Concurring Opinions has jumped the shark

WTF of the Week: Blogger, horrified that someone thinks her bizarre idea is, in fact, bizarre, describes disagreement as follows:

Predictably, the Thought Police quickly emerged to chastise me for committing crimethink – the unspeakable act of failing to address an issue in a manner pleasing to those speaking from the vantage point of an electronic soapbox.

This stupidity annoys me all the more because it comes from my own side of the political aisle, and is directed at a bunch of idiot right-wingers (who happen, in this case, to be right about the fundamental critique, to wit, it’s stupid as all get out to toss around a model penal code analysis of the possibility of criminally punishing someone for political speeches without even thinking about the First Amendment implications). Kuo is right that this fearmongering among the McCainites is incredibly dangerous and scary. But her critics are right that you have to be completely insane to think about the possibility of criminally punishing a presidential candidate’s stump speeches without explaining how you’re going to get through the iron wall of the First Amendment. And god help the fool who thinks that all people who disagree with her are “Thought Police.”


4 Responses to “Concurring Opinions has jumped the shark”

  1. Daniel Goldberg Says:


  2. Mike Says:

    So saying that “I reject your idea not because it’s dangerous, but because it’s stupid and ill-informed,” makes you part of the Thought Police?

    I’m reminded of a previous discussion had here and at PTN. General theme: People use metaphors from books they have never actually read. Usually you correctly use a metaphor even without having read the book, and thus not fully understanding the metaphor. Sometimes, though, you embarrass yourself.

    It’s pretty clear that Kuo has never actually read 1984. Or, if she has read it, then her reading comprehension is weak.

    I reject stupid ideas daily. Not because they are dangerous. But because they are stupid. Pretty big difference there.

    I LOL’ed at her ignorance. Then I realize she’s a law professor at USC who is probably making six figures.

    Life is not fair.

  3. Paul Gowder Says:

    Hmm… as much as I’m annoyed at being scolded by anonymous cowards, that might be partly fair — the comment you quoted was a little mean. Although I stand by my judgment of incompetence — there’s a difference between collegiality and charity and being afraid to call stupidity stupid.

    (edit: in fact: I do think you’re right about the specific reference you quoted. Sufficiently right that I’m going to exercise my blog owner powers to delete it and the comment making reference to it — and, to make it clear that I’m not doing so because I have anything to hide, I’m going to note right here that I was rightly scolded by an anonymous commenter for adding something unfairly mean-spirited. I agree with the criticism, and am deleting in order to get rid of the cause for it.)

  4. [Lawyer's name redacted] Says:

    But professing law is so prestigious! How dare you suggest that what a law professor has written is nonsense? Even the worst student at the lowest of the top 199 law schools knows that what the least distinguished law professor has to say is vastly more interesting and rigorous than the best scholarship produced in philosophy, the hard sciences, literature, and the social sciences. If Stephen Hawking really were brilliant, after all, he clearly would have become a professor at YLS.

    God, lawyers can be annoying. What depresses me most about this is the tone — as if questioning the suggestion is, by itself, an affront.

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