-based behavior must be achieved at all costs…and the costs include making people miserable. This is the mandatory social engineering that made Communism such a hell on earth, and yet the Left is still peddling it. It is wrong that most women, physically, psychologically and emotionally, prefer to care for children and are better at it than most men, so we must change that! If we don’t, we won’t be able to eliminate the gender pay gap!
If there is a statistical gender pay gap that result from individual choices rather than discrimination, there is nothing unethical about accepting it as a natural consequence of freedom. I find it extremely ominous that so many liberals are unable or unwilling to understand this.
In my experience, however, most women do.
3. I want a written apology, I think…no, even that’s not enough. I am not yet inclined forgive all those people who accused me of being a Republican shill and motivated by partisan bias 19 years ago when I tried to explain to them why a President who lies under oath to protect his tawdry workplace sex-romps and uses the power of his office and his subordinates to cover his tracks is a national disgrace and should resign forthwith. “Everybody does it”…”It’s just sex!”…”Everybody lies about sex!”…”It was a perjury trap!”…”It’s just personal behavior!” …”They were consenting adults!”…”She entrapped him!”…”What about Gingrich’s cheating?”…”It wasn’t really sex!”…”Hillary doesn’t care!”…”It’s a vast right wing conspiracy!” Not only did Clinton’s unprincipled and hypocritical defenders from Lanny Davis and Gloria Steinem to friends and relatives (You know who you are…) hurl these rationalizations and lies at me and others, but they were snotty about it, as if I were the ignorant, cynical, hypocritical one ignoring fact, ethics and law.
Fact: A President having sex with an intern is per se sexual harassment.
Fact: Such conduct, then and now, would get any CEO fired, no matter how earnestly the low level employee swore it was consensual.
Fact: Perjury is a serious crime, and a President of the United States lying under oath undermines the Rule of Law and public respect for the system.
Fact: no lawyer who behaved as Clinton did would be allowed to continue practicing law, and Presidents must be held to higher standards than lawyers.
Fact: the alleged or actual misconduct of other Presidents and other high office holders is entirely irrelevant to the importance of holding Clinton to the proper standards of conduct for his office.
Fact: my position would have been unchanged regardless of who the President was, and what party he was from.
Fact: I don’t care who or what a President has sex with as long as he doesn’t violate the law in the process, lie about it under oath, and use his power to cover it up.
Fact: I was right.
For these reasons, all of the feminists, progressives and Democrats coming out now to change their ugly tune is infuriating. In most cases, their flip-flops are just as cynical as their original denials and mockery. As John Sexton wrote this week,
“They fought us tooth and nail on this issue for 19 years. They mocked the right’s concerns and made flaming hypocrites of themselves abandoning their own concerns (sexual harassment, respect for women). Having done all of that, the left is now casually switching sides on the field, like a football team after half-time. As someone who lived through all of this, their sudden, convenient about-face is just astounding to behold. Two decades of their smug, snooty garbage and now it’s just “Okay, you were right all along.”