The sky isn’t falling, you’re just laying an egg

When Sarah Huckabee-Sanders was kicked out of the Red Hen restaurant, that act plus the reactions to it from the Left demonstrated their inconsistent principles. And no, this is not similar to the Masterpiece Cakeshop situation. I’ll explain.

An internal memo from the ACLU shows that defending the constitutional right to free speech will be subject to what they think of the speech. That’s their prerogative, but it may be time for a name change.

And the Supreme Court ruled against coerced speech, saying that the state of California doesn’t have the right to force crisis pregnancy centers to advertise free abortion services elsewhere. If this is a harbinger of things to come, Jack Phillips must be smiling.

Mentioned links:

The owner of the Red Hen explains why she asked Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave

The ACLU Abandons Its Free-Speech Absolutism

Leaked Internal Memo Reveals the ACLU Is Wavering on Free Speech

US Supreme Court strikes down law forcing pregnancy centers to promote abortion

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Show transcript

A little red hen said that the sky was falling. What was really happening was that the Left was doing something that they accused the Right of doing. Now that’s a common scenario. Let me explain.

Sarah Huckabee-Sanders and company went into the small Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, VA. The owner, Stephanie Wilkinson, wasn’t there but the staff recognized Sanders and called Wilkinson to voice their “concern” over what to do. “We’re a restaurant! Serve them!”, came the reply. Heh, no, sorry, just playing with you there. What actually happened is that Wilkinson came down to the restaurant to confirm it was Sanders, and then asked the staff if she should ask her to leave. They said “Yes”, so she did. Sanders said she would, and she did.

The responses from both sides of the political aisle were predictable; the Right was outraged and the Left cheered. Now, I’ve said before that consistency in your principles is very important, and this incident demonstrates who is and isn’t consistent.

The Left has been trumpeting this as comeuppance for what cake baker Jack Phillips did, equating the two. So let’s compare them.

Masterpiece Cakeshop offered to sell anything in the shop to the two gay customers. The Red Hen refused to sell anything to Sarah Huckabee-Sanders.

The patrons of Masterpiece Cakeshop wanted to force Phillips to say something he disagreed with, and when he wouldn’t, they sued. Sanders didn’t force Wilkinson to say or do anything she didn’t want to, and left when asked, without further incident.

One side tries to use the force of government to get what they want. The other side let’s people make up their own mind.

But yeah, totally the same situation. Riiight. I guess the question for the owner of the Red Hen would be; do you support Jack Phillips, or are you just…chicken?

And the Left cheered the Red Hen, oblivious to the fact that if the shoe were on the other foot, they’d be marching in the streets against discrimination or misogyny. Once again, for the Left, it’s not about consistent principles, (say it with me) it’s all about politics.

The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU, has decided that civil liberties are sooo 20th century. Well, at least when those pesky constitutional rights run up against the offense of certain classes of citizens.

A little history, first. The ACLU has prided itself in defending the freedom of speech for everyone, even if religious people sometimes got less help than others. They did fight against loyalty oaths, and for Brown v. Board of Education, as well as the free speech rights of even neo-Nazis and Klan members. They had been accused by some, including me, of liberal leanings, but they did have an overall good record for defending, among other things, First Amendment rights.

The saying goes, “I may disagree with what you say, but I’ll defend your right to say it.” Apparently, this statement is now too radical for the ACLU. You could see this happening with regards to religious liberty for years. When Jack Phillips was originally sued in 2013 for not creating a custom cake for a same-sex wedding ceremony, they went after him. When Bill Clinton signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, they were among its supporters. But then came the 2015 Hobby Lobby case, where a family-owned business did not want to offer abortion-inducing drugs in its health care plan based on religious reasons, and the ACLU had already decided by then that they’d changed their minds.

Now recently, an internal memo has come to light that shows just how left-leaning they’ve become (or perhaps, showing how left-leaning they already were), and how the idea of defending civil liberties has fallen out of favor with them. “Our defense of speech may have a greater or lesser harmful impact on the equality and justice work to which we are also committed.” That is to say, we’ll defend free speech as long as we agree with the speech. They used to be free-speech absolutists. That was then, this is now.

Robby Soave writing at put it this way.

It seems fairly clear to me what’s happening here. Leadership would probably like the ACLU to remain a pro-First Amendment organization, but they would also like to remain in good standing with their progressive allies. Unfortunately, young progressives are increasingly hostile to free speech, which they view as synonymous with racist hate speech. Speech that impugns marginalized persons is not speech at all, in their view, but violence…The ACLU’s capitulation to the anti-speech left should serve as a wake up call for true liberals. What has taken place on campus over the last decade does matter, and though the scope of the problem is frequently overstated, we should all be concerned when the nation’s premiere civil liberties organization is increasingly afraid of defending the First Amendment—not because the Trump administration scares them, but because college students do.

The ACLU is certainly free to change its focus, but it needs to own up to it. To me, this isn’t really a change in focus so much as it is revealing an undercurrent I always knew was there.

This being “Supreme Court Results” season, another decision was reached recently. A California law that forced crisis pregnancy centers to display advertising about where abortions are offered was struck down. The vote was along the usual party lines, but as a link in the show notes details, while some of the dissenters still had some concerns over the law, I guess they felt that the state could make you say what it wanted to anyway.

These pregnancy centers were setup by anti-abortion groups as alternatives to Planned Parenthood and other state-run abortion clinics, showing women alternatives to simply killing their child. The law stipulated where the signs had to be and even the font size of the lettering.

Alliance Defending Freedom, which pled the case to the Court, was also the group defending Jack Phillips and his refusal to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding ceremony. I see a parallel in these two cases, in that both deal with coerced speech; making someone say something against their will. Hopefully, this is a good harbinger of things to come.

Interestingly, the Southern Poverty Law Center calls ADF a “hate group”. That is to say, they disagree, so therefore they hate. But with the ADF having 2 cases decided in their favor this season, 7-2 and 5-4, I’d say that’s pretty good for a “hate group”.

Filed under: AbortionFree SpeechGovernmentJudiciaryPartisanship