A LIBERAL DEMOCRAT’S GUIDE HOW TO LOSE FRIENDS AND ANTAGONISE PEOPLE – Poor Alan Dershowitz, he didn’t understand that the right to remain silent is really the duty to remain silent. Jeremy W Peters of “The New York Times” reports:
I had called Dershowitz on Tuesday to tell him I was going to be on the island for a long-planned vacation, and I suggested we get together to talk about the stir he kicked up when he wrote, in a column for The Hill, he had been subject to McCarthy-like shunning tactics from people in his Vineyard social circles. For some of them, his aggressive questioning of the legitimacy of the special counsel investigation into President Donald Trump was indefensible and unforgivable.
He said I should come over to his house. I said I’d rather meet somewhere more public. I wanted to see firsthand how the Harvard University law professor emeritus who helped acquit O.J. Simpson of murder charges — with minimal apparent damage to his social or professional reputation — was handling the backlash to what some believe is his gravest offense: defending Trump.3
“I’m enjoying this,” he told me. “It’s a red badge of courage.”
He said he believes political debate today has essentially degenerated into a fight over one question: Are you for or against Trump? “We live in a Red Sox/Yankees world,” he said. “And you have to pick a team.”
But whether there is any room for nuance in a conversation about one of the least nuanced presidents of our time seems unlikely — at least on Martha’s Vineyard. The local library, Dershowitz said, told him they can’t find the time for him to give his regular summer talk this year. And Thursday, a local paper, The Martha’s Vineyard Times, published the results of an informal poll that asked readers if they would invite “Dersh,” as he is known to friends, to dinner. Thirty-seven percent said they would; 63 percent said no.
From the interview:
Q: You’re no stranger to defending people who are unpopular. Is this actually worse than when you defended O.J. Simpson?
A: Of course. Or Claus von Bulow or Leona Helmsley or Michael Milken or Mike Tyson. This is much worse than all that, because in those cases people were critical of me, but they were prepared to discuss it. They were prepared to have a dialogue. Here, the people that I’m objecting to want to stop the dialogue. They don’t want to have the conversation. It will upset people at the dinner party or on the porch. This is like safe spaces in colleges…
Q: You reject the label “Trump supporter,” don’t you?
A: Absolutely. I’m a Hillary Clinton liberal Democrat who’s trying hard to restore Congress to the Democrats, who will help finance Democratic candidates all over the country. I’m a liberal Democrat. I haven’t changed one iota in 50 years. I am not a Trump supporter. I’m a supporter of civil liberties. Calling me a Trump supporter is like calling me a communist supporter in the 1950s. I was not a communist supporter. I defended the communists’ right to speak and to teach.11
Q: And here, you’re defending Trump’s right to …
A: To be treated fairly. Not to have it considered a crime when you fire, when you exercise your Article II powers under the Constitution.
(He has said he believes a special counsel never should have been appointed to look into the legality of the president’s campaign activities. Instead, Dershowitz has called for a nonpartisan, independent commission.)
In the end, as Dershowitz notes, the outraged left is only helping to re-elect Trump.