Jul 04 2018

Red Hen

(W)hat will convince them? This, and this only: cease to call slavery wrong, and join them in calling it right. And this must be done thoroughly – done in acts as well as in words. Silence will not be tolerated – we must place ourselves avowedly with them. Senator Douglas’ new sedition law must be enacted and enforced, suppressing all declarations that slavery is wrong, whether made in politics, in presses, in pulpits, or in private. We must arrest and return their fugitive slaves with greedy pleasure. We must pull down our Free State constitutions. The whole atmosphere must be disinfected from all taint of opposition to slavery, before they will cease to believe that all their troubles proceed from us.- February 27, 1860

A Frosty Summer for Alan Dershowitz on Liberal Martha’s Vineyard
By Jess Bidgood and Julie Bosman, The New York Times
July 3, 2018

Acquaintances and friends of Mr. Dershowitz on the island confirmed that his increasingly vocal defenses of Mr. Trump on cable news have not been well received in these social circles, particularly in Chilmark, one of the most liberal enclaves of this liberal island — and the town where Mr. Dershowitz has owned a home for a quarter-century.

One Democratic couple who is used to running into Mr. Dershowitz at dinner parties said they have already been asking themselves: What are we going to do when we see Alan this summer?

“There’s been a lot of conversation,” Rose Styron, a poet and longtime Vineyard resident who is the widow of the author William Styron, said delicately, “and I have heard people express anger with him.”

On the eve of Independence Day, Mr. Dershowitz brought a simmering national debate over politics and social behavior to an island that prides itself on civility and diversity. For weeks, people who fiercely oppose the Trump administration’s immigration policies have engaged in social shaming, confronting members of the administration in public places.

In a Washington restaurant on Monday, a woman with a toddler approached Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and told him to resign over his policies and his repeated spending scandals. Kirstjen Nielsen, the homeland security secretary, was interrupted at a Mexican restaurant last month as protesters chanted during her meal. Employees at a Virginia restaurant urged the owner to ask Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, to leave in response to Trump administration policies, including the deeply unpopular practice of separating migrant children from their parents at the border.

Now the debate has reached far beyond the capital, to a place that has long been both an escape for the wealthy and an open forum for intellectual debate, where figures like Valerie Jarrett, Vernon Jordan and Carly Simon can be spotted playing golf, chatting at a cocktail party, or picking up local vegetables at a farm stand. On the Vineyard, Mr. Dershowitz is one of the most outspoken defenders of Mr. Trump, in a place frequented for decades by Kennedys, Clintons, Obamas and other Democratic royalty.

“It’s rare that I meet a real Trump supporter among the summer crowd,” said Tony Horwitz, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and year-round resident of the Vineyard.

Mr. Dershowitz is not the first high-profile figure on this island whose views have been met with disapproval: In 1972, an artist was reported to have tried to throw Robert S. McNamara, the defense secretary who was an architect of the Vietnam War, overboard from the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard.

In a phone interview from his Chilmark home, Mr. Dershowitz said that he has not supported Mr. Trump’s political agenda, but has merely defended the president’s civil liberties, as he would for any person. Mr. Dershowitz said that a Vineyard friend who is a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology had led an email campaign against him; he declined to name the professor.

“There’s a whole cabal of people who have decided that they will try to get people to stop interacting with me,” Mr. Dershowitz said. “The campaign has utterly failed. It’s affected my life zero. I’m not looking for sympathy.”

Well, to be fair there was that editorial in The Hill which is nothing but an extended whine for sympathy but I don’t have to look at your face in the mirror every morning Alan.

And I don’t have to resign myself to the fact that for the rest of my life the only people who can stand my stink are the sub-moronic racists and cynical greed heads and thieves that are Trump’s base.

Suck on that Iowa.