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Brendan Eich Had To Go

 Brandon Eich Mozilla

Andrew Sullivan has received lots of reader pushback, some more civil than others, for taking the position that Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich should not have been forced out of his job for his active opposition to gay marriage. Sullivan, of course, is gay, married to another man, and has been a public defender of the gay marriage rights for years. Nonetheless, he’s not persuaded by the arguments supporting the “public shaming” of Eich.

[T]hese arguments avoid the core, ugly truth of what happened. Brendan Eich was regarded as someone whose political beliefs and activities rendered him unsuitable for his job. In California, if an employer had fired an employee for these reasons, he would be breaking the law . . .

[...]

Now Eich was not in that precise position. He resigned as CEO under duress because of his political beliefs. The letter of the law was not broken. But what about the spirit of the law?

The ability to work alongside or for people with whom we have a deep political disagreement is not a minor issue in a liberal society. It is a core foundation of toleration. We either develop the ability to tolerate those with whom we deeply disagree, or liberal society is basically impossible. Civil conversation becomes culture war; arguments and reason cede to emotion and anger. And let me reiterate: this principle of toleration has recently been attacked by many more on the far right than on the far left. I’m appalled, for example, at how great gay teachers have been fired by Catholic schools, even though it is within the right of the schools to do so. It’s awful that individuals are fired for being gay with no legal recourse all over the country. But if we rightly feel this way about gays in the workplace, why do we not feel the same about our opponents? And on what grounds can we celebrate the resignation of someone for his off-workplace political beliefs? Payback? Revenge? Some liberal principles, in my view, are worth defending whether they are assailed by left or right.

I came to support marriage equality much later and more reluctanctly than Sullivan. Eich’s position is not that far from my own position as recently as a decade ago; not surprisingly, then, I don’t find said position worthy of public shaming, much less disqualifying for employment.

Beyond that, I fully support Sullivan’s stance on toleration for others’  beliefs, including those I find distasteful. I’m no fan of the lynch mob mentality that social media enabled to go into full gear every time someone gets found doing something others find distateful. Having every private act of pettiness spotlighted and set upon viciously through viral campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, or whathaveyou is damaging to our society.

If Eich were an ordinary employee—even a senior vice president or chief technical officer—of Mozilla I would be on Sullivan’s side here. But CEO is a different animal altogether. As CEO, Eich was the public face of the company. As such, what for an ordinary employee could simply be chalked up as his private opinion on a matter having nothing to do with his job is instead going to be perceived as the Official Position of Mozilla. Once his financial support on the losing side of such a controversial issue came to light and the backlash ensued, including a boycott campaign, there was simply no saving him. Mozilla had a fidiciary obligation to its shareholder to distance itself from Eich. Whether Eich did the honorable thing and did the deed himself or his board magnanimously let him resign rather than face the additional humiliation of being fired, the outcome was inevitable.

I’m reminded here of the brouhaha a dozen years back when Trent Lott resigned his position as Senate Republican Leader after publicly joking on the occasion of Strom Thurmond’s 100th birthday that the country would have been better off had Thurmond been elected president in 1948. While I believed then and continue to believe to this day that he was just buttering up an old man rather than suggesting that it’s a shame that Jim Crow went away, the combination of that joke—told repeatedly, it turned out, in other venues and some other evidence of Lott’s association with neo-Confederates doomed him. Had he been an ordinary Senator from Mississippi, I suspect he’d have survived the scandal. As the most prominent Republican on Capitol Hill, however, he simply had to go.

Lott rehabilitated his image somewhat and actually rejoined the Senate Republican leadership team less than four years later. I suspect that Eich, too, will mend his fences and re-emerge in a prominent position in the tech world in short order.

It’s an interesting philosophical question as to whether one should have to apologize for holding controversial positions. I agree with Sullivan that it would be a better world if we could just let bygones be bygones, especially on issues still in controversy rather than those long since settled. But that’s not the world we live in.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. grumpy realist says:

    As said–this wasn’t as much a gay/non-gay thing as it was a CEO being out beyond his depth. Eich had a crisis blow up on his watch and failed to handle it properly. He thought that since he had weathered the whole Prop 8 donation when he became CTO that he was protected as CEO. Mistake. Result? One incompetent CEO gets asked to leave.

    I realize why the rabble-rousers on both sides are jumping at the bait, but can the rest of us settle down? IT WAS NOT JUST A GAY THING.

    Sheesh!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  2. michael reynolds says:

    It may be that he had to go. That’s Mozilla’s decision. The rise of the lynch mob is a different matter, and those people need to look in their hearts and ask themselves if this is what they think tolerance looks like.

    Any movement, especially one as rapidly successful as this one, will be tempted to overreach. But they’re like a poorly-led army that collapses the enemy front only to outrun their supply line in their zeal to finish off the last of their opponents. They’ve made themselves vulnerable.

    We don’t want to destroy people. We want to convince people.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 3

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Every time somebody exercises their right of free speech and says something others think objectionable, and those others exercise their right of free speech and object, I hear the cries of “TYRANNY!!!!”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

  4. Anderson says:

    What Scott Lemieux said:

    “if Eich had donated to an initiative campaign dedicated to the re-criminalization of interracial marriage, or to an anti-Semitic group, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation, because virtually nobody would be defending him. Nobody really thinks that CEOs have some kind of unlimited right to free political speech, and the arguments being made in defense of Eich generally tend to minimize the importance of gay and lesbian rights.”

    The Prop 8 campaign was waged with TV spots depicting gays as monsters, and thousand-dollar donations like Eich’s made that campaign possible. He was free to explain his position, but chose to resign instead. Good riddance.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 3

  5. Ben says:

    I agree with you that he had to go, because it would be irresponsible of Mozilla’s board to keep him on. To say nothing of the politics involved, the good of the company and the shareholders demanded it. But I just want to comment on this piece:

    It’s an interesting philosophical question as to whether one should have to apologize for holding controversial positions. I agree with Sullivan that it would be a better world if we could just let bygones be bygones, especially on issues still in controversy rather than those long since settled. But that’s not the world we live in.

    Having a controversial opinion is one thing. Supporting a cause to deny a sector of our society fundamental civil rights is another. I know that everyone loves to say how marriage equality is basically a done deal because of how far public opinion has shifted. But the reality is that the majority of the country still refuses to go along. Unless you’re in the northeast, the west coast, or a few Great Lakes states, you’re still shit out of luck if you’re gay and want to get married (and have it recognized where you live). When marriage equality is a reality coast-to-coast, then we can all talk about letting “bygones be bygones”. But for now, this is about Americans who still don’t have equal rights, and everyone’s assumption that victory is imminent isn’t very soothing to people being wronged right now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  6. Matt Bernius says:

    A very well reasoned piece James.

    I think that Mozilla’s Board deserves much of the blame for their utter mishandling of this situation. I think they fundamentally failed in doing the necessary due diligence in researching and considering Eich’s background on this and other issues. The fact is that he should never have been offered the CEO position for the very reasons that you have expressed here — not to mention others that have surfaced since.

    If they had done that research, it would be have been clear that Eich would most likely not have been able to operate within the Moral’s clause that was most likely within his contract.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  7. ratufa says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Eich had a crisis blow up on his watch and failed to handle it properly.

    So, what should he have done, beyond the statement he issued at:

    https://brendaneich.com/2014/03/inclusiveness-at-mozilla/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. Ben says:

    @ratufa:

    So, what should he have done, beyond the statement he issued at:

    https://brendaneich.com/2014/03/inclusiveness-at-mozilla/

    That statement doesn’t even address the controversy at all. He says that he knows that LGBT people at Mozilla are skeptical of him and that he will work on blahblahblah moving forward, but he didn’t even address the donation, or speak about how he feels about it now and whether/how he can compartmentalize his beliefs on marriage equality with how he’s going to treat his LGBT underlings.

    That statement is nothing more than textbook managerial throat-clearing BS.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  9. C. Clavin says:

    I fully support Sullivan’s stance on toleration for others’ beliefs

    One has to decide for themselves what they can and will tolerate.
    Frankly I am not interested in tolerating bigots…we aren’t talking about whether you like swiss or cheddar, Springsteen or Neil…we’re talking about judging fellow human beings to be less than you are…and taking action force that belief on others…to actively control important aspects of their lives.
    If you are fine with that…good on you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3

  10. Mikey says:

    I was going to comment about this but @Ben beat me to it.

    This was more than just holding a controversial opinion or a set of “beliefs”–Eich donated $1000 to an organization dedicated specifically to denying a group of people equality under the law. That’s not opinion, that’s action.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  11. Mu says:

    What gets me in all this is that most of the people that are offended are not offended by the fact that someone was fired for a viewpoint, but only that it was a viewpoint they agree with.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

  12. beth says:

    @C. Clavin: See that’s my problem too. Sullivan keeps talking about this as a political belief being quashed. While there may be politics involved as per the donation, this is about basic human rights. We’re not debating whether tax cuts stimulate the economy – we’re debating whether someone should be free to marry who they choose.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  13. beth says:

    @michael reynolds: I guess I need to read some more about this. Who exactly was the lynch mob? I know some of the board of directors didn’t want him but was there outside pressure from gay rights groups too? It seemed like the only protest I heard about was from OK Cupid. If you’re happy that someone with those beliefs lost a CEO job, does that make you part of the lynch mob even though you didn’t really care one way or the other? This whole think happened so suddenly that I assumed there was much more to it than came out.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  14. pylon says:

    Andrew Sullivan Nov. 18, 2008:

    My own view is that we can protest and have; we are also within our rights to boycott businesses who bankrolled the initiative, and to confront the Mormon church. But we lost a fair fight because of complacency, and dreadful leadership.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  15. beth says:

    I fully support Sullivan’s stance on toleration for others’ beliefs

    So as far as Sullivan goes, he’s okay with someone donating money to produce hateful, lie-filled commercials to sway people to vote against someone else’s civil rights but when an actor calls someone a gay slur (that is in common use as a pejorative) he needs to be denounced loudly and constantly on tv and print (as Sullivan did with Anderson Cooper to Alec Baldwin). Maybe he didn’t call for Baldwin to be fired but he sure called for public shaming.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  16. Jeff says:

    “I agree with Sullivan that it would be a better world if we could just let bygones be bygones, especially on issues still in controversy rather than those long since settled. But that’s not the world we live in.”

    So let’s just go and intentionally make the world worse, then! Call me naive, but I do think while the world we live in is far from perfect, it is reasonable enough that if Mozilla had simply taken a breath, issued a press release underscoring its support for both gay marriage and free speech, most if not all customers would have understood that and accepted it. They might even have picked up some market share for showing a spine in favor of free speech (which, after all, is much closer to the basic mission of a web browsing company than any position on marriage is).

    FWIW, Sullivan is probably wrong about California law not being violated. Both relevant statutes (Cal. Labor Code 98.6 and 1102) can be triggered by action short of termination. Of course there’s Norfolk & Waypal Eich will actually sue.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  17. KM says:

    You are free to do and believe whatever you want in your own life. When your life starts affecting your employer, they tend to have opinions. A CEO is an employee that tends to forget he’s an employee (all that ratified air up there, you know). The BOD wanted him gone because he’s causing them bad press and handling it poorly. His job is Optics people!! For better or for worse, he seems like a bad fit for that company and he chose to step down. Maybe he’ll be a great CEO somewhere else but that place will not be Mozilla.

    The reason this is compelling for most people is how quickly the tide has turned. What was a safe social bet a few years ago is now bad karma to many. People who are on the wrong side of history are being called to the carpet a lot faster then they expected – they thought they’d have a few decades to milk the resentment before they became politically radioactive. People that are pointing to this as “persecution” are worried for their own skins. If the CEO (a 1% conservative protected class) is being held accountable, then Joe down in Customer Support know he’s time for being a bigot is closing fast. Archie Bunker hung around for years, they were hoping for some of that longevity…..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  18. KM says:

    @Jeff:

    They might even have picked up some market share for showing a spine in favor of free speech (which, after all, is much closer to the basic mission of a web browsing company than any position on marriage is).

    Free speech doesn’t mean you can say whatever you want and whine when somebody takes you to task for it. OkCupid was exercising free speech too as was everyone else on both sides of the issue. The government hasn’t cracked down on anybody to my knowledge or even gotten involved at all.

    I find people who complain about “free speech” really mean “consequence free speech”. In other words, “I want to act like a hateful person in public but don’t you dare call me one! That’s a negative thing socially and it hurts my feelings”

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  19. beth says:

    This whole thing is quickly starting to remind me of the Susan Komen fiasco. The company is damned if they do and damned if they don’t. I’ve seen calls to boycott Mozilla now coming from the right and they are certainly within their rights to do it. I would say this and the Komen mess is just proof that CEO’s shouldn’t get involved in any controversial issues on either side. Give money to the local animal shelter – everyone loves puppies!

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  20. MM2 says:

    What is so interesting to me is that so many of the people who are lamenting Eich’s resignation are the same people who had no problem crowing over getting scalps like Shirley Sherrod, or the guy on MSNBC, to say nothing about the blacklisting they were all for during the start of the war in Iraq.

    They are interested in protecting ideas so long as those ideas are mainstream Republican ideas. Nothing more.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

  21. Matt Bernius says:

    @Jeff:

    Sullivan is probably wrong about California law not being violated. Both relevant statutes (Cal. Labor Code 98.6 and 1102) can be triggered by action short of termination.

    Most CEO contracts are pretty complex and include things like Morals/Public Behavior clauses which give the organization the ability to terminate the contract if the CEO does something that embarrasses the orgnaization.

    I suspect that Eich’s contract was no different.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  22. C. Clavin says:

    Regarding this…. Hillary is going to have to answer for DOMA I think.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  23. Mozilla had a fidiciary obligation to its shareholder to distance itself from Eich.

    It should be noted that Mozilla is a wholly owned subsidiary of a non-profit corporation. It doesn’t have shareholders.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  24. Gavrilo says:

    I love liberals! All those lectures for the past 60 years about how horrible it was that some Hollywood screenwriters were blacklisted because they belonged to the Communist Party. Turns out it’s ok to deny someone employment based on his political beliefs.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 28

  25. ratufa says:

    @Ben:

    but he didn’t even address the donation, or speak about how he feels about it now and whether/how he can compartmentalize his beliefs on marriage equality with how he’s going to treat his LGBT underlings.

    Most of the post by him that I linked to addresses how he’s going to treat Mozilla’s employees.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  26. C. Clavin says:

    @Gavrilo:
    That’s the problem…equal protection under the law is not a political position.
    You’re inability to see that is why I refer to the Republican Party as the Party of Stupid.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  27. C. Clavin says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    Yeah…so…I don’t think it’s a shareholder issue…but an issue of being a viable alternative to for-profit corporations they compete with.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  28. grumpy realist says:

    @Gavrilo: *sigh*. HE ISN”T BEING DENIED EMPLOYMENT.

    There’s no Constitutional right to a CEO position, nitwit.

    CEOs get asked to step down for all sorts of reasons. Eich didn’t handle the kerfluffle well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  29. anjin-san says:

    @ Gavrilo

    You don’t really have any idea what the role of a CEO in a large corporation is, do you?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  30. Tillman says:

    Sullivan is wrong because he imagines this was, as Bill Maher said, a “gay mafia” putting out a hit on a CEO who made a mistake in his past by betting against the tide of history. As was shown in the last thread about Eich, the Prop 8 donation’s leaking to social media and the uproar was simply the last straw that broke the camel’s back. He had problems long before this point, and his promotion to CEO was fraught with corporate intrigue.

    He’s analyzing the reactions of a bunch of liberal ideologues who had no involvement in the final decision and deciding from there that a digital lynch mob forced Eich out, which is putting the cart before the horse if anything. It’s sloppy on his part. Again, he doesn’t seem to recognize this is what happens when you start winning the war of ideas. Zealots and intolerance are not confined to specific ideas, they are omnipresent.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  31. C. Clavin says:

    At the end of the day…Fat Rush is defending this guy…so I’m sure the guy had to go.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  32. James says:

    One thing I’ve found interesting about this is I’ve read on a number of threads about and on twitter about how it was “only $1,000″ so it wasn’t a big deal. Since SCOTUS has told us that money = free speech it is easier to to see how much $1,000 is. The median income in the US is approximately $51,000 or about $24.54/hr. That makes it just over a week worth of speech, before taxes of course, and if you’re making minimum wage, that’s a 133 hours. or nearly a month of work, worth of speech.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  33. Scott says:

    I know most on this site don’t agree with me but I think this action will hurt the cause more in the long run. Quite frankly, when the emotions get a hold of people, a lot is lost. Thoughout history, revenge makes everything worse. If the world didn’t seek reparations after WWI, we probably would have been spared WWII. We learned out lesson there and rebuilt our enemies. Mandela didn’t seek to drive out the whites although there was every reason to. The reasoning holds even on small potatoes like this one. Because of this, there will be paybacks and the moral high ground will not be occupied.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  34. He who must not be named says:

    Yes, Dr. Joyner. We live in a world where Orwellian fascism is ascendant, mostly because too many people don’t even think its worth fighting any longer.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  35. He who must not be named says:

    Wait, this isn’t a caption contest?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  36. grewgills says:

    @Scott:
    I can understand where you’re coming from, but those tactics are already in common use by the people that would want to seek revenge for this, so I don’t see that it makes this already toxic environment much more toxic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  37. Ben says:

    @ratufa:

    Most of the post by him that I linked to addresses how he’s going to treat Mozilla’s employees.

    In extremely vague generalities, yes; except that it doesn’t address his donation or how he imagines that makes his LGBT employees feel, at all.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  38. Just Me says:

    I have an issue with the argument that somebody can’t have a job for opinions they had 6 years ago.

    Six years ago Obama had the same opinion. Should he resign from his job?

    If people want evolution of belief taking away their livelihood is unlikely to help make the case.

    I am not a fan of the new gay/liberal witch hunt and Eich isn’t the only person this has happened to-he is currently the most prominent.

    I have an uncle who is a union man whonisndar racist as anyone I have ever met-should he be fired from his job?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  39. pylon says:

    First, Obama didn’t hold the same position. He opposed Prop 8.

    Second, he didn’t “have an opinion”, he donated money to try and get legislation depriving certain people of rights and dignity.

    Third, the CEO wasn’t fired. He resigned, albeit under perssure from the board.

    Fourt, if a person’s offensive beliefs harm the company, sure, theyc an be fired.

    Is your uncle the face of a public company (or int his case, a sub of a pubco)?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  40. mantis says:

    @Just Me:

    I have an issue with the argument that somebody can’t have a job for opinions they had 6 years ago.

    Who is making that argument?

    Many have made the argument that Eich was not a good choice for Mozilla because he actively supported an effort to deny Californians, including many Mozilla employees, equal treatment under the law. For that company, at this point in time, this was the wrong choice.

    If you put your political stances out there in public, through donations or otherwise, they reveal things about you. Can you really not think of an “opinion,” expressed publicly, that would cause one to justifiably lose his/her job? A donation to a white supremacist group? NAMBLA? Nothing?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  41. mantis says:

    @Just Me:

    I have an uncle who is a union man whonisndar racist as anyone I have ever met-should he be fired from his job?

    Is his racism publicly expressed and does it harm his employer? Is he a public face for the company? Does he determine policy for employees?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  42. Matt Bernius says:

    @Just Me:

    Six years ago Obama had the same opinion. Should he resign from his job?

    Again, Eich didn’t simply hold an opinion, he took political action on it.

    If Obama had worked to veto gay marriage laws or actively worked to pass defense of marriage laws you might have a point.

    Further, Obama at least “evolved” his view — i.e. specifically said he had changed his position. Eich did not.

    If people want evolution of belief taking away their livelihood is unlikely to help make the case.

    Can you write what you meant here is a different way?

    Further, it should be noted that if Eich had not taken the CEO position, he would still have a CTO job today. That said, the CEO position should never have been offered to him. And the board and search firm both screwed up royally.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  43. Gavrilo says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I never said Eich or anyone else has a constitutional right to employment. As I wrote in the thread from the other day, I have no problem with Mozilla forcing him to resign. The Hollywood Ten who were blacklisted in the 1950′s didn’t have a constitutional right to work for movie studios either. Didn’t stop liberals from whining about “persecution” for the past 60 years.

    If Eich was forced out for all sorts of reasons, why doesn’t Mozilla come out and name those reasons. Why invite a backlash, however small, if there were reasons other than Eich’s donation six years ago?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  44. BTW, I’d like to tie this comment thread back to one from roughly a year ago:

    Google Outs Pajama Pundit Blogger

    Stories like this is why pseudonymous internet access is so important; otherwise you’re going to create a situation where most people can’t afford the financial risk of expressing political views on anything for fear of employer based retaliation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  45. Gavrilo says:

    @anjin-san:

    No, what I do know is that this distinction about a CEO being held to a different standard because he or she is the “public face of the company” is incredibly lame. First, many CEO’s are very political. Some are very public Democrats, some are very public Republicans. This standard that CEO’s are somehow supposed to remain silent on public policy issues is a invention to justify what Mozilla did in this particular instance. Second, the role of a CEO is not to be the most popular guy in the company or make the employees feel all warm and fuzzy. CEO’s make unpopular decisions and take unpopular positions all the time. That’s part of the job.

    Again, I have no problem with Mozilla forcing Eich to resign, but I think the justifications offered by people who consider themselves open-minded and tolerant are really weak.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  46. wr says:

    @beth: “This whole thing is quickly starting to remind me of the Susan Komen fiasco”

    This is very different from the Komen mess. There CEO Karen Handel not only spoke out against Planned Parenthood but changed the orientation of the non-profit so for the first time the entire foundation took one side of a heated political issue. She managed to ruin one of the best brands in the country in weeks, and it hasn’t recovered since.

    I’m sure Mozilla was afraid of something like this happening, but Eich didn’t do anything near what Handel did.

    He didn’t seem to have much understanding of a CEO’s role, though.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  47. wr says:

    @Tillman: “Sullivan is wrong”

    Really, that’s all anyone needs to say. Ever.

    Why anyone takes him seriously after his disgusting post-9/11 behavior is beyond me.

    I have a basic rule: If you accuse me of treason simply because I’m not as stupid or gullible as you and thus don’t feel a need to invade countries that pose no threat, there is nothing you can ever say that will make me listen to you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  48. wr says:

    @Gavrilo: I’ve actually known writers whose lives were destroyed because people in your party decided that anyone who disagreed with them politically should not be able to write, direct or act in movies. I thought about responding thoughtfully to your moronic screed, but I decided I’d have a better and more useful time imaginig you slowly boiling to death in your own feces.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  49. grumpy realist says:

    @mantis: Eich wasn’t a good choice for Mozilla because they wanted to crack the mobile market and he had zero experience in that.

    As said, the whole gay kerfluffle was just the straw that broke the camel’s back.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  50. Mikey says:

    @Gavrilo: Are you just deliberately ignoring the operative issue here? Eich did not merely express opinions on “public policy issues,” he donated money to an organization that existed for the sole purpose of denying people equality under the law.

    Can you not understand the huge leap from A to B there?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  51. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @beth: And kittehs!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  52. grumpy realist says:

    @Gavrilo: The problem is when the CEO holds totally opposite views to 99% of his employees…..

    CEOs gotta get along with people.

    I think the whole thing is silly and that Eich has a right to donate to whatever damn cause he feels like. It’s just that I’m not surprised that the whole mess played out the way it did. Mozilla relies much more on volunteer work and goodwill than an ordinary C-corp does, PLUS you’ve got the Silicon Valley culture, etc. etc. It’s somewhat like someone were to get hired to be the CEO of a company that sells stuff to very orthodox, very devout Jews and then you discover he gave $1000 to a pro-Palestinian lobbying group. You can bet there would be noise!

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  53. bill says:

    reminds me of a presidential candidate who said this;

    “I believe that marriage is between a man and woman and I am not in favor of gay marriage”

    anyone remember his/her name?

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  54. Moderate Mom says:

    I fully support the rights of persons that are gay to marry the person they love. I actually do have a dog in this fight. I have a gay son and I want nothing but his happiness throughout his life. Should he fall in love and want to marry, I want him to be able to do so and have his marriage just as recognized as the marriage of his sister or parents is.

    However, this “shaming” of people for their sincerely held religious beliefs, and hounding out of a job, is overkill. He used his own money, on his own time, to make a donation to a cause he believed in. That was his right. And the “CEO is held to a different standard” blah blah blah is just a load of horse crap. I do believe that the President of the United States is sort of a CEO and our current President didn’t manage to “evolve” until 2012, just prior to an election, as a matter of political expediency. Well, expediency forced by Uncle Joe Biden’s big mouth.

    If Mr. Eich, the creator of Java Script, is unsuitable to lead Mozilla (the company he co-founded and had been CTO of for a number of years), in what way is President Obama suitable to be the de facto CEO of the country. Either being against gay marriage is so socially unacceptable that it renders one ill suited to lead, or it doesn’t. You can’t just pick your side to excuse.

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  55. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just Me:

    I have an uncle who is a union man whonisndar racist as anyone I have ever met-should he be fired from his job?

    First, what does “whonisndar” mean? 2nd, taking my best guess, as a union carpenter the answer is ‘yes’ if he is as racist as some of the guys I have worked with. I suspect you run in more polite circles though.

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  56. Tillman says:

    @wr: He’s not always wrong. At least he came to realize his position was wrong, and publicly.* There are people who still haven’t recanted.

    I disagree with him often, but he’s one of the few conservative bloggers who will entertain debate and seems to view the world reasonably, like our hosts here.

    * His Deep Dish for subscribers has an ebook called, literally, “I Was Wrong,” that catalogues all his blogging from September 11th, 2001 through November 3rd, 2008.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  57. C. Clavin says:

    @Moderate Mom:
    Can you link to a vote Obama made denying equal rights to a class of people, or donating to a group that advocating such?
    And conversely can you link to a statement that Eich made that indicates his evolving?
    Apples and ODS oranges.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  58. Tillman says:

    @Scott: If gay advocacy groups had demanded and gotten the resignation of Eich, then I would agree with you. Since this was more a matter of internal corporate politicking than outside pressure forcing a CEO off the pedestal, I have to say this moralizing is preemptive. Like Sullivan, you’re confusing a gay mafia takedown of a strong CEO over his views for an internal coup of a CEO with a small power base.

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  59. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Moderate Mom:

    However, this “shaming” of people for their sincerely held religious beliefs, and hounding out of a job, is overkill.

    I have a sincerely held religious belief*** that all Christians are the spawn of demons and need to be separated from this world forthwith. Still feel the same way about “sincerely held religious beliefs”?

    ***my point is only that just because a religious belief is sincerely held, does not make it viable public policy, much less something that one should try to force on others. In other words, “Don’t like gay marriage? Don’t marry a gay.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  60. Moderate Mom says:

    @Matt Bernius: In 2008, I wonder which one had more of an impact on the Prop 8 battle. Was it the guy (which almost no one not in the tech industry had ever even heard of) that made a $1,000 donation to a group against marriage equality, or the 2008 Democratic Presidential nominee, who during the campaign said repeatedly that his faith informed his belief that marriage should only be between a man and a woman? You know, the guy that drove so many African Americans and Hispanics to the polls, the two groups that overwhelmingly voted in favor of Prop 8.

    The contortions necessary to try to overcome the hypocrisy of your position must be quite painful.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

  61. Tillman says:

    @Moderate Mom: Ah, so you subscribe to the belief that money equals speech since you see absolutely no difference between the president stating his belief and Eich acting on his belief.

    I hate to tell you this, but a good deal of Christian theology disagrees with this equivalence.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  62. Moderate Mom says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: If that was your “sincerely held religious belief”, I wouldn’t want you to be hounded out of your job. And even if you believe that just because your an ass, I still wouldn’t want you hounded out of your job. But I’m not vindictive, as so many people on both sides of the aisle seem to be. And unless and until people can manage to not celebrate the politics of personal destruction with such glee, the culture wars are never going to end.

    A pox on both houses.

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  63. Moderate Mom says:

    @Tillman: I wonder which one had the bigger megaphone. And yes, I find Obama’s pre-2012 beliefs on gay marriage just as bad as Eich’s donation.

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  64. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Moderate Mom:

    But I’m not vindictive,

    Unlike Brendan Eich who would deny 2 people who love each other the same rights as you or me? Again, his religion is his to practice, not his to force down my throat.

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  65. mike shupp says:

    Well, one good thing has emerged since Mr. Eich’s ouster at Mozilla.

    According to conservative commenters ar a number of websites I frequent, Brendan Eich was the only person unfairly dismissed from his employment in all the nation for many years, and it only happened here because of fear of an overpowering huge mob of insane fanatics.

    It’s a wonderful thing to live in such a land. We should all envy conservatives.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  66. mantis says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Eich wasn’t a good choice for Mozilla because they wanted to crack the mobile market and he had zero experience in that.
    As said, the whole gay kerfluffle was just the straw that broke the camel’s back.

    In complete agreement. The business rationale and the public discussion are, of course, different things. I don’t much care about Mozilla’s mobile strategy (Chrome FTW), but I am interested in the discussion of whether and when political activity is a legitimate factor for a BOD to consider, as seems to be the central question of the public discussion. Of course, you have to wade through a lot of nonsense equating CEOs to regular employees, labeling the motivation behind people’s browser choices “fascism,” and other silly notions to get to it.

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  67. Senyordave says:

    Brendan Eich was the CEO of a corporation. He isn’t just any employee. No one violated his First Amendment rights. He exercised free speech and found his speech had consequences. His decision to ally himself with the Family Research Council and other hate groups and try to deny a group their basic civil rights cost him his job. Remember that these groups were against gay marriage, civil unions, gay adoption and pretty much anything to do with homosexuality. The Family Research Council is still peddling some of the most evil stereotypes about homosexuality. Mozilla made a smart business decision. The CEO is the person who ultimately can hire and fire anyone in the organization. I assume that if he feels strongly enough to give money to a hate speech group like the FRC, Eich would not be kindly disposed to any gays in his company. And I assume many gays in the company would look for employment elsewhere if they worked for a company whose CEO is on record as trying to deny them their basic civil rights. And I don’t remember Obama allying himself with a far-right hate group like the FRC regarding any of his past or present positions.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  68. Matt Bernius says:

    @Moderate Mom:
    Even if I accept your point, the key difference between the two is that Obama, at the very least, recanted his position.

    Can you point me to where Eich did the same?

    The contortions necessary to try to overcome the hypocrisy of your position must be quite painful.

    I find that rather ironic given the twisted logic that you just used to blame the success of Prop 8 on Obama. Brilliant “moderate” thinking there.

    I do believe that the President of the United States is sort of a CEO

    Except that a President is elected by the people and a CEO is appointed by a board of directors. The prior serves under the constitution, the later under a contract that she signs with the organization. Regardless of what you *believe* the fact is the two roles are fundamentally different in just about every way.

    If Mr. Eich, the creator of Java Script, is unsuitable to lead Mozilla (the company he co-founded and had been CTO of for a number of years), in what way is President Obama suitable to be the de facto CEO of the country.

    Except that technical prowess has very little to do with leading a company. Likewise, the history of Corporate America is filled with CTO’s, CFO’s, COO’s, and other “CO-” positions that have been absolute failures at being a CEO. Why? Because the jobs are inherently different and the skill sets that are required are different. Oh, and anyone whose been at a start-up can tell you stories of how Founders are often the worst leaders for a maturing organization.*

    That’s before we get into the incredible leap of logic that you need to take to try and tie your argument together in order to grind your axe.

    * – None of this is to say that Eich would have been a failure as CEO. Rather that simply being a Founder or CTO is absolutely no guarantee of overall qualifications.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  69. Senyordave says:

    @Gavrilo: In the case of the Hollywood Ten the big difference is the fact that the government was involved.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  70. Tillman says:

    @Moderate Mom: So, to reiterate, you say the stating of a belief for others to hear is equal to acting on that belief.

    So if I state my belief that murder is a sacrament to my Dark God of Blood, that is equivalent to me going out and murdering people?

    I don’t really care that you’re attempting to use the deposing of a tech CEO as a way to attack Obama. I’m seriously concerned with the implications of your demented logic right now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  71. Ben says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    Except that technical prowess has very little to do with leading a company. Likewise, the history of Corporate America is filled with CTO’s, CFO’s, COO’s, and other “CO-” positions that have been absolute failures at being a CEO. Why? Because the jobs are inherently different and the skill sets that are required are different. Oh, and anyone whose been at a start-up can tell you stories of how Founders are often the worst leaders for a maturing organization.*

    Oh god yes. My first job out of college was working for a small (about 75 employees when I came on-board) software company, and our CEO was just a programmer who wrote some pretty good code and was able to make a product out of it. He had never managed a thing in his life, and he couldn’t even manage his life very well. He was a terrible manager and an even worse CEO. Everyone at that company knew (and whispered) that we all would have been much better off if he just made himself be CTO or even just head developer, and let the business guys run the company. But he was too stubborn to admit it.

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  72. wr says:

    @Tillman: You mean Sullivan, not Gavrilo, right? (I was scrolling back to remind myself…)

    I know people respect him. He accused me of treason, a capital crime. That’s a bell that doesn’t get unrung for me.

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  73. Moderate Mom says:

    @Tillman: Depends on who is saying and who is hearing. To you, a person who was unknown to the general public is somehow the epitome of evil for donating $1,000 to a cause you find bigoted (which in fact it is), but the President of the United States, for years saying he was for something you find bigoted (restricting marriage to a union of a man to a woman) is a fine fellow, just because he changed his mind six years after having started the run for his first term. Seriously, how could you ever have cast your vote for such an obvious bigot?

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  74. wr says:

    @Moderate Mom: Just wondering, Mom, where you were when an editor of Guns and Ammo was forced out because he wrote a piece suggesting that not all gun restrictions are insane. Fighting for his right not to be hounded out of office by people who disagreed with him? Would you mind reposting that, I seem to have missed it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  75. wr says:

    @Moderate Mom: Been dipping into the Ann Althouse brand Chianti on a lonely Friday night, Mom?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  76. David M says:

    Seems like a good time to remind people that Obama did not support Proposition 8.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  77. Grewgills says:

    @Tillman:
    If I’m understanding correctly what you and others are saying, the reason that Eich giving the contribution means more than him just thinking about it or just telling his friends is that he gave material aid to the campaign to limit the rights of his fellow citizens. I agree and while I don’t think it necessarily have should have gotten him sacked I can’t fault Mozilla for making that decision based on business considerations. That said, a prominent politician speaking in a way that supports said campaign is also giving something of value. Obama and Clinton and other prominent Democrats who at the time said they believed a marriage was the province of one man and one woman gave the Prop 8 campaign way more than $10,000 worth of value. California airtime is expensive and Obama got a lot of it. So, if we are talking about actual help to Prop 8, Obama and Hillary have Eich beat by a country mile.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  78. Grewgills says:

    @Grewgills:
    About a $1000 will get you 30 seconds of air time in a medium sized California city, hitting the whole state cost a bit more.

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  79. Moderate Mom says:

    @wr: Never commented on it, so I can’t “repost”, and I’m not familiar with the circumstances. Did he write this in the magazine he is employed by, or was this in some other publication or blog? In what way do the circumstances differ from what happened at Mozilla?

    Was his firing due to a protest on the part of subscribers or advertisers? Or was it because he violated some kind of company policy or for some other reason? I’d have to know the circumstances before I could hope to form an opinion. However, if his firing was because of a protest, for an opinion piece was published somewhere other than the magazine that employed him, then yes, I would think his firing was unfair.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  80. Moderate Mom says:

    @wr: One, it’s Tuesday. Two, I don’t drink wine. I think it tastes vile. I prefer imported and craft beers. I also don’t sit around the house drinking by myself. I prefer a more social atmosphere, out with friends. Like you most likely would, if you had any. ;-)

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  81. Just Me says:

    The excuses for why this was an okay discrimination sound a lot like excuses for other types of discrimination:

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/saletan/2014/04/07/brendan_eich_homophobia_and_corporate_values_the_left_is_the_new_moral_majority.html

    No this isn’t government deciding who should and shouldn’t have a job for what they believe in, but I don’t know that I think this is a good direction to take where people are fired from their jobs (and I don’t think there is a difference between firing a CEO vs an employee that excuse is meant to make the liberal bigots who hunt down people and hound their final IRS into firing the look less discrimantory).

    The left who screams about tolerance is now the most intolerant of the bunch.

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  82. James Joyner says:

    @michael reynolds: Hear hear.

    @OzarkHillbilly: It’s not a new idea. John Stuart Mill wrote about it in 1859:

    Like other tyrannies, the tyranny of the majority was at first, and is still vulgarly, held in dread, chiefly as operating through the acts of the public authorities. But reflecting persons perceived that when society is itself the tyrant — society collectively over the separate individuals who compose it — its means of tyrannizing are not restricted to the acts which it may do by the hands of its political functionaries. Society can and does execute its own mandates; and if it issues wrong mandates instead of right, or any mandates at all in things with which it ought not to meddle, it practices a social tyranny more formidable than many kinds of political oppression, since, though not usually upheld by such extreme penalties, it leaves fewer means of escape, penetrating much more deeply into the details of life, and enslaving the soul itself. Protection, therefore, against the tyranny of the magistrate is not enough; there needs protection also against the tyranny of the prevailing opinion and feeling, against the tendency of society to impose, by other means than civil penalties, its own ideas and practices as rules of conduct on those who dissent from them; to fetter the development and, if possible, prevent the formation of any individuality not in harmony with its ways, and compel all characters to fashion themselves upon the model of its own. There is a limit to the legitimate interference of collective opinion with individual independence; and to find that limit, and maintain it against encroachment, is as indispensable to a good condition of human affairs as protection against political despotism.

    @Anderson: The only distinction I would made, and to which I alluded in the original, is that racial bigotry is a settled issue whereas Eich is defending what was the prevailing view of a decade ago. I think that’s a reasonable difference.

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  83. KM says:

    @Just Me:

    where people are fired from their jobs

    Except he wasn’t fired! Firing is a employment issue with legal ramifications – stepping down is you going away on your own. Unjust firings can be a basis for a lawsuit, resignations not so much. You know, when trying to present a case wherein one is a victim, one should prove one was actually, you know, a victim. Now, if they really had let him go you would be able to make that point. Instead, he willingly bowed to pressure and left of his own accord. With prompting from the BOD, yes, but still his own choice. You’re insulting everyone who’s ever been unjustly fired and had their livelihoods stolen by continuing to harp on this point.

    Shouldn’t you be castigating him for his lack of guts in fighting against the “intolerance of the left”? Why isn’t he speaking up about how he “got shafted”? He was brave enough to do it when being anti-SSM was socially acceptable for a CEO, let’s see him keep that stance now when the going’s gotten tough. When’s the press conference?

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  84. al-Ameda says:

    @David M:

    Seems like a good time to remind people that Obama did not support Proposition 8.

    Nor, to my knowledge, did he make a campaign donation to the Proposition 8 campaign,

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  85. Tillman says:

    @Grewgills: It’s worth re-examining his position on gay marriage, especially in the context of everything else he said concerning civil union rights vs. marriage rights. He also had a record of supporting extending full benefits to gay couples if not the name “marriage.” He admits it was strategic. This interview is in 2004, and his position didn’t change in the ’08 primaries.

    Your point is taken otherwise, but saying Obama was for “one man one woman” marriage falls into the strategic trap he mentions Republicans were deploying back then. What most castigated him for was for not loudly denouncing Prop 8, not for supporting it as you claim.

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  86. Barry says:

    @michael reynolds: “It may be that he had to go. That’s Mozilla’s decision. The rise of the lynch mob is a different matter, and those people need to look in their hearts and ask themselves if this is what they think tolerance looks like. ”

    Everything’s like a lynch mob, except for – you know, actual lynch mobs.

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  87. Tillman says:

    @Moderate Mom: Dude, you’re trying to morally equivocate Obama and Eich and failing miserably. First of all, your logic is so twisted I could say I want to murder people and have it count as if I actually murdered them (you didn’t answer the question, so I’m assuming the affirmative). Second, even if we could call Obama a bigot for his gay marriage views pre-2012, he’s obviously a repentant bigot since he’s done an about-face and gone on to repeal DADT, refuse to prosecute DOMA cases, etc. Eich hasn’t done anything similar, and his “apology” doesn’t suggest he’s changed his views but wants people to ignore them. I mean, I don’t know about you, but when a bigot repents his views and works to further the cause he originally fought, I tend to give them a pass.

    It’s the Christian thing to do.

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  88. grumpy realist says:

    I see that most people want to perch on their sides of the canyon and scream at each other…..I can definitely tell who has had business experience and who hasn’t.

    CEOs don’t have a right to their position. Sorry about that. Even though the right seems to love interpreting this as a gay mafia lynch mob going after the poor, unfortunate CEO of a technical company who “just happened” to donate money to a cause Teh Gayz didn’t like–the fact is, Eich was already 7 points down when this all blew up, totally from a business viewpoint. The gay thing? And then Eich proceeded to make micefeet of the situation. He didn’t have the savoir-faire of a top-quality CEO, was unable to get out in front of the situation, and it looked like one embarrassing revelation after another was going to keep getting dumped out in the newspapers. Bluntly: Eich didn’t take charge of the situation the way he should have. (He also seems to be singularly clueless about the fact that this and other donations might cause a ruckus.) He could have been proactive, gone and talked to gay groups beforehand, gotten more people on his side. He didn’t. He may be a great coder, but he has the political sense of a lobotomized clam. Sort of like someone moving to Israel to set up a company and then getting all bewildered because there’s an uproar about his having donated to a Palestinian Rights organization.

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  89. Tillman says:

    @Tillman: I would’ve changed that to “as you implicitly claim,” ’cause I don’t think you claimed he supported Prop 8.

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  90. Gavrilo says:

    @Senyordave:

    Um, no. The government did not blacklist Hollywood communists. Movie studio executives did. They made the decision that employing people who had joined the CPUSA, or gone to meetings, or recruited others to join the Party, or promoted communism in their work (all overt actions, like contributing $1000 to a ballot referendum), and refused to recant their views could be damaging for their business. So, the communists were denied the opportunity to work in Hollywood. 60 years of crying and gnashing of teeth on the left ensued. Until last week, when liberals decided that it was ok for people to be “persecuted” for supporting an unpopular political view.

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  91. Senyordave says:

    @Gavrilo: No reasonable person could possibly conclude that the government was not highly complicit in the Hollywood Ten affair.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_blacklist

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  92. Grewgills says:

    @Tillman:
    Obama made a craven political calculation about gay marriage. He has since come around and repented as you say, still his stance helped the prop 8 folks regardless that that was not his intent. That the media did not deliver all the nuance of his statement lays some of the blame (most if you like) at their door, but that was entirely predictable. I stand behind my position that his position and the position of other Democrats gave the prop 8 folks a veneer or acceptability and far more than $1000 in value. Now if you think intent is all that matters and actual harm is not part of the ethical calculus that is another conversation.

    Regarding Eich’s non-repentance I would guess if he had made a statement that denounced his earlier contribution and recognized fully the rights of his LGBT employees and customers and their supporters, he would probably still have a place at Mozilla. He chose not to and now is gone.

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  93. anjin-san says:

    @ Gavrilo

    You lack of concern for American citizens being crushed by an overreaching government – as long as they are people you do not approve of – is noted.

    It’s either that, or you are just ignorant of the actual history of the affair, a possibility I do not dismiss.

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  94. grewgills says:

    @Tillman:

    First of all, your logic is so twisted I could say I want to murder people and have it count as if I actually murdered them

    In our current paradigm money is speech, so speech is money. There really is no getting around that. The proper analogy would be you saying you want to murder people or you paying for a commercial that says you should be able to murder people. Both are speech, both are disturbing, neither is murder.

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  95. Tillman says:

    @grewgills: I mean, I asked Moderate Mom about this specific logical nugget and she decided to keep on with Obama. The analogy doesn’t work under our current paradigm mostly because I, and I suspect many others, don’t agree with the legal reasoning that got us here.

    @Grewgills: I don’t think the veneer of acceptability he (or other Democrats) were giving Prop 8 had nearly the kind of effect you posit, but that’s neither here nor there.

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  96. Grewgills says:

    @Tillman:
    I don’t know that it would be possible to quantify it accurately, but again $1000 buys 30 sec on one network in a medium sized market. I was in South Bay area CA during the Prop 8 campaign and remember more than 30 seconds of Obama and of other Dems saying that marriage was between one man and one woman. If you don’t think that amounts to more than $1000 in support I don’t know what to say.

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  97. Tillman says:

    @Grewgills: Well, now you’re equivocating Democrats making a bland statement of supporting (what was then) normalcy versus an ad campaign that cast gay families as deviant and unhealthy for children. If the Prop 8 campaign was simply reiterating “marriage is between one man and one woman,” that’d be more accurate.

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  98. Tillman says:

    @Tillman: Sorry, that point wasn’t really a good one. I’m just emerging from the mental hellscape* that is trying to imagine… You know, the kerfluffle at the bottom of the “America isn’t Religiously Diverse” thread.

    You are making a really good point in terms of airtime, though. I just don’t see the translation in effect. Further, focusing on the dollar amount of his donation and what it would have actually bought seems to remove a lot of context to me.

    * It’s not really a hellscape, but it’s certainly alien to me.

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