Wednesday, March 26, 2008

That noise you hear

is the sound of furious backpedaling.

It was a day that the anti-HRC blowhards had looked forward to with breathless anticipation: yesterday's somewhat anticlimactic CHRC hearing in a case against Marc Lemire (neo-nazi and all around nice guy). But look, what's this? Why, it seems that some of the people who've been rallying around Lemire in the name of free expression are feeling a touch of buyer's remorse. Ron Gray of the Christian Heritage Party (who has a complaint of his own in the docket) responds to Jonathan Kay's positively slobbering National Post article:("How to turn a neo-Nazi into a free speech martyr"):
"Jonathan Kay -- like many defenders of free speech who have only awakened since the HRCs turned their guns on the mainstream media -- is overreacting. As someone who is currently charged before the Canadian Human Rights Commission, I share his desire to defend free speech. As Ezra Levant told the Alberta HRC, there are legitimate limitations on free speech, but neo-Nazis such as Marc Lemire cross that line, deliberately and often.

I'm not comfortable in the company of Marc Lemire, Ernst Zundel and Malcolm Ross, but I am comfort-able in the company of Ezra Levant, Mark Steyn, Brian Rushfeldt and Connie Fournier. It remains important to make such distinctions."
Think about what a weird crew it must have been at that hearing: all these pious, churchy, carrot-up-the-ass social conservative types and neo-Nazis. I'm at a loss to understand why all these conservatives took up this guy's cause in the first place. I understand it was perceived to have something to do with Free Dominion's ongoing problems, but as Mr. Gray says, "distinctions".

Gray isn't the first to have second thoughts about the dogs conservatives are lying down with of late. I guess it's one thing to theoretically support the free speech of Nazis, but quite another to see your political allies sitting in a courtroom with one and being recognized as "his supporters". Can you say "Political Kiss Of Death"?

That beloved old Voltaire quote notwithstanding, although I believe people have the right to be assholes, I'm not about to go to bat for them when they become as assholish as the likes of Lemire. I wouldn't fight to the death (or even to the minor illness) for them. Right to free speech, sure, live it up, but overstep as badly as these guys do and you're on your own.