“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. Did the ACLU once fight against the Patriot Act? If so, why not come to Carter Page’s defense?

  2. Turley fails to mention one of the vilest, most telling, hypocrises involving the Democrats and their new-found fear and loathing of the Senate filibuster. On THURSDAY, JANUARY 14, 2022 in the midst of all of this phony villification of Sinema, DEMOCRAT SENATE MAJORITY LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER EMPLOYED THE FILIBUSTER to prevent a vote on Ted Cruz’ bill to sanction Russia (mainly via the Nordstream 2 pipeline) for Putin’s intrusion into the affairs of Ukraine and Kazikstan. Cruz’ bill apparently had 53 votes, enough to pass had a vote been taken (apparently there was some modest party line crossing on both sides). Fair attribtution: Glenn Greenwald brought that to my attention on his substack blog.

    1. While the substance is similar (60 votes needed), as technical matter, I don’t think Democrats filibustered the Cruz bill and the vote was to end debate, but rather there was a vote on the Cruz bill itself but there was an agreement that the vote needed 60 votes to be adopted. This often happens with agreements on amendment votes to bills as well.

  3. Song:
    “I’m Enema The Eighth I Am!
    I live out west in a garbage can!!!
    I got married to a junkie next door
    He’s been a sinner hundreds times before!
    And all my kids came out from enemas.
    They wouldn’t be a Silly or A Trump.
    There ain’t no name like Sinema!
    Sinema The Eighth I Am!

  4. Neocon Repugnicans LOVE Liz CHeney and her warmongering Daddy (recently warmy embraced in a hypocritical, whiplash-inducing reversal by Liberals and an MSM who would gladly have applauded his hanging afew years ago). Only those on the the so-called “right” who reject the omniscience and omnipotence of The State revile Liz Cheney.

  5. Sinema remains a liberal. Anyone who actually bothered to actually read what she said would find that she supports both bills allowing Fedgov to wrest election management from the states (to which I am intractably opposed). Her decision to vote against changes to the fillibuster is based on concerns about long-term damage to the way the Senate operates. However, she is one of a very few Democrats in Congress to actually make decisions based on principal, rather than likes on Twatter, and I do respect that.

  6. For anyone who is serious about their principals and is paying attention, that moment came quite some time ago.

  7. The “wokists” and whoever they represent, no doubt rich hypocrite corporatist a-holes like Gates and Bloomberg among other paragons of oppression.

  8. What I have copied below was a great comment by Young that places ATS in the Stupid category. Too bad ATS is screwing everyone on the blog so their comments are deleted. He’s pis-sed because he’s been shown to be a loser and his habits have revealed the type of person he is. Take note how he’s gone back to generic anonymous.

    How do you know what the scope of her employment is? Do you have a copy of her job description? What is your job description?

    She is a strategist. Part of her strategy could easily include comments such as this made in her role as professional scum. Until the principals say otherwise, she speaks for ACLU.

    Have they said otherwise?

    Has ACLU disavowed her or her comments or said she is speaking only in a private capacity?.

    ACLU owns it.

    But I wonder who owns ACLU now?

  9. This seems completely incompatible with not-for-profit status. Obviously, neither Biden’s IRS nor Merrick Garland is going to open an investigation but hopefully there will be a different administration in 2025 and they will.

  10. Sinema ‘Was’ Much Further Left

    Political Future Now In Doubt

    The “Five Thirty Eight” article below notes that Sinema used to be a staunch liberal. But somewhere along the way she presumed Arizonans want her to be a ‘conservative’ Democrat. This article, however, questions that calculation while noting that Arizona has been trending Blue. Phoenix, in fact, is now a Big 5 City and increasingly diverse.

    Sinema comes up for reelection in 2024 and she stands a very good chance of getting primaried-out by disgruntled Democrats.


    1. All the more reason for her to switch parties. She won by fewer than 56,000 votes in 2018 in a close race. Given that the Dems are roughly as popularity as herpes, and likely to fall further as the Grandpa Gropes administration goes down in flames, she stands a better chance running as a Republican.

      And as for the diversity of the state, the Latino vote is trending Republican too.

    2. The article starts with “Most Democrats in Congress are united around the Democratic agenda”

      What is that agenda?

      Spend money until the middle class is on food stamps.
      Spend money on climate change programs that are poorly thought out. Spend money on illegals while forgetting about families,
      Spend money on Covid but screw up on therapeutics and a whole host of other things. The only things regarding Covid that are being done right are those things copied from the Trump agenda.
      Spend money on education now accepting the fact children need to be in schools without masks.

      The Democrat agenda is a mess.

      1. Listen to the idiot below. Anonymous the Stupid has been shooting and running all day. Why? Because his arguments are ignorant and not credible. He has to hide from them so that the corrections are left hanging without context.

        Can Anonymous the Stupid show where others are wrong? No.
        Can he defend Democrat policy? No.
        Does he know what Democrat policy is and what it means? Of course not.

  11. Many years ago Rush Limbaugh was warning us about the ACLU. The ACLU was the same then as they are now. Even though you are late Jonathan welcome to the party. I understand that your heart was in the right place. One can only hope that you won’t be fooled again. This is coming from a recovering one time left wing hippy.

    1. “Even though you are late Jonathan welcome to the party. I understand that your heart was in the right place. One can only hope that you won’t be fooled again.”

      This has happened to a lot of people. Jonathan Turley is just one of many intelligent people who has fallen for the ACLU’s abhorrent actions. Who wouldn’t look favorably on an organization that protects the individual’s civil liberties? I would say most reasonable people would feel the same way. However, when looking at any point in the history of the ACLU, one has to weigh the present known good to what happens in the future and what is unknown. That is where Professor Turley has been a bit late. He is trying to do good but miscalculates the unknown that can lead in the opposite direction to his desires.

      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. After goals are met, or new generations take over, the leadership no longer maintains its original mission or convictions. (See Candy Lightner MADD as an example of how charity missions creep) The left has destroyed a lot of good organizations.

      One has to look into the future. From the beginning, one could see that the ACLU had the propensity to spin left while doing good deeds. Its predecessor dealt only with free speech (Who but people like Anonymous the Stupid can argue against free speech?) At that time, they were representing those whose free speech was being curtailed by a Progressive President during WW1, Woodrow Wilson. It then expanded its scope, reorganizing and began representing labor unions, communists and the KKK, but on the principle of free speech. It further expanded to focus on civil liberties. Most Americans will support free speech even if they don’t support communists or the KKK. Most Americans will also defend individual civil liberties, not injurious to others.

      Awareness of the future shift of the ACLU to a more ideological type of organization could have been noted when the ACLU decided the Supreme Court should legislate rather than the legislature. I think Felix Frankfurter on the board of the ACLU was against that shift. This is not to say the SC shouldn’t be involved. Rather legislation should be left to the legislature. When the Supreme Court is depended on to legislate, we develop deep cracks in our system that cannot be repaired.

      We could clearly see the failure in that tactic in 1932(?) when Roosevelt attempted to pack the court. That threat against the judicial system was neither supported nor opposed by the ACLU, but it led to a more activist Supreme Court, which has caused many failures and a lot of problems that we face today. Gradually, based on its earlier directions, the ACLU slipped from an esteemed position into the repugnant organization it is today. I think Jonathan Turley missed the unknowns and is first starting to see them in the past years. Welcome aboard, Jon Turley.

  12. By all means, let the militant Jacobins continue their days of rage till soon, either Manchin of Sinema moves to the other side of the aisle. What a great day that will be.

    Let the investigations:

    – coke-addled, corrupt, whore-monger Hunter Biden
    – the lab origins of Covid, from experiments partly funded by the US government
    – the cover-up approved by Fauci
    – the uselessness of masking and the harm from the shut-down
    – the intentional chaos of the border crisis

  13. From a principled high of Skokie to a self-serving debasement of Sinema the ACLU has plunged straight down. It’s now circling the bowl with the likes of “actiterrorist” Sarah Michelsen. Can the flush be far behind? Let’s hope not.

  14. Biden is done: impotent, flailing, angry, demented, incoherent deranged, mocked. Trump did more than Biden in one year, and the world kneeled. China and Russia ignore America knowing Biden is nuts


    “How Democrat dysfunction is stalling Joe Biden’s presidency”
    The president’s failure to override the filibuster for his electoral reform bill reflects divisions in his party and inertia in congress

    The reason for Mr Biden’s failure lies partially in his inability to corral his own dysfunctional party…. On his fruitless trip to Congress, Mr Biden tried in vain to persuade the two Democrats at a meeting in the Kennedy Caucus Room. Afterwards, as he vented to the press outside, Ms Sinema emerged from the room, saw the president, turned around and went back in again.

  15. So The American Civil Liberties Union wants to limit the civil liberties of a U.S. Senator. Keep in mind that it is not the only civil liberty that the Democratically controlled Civil Liberties Union wants to control. Please note that in the previous sentence I left out the word American in the title of the subject organization. I understated the reality. I should have additionally left out the words civil and liberties. What remains is the Democratic Party Union. A worthy noble beginning has sadly come to such an ignoble ending. Imagine if they have their way.

  16. I think nothing will make Senator Sinema stand firmer than some ACLU Red Guard claiming that they are breaking her.

    They have lost all principles and they cannot understand someone who has principles.

      1. Anonymous ignores the point of the discussion, i.e. the AC(damn)LU trying to “break” a female senator for defending what the men (Biden, Schumer and Obama) defended only three years ago. Any thoughts on the actual issue at hand Aninymous?

        1. The ACLU is not doing what Turley claims. Even Turley can’t determine if that “senior strategist” is still with the ACLU.

          Turley: “ It is not clear what Michelsen did or does at the ACLU. Her Twitter account was taken private after her attack on Sinema. ”

          Turley is claiming the ACLU strategist said that without being able to confirm if she’s still with the ACLU. That is a failure of the most basic rules of journalism.

          That’s why Turley’s column is more about feeding the rage of his readers than the facts.

          1. Anonymous, just a few minutes of research yields the information about Michelsen’s affiliation with the ACLU. Your approach when confronted with the facts is to deny the existence of the subject. CRT to be one other example. Be very careful. One of your blinders may be slipping. What a sad day that would be for your psychological commitment. You diligently guard yourself from that day of sadness because you are afraid that you wont be able to carry on.

          2. ATS: “The ACLU is not doing what Turley claims. Even Turley can’t determine if that “senior strategist” is still with the ACLU.”


            Respondeat superior– The ACLU owns it. They could easily do what other organizations do and make a public statement disavowing the ‘strategist’. Have you seen them do that, ATS?

      2. “ Same can be said of the right vilifying Liz Chaney.”

        Next up: Democrats stand in line to shake Dick Cheney’s hand.

        Remember when Dems compared Dick Cheney to Pol Pot, Adolf Hitler and Mussolini into one evil wizard? Fun times

      3. When you have no substantive retort, deflect. Ah, the left…do you guys literally get a playbook, or is it OJT?

      4. No, it cannot be said of the “right”.
        Please point out where right-wing “activist” thugs followed lying Lizard Cheney into a woman’s toilet and berating her. Please point out where right-wing “activist” thugs have opened rifle fire on Democrat Congressmen as they played baseball. Please show some video of right-wing “activists” screaming and threatening Democrat Senators inside restaurants. You’re either grossly misinformed or downright dishonest.

  17. OT: For those that want to wait for the decisions of judges, they are now coming in, so your former claims were wrong. We are dealing with big numbers.

    Judge rules absentee ballot drop boxes illegal in Wisconsin, regulators must retract guidance
    This is the second court decision that has deemed the WEC’s 2020 election behavior unlawful. JTN

    the state election statute “was in fact not just broken, but shattered.”

    That change alone allowed 250,000 people to vote without complying with voter ID standard requirements.

    1. Of all the new election laws passed, one is missing

      Total votes cast at the close of business everyday during early voting and withing 30 minutes of the polls closing.

      We cant count total votes cast, how can we determine the victors.

      1. Iowan, yes and no because one has to seal the openings where cheating can occur.

        Voting needs to occur at the polls over a relatively short period where ID is checked for each voter.

        We need paper ballots or electronics backed up by paper so the voter can see his vote.
        We need an accounting of all votes cast in a special container that is identifiable and centrally listed.

        Absentee ballots should be severely restricted and individually audited.

        Large signs should be placed at the polls and elsewhere that voting fraud will lead to a jail sentence, no exceptions.

        We have electronics available to help with absentee voting, but that should also be backed up with paper.

        The voting registers should be purged regularly.

        There is more. None of this is voter suppression. If people are denied their proper ability to vote, their claims can be listed publicly and addressed.

      1. Anonymous the Stupid, your lack of objectivity is duly noted. When you post your list of those charged you act as if that is proof of guilt.

        I posted judges rulings that you and others say were lacking. They now exist so you now move the goal post. You are a hypocrite.

  18. The Left wants Senator Sinema to be a good girl and do as she’s told.

    If she doesn’t, they’ll follow her, harass her, threaten her, frighten her, and try to break her. They’ll threaten her family.

    These aren’t just wild eyed maniacs at Berkeley. It’s mainstream. A Red Army.

    It’s disturbing to watch. Even if I disagreed with her, I’d want her to stay strong.

    These people couldn’t drive people away from the Democrat Party faster if they set it on fire.

    1. Karen, the right has its own problems with Liz Chaney. She too is standing her ground and is being censored and threatened by the GOP by refusing to recognize her as a Republican. They are even violating her free speech rights.

      1. Svelaz,

        Liz Cheney has not been censored but she has been censured, these are two distinctly different things.

        The republicans can choose to drop her from their party but all that would occur is that she would be listed as an independent. That is, assuming that she does not just remove the mask and declare herself to be a democrat.

      2. How has the GOP “violated her free speech rights”? Please provide FACTS – and not only opinion.

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