Alan Dershowitz Wishes Maxine Waters Would Stop Murdering Him At Martha's Vineyard

Culture Wars

Alan Dershowitz, whose claim to notoriety these days is his self-inflicted role as a professional Donald Trump defender, has officially become a laughingstock after whining in an op-ed for The Hill that his fancy pants friends on Martha's Vineyard are "shunning" him on the orders of Maxine Waters.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) recently told her supporters to hound President Trump's Cabinet members wherever they find them: "They're not going to be able to go to a restaurant, they're not going to be able to stop at a gas station, they're not going to be able to shop at a department store. The people are going to turn on them, they're going to protest, they're going to absolutely harass them."

Waters does not speak for all Democrats or liberals. Nor do those who threw Sarah Huckabee Sanders out of the Red Hen restaurant. Neither do those who have harassed other members of the Trump administration. But these rude extremists are a symptom of the times. The divisions have gotten so bad that many on both sides refuse to speak or listen to those on the other side. Either you are for Trump or against him, and that is all some people need to know to make judgments about you.

I know this because I have experienced this firsthand on Martha's Vineyard

These "rude extremists" have grown in just a couple weeks from a few hecklers in an upscale Mexican restaurant and the staff of a farm-to-table spot in Virginia to the entire summer colony of Martha's Vineyard. Waters is building an army, and it's rising in strength.

Dershowitz goes on to list his Democratic "bonafides," which includes voting for and "contributing handsomely" to Hillary Clinton, but laments that this was still not enough to keep Trump's stench from clinging to him.

So they are shunning me and trying to ban me from their social life on Martha's Vineyard. One of them, an academic at a distinguished university, has told people that he would not attend any dinner or party to which I was invited. He and others have demanded "trigger warnings" so that they can be assured of having "safe spaces" in which they will not encounter me or my ideas. Others have said they will discontinue contributions to organizations that sponsor my talks.

This is all familiar to me, since I lived through McCarthyism in the 1950s, when lawyers who represented alleged communists on civil libertarian grounds were shunned. Some of these lawyers and victims of McCarthyism lived on Martha's Vineyard. I never thought I would see McCarthyism come to Martha's Vineyard, but I have.

McCarthyism, or the second Red Scare, kicked off in 1947 when President Truman signed Executive Order 9835, which was the first general "loyalty" program in the federal government. He'd hoped to quiet Republican critics who thought Democrats were "soft" on communism, which by the way never achieved the level of power in the US that Trump's GOP has. You'll recall that Trump also likes loyalty oaths. He demands mandatory expressions of patriotism from NFL players and twists the arms of team owners so there'll be penalties for those who don't comply. It's not a coincidence that Colin Kaepernick is described as having been "blacklisted" by the NFL. So, it's weird that Dershowitz can claim it's only the pushback against Roy Cohn's protege that reminds him of McCarthyism.

We always lose our heroes. I was once a big fan of Dershowitz or at least the person Ron Silver brought to life in 1990's Reversal of Fortune, a favorite movie of mine. Silver's Dershowitz was a precursor to later Aaron Sorkin protagonists in "The West Wing" and "The Newsroom": The temperamental, brilliant man always ready to passionately lecture women until they melted in his arms.

My younger self slightly envied Jeremy Irons's coolly sophisticated Claus von Bulow but it was Silver's rough and tumble Dershowitz that I admired. Yes, I understood that movies aren't real life, but I'd also read Dershowitz's 1985 book "Reversal of Fortune: Inside the von Bulow Case," upon which the film was based, so my opinion that Dershowitz was a non-schmuck felt reasonably well-informed.

It never bothered me that Dershowitz defended men such as von Bulow, O.J. Simpson, or even Trump. I appreciated that he advocated on behalf of larger legal principles, even if the accused might credibly fit the description of a slimeball. I felt he was doing a service, keeping us honest. It's important even now that in our zeal to stop Trump we don't shred civil liberties along the way and in effect "frame a guilty man," as one of Dershowitz's students in the film speculates happened to von Bulow.

No, my issue is with Dershowitz joining every other "snowflake" Trump supporter or enabler and playing the victim. The well-heeled who willingly associate with Trump not-so-ironically whine about banishment from the exclusive, much desired "liberal bubble." It's kind of pathetic. Imagine if Milton's Satan had said, "Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven, I guess, but the other angels don't even invite me to their parties anymore."

It's especially depressing when you contrast this pity party with the ending of Reversal of Fortune: After successfully overturning von Bulow's murder conviction, Dershowitz rebuffs -- like a boss -- Claus's social overtures.

"One thing, Claus: Legally, this was an important victory. Morally, you're on your own." That's awesome. You'll notice that Dershowitz doesn't grudgingly accept the offer for lunch with von Bulow because he doesn't want to look like a "rude extremist."

I think what Dershowitz is experiencing socially right now isn't McCarthyism but more like what President Eisenhower called "McCarthywasm," the period after McCarthy's fall from whatever grace he ever had. In The Politics of Fear: Joseph R. McCarthy and the Senate, Robert Griffith describes how in the final years of his life, McCarthy's former colleagues actively avoided him and his speeches on the Senate floor were delivered to a "near-empty chamber."

I can let others debate the legal merits of Dershowitz's continued defense of Trump. But morally, Alan, you're on your own.

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Seattle. However, he's more reliable for food and drink recommendations in Portland, where he spends a lot of time for theatre work.

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OOH BOY HOWDY, The Federalist is on fire this week! Just this morning we told you about the hilarious Federalist column where one neo-Nazi's mom and dad are Democrats, ipso facto QED NEO-NAZIS ARE THE REAL LIBERALS, FUCKERS! Is America's dumbest woman whose name doesn't rhyme with Cara Snailin' over there being a total fuckin' Mollie Hemingway right now? Sadly, she blocked us on Twitter, so how could we possibly know? The answer is WE DON'T CARE.

But now we have a gem of the Federalist genre, an article written by a whiny-ass gay quisling conservative, who would like to chew on his blankie and whine about how much harder it is out there for a conservative than it is for a gay person. This is a subject we happen to have some knowledge about, because we are super gay! And we know a lot about conservatives, both firsthand -- being subjected to them every single one of our almost four decades of life -- and also from covering extremist right-wing Christians for a very long time. Particularly the kind that tell young, impressionable, vulnerable gay kids that they need to pray away the gay if they want Jesus to exercise some self control and refrain from sending them to a fiery hell for all eternity.

We clicked on the article with high hopes. See if you can spot why:

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pic via Glamour Shots, we mean this dude's old website

The House Education and Workforce Committee was all set to have a hearing today all about the horrors that a higher minimum wage would wreak on the economy. Horrors like rich people being slightly less rich. Horrors like business owners claiming they will have to fire people and charge $15 for a McChicken if forced to pay workers a living wage, which they won't actually do because no one will buy a $15 McChicken and they would go out of business if they tried that, and they already don't hire more people than the bare minimum they can get away with. Horrors like poor people not being "motivated" to work harder and get better jobs that do not pay them an amount no human being could possibly live on.

Alas, as Politico reports, it was not to be, as committee members discovered their big witness for the hearing, San Diego State University economist Joseph Sabia (pictured above in a Glamour Shot from his archived website), was kind of a wacko.

Sabia, as it turns out, once had a blog called "No Shades Of Gray," in which he wrote many columns of an extremely homophobic and sexist persuasion. In one of these columns, in 2002, Sabia was very mad about one man's lawsuit against several fast food giants for contributing to his health and obesity problems by failing to disclose the nutritional information of the food they sold. In retrospect, I think most people are now on board with these chains being required to post calorie counts and other nutritional information, but in 2002, Sabia was convinced that requiring them to do this would be an assault on freedom for all Americans everywhere. His response to this was to try and attempt a Jonathan Swift posture and suggest taxing gay sex, which he claimed leads to "disastrous health consequences."

Because sure, that's the same thing, basically.

In gay sex, we have an activity that is clearly leading to disastrous health consequences. What rational person would engage in this sort of activity? There is only one solution - let's tax it.

"Come on, Sabia," you say, "how are you going to enforce these taxes? Are you going to send government officials to peep into everyone's bedroom?"

Eventually. But first we have to mount the assault on Big Gay (no, I am not talking about Rosie O'Donnell). We can tax gay nightclubs, websites, personal ads, sexual paraphernalia, and so forth. Talk about a sin tax!!! We can cripple gay-related industries and get them right where we want them. All gay clubs will have to feature huge, flashing warning signs like "CAUTION: Entering this nightclub may increase your chance of contracting STDs and dying."

Big Gay clearly lures people into trying their "product" without discussing the risks to mind, body, and soul. The average Joe on the street does not understand all of the possible bad outcomes. I can almost hear him now:

"They said '100 percent hotties.' I thought that meant it was fun. I thought gay sex was OK…Now I have all these diseases. Big Gay has wrecked my life."

In the immoral words of Warren G, "Regulators!! Mount up!"


In another 2002 article, classily titled "College Girls: Unpaid Whores," Sabia laments that feminists have led college girls to stop trying to be like the Holy Virgin Mary and instead to aspire to be more like that hussy Ally McBeal.

No, really.

As women have strayed from the church, they have replaced what is holy with what is temporally pleasing. For Catholics, the model woman is Mary, the virgin Mother of God. She is beloved by the faithful for her unflappable devotion to and trust in God, her nurturing of the Son of Man, and her deep love for all humanity.

Today's college girl looks to Ally McBeal, the trollops of Sex in the City, and the floozies on Friends to set their moral compasses.

The sad truth is that college girls are so desperate to find love that they are willing to degrade themselves to get it. But true love can only be understood in the context of the Word of God. Any other notion of "love" is secular and, by definition, limited and finite.

Not only that, but instead of going to college to find a husband, they have boyfriends. Boyfriends they have S-E-X with. And sometimes, not even that. Sometimes they have sex with people just because they want to have sex with people, and not even in exchange for Valentine's Day cards or money!

Additionally, other sex-based relationships have become commonplace. In recent years, a new and disturbing arrangement known as "friends with benefits" has emerged. In this arrangement, men are not even forced to perform the normal duties of boyfriends, i.e. flowers, Valentine's Day cards, rides to the abortion clinic, etc. Instead, girls consider these guys "just friends" whom they happen to screw every now and again. No strings, no attachments, no dinners. Just sex when they feel like it.

This type of arrangement is the next logical step in the direction that young women have drifted in the last few decades. These women have become unpaid whores. At least prostitutes made a buck off of their trade. These women just give it away.

How cute! He was like the ur-incel, basically.

Anyway, following the discovery of the posts, the House Education and Workforce Committee's GOP communications director Kelley McNabb told Politico that "members were uncomfortable moving forward on the hearing." A more optimistic person might think this was a step forward, that maybe those committee members actually thought it was bad to suggest that being gay means being a disease-ridden monster or that college girls are whores, but it's probably more to avoid embarrassment than anything else. Guess they'll have to start from scratch and find a crappy economist who will tell them what they want to hear about the minimum wage but who doesn't have an embarrassing Geocities blog in their past. Good luck with that!


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