“We’re Breaking Her, Keep Going”: ACLU Strategist Issues Chilling Tweet Against Sinema

While President Joe Biden has portrayed anyone supporting the filibuster as a virtual confederate sympathizer and Bull Connor wannabe, the attacks did not sway senators like Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz. who defiantly went to the floor to deliver a speech calling for the end of the politics of division. She, and her colleague Sen. Joe Machin, D-W.V., stood firm in support of the filibuster. The response from the commentators on the left was pure unadulterated rage. Many like MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell cruelly mocked her for appearing emotional. However, one of most chilling attacks came from a reported staff member at the ACLU, Sarah Michelsen, who encouraged people to keep up the pressure to “break” Sinema. The senator has been continually harassed by activists, who even followed her into a bathroom to berate her.

Michelsen, a former state director for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, is a “senior strategist” at the ACLU. Like many, Michelsen seemed thrilled that Sinema seemed emotional in her speech and encouraged activists to “keep going” with the attacks because they are “breaking her.”

Michelsen seemed to be following the lead of President Biden, who was widely criticized for his Atlanta speech declaring that anyone supporting the filibuster was attacking democracy and supporting autocracy. He continued the attacks yesterday on the Hill despite the fact that he was clearly not intimidating either senator into changing their positions.

It did not matter that Biden showed equal passion as a senator to denounce those who would find excuses for abandoning the filibuster rule. He called such efforts “disastrous” and proclaimed: “God save us from that fate … [it] would change this fundamental understanding and unbroken practice of what the Senate is all about.”

After six months of uncomfortable silence as president, Biden later said that, as president, he continued to support the rule. Putting aside certain factual and historical errors, Biden declared that killing the rule would “throw the entire Congress into chaos and nothing will get done. Nothing at all will get done.”

Despite the support of the rule by figures from Barack Obama to Chuck Schumer, it is now officially a “relic of Jim Crow” and open season on anyone standing with the senate tradition.

The tweet from Michelsen was particularly disconcerting coming from someone associated with the ACLU. We previously discussed the disgraceful attack on Nicholas Sandmann by ACLU lawyer Samuel Crankshaw, who opposed his being accepted into college. This was after Sandmann was shown to have been falsely accused of harassing a Native American activist in front of the Lincoln Memorial. Nevertheless, even as media companies settled lawsuits with Sandmann for defamation, figures like Crankshaw and writers like Above the Law’s editor Joe Patrice continued to attack him.

For those of us who have long supported the ACLU, the organization has changed dramatically in the last ten years to a more political organization. It now opposes due process rights when they support the wrong people — a striking departure from the traditional apolitical stance of the group. At points, it has become a parody of its own self like celebrating the legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by editing her words as offensive.

It is not clear what Michelsen did or does at the ACLU. Her Twitter account was taken private after her attack on Sinema. The account calls for defunding police and “chaos.” (Sinema has opposed the defund police movement).

What is most notable about Michelsen’s attack (like the diatribes of President Biden) is that they are clearly not working to intimidate these senators. Yet, activists still want to continue against them because they can. The age of rage gives them license to hate and harass. That is enough to “keep it up” in harassing those who hold opposing views.

139 thoughts on ““We’re Breaking Her, Keep Going”: ACLU Strategist Issues Chilling Tweet Against Sinema”

  1. Leftists employ harassment and terror against dissidents. They seek to impoverish those who disagree with them.

      1. Thanks for the recommendation, Suze. I’ll have to check that out.

        I recently read In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park, detailing her escape from North Korea, and subsequent trafficking in China. It’s hard to wrap my mind around the level of brainwashing and deprivation in North Korea.

        Yet we haven’t learned from the mistakes of world history, like the Cultural Revolution you mentioned, the Bolshevik Revolution, or the Soviet formation of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

  2. Senate Democrats Use the Jim Crow Filibuster to Protect the Kremlin

    “That the filibuster is an inherently racist tool, a relic of Jim Crow, is an odd position for Democrats to take given that just yesterday, they used the filibuster to block legislation proposed by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). Indeed, Sen. Cruz’s bill not only attracted the votes of forty-nine out of fifty Republican Senators (the only exception was Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)), but also six Democratic Senators who face close races in 2022 and/or are from purple states: Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-NV), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), , Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Raphael Warnock (D-GA). That meant that Cruz had 55 votes for his bill — a clear majority. So why did it not pass? Because Senate Democrats invoked the racist Jim Crow relic in order to refuse to allow a vote on that bill unless it first attained 60 votes to close the debate. In other words, Democrats — on Thursday— used the filibuster to block Cruz’s bill despite its having the support of the majority of the Senate.”


  3. The simplest way to stop this fight is for the party not in control of the Senate to present a rule eliminating the Cloture vote. They could expand that vote against interest and make it effective after 3, two year election cycles. So a vote by 12/31/2022 sould not take affect until the new congress of 2030. Voters would have ample time to weigh in on the debate

  4. In regards to the filibuster rule change. No one in or near the political center should support this rule change. When the majority in congress changes those in power will use it against you. I remember a generation ago when the republicans in the majority pushed through with the help of the Democrats’ the patriot act and the military commissions act. 20 years later those abusive laws are still here and now being used on American citizens. You cant trust either party to protect individual rights, liberties and to support and protect ordinary citizens constitutional rights. They will both sell you out in a second if they know it will help them stay in power.

  5. ” You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?” Maybe Turley should read up on history, and those who wish to distort it. Chilling tweets? Have you not read what the trump party has done with open threats to elected officials? Have you not read what the trump party does to those who are disloyal to the “Dear Leader”? Turley’s spin is only to make his trump base rage, and cover up the real history of “chilling tweets”

      1. If you must, Reid apologized, when was the last time a trumper apologized for anything? They still lie and lie more, even when the facts prove them wrong.

          1. The point still is that she apologized. Trump supporters never apologize even when proven to be wrong. The distinction is when republicans do get caught they double down on the lying. At least democrats recognize their faults.

            1. This is typical ATS deceit and lying. Steele Dossier: How many lies did Anonymous the Stupid make in relation to this one Dossier and how many lies were made by leftists even in front of Congress in relation to this Dossier. Where are the appologies?

    1. If the hard left can manage to ignore the 10th amendment, which the Supreme Court thankfully upheld yesterday, and rid us of the filibuster, they can say that they successfully destroyed our Federal Republic and transformed us into a “democracy” run by petty elite tyrants just as every other small thuggish nations.

      1. I guess you didn’t read who got arrested yesterday or the 700 plus who have been arrested. What would they have “transformed” us into? The tyrants and thugs who lost an election and still wanted to take over the government, with force, what are they? They had no interest in elected democracy.

  6. Despite the support of the rule by figures from Barack Obama to Chuck Schumer, it is now officially a “relic of Jim Crow” and open season on anyone standing with the senate tradition.”

    Turley writes this a day or two after President Obama published an Op-Ed saying it’s time to get rid of the rule. He also describes Lawrence O’Donnell mocking Sinema for appearing emotional when the main point was showing tape of her blasting the sixty-vote minimum and the filibuster while she claims she has always held this view.

    Turley might have said Obama once supported the rule but he make it look as if he still does. He mischaracterizes what people are saying about her. He engages in the type of “reporting” he criticizes others for. Shame!

    1. Enigma, that’s exactly right. It’s the kind of hypocrisy some of us constantly point out. Turley’s increasing partisanship is diminishing his already fraying credibility.

      Sinema and Manchin are drunk with power given their positions due to the razor thin majority democrats hold and the amount of leverage they have. Sinema’s rationality is all over the place which is why there is so much frustration.

      Turley ignores the same kind of treatment being given to sen. Liz Chaney because of her own defiance. She been subjected to far worse than what democrats are subjecting Sinema or manchin. They’ve gone as far as censorship and forcing the party to disavow her affiliation as a Republican.

      If democrats had a larger majority both wouldn’t be such an issue.

      1. Svelaz

        “…razor thin majority democrats hold…”

        Last time I checked, 50/50 was not a razor thin majority. basic arithmetic.

        Cheney (not Chaney) is a representative, not a senator.

        For a fellow trying to correct us, you make a lot of mistakes.

        1. Monumentcolorado, not 50/50. 51/50, the VP casts the extra vote in the senate if there’s a tie. Given that the VP is a Democrat she represents that one that gives the senate a technical majority. So it’s still “razor thin”.

          Yes you’re correct she’s a representative, that was my mistake which I’m not afraid to admit. HOWEVER, the point is still valid. Republicans are just as guilty of vilifying their own because they don’t agree with their party’s agenda or lying.

          1. Start admitting how you were wrong over and over again about the FDA documents and the NY documents involving Covid.

  7. We owe a lot to Sinema and Manchin for defending the filibuster. It is a good mechanism for ensuring that any legislation that can’t be tied to a budget matter is supported by a broad consensus. I would also favour narrowing the budget reconciliation loophole, since the Democrats have sought to use it for what they admit to be “transformational” measures that do not have broad support in the Senate.

    At the same time, it should be recalled that both of them are in favour of the radical voting rights bills the Democrats wish to pass. To me, this shows that even “moderate” Democrats cannot be trusted. While there are several positions many Republicans take that I do not support, they are in my view considerably less dangerous than today’s Democrats, who on voting rights, identity politics (e.g, the promotion of racially oriented “social justice” and “equity” everywhere leading to the ever more widespread use of race as a criterion), climate change and energy policy, illegal immigration, crime, ever expanding entitlements and government empowerment generally, including in particular in the areas of medical security (mandates of all kinds) and alleged domestic terrorism, have veered into extremely dangerous territory. To the extent there is a threat to “our democracy” and more generally to freedom and what might be called systems of competence, it comes from the left, not the right.

    I believe the attack on the reasonable voting integrity laws passed by Georgia and other red states is intended to lay the ground for denying the legitimacy of the results of elections in 2022 and 2024. The violence from the left that could follow a Republican victory in the 2024 presidential election, potentially with support from the ideologically purified military and other elements of the national security state, could make January 6 look like a picnic and succeed in preventing a peaceful transition of power.

    1. Why do you think the Founders rejected requiring a supermajority to approve legislation in the Senate?

      Do you object to the filibuster rule returning to the form it had for most of its existence (which is different than the current rule)?

      1. I am OK with the rule as it is. Initially there was no mechanism to end debate in the Senate. The cloture rule was adopted to correct that. It was modified a bit to eliminate the need to keep talking and reduce the number required to end debate. I view it today as a means of preventing narrow majorities in the Senate from making major changes unsupported by a genuine consensus.

      2. Learn your history to know what you are talking about.

        The founders did not want what we see today and intentionally wanted to slow things down. Your half-truths are lies.

          1. Daniel, you said nothing untrue. That comment was directed to Anonymous the Stupid. You can note that in the indentation of the comments or by looking at the email.

            No problem. I love what you write.

          2. Daniel, you keep exposing the knee jerk leftists. On this debate the must ignore the constitution. That part about the House and the Senate writing their own rules.
            In just over 7 months those evil Senate obstructionists can be turned out of power by the people. 33 senators up for election. The people can speak with unified voice and demand the Senate go to strictly majority rule.

            What is the problem with the people deciding?

      3. Do you object to the filibuster rule returning to the form it had for most of its existence (which is different than the current rule)?

        Ask your question to Schummer and Obama. Two influential Democrats that have given no explanation for their switch. All they need to do is lay out the facts present that have caused them to shift their position.

        Governance has exactly the same structure, as 2003, but Democrats have done a 180 degree swing in opinion.

  8. That is the hard left, mean, nasty and dangerous. They destroy individuals, groups and, as we saw over the summer, cities. Worse, they hope to destroy the nation and divide its people.

    The ACLU is now only a name taken over by the left.

    1. They will be the ones to bring Civil War.

      Biden went Full Red Guard.

      ATF just said 700 million guns in circulation and the Right has the majority. They are taking us where we done want to go.

      It won’t end well for them.

    2. S. Meyer, mmm…the right does it all the time. Just look at how Sen. Liz Chaney is treated by them. Anyone badmouthing Trump gets the nasty treatment from the crazy righties. They defecate in and destroy government buildings too AND assault law enforcement officers. Mean nasty (literally) and dangerous.

      1. “Just look at how Sen. Liz Chaney is treated by them. ”

        Has anyone said to follow her into a bathroom, disrupt her in a restaurant, kill her? What have people said that isn’t true from their perspective.

        Dealing with an idiot is tough. The left acts indecently, or have you already forgotten the destruction, looting, and arson .this past summer?

      2. Svelaz, you have a problem with facts and reading. This is all proven in this discussion. https://jonathanturley.org/2022/01/03/new-york-announces-that-scarce-covid-19-treatments-will-be-prioritized-for-non-white-patients/comment-page-1/#comment-2148311

        The official statements by the FDA and NY were provided. They used simple language, yet you were wrong from the start, after reading the documents, after portions of the documents were highlighted, etc. One cannot deal with a person that can’t understand the written word.

  9. I had never investigated the ACLU before now. But a quick Wikipedia search showed that there are actually two ACLU non-profit organizations, closely affiliated but with differing missions. One of them is permitted to engage in political activities, that’s the ACLU itself. The other is the ACLU Foundation, the 501(c)3, which must be a-political in its work. Perhaps it’s time for a deep forensic audit of the way these two ACLUs handle their money and how often, if ever, they have violated the Internal Revenue Code’s restrictions. Just sayin’

    1. I have, as I used to support many of those organizations (Greenpeace, WWF, Amnesty International, etc.). Things have been stinky there for close to twenty years or more, not ten. In fact, the entire leftist agenda does if one was actually paying attention and unbiased. Glad so many eyes that were glued shut (including the Professor’s) are opening, even if just a crack. None of this had to go this far, though. Parenting trends and all levels of education are also a huge factor.

    2. Violating the IRS restrictions? Surely you jest! The age of accountability for those on the left is over. Do you really think the IRS would care if the ACLU did something out of line?

    3. Richard Lowe, thank you for pointing that out! I had not realized that. And – I love the idea of a deep forensic audit. I’m troubled that these organizations are permitted to operate under the same “brand.”

  10. Turley likes to feed the rage that he complains about.

    God forbid that someone who works for employer X say something on her personal Twitter account, which explicitly says that her tweets are her own and not her employer’s, if JT disagrees with what she says.

    The filibuster was not intended by the Founders. They explicitly rejected requiring a supermajority in the Senate when they replaced the Articles of Confederation.

    Senators take an oath to uphold the Constitution, not to refrain from ever changing chamber rules, which can and do get changed. The filibuster rule in the Senate has been changed multiple times, and it should be changed again.

    The Guarantee Clause of the Constitution says “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government,” and this directly implicates voting rights in each state. When it comes to voting rights, Senators’ oaths to uphold this clause of the Constitution should trump their desire to maintain the current filibuster rule with respect to voting rights legislation.

    1. Trolls like to attempt to divert people’s attention with fabricated horse manure or personal invective. Real grown adults (you see, truly mature people do not succumb to hearsay or rage or invective) ignore them, or even better, at times school them in the way their parents and nannies wouldn’t.

      1. I literally quoted the Constitution and made a fact-based argument about the filibuster. Do you have any substantive response?

        1. I fail to see how that is in any way related to the subject of the post about people being vilified for thinking independently. The Founders never intended to normalize abortion, either. Not many of us are opposed to adapting and evolving; done without consciousness though, it looks an awful lot like regressing, just as the left’s stance on this does.

          Honestly: My tin foil hat brain thinks certain senators want to preserve the filibuster because they know their party will need it soon (which they felt great about 327 times under Trump BTW), and they want to stop the DNC from shooting off that final, remaining toe on their sanity foot. I could be wrong, of course (see? How hard is that. My entire concept of reality does not revolve around political ideology. Neither should yours).

          1. James wins the Gold Star for the Best Post of the Day.

            Polite, succinct, and dead right on content and tone.

            Hand Salute!

    2. A deceptive and deranged personality doesn’t change with a new alias. It only demonstrates again that the ATS personality is NOT CREDIBLE.

    3. Voting rights are not imperiled. The DC Democrats are exercised about nothing except their burning passion to subvert the will of the people who vote – poll after poll shows majorities in favor of voter ID, and consider the prevention of fraud more important than ease of access.

    4. The Guarantee Clause of the Constitution says “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government,” and this directly implicates voting rights in each state. When it comes to voting rights, Senators’ oaths to uphold this clause of the Constitution should trump their desire to maintain the current filibuster rule with respect to voting rights legislation.

      How would changing the filibuster rules to a simple majority better guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government?

      What evidence exists that voters have been so systemically disenfranchised that it would necessitate federalizing election laws?

  11. The ACLU is a joke. Why aren’t they defending the CIVIL RIGHTS of the Political Prisoners in the DC GULAG?? Another woke agency that is worthless.

  12. These people are seriously unhinged.
    Good on Sen. Sinema and Sen. Machin for keeping to their principles.
    Too bad the same could not be said about Pres. Biden. His Atlanta speech was divisive, further dividing the country.
    But, hey, by “whatever it takes,” justifies the means, right?

  13. Another post from JT not defending free speech when that speech goes against his politics. I am starting to wonder if his free speech principles are not as principled as JT claims.

    1. I don’t see anything in Professor Turley’s remarks suggesting that anyone’s free speech rights should be curtailed. There is a big difference between criticizing someone’s words and seeking to censor them.

      1. pudnhead: Absolutely. But don’t expect the trolls on this thread to understand nuance. They perfectly mirror today’s left: ignorant, hate-filled, intellectually limited, and divisive. They have one purpose: to pick through every word JT writes and find some obscure, or false, connection to their rage. These aren’t thinking people — they react like Pavlov’s dogs to any reasoned argument. We must pity them.

      1. Whiggy…..had I the ability to delete posts here at Professor Turley’s Blog….I would delete Sammy’s post to show you the difference between criticizing and censoring speech.

        Plainly, a concept that you are incapable of discerning for yourself as indicated by your own post.

        Perhaps you confuse “censoring” with “censuring”….as they are close but quite different…..unlike “criticizing” and “censoring”.

    2. However, one of most chilling attack came from a reported staff member at the ACLU, Sarah Michelsen, who encouraged people to keep up the pressure to “break” Sinema. The senator has been continually harassed by activists, who even followed her into a bathroom to berate her.”

      Democrats used leftist lobbying groups like the ACLU to thwart George Bush’s nominees 20 years ago. Democrats like Joe Biden filibustered Miguel Estrada, a Brown Latino, to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and refused to allow a vote on his confirmation. The following memo to then Senator Durbin, illustrates the history of Democrats recent Jim Crowe past. Not surprisingly, George Wallace, Bull Connor and Jefferson Davis were all Democrats just like Joe Biden.

      Democrats are Jim Crowe in vivo today.

      Nov 14, 2003

      He Is Latino

      As the Senate concludes its 30-hour talkathon on judicial filibusters, we thought readers might like to peer inside the filibustering Democratic mind, such as it is.

      This plunge into the murky deep comes from staff strategy memos we’ve obtained from the days when Democrats ran the Senate Judiciary Committee from 2001-2002. Or, rather, appeared to run the committee. Their real bosses are the liberal interest groups that more or less tell the Senators when to sit, speak and roll over — and which Bush judges to confirm or not. Here are some excerpts:

      November 7, 2001/To: Senator Durbin

      “The groups singled out three — Jeffrey Sutton (6th Circuit); Priscilla Owen (5th Circuit); and Caroline [sic] Kuhl (9th Circuit) — as a potential nominee for a contentious hearing early next year, with a [sic] eye to voting him or her down in Committee. They also identified Miguel Estrada (D.C. Circuit) as especially dangerous, because he has a minimal paper trail, he is Latino, and the White House seems to be grooming him for a Supreme Court appointment. They want to hold Estrada off as long as possible.”

      1. And McConnell simply refused to allow hearings on many judicial nominees (no, I’m not talking solely or even primarily about Garland), including other “Brown Latinos.”

    3. This is the problem with snowflakes (of any age) – they think the words themselves are violence and that the only solution is to shut the words down because they can’t cope with conflict and are triggered. A whole lot of things are compartmentalized under their logic bereft and juvenile grasp of concepts. Criticism is not censorship. Not remotely. By all means feel free to spew whatever it is you like. No one here will censor you, but you likely won’t sneak by without responses, either.

    4. Where does Professor Turley say these nasty tactics should be illegal? It is possible to deplore behavior without yelling “There oughta be a law!” Further, since I believe Professor Turley votes Democrat, which politics of his do you object to? Calling out bad behavior when it’s leftist bad behavior? Note that I use “leftist,” and not “liberal,” because there is no longer even a single strain of genuine liberalism among progressives, let alone among the “woke.”

      1. You might think Turley votes for the Democratic party, but he spins for, and is hired for the trump party.

        1. Perhaps because he is allowed free speech by them. He does not toe the Republican party line, that is certain.

          Not, of course, that you have in any way even attempted to address the substantive meat of my comment. You must be one of the illiberal woke progressives who are all game on to destroy this nation.

    5. Another post from JT not defending free speech when that speech goes against his politics.

      Huh? You apparently have a serious misunderstanding of what being a free speech absolutist means. It means you defend one’s exercise of this right, regardless of the composition of the speech itself. Defending this right does not at all mean you have to agree with what was being said. What Turley has demonstrated here is the implied defense of free speech, by not calling for the “bad speech” to be silenced, but by arguing against it with “better speech”.

  14. Intimidate. Break her. Mocked for appearing emotional.I guess they know that their arguments are not convincing enough?

    On another note, I mourn for the absence of an American Civil Liberties Union. The void in huge. The people now occupying the organization that has that name are obviously not interested in that mission. The closest thing to it today might be Jonathan Turley and some of his readers.

  15. Everyone should check out the documentary “Mighty Ira” about how the ACLU should operate. Regular Americans could help by donating to the “ACLU Foundation” which primarily funds legal work and minimizes politics. You can also donate directly to your state office of the ACLU.

    1. ACLU Foundation” which primarily funds legal work and minimizes politics.

      Other than the fact the ACLU, American Civil Liberties Union, does not fight for civil liberties. They do not defend freedom of religion, they do not protect the right to keep and bear arms, they do not fight for the freedom of speech. The are silent on FISA abuses.

    2. Ashcroft’s Zersetzung: As long as they are in any way connected to the woke travesty called ACLU, I wouldn’t give them a dime.

    3. Better yet….stop all support of both ACLU’s….and hire your own attorney and sue….even if all you do is take a cash settlement to pay your Lawyer fees.

      Cut out the middle man who does not represent you or your issues.

    4. The ACLU has two organizations and shares offices with a functional PAC that supports left-wing politics. Money is fungible, so like a lot of 501c3’s I don’t think it should qualify for a tax exemption. It started as a good organization, but after goals are met or new generations take over, the leadership no longer maintains its original mission. (See Candy Lightner MADD as an example of how charity missions creep) The left has destroyed a lot of good organizations.

      No one should donate to the ACLU unless they want a legal (not moral) tax deduction to a left-wing organization.

  16. Hope that the Lefties keep it up.

    They are playing to their base (perhaps 30%of the country), and it feels very good to them. And the media is rewarding them with attaboys.

    But the Lefties are cementing the opposition.

    More importantly, the undecideds are making up their minds – our way.

    So Lefties, keep up your tantrum. It is unpleasant, but furthers the repugnance felt by most Americans.

  17. Well, I guess maybe she could have looked to be the representative of more moderate voices. Communists are going to commie. Ask the Romanovs how good they are to deal with.

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