From Blacklisting To Red Baiting, McCarthyism Is Back In Vogue

Below is a slightly expanded version of my column in the Washington Post on increasingly McCarthyite conduct evident in this election. I am particularly interested in the new trend toward boycotting other states that do not share your “values” in a given area.

Here is the column:

In 1950, columnist and civil libertarian Max Lerner penned a chilling prediction in the New York Post about the Red Scare: “There is a hate layer of opinion and emotion in America. There will be other McCarthys to come who will be hailed as its heroes.”

Almost 70 years later, Lerner’s political prophecy appears to be coming true.

On one side is GOP President Trump, who routinely describes the news media as the “enemy of the people” and has attacked political adversaries such as House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), along with government whistleblowers at the center of the current impeachment inquiry, by saying that they might be guilty of “treason” for challenging him.

On the other side of the aisle, Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential nominee, just tried to tag a current Democratic presidential candidate, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii), as a “Russian asset.” Last month, meanwhile, the left-leaning San Francisco city council unanimously passed a resolution calling the National Rifle Association a “domestic terrorist organization.” Although nonbinding, the resolution sought to “limit those entities who do business with the City and County of San Francisco” from doing business with the NRA.

San Francisco has also issued a blacklist of 22 states that its municipal employees are banned from traveling to as part of their jobs. Or, reports the Los Angeles Times, from entering into “any new contracts with companies headquartered” in any of those states if the laws of those states do not comport with California’s approach to reproductive rights.

What is most striking about these pronouncements is the acquiescence that accompanied them: A recent New York Times account of Clinton’s comments seemed to praise her as a “master troll” and speculated on her possible return to politics, rather than addressing the gravity of her attack on Gabbard (who first drew Clinton’s ire by endorsing Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the 2016 Democratic presidential primaries).

Leading Democratic contenders such as former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) stayed mum when it came to supporting Gabbard or condemning Clinton. Even on the outrageous NRA “terrorism” measure or the blacklisting, leading Democrats have been largely silent. It is doubtful they would be so quiet after a similar attack by a right-leaning city against, say, Planned Parenthood.

Trump has similarly accused a couple dozen people and organizations of “treason.” And when he has, Democratic leaders have been quick – and justified – in denouncing such declarations as inimical to our protections of free speech and the free press. Yet, when a prominent Democrat suggests that another Democrat is a Russian asset or a staunchly Democratic city punishes whole states for adopting opposing policies, the reaction is muted, if discernible at all. The reason is obvious: It’s unpopular to be seen as defending the right of others to hold opposing views, particularly if those others are members of groups like the NRA.

In the same way politicians once failed to speak out against Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-Wis.) until his popularity waned – and his damage to U.S. democracy had already been done – many Democratic leaders have now gone silent. For years, even President Dwight D. Eisenhower avoided publicly confronting McCarthy’s red-baiting. It fell to Sen. Margaret Chase Smith (R-Maine), then a freshman, to break the silence, when she took to the Senate floor, beseeching her colleagues to stop “thinking politically as Republicans and Democrats about elections” and start thinking about “individual freedom.” That’s the thing about crying Russians! If others hesitate or object, they join the list of fellow travelers.

It was only a matter of time before someone such as Clinton used this sort of cudgel against another Democrat. The “vast right-wing conspiracy,” it seems, is now a vast Russian conspiracy that just happens to include her political foes.

In the case of San Francisco’s blacklists, the approach is sadly ironic: Hollywood, one of California’s cornerstone industries, has done countless movies about the Red Scare period and the targeting of artists for their political beliefs. In the infamous 1947 “Waldorf Statement,” major studios pledged not to do business with any of the listed individuals as they sought to “eliminate any subversives” from the movie business. Now, almost three-quarters of a century after the creation of the Hollywood blacklist, a major California city is blacklisting whole states and the NRA for their stances on hot-button issues.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed and Supervisor Vallie Brown have been lauded in some circles for their move to bar business associations with nearly half the states in the nation due to their “severe anti-choice policies.” Brown tweeted: “Our +$12 billion budget should be spent on what we stand for and reflect our values.” Breed declared: “We have to fight back. Just as we restricted spending with states that have laws that discriminate against LGBTQ people, we are standing up against states that put women’s health at risk and that are actively working to limit reproductive freedoms.”

That’s a slippery slope: What happens when other groups say their values are just as important, and therefore call for the blacklisting of states, too?

LGBT rights, environmental protection, immigration and other areas of the law are all ground for sharp differences between states. Colorado may not be on the blacklist for having “severe anti-choice policies” but it is a major coal producing and oil fracking area. It is not hard to envision an environmentalist group seeking to blacklist Colorado for its “severe anti-environmental policies.”

States could find themselves in the same unwinnable position of actors in the Hollywood blacklist era who lamented: “Every time I thought I was off the list, someone new named me.” And the San Francisco blacklist could easily result in retaliatory listings from right-leaning states over its pro-choice or other “severe” policies.

It’s not about the underlying issues – I’m more inclined to agree with left-leaning jurisdictions on environmental protection. Rather, it’s about some parts of the country punishing others for supporting opposing views, or coercing states to “reflect our values.”

A democratic nation allows, even encourages, disagreement when it comes to policy choices. Indeed, different state approaches are protected in our system of federalism. San Francisco looks to punish states because of their policies on abortion or gay rights. But most of the state laws in question are currently constitutional and, until the Supreme Court declares otherwise, these states are exercising their right to take a different path.

For example, it would have been equally wrong for Alabama to ban doing business with California when it recognized same-sex marriage. States differed on the interpretation of the constitutional protections for same-sex marriage. I shared the view of California that such marriages are protected. Yet, states had a right to reach their own conclusions on that constitutional question until the Supreme Court finally resolved the question in Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015.

To be sure, there is nothing illegal or unconstitutional about a state or city exercising its right to limit state contracts or purchases. But that doesn’t make it right, or wise, to set off this type of interstate economic warfare. By cutting off fellow states, these blacklists risk creating a new patchwork system of state-by-state barriers reminiscent of the Articles of Confederation period. That period, before the adoption of our Constitution, left the country balkanized by predatory and punitive state measures directed against other states.

Ultimately, boycotts like San Francisco’s are not designed to change minds. They are designed to thrill local voters while punishing those who fail to conform to a mandated view. Before a new war between the states escalates, people of good faith can act to support the right of self-determination in these states and to end a cycle of boycotts and counterboycotts. States should enact reciprocity laws that impose boycotts on any state that boycotts other states or cities for policy disagreements. States should consider measures banning their municipalities from taking this type of action.

Ironically, California has taken an anti-boycotts positions on other issues.  Three years ago, California passed a law barring government contracts or business with companies supporting the boycott of Israel. Israel is the only country mentioned by name, but, under pressure from the free speech community, the law now includes boycotts against any sovereign state. Thus, some of the same politicians who support a bar on the boycotting of countries like Israel are in support of boycotting U.S. states for not sharing their values.

San Francisco has already banned roughly half of the nation for not adhering to its views of acceptable state policies. The only deterrent is to boycott San Francisco, which relies heavily on business generated by hosting conferences. The key to such measures is that they must be content-neutral. If a city or state engages in economic boycotts against other states over policy differences, that act should trigger immediate isolation from other states – not the particular issues at stake. This type of boomerang boycott law would be based on the common democratic values in our system, recognizing the right or states to have differing policies.

During the McCarthy period, Julia Child was pressured by the sister of conservative firebrand William F. Buckley Jr. (a McCarthy supporter) to boycott Smith College (Childs’s alma mater) until five suspected communists were fired from the faculty.

Childs responded with a profound letter that read: “In the blood-heat of pursuing the enemy, many people are forgetting what we are fighting for. We are fighting for our hard-won liberty and our freedom; for our Constitution and the due processes of our laws; and for the right to differ in ideas, religion and politics. I am convinced that in your zeal to fight against our enemies, you, too, have forgotten what you are fighting for.”

So, it seems, have many on the left in the “blood-heat” of our contemporary politics.

66 thoughts on “From Blacklisting To Red Baiting, McCarthyism Is Back In Vogue”

  1. Michelle Obama said in a recent interview: White people are ‘still running’ from minority communities.

    Say what, Michelle? Who is running from minority communities? Would that be you, Michelle?

    We don’t see Barack and Michelle living in ‘minority communities’ do we? What are you doing for blacks Michelle? Oh that’s right, you and Barack are training “organizers” at the Obama Center and making movies with Netflix. And making millions on speeches. Spare us the lecture, Michelle.

    The Obamas got filthy rich off ‘public service’ and book and movie deals….and now the Obamas have bought yet another mansion for themselves…. in addition to the one in Chicago, and the $8million one in fancy Kalorama area of DC. Why yes, they just bought a $15million vacation mansion on a 30-acre waterfront spread on Marthas Vineyard. But but but….Climate Change!!!

    Lecture much, Michelle? Don’t lecture us ‘white people’ again Michelle, better yet, why don’t you just shut up, you flaming whiny ingrate hypocrite.

  2. Trump Era McCarthyism Is ‘Deep State’ Paranoia

    Right-Wing Media Keeps Smearing Decorated Veterans

    Prominent right-wing media commentators have sought for weeks to cast aspersions on the House impeachment inquiry into President Trump, echoing the president’s repeated cries of “witch hunt!” and framing the investigation as motivated by political bias.

    Now some of those commentators have opened a new front: questioning the patriotism of Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, the White House national security official and decorated Iraq war veteran who was testifying on Tuesday that he had heard Mr. Trump ask Ukraine to investigate his Democratic political rival.

    One pundit on Fox News went as far as to suggest that Colonel Vindman had engaged in “espionage” against the United States, prompting an unusual rebuke from a Republican member of Congress.

    Colonel Vindman, who received a Purple Heart after he was wounded in Iraq, is a Ukrainian-American immigrant who was 3 years old when his family fled to the United States. On her Fox News program on Monday, the conservative host Laura Ingraham sought to turn his ethnic background against him, noting that Ukrainian officials had recently sought the colonel’s advice about interacting with Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani.

    “Here we have a U.S. national security official who is advising Ukraine while working inside the White House, apparently against the president’s interest,” Ms. Ingraham said. “Isn’t that kind of an interesting angle on this story?”

    Her guest, John Yoo, a former top lawyer in the George W. Bush administration, agreed. “I find that astounding,” Mr. Yoo said. “Some people might call that espionage.”

    The accusation by Mr. Yoo was decried by left-leaning pundits and, on Tuesday, by Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, a Republican lawmaker. “It is shameful to question their patriotism, their love of this country,” Ms. Cheney said, calling on critics to stop questioning the colonel’s loyalties.

    Still, the notion that Colonel Vindman has some allegiance to a foreign country rapidly spread in right-wing circles, who apparently sensed a useful talking point to undermine testimony that is expected to be deeply damaging to Mr. Trump.

    On Tuesday, the president repeatedly described Colonel Vindman as a “Never Trumper” in a series of posts on Twitter. Mr. Giuliani chimed in, too, writing in a tweet that the colonel “has reportedly been advising two gov’s.” He added: “No wonder he is confused and feels pressure.”

    Colonel Vindman, 44, grew up in Brooklyn, completed basic training in 1999, and carried out numerous overseas tours in the Army, including in South Korea, Germany and Iraq. In 2003, he was wounded by a roadside bomb and received a Purple Heart. He has served in multiple United States embassies and joined the National Security Council in 2018.

    But online, the conspiracy theory about Mr. Vindman as a foreign agent has begun to spread.

    On Tuesday morning, Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida, a close Trump ally, tweeted: “Donald Trump is innocent. The deep state is guilty.” An account tied to QAnon, the fringe online conspiracy movement, amplified his claim to 160,000 followers on Twitter, and the conspiracy claim was likewise posted to a Facebook QAnon page within the hour.

    Edited from: “After Vindman’s Testimony Went Public, Right-Wing Media Conspiracies Fired Up”

    The New York Times, 10/29/30

    1. Horotio Gates – what I find most interesting is the Schiff did not allow the witness to answer questions from one of the Republican Reps. Also the new “Impeachment” gives all power to Schiff allowing him to veto any witnesses the other side wants. Seems very one sided.

      1. I understand the Lt. Col. was asked to identify where in the call transcript was a demand made. He couldn’t and then suggested when something comes from the President, then a demand is implied.

        1. OLLY – the old and honored “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?” defense.

        2. Olly, that’s what ‘Trump claims’. But I just looked on Google and can’t find any verification on that. Not unusual. Little of what Trump claims can ever be verified.

        3. Olly;

          True dat. Another ideologically driven Russia-hawk swamp thing trying to play lawyer. The POTUS told him not to testify but he got all Betsy Ross and told us it was his “sacred” duty to disobey orders. Not how it works there, Light Bird Brain. He oughta be fired and brought up on UCMJ charges for disobeying a direct order and impersonating a commissioned US military officer.

          1. Mespo, let’s see what happens with that. If Vindman isn’t dismissed from the military, it will suggest that Trump is on ‘his’ way to getting dismissed.

          2. Mark,
            I always enjoy watching those ‘reporter on the street’ interviews where the reporter is asking people who they think a quote is from. Of course without the benefit of seeing the person making the quote, the person is stuck imagining who might say such a thing. I know these are edited for TV, but it’s good to see the surprise on their faces when they discover how wrong they were.

            I bring this up because people are easily fooled by the patina of positions, awards, credentials, degrees, status, money, rank, age, etc. A Lt. Col. at the NSC, with a purple heart yada, yada, yada said… None of that matters. They put their pants on one leg at a time, just like everyone else. It’s what they do that matters. Is it lawful. Is it honorable. And so on. I guarantee you, if what this POS had to say had any merit, then they wouldn’t need to sell people on the messenger.

  3. Dr. T – please step back. THE DEMOCRATS CALLED TRUMP, HIS FAMILY, FLYNN, SESSIONS, AND ALL CONSERVATIVES TRAITORS 2 YEARS AND IT CONTINUES. After that you don’t think he would respond with the same nasty, unAmerican rhetoric the Democrats shouted out for 2 1/2 years!! Stop equivocating. Try to just stick with the issue.

  4. ‘On one side is GOP President Trump, who routinely describes the news media as the “enemy of the people” ‘. This is BS hyperbole Jon Turley – Trump always prefaces this comment with “FAKE NEWS is the enemy of the people”. Turley knows better – he is using omission of key words to give give make his column more sensational and to try and sell the “both sides” BS when this Russia 2.0 crap 100 percent belongs to the Lefty Loons.

    1. Bill M, correct on JT. His Trump equivalency is so far off. It’s like saying a few pebbles is the same as a huge rock. I don’t know where Mr. Turley has been the last few decades, but the mainstream fake news media IS an enemy of the people. Just like the Nazi propaganda machine of it’s day, alphabet news sites pour out propaganda based on hating Mr. Trump nearly 24/7.

      Many of those in media ARE traitors. As are many in Congress, ‘education’, Hollywood & so on. The NBA just became a prime example of $$ over country. The NBA & Hollywood bow before China, the most repressive & dangerous to freedom & liberty regime ever.

      One thing about McCarthy. He was right. He just had the name wrong. What he was trying to expose was true, but got way out of hand by those who took his work to far to heart. Media of the day attacked him & the propaganda hit overdrive.

      Where does every one think what we now call the deep state came from? The takeover of the USA has been going on for decades. Why & how did we get the privately owned ‘Federal’ Reserve? What was the New Deal if not an introduction to big government socialism? LBJ’s Great Society? The federal income tax? The tax was to fund the government so it could expand itself, take more & more control & ignore Constitutional limits in the process.

      Congress was not given the power to delegate the responsibility to coin money to any other entity. But the dimmacraptic party did it any way in 1913.

      Mr. Turley needs to beware of becoming another propagandist. If one looks a bit further into the people he references, what he seems to think is ‘even handed’ is not really so even.



    Communists in America “injure” the Constitution as direct and mortal enemies. Central planning (Fed/Treasury), control of the means of production (i.e. regulation), redistribution of wealth and social engineering are the principles of communism. Freedom and free enterprise without interference by government are the principles of the Constitution. The principles of communism are unconstitutional, cannot be legislated and must be amended into dominion. Communists must “injure” the Constitution. The Constitution and Bill of Rights were written to provide freedom to individuals, to abolish dictatorship, including that of the monarchy, and to stand in perpetuity. That communist principles are in effect in America demonstrates the singular abject failure of the judicial branch, with emphasis on the treasonous Supreme Court. The entire American welfare state is unconstitutional.


    ” And if there are amendments desired, of such a nature as will not injure the constitution, and they can be ingrafted so as to give satisfaction to the doubting part of our fellow citizens; the friends of the federal government will evince that spirit of deference and concession for which they have hitherto been distinguished.”

    – James Madison, Proposed Amendments to the Constitution, June 8, 1789

    Karl Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto 59 years after the adoption of the Constitution because none of the principles of the Communist Manifesto were in the Constitution. Had the principles of the Communist Manifesto been in the Constitution, Karl Marx would have had no reason to write the Communist Manifesto. The principles of the Communist Manifesto were not in the Constitution then and the principles of the Communist Manifesto are not in the Constitution now.

    The American Founders established a restricted-vote republic, not one man, one vote democracy. Democracy, since inception and perpetuation in Greece and Rome respectively, has always been of a restricted vote; representatives elected by a group of citizens entitled to vote. The “poor,” dependents, parasites and “…persons of indigent fortunes…who are suspected to have no will of their own,..” will always vote for the politician “…promising the most benefits from the public treasury.” They were denied the vote by each state at the time of the adoption of the Constitution.

    The American republic cannot persist and the Constitution will be (has been) fully abrogated by one man, one vote democracy, which Tytler demonstrated, “…always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship” – that is the communist “dictatorship of the proletariat.”

    We gave you “…a republic, if you can keep it.”

    – Ben Franklin

    “the people are nothing but a great beast…

    I have learned to hold popular opinion of no value.”

    -Alexander Hamilton

    “The true reason (says Blackstone) of requiring any qualification, with regard to property in voters, is to exclude such persons, as are in so mean a situation, that they are esteemed to have no will of their own.”

    “If it were probable that every man would give his vote freely, and without influence of any kind, then, upon the true theory and genuine principles of liberty, every member of the community, however poor, should have a vote… But since that can hardly be expected, in persons of indigent fortunes, or such as are under the immediate dominion of others, all popular states have been obliged to establish certain qualifications, whereby, some who are suspected to have no will of their own, are excluded from voting; in order to set other individuals, whose wills may be supposed independent, more thoroughly upon a level with each other.”

    – Alexander Hamilton – The Farmer Refuted, 1775

    “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.

    – Alexander Fraser Tytler

  6. I agree with Prof Turley here, as I do with most of his posts. However, Tulrey has been all-in for William Barr. I and many others see Barr as a very dangerous Trump weapon. This started with Barr’s highly misleading exegesis of the Mueller report before that report was publicly released. It is clear to me that now Barr is attempting to muddy the waters slopping over Trump. I have written directly to Turley recently on numerous occasions, asking him to re-visit his approval of Barr. But Turley has not responded. I say: Open your eyes, Professor Turley. You don’t need to continue your mistaken support of William Barr.

    1. He’s inconvenient to the sh!tty little games your side is playing. There’s nothing wrong with him. There is something wrong with you.

      As for the “Mueller” report, it’s ‘author’, with his minder at his side, made it plain that he was only vaguely familiar with its contents (and much else about this whole matter).

      1. RDKAY seems to think 0bama is still in DC with Holder as AG. 0 & Holder fit RD’s post much much better than Mr. Trump & AG Barr.

        This is absurd got it!


    2. Chief Justice Earl Warren was to the Kennedy Assassination


      Attorney General William Barr is to the Obama Coup D’etat in America.

      Can you say coverup and whitewash?

      Another relevant equation: Attorney General William Barr is Mr. Deep Deep State.

      Any entity with even the slightest interest in the law, the truth and justice would have thrown Hillary Clinton et al. in prison a long, long time ago.

      John Durham is to William Barr as Festus was to Marshall Dillon.

      The “Swamp” refuses to be drained…so far.

  7. Meanwhile, back in the real world:

    “WASHINGTON — A White House national security official who is a decorated Iraq war veteran plans to tell House impeachment investigators on Tuesday that he heard President Trump appeal to Ukraine’s president to investigate one of his leading political rivals, a request the aide considered so damaging to American interests that he reported it to a superior.

    Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman of the Army, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, twice registered internal objections about how Mr. Trump and his inner circle were treating Ukraine, out of what he called a “sense of duty,” he plans to tell the inquiry, according to a draft of his opening statement obtained by The New York Times.

    He will be the first White House official to testify who listened in on the July 25 telephone call between Mr. Trump and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine that is at the center of the impeachment inquiry, in which Mr. Trump asked Mr. Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr…..

      1. That “transcript” was recalled from memory, and it is only a portion of the phone call. But even in that small portion, Trump is playing the mob chief when he says “but, I’d like you to do me a favor…” He is clearly stating an ultimatum. That should be obvious to anyone who reads plain English

        1. Actually, the transcript was produced by a team of three civil servants who listened in on the call.

          The rest is your imagination working, and it’s worthless.

        2. Trump is playing the mob chief when he says “but, I’d like you to do me a favor…

          You obviously are one of those that cannot read plain English. If you’re going to pretend to understand what is in the transcript, at least be accurate. He said: I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it.

          Schiff could at least read plain English, which is why he had to resort to reading a fictional account in his opening statement.

  8. Turley Misidentifies Issue

    The Real Problem Is Polarization

    I think Professor Turley set off to write a more focused column addressing what he thinks is a new strain of McCarthyism sweeping America. But the resulting column here simply tells us what has been evident for at least 20 years: ‘America is becoming highly polarized’.

    The most likely suspects here are Cable News, The Internet, The Culture Wars, The Urban-Rural Divide and the Increasing Diversification of The American Populace.

    I think most observers agree that polarization is an ominous trend. But I’m not sure if anyone agrees on what the solution might be. The Culture Wars, one should note, are big business to mass media. As long as On-Air personalities can become multi-millionaires by picking America’s scabs, this trend is likely to continue.

  9. Nothing new there. i long ago gave up on seattle san francisco chicago new york and Washington DC. They give ’empty suit’ new meaning and meaningless existence a new lease on their life in the real dictionaries

  10. (music to tune of Hail Britainia)
    Joe MCarthy! McCarthy rules the waves.
    Joe McCar har a harthy… rules the waves!

  11. There’s also “constitutional rule of law” model of government vs. an “authoritarian” model of governance. In other words following U.S. Supreme Court ruling on constitutionality. In recent years, the U.S. Supreme has expanded both LGBT rights and expanded individual gun rights. Most Democrats support LGBT rights and most Republicans support gun rights. Under Article VI of the U.S. Constitution, all government officials/contractors (local, state, federal) are legally bound to operate within those constitutional boundaries – as determined by the U.S. Supreme Court. It is the oath sworn duty of all officials to “check & balance” other government entities subverting anyone’s constitutional rights. For example: during the JIm Crow era, local governments violated the constitutional rights of African-Americans, Jews, Catholics and other minority groups. It was entirely constitutional for Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson to “check & balance” unconstitutional authoritarianism of local governments. When the Bush Administration violated the First Amendment rights of citizens and local governments, it was constitutional for those local governments to challenge unconstitutional authoritarianism at the federal level. Blacklisting is always illegitimate, if the issue is constitutional and legal, it can be resolved through the court system.

  12. The professor never mentions that Republicans are all but blacklisted from components of higher education. We get to hear about a claque of reds some alumni wanted canned from a private institution sixty years ago, but we don’t get to hear about the ordinary people who are untouchable in academe today. Sorry professor, not impressed.

    1. It ain’t tuition money that is pouring into the colleges, corporations and the 1% have been buying their own version of “free speech” for years.

  13. To be sure, there is nothing illegal or unconstitutional about a state or city exercising its right to limit state contracts or purchases. But that doesn’t make it right, or wise, to set off this type of interstate economic warfare.

    therein lies the problem.

    You often reference laws or the US Constitution as metrics on how Americans can live their lives. However, that is a dim paradigm to adopt. As Justice Antonin Scalia and Attorney General Bill Barr have elucidated, our nation was founded by religious men, some devout, some lukewarm, who embraced natural law or some semblance therein. Jesuit Father John Courtney Murray stated all too well decades ago on how the US experiment runs best: a universal moral order.

    What we have seen in America since the 1960s is a dictatorship of relativism. It’s all shoot from the hip, a feelz gudz mantra, that is now imploding. You are exasperated of the hypocrisy of the Left (e.g. Hillary Clinton’s modern “red scare”), but if you were intellectually honest, San Francisco and Hillary are all very predictable if not expected.

    Expect more of the same.

    It would be helpful, though, if you pivoted your efforts into educating other attorneys and lawmakers on the origins of our nation – a universal moral order. it’s either that or Sharia Law or Communism, so dissenters can move there if they prefer. It might take a couple of decades to bring out nation back to senses but the ROI for you would be far better than pushing your blog web traffic, which has tanked in the past 90 days

    Do the right thing, Jonathan, not merely the legal thing.

    By and large, the Founding generation’s view of human nature was drawn from the classical Christian tradition…..

    In short, in the Framers’ view, free government was only suitable and sustainable for a religious people – a people who recognized that there was a transcendent moral order antecedent to both the state and man-made law and who had the discipline to control themselves according to those enduring principles.

    As John Adams put it, “We have no government armed with the power which is capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.”

    As Father John Courtney Murray observed, the American tenet was not that:

    “Free government is inevitable, only that it is possible, and that its possibility can be realized only when the people as a whole are inwardly governed by the recognized imperatives of the universal moral order.”

    How does religion promote the moral discipline and virtue needed to support free government?

    First, it gives us the right rules to live by. The Founding generation were Christians. They believed that the Judeo-Christian moral system corresponds to the true nature of man. Those moral precepts start with the two great commandments – to Love God with your whole heart, soul, and mind; and to Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself.

    But they also include the guidance of natural law – a real, transcendent moral order which flows from God’s eternal law – the divine wisdom by which the whole of creation is ordered. The eternal law is impressed upon, and reflected in, all created things.

    From the nature of things we can, through reason, experience, discern standards of right and wrong that exist independent of human will.

    1. The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment was created because 18th Century Christians were persecuting other Christians. It was created to allow freedom of religion and freedom from religion – to prohibit “theocracy” by the government. Although modern day England is a great nation and our closest ally, 18th Century England tried to impose it’s interpretation of Christianity onto other Christians, sometimes using persecution. If not for the First Amendment, we would not have religious freedom and likely have only one Christian church – Anglican Church or Church of England. We likely wouldn’t have Baptists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Catholics, Jews or other faiths in the United States. Article VI [Clause 3] prohibits any religious test for any government position in the USA.

      1. Actually, it was created to avoid a federal establishment in order to effect a compromise between competing interests. A number of states retained their religious establishments and it was constitutionally permissible for them to do so.

    2. From the nature of things we can, through reason, experience, discern standards of right and wrong that exist independent of human will.

      There’s a zero-sum cognitive bias pervasive in this country that just won’t accept that statement to be true merely for political, social or economic reasons. Religion can’t fix this. I know many people that believe in God, yet they ignorantly believe human nature has evolved through the ages. As a result, we have a nation morally adrift, led by the nose by the will of their favorite personality. And when that personality is a lawmaker, they’ll sell their soul to help that person “win.”

  14. My old man, a life long Dem, died in 1989. He started lamenting the turn of his party in the 70’s. He would not recognize his party now.

  15. How about propaganda JT? I guess you didn’t see Laura Ingraham last night, or Fox News for that matter.

    1. FishWings — Please. Do you watch Rachel Madcow run wild with conspiracies and outright lies? Do you watch James Clapper, John Brennan, Josh Campell (Comey’s former assitant), Andrew McCabe (fired from FBI and under criminal referral to DOJ), etc. all spin their crimes as paid analysts/commentators on CNN and BSNBC? Do you watch Al Sharpton unable to speak English as he utters complete bs on his show on BSNBC? Do you?

      1. What does all that word salad you wrote have to do with what FOX pushes as “News”. Ingraham’s show pushed outright lies and propaganda last nite, with the help of John Yoo.

        1. Fishy:
          She’s a commentator not a journalist. No problem though. Dims never know the difference.

          1. Why is it acceptable to you that she lies? Oh, I remember, Ingram’s viewers are RWNJs and the truth won’t set them free.

            1. YNON:

              “Why is it acceptable to you that she lies? Oh, I remember, Ingram’s viewers are RWNJs and the truth won’t set them free.”
              More free epistemology: Opinions are NOT true or false — that’s for facts. Opinions are better or worse (depending on the credentials of the speaker thereof) since all interpretations are valid. Thus, your vapid meanderings of thought are valid in so far as you hold them assuming intellectual honesty. A big assumption around here to be sure.

              Facts on the other hand are objectively discernible and actually exist. Acceptability has nothing to do with it. I accept your musings; I just don’t subscribe to them. And as Ben Shapiro might say, “facts don’t care about your feelings” including your acceptance of them. Like King Canute, rail all you want about the rising tide it still rises and you are all wet.

              Commentators deal in the former; classic journalists the latter.

              See learning how to think is fun!!

  16. We need to hang on to San Diego or San Francisco as a naval port on the West Coast. Other than that, Mexico can have CA. However, they cannot afford the teacher pensions.

  17. ‘San Francisco has also issued a blacklist of 22 states that its municipal employees are banned from traveling to as part of their jobs. Or, reports the Los Angeles Times, from entering into “any new contracts with companies headquartered” in any of those states if the laws of those states do not comport with California’s approach to reproductive rights.’

    Uh…what about China’s approach to reproductive rights?

    1. reproductive rights?

      those are trigger words by pro-abortionists

      I tell my patients I’m all about choice. They have the choice to part their legs or “just say no”. It really is that simple.
      If they choose to part their legs, it does not give them the right to kill an innocent, defenseless developing life.

      “L’ chaiim”

      1. People are not “Pro-abortion,” they are pro-choice. Being pro-choice does not mean you want EVERYB ODY to have abortions. It means the woman should have the CHOICE. Big difference. And it is not contradictory to be both pro-choice and pro-life.

        There are many, many “pro-life” people who are really only pro-fetus. They do not care for the mental, physical, emotional well-being of the mother, whether she has a stable living condition, food on her table and child-care. And they do not carre for what happens to babies after they;re born, whether they’re being fed well, whether they have healthy, nourishing care, whether they are living in a safe, lead-free, toxic-free home.

        On the other hand, every pro-choice person I know supports women and children throughout their lives. Because a healthy society depends on having healthy children and adults. But the anti-abortion crownd is onverwhelmingly conservative, people who believe that we do not need government for anything, that everybody should just pull-themselves up by the bootstraps, regardless of the seriousness of their predicament. It is hypocritical, and not a little annoying, that the same people who want to abolish abortion are often-tiimes the same people who say they want government out of their lives, when in fact, that is the ultimate government interference.

      1. You can’t afford it.

        “The report examines the flow of funds between the federal government and each state for the federal fiscal year that ended on September 30, 2017, based on data from federal budget documents, the IRS, the US Census Bureau, and other sources.

        We described the difference as the balance of payments. For example, California’s balance of payments is -$13.7 billion. This means California residents get less in return than they pay for. However, Iowa has a balance of payments of $2.5 billion, meaning Iowa residents receive $2.5 billion more in federal services than what they pay in taxes.

        The difference per capita means how much the average state resident received in federal services versus what they paid in federal taxes. In California, each resident is sending in $348 more than they get back. In Iowa, each resident is receiving $797 more back in federal services than they paid in taxes.

        The majority of states received more in federal services than what they pay in federal taxes….”

        1. They’re not measuring services. They’re measuring spending. And $13.7 bn amounts to < 1% of California's personal income.

      2. mespo & This is, how about we just let Cali implode & collapse. Then the voters there should wake up & start electing Constitutional conservatives.


        1. They never give us conservatives on the ballots here. C’mon. The choices were some b.s. last time. I saw Gov. Gavin Newsom being the sociopath that he is on TV today and rolled my eyes in disdain. It looked like he was having trouble with the word, “humanity” like it was equal to “c**t” or some other word that society has deemed faux pas.

          Ha-Hu-Humanity. Thanks, Gavin! Thanks for choking out the word humanity, you look like you want to throw up now.

    1. Who would provide for all the takers, I mean fly overs, err, I mean rethuglicans. Someone needs to support your ilk.

      1. What you ended up saying referred to the Republicans In Name Only right wing of the extremist far left and then spilled the m ilk.

    2. Slow your roll Messpo, if Cali goes back to Mexico, then Virgin-a goes back to the London Company, if they don’t still technically own it on the dl, if ya know what I mean.

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