Monday, August 08, 2005

Guilt by Association? It's Fine by Hyman.

Hyman attacks ACLU. Not exactly “Man Bites Dog,” is it? About the only interesting thing about Hyman’s most recent attack on the American Civil Liberties Union is the fact that his argument against the organization is one that might put him at odds with a number of his conservative brethren.

Calling the ACLU the “American Criminal Liberties Union,” Hyman complains that the ACLU is asking the FBI to turn over records of groups it had under surveillance leading up to and during the Republican and Democratic National Conventions in 2004.

According to Hyman, some of the groups protesting at the conventions “promised disruption and violence.” He doesn’t say which groups. Hyman also says that some groups that took part in protests in Miami, Washington, and Seattle in recent years were also planning to protest at the national conventions in 2004. Again, he doesn’t bother to identify specific groups.

Rather, Hyman says that it’s fine and dandy that the FBI spied on any and all groups that were planning protests at the 2004 conventions, and that the ACLU should be thanking the authorities for keeping files on Americans participating in political speech (apparently Hyman’s only a fan of unfettered political speech when it involves writing large checks to politicians, not when it involves ordinary Americans exercising their freedom of speech).

That’s a bit odd for a conservative to say. Time was when conservatives were as troubled by the idea of government spying on people because of their political beliefs. Remember that in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing, many conservatives were among the loudest critics of the expansion of federal law enforcement powers. It’s difficult to believe that any sincere conservative would think it’s fine and dandy for the federal government to spy on groups engaging in political protest only on the basis that some other groups that might also be engaging in protest at the same event might include members who might have engaged in violence at some previous time.

But as we know, in Hyman, we’re not dealing with an individual with an intellectually coherent ideology. Given a chance to demagogue against the ACLU, Hyman jumps at the opportunity and, in the process, ignores basic precepts of conservative philosophy, to say nothing of the fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution.

And that’s The Counterpoint.

Hyman Index: 1.47


At 1:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course you're right Ted, and as I have said many times before, there is nothing conservative about these Neo-Conservative Neo-Fascists. They are concerned only with garnering and maintaining absolute power at any cost. Lies and deception are the normal operating procedure for these political thieves and thugs that have back-alley mugged America and our democratic process.
Thanks Ted, and keep bustin' Hyman.
Mike B. in SC


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