Monday, January 31, 2011


After the Tucson memorial service, Paul Mirengoff of Power Line wrote a post (since removed but preserved here) that said in part:

As for the "ugly," I'm afraid I must cite the opening "prayer" by Native American Carlos Gonzales. It was apparently was some sort of Yaqui Indian tribal thing, with lots of references to "the creator" but no mention of God. Several of the victims were, as I understand it, quite religious in that quaint Christian kind of way (none, to my knowledge, was a Yaqui). They (and their families) likely would have appreciated a prayer more closely aligned with their religious beliefs.

Mirengoff is a lawyer at the very powerful law firm Akin Gump -- which happens to have a significant American Indian law and policy practice. After Mirengoff published the post, an Akin Gump partner in that American Indian practice criticized it on the firm's Web site and the firm issued an apology from Mirengoff.

Mirengoff no longer blogs at Power Line.

There are a lot of ways you can look at this, but I think one way you have to look at it is the American way: This is America, which means your boss can set all kinds of work rules for you and if you don't like them and they're not specifically enjoined by law, well, tough noogies. And that's what you'd expect the response to be, universally, on the right. Right?

Oh, who am I kidding? Of course that wasn't the response on the right. The response on the right was: One of our guys got mistreated by an employer! Fascism! Totalitarianism!

Here's William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection:

That Mirengoff, to satisfy Meggesto and Akin Gump, confessed to criticising the use of a Yaqui prayer when his post clearly did not do so, speaks volumes to the pressure Mirengoff must have been under.

And then Mirengoff left Power Line. And the post was taken down at Akin Gump's insistence, which reminds me of how Stalin ordered biographies of purged leaders to be removed from encyclopedias across the country.

I can't blame Mirengoff for confessing to sins he never committed.

... I guess the only good news is that Mirengoff was not forced to "name names" to get a more lenient sentence.

And here's Robert Stacy McCain:

... in criticizing that Yaqui prayer at the Tucson memorial, Paul Mirengoff wasn't just being politically incorrect, he was also offending a lucrative segment of Akin Gump's lobbying clientele, whom the firm had recently hired three lawyers to service. Small wonder that Mirengoff was likely forced to choose: Quit blogging at Power Line or quit working at Akin Gump.

Yeah? So? I thought you righties were the uber-defenders of capitalism. How dare you not say: Hell yeah these guys don't want to put a lucrative area of the business at risk! What -- they should lose money and defer to Mirengoff's feelings?

Put the shoe on the other foot. Imagine a lefty lawyer/blogger of the previous decade bashing Bush on a blog even as his/her firm labored to maintain chummy relationships with the Dubya White House. Wouldn't Jacobson and McCain defend to the death the firm's right to press the lawyer to quit blogging? They might even howl for immediate termination and clawback of wages, no?

I don't recall these guys shedding a tear when Jason Levin lost his teaching job, or when Eason Jordan lost his job at CNN. So when they beg me to shed tears for Mirengoff, well, I'm unmoved.

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