It must be May 32nd. My utterly alienated blogfather — Andrew Sullivan — and his (says me) replacement, Glenn Reynolds, are on the same page about the White House’s unreal attitude toward the immigration bill. Yes, we’re all disgusted: “It’s the arrogance and condescension that finally makes your blood boil.”
It’s not as if it hasn’t happened before. It’s of a piece with the Bush weakness for cronyism, which is a family trait not entirely unrelated to loyalty.
Now who could be less of a crony to the Bushes than a Mexican immigrant pulling weeds from your garden? Well, some people insist that this is about President Bush’s strong compassionate feeling for the unfortunate Mexican immigrants who just want to make a life for themselves. Who am I to gainsay that? I don’t know the President. But the cronyism I wrote about at the link above, which put the Harriet Meiers debacle into the context of the Dick Cheney nomination, can be added to the President’s insistence on standing by a mediocre Attorney General, to get the following sum:
George Bush is a man of principle. Popularity polls and even congressional elections do not sway him from what he believes is the right course of action — say, in Iraq. But being, in that way, the anti-Bill Clinton, George Bush relies on a small inner galaxy to direct his inclinations. The result is an inappropriate amount of trust in his inner circle, and almost a contempt — or deafness, perhaps — to popular sentiment, maybe even iced with enjoyment of swimming upstream.
That’s a lonely place to be, especially when your hunches don’t work out so well, and especially in your lame duck years in office. Bill Clinton would not lead politically; defiance of the popular will was only something he did while signing midnight pardons on the way out the door. George Bush leads with his heart to the extent that his White House condescends even to its grass roots supporters. Unlike Bill Clinton’s all-night carnival, the Bush White House seems like a lonely world to live in, but for the governed, it may be worse.
Next time, can we get something in between?
Reuters says that online dating site eHarmony has been sued for running its business pursuant to its own moral — or business — compass:
The popular online dating service eHarmony was sued on Thursday for refusing to offer its services to gays, lesbians and bisexuals.
A lawsuit alleging discrimination based on sexual orientation was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of Linda Carlson, who was denied access to eHarmony because she is gay.
I am sure she was not “denied access to eHarmony.” From the sound of it, she was denied the provision of services eHarmony doesn’t provide: Homosexual dating. How does eHarmony explain itself?
eHarmony could not immediately be reached for comment. Commenting in the past on eHarmony’s gay and lesbian policy, [Dr. Neil Clark] Warren has said that he does not know the dynamics of same-sex relationships but he expects the principles to be different.
You’ve heard the commercials, probably. Dr. Warren, in his strained voice, talking about his touchy-feely personalized matchup process. You can buy into that or not; but what he sells is what he claims to know. Homosexual relationships, he says, he does not know. Tough luck, Dr. Warren. California law requires you to know.
This is particularly interesting because, again, contrary to the “denied access” claim, homosexuals have by all indications not been denied access — they just want a new division of the company started for them:
Lawyers bringing the action said they believed it was the first lawsuit of its kind against eHarmony, which has long rankled the gay community with its failure to offer a “men seeking men” or “women seeking women” option.
The plaintiffs here are actually arguing that eHarmony is obligated not just to open up its existing service to people of all sexual predilections. It is requiring eHarmony to actually provide new services that it claims neither an interest nor any degree of expertise in, and which may require an outlay of millions of dollars. Let’s not even get into the moral preferences of the owners and management, which are presumed irrelevant by laws which outlaw discrimination against homosexuals or, in this case, may mandate the provision of special services to them.
Where are the libertarian defenders of free enterprise? We’ll see.
UPDATE: The heavy lifters.
May 30, 2007 Americana
The NCAA has granted Duke’s request for an extra year of eligibility for its men’s lacrosse players following rape allegations that led to the cancellation of much of last season.The decision affects 33 players who were not seniors during the 2006 season, and it grants them a fifth year of eligibility regardless of whether they play at Duke or another school. The announcement Wednesday came just two days after the Blue Devils lost to Johns Hopkins by a goal in the NCAA championship game.
“These individuals were involved in an unusual circumstance that we believe warrants providing them the opportunity to complete their four years of competition,” said Jennifer Strawley, NCAA director of student-athlete reinstatement and membership services.
Of course most people — even lacrosse players — aren’t interested in five years of college. And the real bad guy here was not the NCAA; it was Duke.
When does Duke step up?
Chavez is shutting down TV stations and finding dangerous plots everywhere. It’s classic totalitarianism on the march.
I never liked him, and I can’t imagine you did, either. But… policy? Do we have one? Do we want one?
I don’t know. Poking the likes of this guy with a stick can and does frequently get you a Fidel Castro. The Allende adventure was sloppy, though perhaps a better outcome. But is it ever really possible to deal with tyrants whose stock in trade is anti-Americanism?