Monday, June 11, 2012

In Reply: Those who pay no attention to free speech issues online are disappointing...but not eeeeevil (Popehat, Team Kimberlin)

Revised and extended, in reply to the following comment at the post The Kimberlin Crew Pokes The Bull And Gets The Horns | Popehat:
It isn't, in my mind, so much they they are Democrats therefore that party should denounce them, it is the fact they they have worked for the Democrats.

If R's have to denounce stupid shit said by a guy, he D's should probably be required to denounce actual criminal activity.

"If R's have to denounce stupid shit said by a guy, he D's should probably be required to denounce actual criminal activity."
I see where you're coming from... but I'd spend more time questioning the former proposition than pushing a "two wrongs make a right" kinda theory...especially if I was a Republican.

I mean, sure... anyone who actually worked with or funded Kimberlin, et. al. ought to be asked about their collaboration or funding, and given the opportunity to talk about why they chose to work with/fund the guy at the time, and where they stand now, based on the information about the accused parties that is available (as well as the info that isn't). And of course those who're speaking out for (or against) Team Kimberlin ought to be held accountable for whatever they actually do say. But D's (or R's) in general have no obligation to answer for Kimberlin (or for those who're accusing them). All D's (or all R's) are not responsible for what every/any individual D or R says or does...not even if the individual D or R claims to be speaking or acting in the name of all D's or R's or the causes they generally champion.

While I believe everyone ought to speak out against what's going on with Team Kimberlin--and what happened to Aaron Walker in particular (because it's the least convoluted, easiest to understand, and most egregious part of the thing (IMHO), if for no other reason)--I don't blame folks for not doing so, whether because they're frightened of retaliation or because they're just focused elsewhere.

My analogy is to firefighters: Yes, those who intentionally run into burning buildings to save lives are heroes, but I don't believe it follows that everyone who has never run into a burning building deserves to be criticized for not doing so.

In the same way, the people willing to stand up to Kimberlin--especially those willing to do so after being threatened or worse (like Aaron, or this Paul guy from the (currently) most recent Popehat post)--are free speech heroes. But that doesn't mean that folks who have ignored the story, whether intentionally or out of confusion or ignorance, should be slammed as cowards or "in league with the eeeeevil one(s)" for doing so. Not blogging about this story doesn't prove anything...not about anyone individually, and certainly not about any/all demographic group(s) to which they belong.

Coming from the left, I can say for good and certain that the folks intent on making this about attacking all progressives because Kimberlin claims to be one are causing liberals who would otherwise come out against attacks on free speech, intimidation, and lawfare to hold off, lest they be seen as agreeing that liberals in general have something to answer for, here. It's awful hard to align yourself with people who see you as evil incarnate, just because you disagree with 'em, politically...even when it is the right thing to do.

Posted Jun 11, 2012 @2:46 am, Popehat blog time.

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