Sunday, August 21, 2005

#5 Anthony Romero, ACLU

Goldberg uses the same techniqe with Anthony Romero, the Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, that he uses with Jesse Jackson. I call it the Old Lefty strategy. Goldberg says, "I'm not a right wing ideologue, because I supported liberal causes thirty years ago." We have no way of knowing this, of course, particularly when Goldberg is merely reporting the contents of his (former) mind. Thus he praises not the present advocate of social change, Jesse Jackson, but the immortal (dead) Martin Luther King, Jr., who can now do nothing to affect our common life. In Romero's case, it's not the ACLU defending civil liberties against the Bush Justice Department's War on Terror, which is happening right now, or enforcing the separation of church and state, which is the hottest current issue in constitutional law, but a thirty-year old march by some marginal self-styled Nazis in Skokie, long ago resolved in favor of the ACLU's position on free speech.

Thus, Goldberg makes Romero NUMBER FIVE on the list of people screwing up our common society, because he is an "absolutist," whose organization sees its job as "to defend ourselves against John Ashcroft (who has since resigned as attorney general) and a government that tramples on the Constitution in the name of national security."

THE REAL ANTHONY ROMERO is Executive Director of the ACLU.
Romero, an attorney with a history of public-interest activism, has presided over the most successful membership growth in the ACLU's 85-year history, almost doubled the budget of the organization and increased the national staff by over 75% since he began his tenure. Romero is the ACLU's sixth executive director, and the first Latino and openly gay man to serve in that capacity. He came to the organization from the Ford Foundation's Human Rights and International Cooperation Program after a stint at the Rockefeller Foundation. There's nothing immediately apparent from his biography to qualify him as a screwup. As a former lefty of course Goldberg can't be put off by Romero's being gay or Latino, so Goldberg 77 can only conclude that Bernard Goldberg picked Romero, because Goldberg thinks the ACLU itself is screwing up America. Here is the ACLU's platform, so you can decide for yourselves.

The mission of the ACLU is to preserve all of these protections and guarantees:

Your First Amendment rights-freedom of speech, association and assembly. Freedom of the press, and freedom of religion supported by the strict separation of church and state.

Your right to equal protection under the law - equal treatment regardless of race, sex, religion or national origin.

Your right to due process - fair treatment by the government whenever the loss of your liberty or property is at stake.

Your right to privacy - freedom from unwarranted government intrusion into your personal and private affairs.
We work also to extend rights to segments of our population that have traditionally been denied their rights, including Native Americans and other people of color; lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered people; women; mental-health patients; prisoners; people with disabilities; and the poor.

Goldberg 77 wants to take this opportunity to thank Bernard Goldberg for motivating her to do the actual research into the lives and work of the men and women he describes as Screwing Up America. After a generation of right wing dominance of the culture, she had lost sight of how many people are still out there, doing honorable work, and keeping idealism alive.

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