I’m taking a bit of time not thinking about the Hurricane to address this delinking campaign against Glenn Reynolds. While I hate having to take something like this seriously (especially at such a time), I can’t ignore it — especially because one of my posts might have helped start the fire.
It’s tough to know just how to analyze something like this, so I’ll start by being as serious as I can under ths circumstances.
Glenn Reynolds dared to voice a couple of slightly sympathetic sentiments about the ACLU (even though he also criticized them). And he dared to actually side with them about the criminalization of glow sticks, and even had the gall to assist with a brief defending electronic music alleged to be drug related!
For these offenses, he’s being subjected to a delinking campaign. For daring to deviate however slightly from someone’s agenda.
I’m sorry but this is so silly it sounds like he’s being…
For failure to demonize — a crime almost as bad as not buying a particular brand of politically correct, shade-grown coffee.
Or even wearing a politically incorrect T-shirt!
The man behind the delinking campaign appears to be Jay Stephenson — the primary author of the blog Stop the ACLU:

Glenn sends his readers here telling them we are delinking because he said that ?demonizing the ACLU is silly.? We don?t think it is silly at all. And Glenn is entitled to his opinion. We just no longer wish to link to someone that supports an anti-American organization.

Wait. They don’t think demonizing the ACLU is silly? So, that means demonizing the ACLU is serious? Is that all this is about? Glenn thought demonizing the ACLU was silly and Stephenson (or whoever’s behind him) didn’t? And what’s with the anti-American business? I mean, if the ACLU is anti-American, and if Glenn Reynolds said he’s willing to work with them, why, that must mean Glenn Reynolds is anti-American, right?
That’s almost as bad as calling me a liberal! Or a conservative! Or accusing Glenn Reynolds of being behind the “RADICAL RIGHT-WING AGENDA.” (No really; check it out.)
Not long ago, Eugene Volokh reviewed a letter he received from these same people, which he demonstrated to be misleading. His conclusion:

…stop calling them “criminal” for exercising their constitutional rights. Stop calling their lawsuits “frivolous” when the lawsuits bother you precisely because they may well prevail. Stop calling them “pro-terrorist” when there’s absolutely no reason to think that they indeed favor terrorism, and lots of reason to think that they favor (whether soundly or misguidedly) legal rules — such as limits on government power to search — that unfortunately sometimes protect terrorists while at the same time protecting law-abiding citizens. (It’s far from clear to me that random searches are going to do much good at stopping suicide bombers, or that bans on random searches will help terrorists; but I acknowledge that some constitutional rules that the ACLU defends do at times protect terrorists as well as protecting law-abiding citizens.)
What is in question here, indeed, is “the definition of freedom.” There is lots of room for good faith disagreement about the scope of our freedoms. But that some people have a broader view than you do — whether it relates to the right to bear arms, the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, the right to counsel, the right to spend one’s money for political causes — doesn’t make them criminals, doesn’t make them pro-criminal or pro-terrorist, and doesn’t make their arguments frivolous.

(More on this outfit at Dispatches from the Culture Wars.)
Let me admit my biases here. I don’t trust the ACLU, but even less do I trust the people who’d like to knock the ACLU out so they can crackdown on sexual freedom. That’s a primary, stated goal of Alan Sears and the Alliance Defense Fund — principal leaders of this charge.
I worry about the Second Amendment freedoms as much as my First Amendment freedoms, and my biggest single problem with the ACLU is their near total lack of support for gun owners’ rights. (I’m also very worried about what seems excessive support for dangerous terrorists.) Nevertheless if Glenn (or someone like him) gets gun lovers and libertarians to infiltrate the ACLU and turn the place around, I think that would that be a good thing. For the country and for our freedom.
Not these delinking guys. They are unable to tolerate the slightest deviation from their singleminded campaign against the ACLU.
They promise links and more to all who delink the evil Glenn Reynolds:

If you agree, and delink Glenn let us know and we will add you to the list. If you have never linked to Glenn for whatever reason, we will add you to the list as well. If you have a post about this, send us a trackback and it will appear as a link below. If it gets big enough I?ll start a blogroll.

(Whoa, delink Glenn and we might give you a little traffic! Such a deal for the newer bloggers. Take on the Big Bad InstaPundit and get a leg up on the sphere! Show off your supreme, posturing, coolness!) I don’t mean to suggest that all the delinking blogs are small blogs; one of them, Junkyard Blog once threatened Glenn with confiscation of his LEGOs. But I suspect this delinking has an strong appeal to bloggers who think they deserve more attention.
I can’t help noticing that links to Alan Sears’ book and his organization are prominently displayed by both Stop the ACLU.org (the parent site) and Stop the ACLU.com (the blog). Because I devoted most of a long post to Sears, and because the post was linked by Glenn not long before the delinking began, it has crossed my mind that the people supporting the book might have seen my post.
And not liked it.
Let me say right now that if anything I said in any way entered into their delinking thinking, I humbly offer my blog Classical Values to be officially delinked instead! (Yes, I’m willing to be the sacrificial lamb….) All those who delinked Glenn can blogroll him again, and then link me in order to delink me! (Don’t laugh; it’s happened before!)
But who, I must ask, are these people? There’s a site (described as the parent organization) called Stop The ACLU.org, which features a link to Alan Sears’ book’s web site with a picture of the book prominently displayed, and both that site and the Stop the ACLU.com blog link Sears’s organization, the Alliance Defense Fund, prominently.
The parent organization’s director, Nedd Kareiva, is a member of the Constitution Party who has devoted himself singlemindedly to stopping the ACLU:

The Stop the ACLU Coalition has one goal: to end the ACLU’s tangible existence. We will achieve this by every lawful means possible, including but not limited to:
1. boycotting all companes, corporations, foundations, lawyers, politicians and others who benefit financially from the ACLU or who donate to them
2. recruiting current ACLU supporters and members by sharing with them the ACLU’s agenda for to America and urging them to join the Stop the ACLU Coalition
3. gathering millions of petitions to send to the ACLU to let them know the outrage across America against their agenda
4. marching unitedly across all ACLU offices across America and publicly showing massive opposition to the ACLU’s harm of America; sharing and educating churches, synagogues and patriots all across our land, regardless of political party, the need to stand up to the ACLU
5. showing both moral and tangible support to people and groups who are plaintiffs or defendants in lawsuits with the ACLU
6. urging state and federal lawmakers to defund ACLU lawsuits and enact legislation preventing frivolous lawsuits such as litigation based on an individual or individuals claiming to be offended by prayers, religious symbols or other forms of Constitutionally permitted expressions.

I think number 6 might be code language referring to the Constitution Restoration Act, especially considering Stop the ACLU Coalition Director Nedd Kareiva’s remarks in a letter to supporters:

To do so, visit the home page www.stoptheaclu.org and scroll about a fifth of the way down to where the image of the 10 Commandments is in the left margin. Follow the instructions on the page and ask your Congressmen to support Congressman John Hostettler’s bills HR 2679 & HR 1100.
You can also go to Court Zero’s web site (one of our supporters) to take action as well.
The second course of action is to demand your Congressmen and senators introduce and work to pass legislation to prevent the likes of the ACLU from bringing lawsuits from people who claim to simply be offended. Ask them to modify the ability to bring such litigation under the 1st Amendment’s Establishment clause. Inserting a clause that would mandate the ACLU paying the opposing party’s legal fees in the event of an adverse ruling would also be very helpful and stem the abuse that is going on in courts around the country. (Emphasis added.)

This is misleading, as there’s no right not to be offended, and it isn’t a sound basis for a lawsuit. But the Constitution Restoration Act (of which I’m not much of a fan) would do far more that protect from lawsuits against “being offended.”
Speaking of being offended, in the Stop the ACLU newsletter, Director Kareiva seems pretty offended by the sex life of the ACLU’s director:

….the ACLU’s Anthony Romero, an avowed and practicing homosexual, as its director for the past 4 years

What’s with “avowed” and “practicing”? When was the last time anyone “avowed” or “practiced” heterosexuality? I mean, what’s to practice? If you’re into something, you’re into it. You don’t need to “avow” it either. The words seem calculated for effect. For whose and how, I don’t know.
Jay Stephenson (blogmaster and post writer at Stop the ACLU.com), also promotes his blog in his capacity as a FreePer named “Jay777.” In one robust thread of his, he attacks the ACLU for supporting gay inmates who’d complained of being abused in prison, and he posted the original story:

LOS ANGELES The Los Angeles sheriff’s department is investigating claims by the American Civil Liberties Union that gay inmates have been mistreated at a county jail.
The A-C-L-U claims about 20 gay inmates were forced to remove their clothes in a busy hallway July 19th at the Men’s Central Jail while being called names and taunted with vulgar sexual language by some deputies.
The A-C-L-U wants anti-discrimination training for all deputies.
Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said jail supervisors launched an investigation two weeks ago. He said the department’s Equity Oversight Panel, which investigates discrimination allegations against sheriff’s employees, is also reviewing the claims.

Following that, he plugs his blog (complete with the logo), as well as Alan Sears’ Alliance Defense Fund. In the comment thread which followed, Jay is slick enough not to specifically endorse the abuse of gay prisoners, but nonetheless attacks the ACLU for daring to defend them:

To: Jay777
Those poor felons.
4 posted on 08/07/2005 1:47:17 PM PDT by SteveMcKing
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies ]
To: SteveMcKing
gay ones at that.
I just want to make it clear that I don?t condone what these guards are doing. The main reason I posted this was to prove a point. I hear the argument all the time about robust freedom of speech. I hear from the left that ALL speech must be protected or it all goes down the drain. I hear this in defending and sympathizing with our enemy, sex offenders, pedophiles, and burning the flag. But when it comes to gays, pro-lifers, and those of other races besides white people then it doesn?t apply.
It’s clearly agenda driven.
5 posted on 08/07/2005 1:48:20 PM PDT by Jay777 (My personal blog: www.stoptheaclu.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies ]
To: Jay777
Abuse? These guys pay to stand around naked in bath houses. They should be charging the gay inmates for the experience.

Needless to say, the gay prisoners are relentlessly ridiculed. Some of the juicier comments:

I condone bad things that happen to bad people, and good things that happen to good folks. Details don’t concern me in the least.

OH the horror, don’t these guys stand around naked in bath houses or rest stops? What’s the difference? ACLU disgusts me, if these were just regular white guys no mention of this would be made. Damn the ACLU to hell!

There’s more of that stuff, if you like it. I suspect without supporters like these, Jay777 wouldn’t be getting as much attention. Frankly, I’d be honored to be delinked by him. But it’s an honor I’ll never get, because I don’t think he’s ever going to link me.
As to Glenn, there’s that old saying that a man is judged by his enemies. . . Were I he, I’d consider it an honor.
As to actual demonization, I was quite taken by comment Jay Stephenson left at Rapture Ready:

….I see prophecy unfold daily. We fight evil in our own ways. My focus is on the ACLU.
By the way, I like all the references to the ACLU in this post. The HQ of the anti-Christ spirit in America.

The Headquarters of the anti-Christ spirit in America?
And to think that Glenn said demonization was silly! There’s nothing silly about this, because if the ACLU is the anti-Christ HQ, and Glenn Reynolds is an avowed, practicing minion of the ACLU, how far up the chain of beasts might this go?
Could it be, Glenn Reynolds, Anti-Christ?
In the past, I’ve carefully considered his status as an apocalyptic advocate of one party rule, but this? I mean, this is the real thing! It’s, like, totally APOCALYPTIC!


Who said demonization was silly?
UPDATE (09/01/05): Perhaps I failed to make it clear that I think this delinking-for-failure-to-demonize campaign is silly. (I think it’s pretty obvious what I think, and why, but it may not be as clear to others.)
Let me stress an important point I don’t think should be missed — and that is the manifest unfairness of spinning Glenn Reynolds as some sort of pro-ACLU hack.
Far from it! Here are some examples of remarks which I’d venture would be enough to get Glenn placed on some sort of ACLU “enemies list” (if such a thing exists):

  • Sarcastically ridiculed the ACLU;
  • Criticized the ACLU’s stance on federalism;
  • Slammed the ACLU for Second Amendment hypocrisy, while wondering aloud how much media attention the burning of ACLU membership cards would get;
  • Hey wait a minute! What kind of person would crack jokes about a serious thing like burning ACLU membership cards, anyway? (Did we really need more evidence of Reynolds’ close ties to the RADICAL RIGHT-WING AGENDA?)

  • Sarcastically wondered whether the ACLU would get involved in defending conservative speech;
  • Called the ACLU “more and more a subsidiary of the Michael Moore wing of the Democratic Party“;
  • Linked to Stop the ACLU — and in a positive manner!
  • The above list is not intended to be exhaustive; they’re just what I could find easily, and no doubt a left wing dirt digger could come up with more.
    But (as if the genocidal T shirt wasn’t enough) haven’t I just proved to the world the true reality of Glenn Reynolds? Why is he allowed to masquerade as a liberal when the record shows he is little more than a bigot and a cracker?
    What we ought to be asking is whether it’s time for a left-wing delinking campaign.
    UPDATE: Eugene Volokh weighs in (in his customary fearless and articulate manner):

    Given {the delinking campaign against Glenn Reynolds], I think that people ought to know that (1) I am working with the ACLU now on a free speech case in Michigan, (2) I’ve worked with them on opposing the anti-flagburning amendment and the victims’ rights amendment, (3) I have defended them from what struck me as unwarranted attacks here, here, and (4) I have praised their positions here, here, and, I’m sure, elsewhere as well.
    I have also criticized the ACLU’s positions on other matters in places too numerous to mention (do a search for ACLU on this site and you’ll find quite a few), as have my cobloggers. I think demonizing the ACLU, like lots of other over-the-top rhetoric, is indeed a bit silly and counterproductive, and tends to lead the demonizer into factual and logical errors. If you think this puts me in league with the demons, why, you know what to do.

    While that might have been phrased in the language of full disclosure, the way things are going in the blogosphere, why, it’s tantamount to a full-blown admission of heresy!
    MORE: And now for a little self disclosure. By way of explanation (if not apology), I must state for the record that I’m just not in the mood for PhotoShopping more law professors into Anti-Christs.
    (Or Communists.)
    AND MORE: A lingering, disturbing question in my mind is more along the lines of psychology than the merits of either the ACLU or the propriety of a delinking campaign. And that is:
    why now?
    The nation is in the middle of the worst horror since September 11, 2001. Might something about this horror have sparked a conflict between the rightist and libertarian elements of the blogosphere?
    Or is it a coincidence?