It’s the end of civility as we know it

Apparently, the latest rightwing tactic in its battle for “truth, justice and the American way” is to intimidate private citizens.

Case 1. A Jewish family in Delaware has filed suit against the Indian River School District, alleging school officials of heavily pushing Christianity and alleging harassment of Jewish children. The Delaware ACLU has taken on the case, prompting a leading anti-ACLU group to post the family’s name, address and telephone number on its website. The family has since moved, fearing for its safety.

The Stop the ACLU Coalition advises its readers of the rules for this new “outing the plaintiffs” program:

  1. If it’s a 10 Commandments, cross or religious symbols case, you may call only if you live in the jurisdiction. If the suit is against a county, you may call if you reside in that county. If the suit is against a city, you may call only if you live in that city.
  2. If it’s a school that’s involved such as in this one, you may call if you live in the district or have a student attending the school there or if you have a family member working there.
  3. If #s 1 and 2 do not apply, please only write a letter. We will also post e-mail addresses if they can be found.
  4. In all your communications, written or verbal, do not harass and do not be rude. You can be firm and angry but do not use profanity and under no circumstances should you threaten the party involved. Your outrage is fully understood and shared but harassment and threats serve only to harm us and could even get the police involved which we don’t want. Remember, you represent the Coalition.
  5. Get others involved.

Case 2: The New York Times recently published a puff piece about the Maryland homes of Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, among other wealthy citizens. Rightwingnuts jumped on the story as treasonous and excoriated the Times as a tool for terrorists planning to assassinate Cheney and Rumsfeld. One blogger went so far as to suggest:

So, in the school of what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, we are providing this link so YOU may help the blogosphere in locating the homes (perhaps with photos?) of the editors and reporters of the New York Times.

Let’s start with the following New York Times reporters and editors: Arthur “Pinch” Sulzberger Jr. , Bill Keller, Eric Lichtblau, and James Risen. Do you have an idea where they live?

Go hunt them down and do America a favor. Get their photo, street address, where their kids go to school, anything you can dig up, and send it to the link above. This is your chance to be famous – grab for the golden ring.

The rest of the sordid story is here and at The Daily Kos. (Updated here.)

Professional journalists — nay, any right-thinking , civilized person — would never stoop so low as to threaten the privacy and safety of anyone’s family, regardless of the issue. Yet, the so-called monitors and guardians of moral decency and “family values” feel obliged to threaten and bully those who disagree with their extremist views. There must a special circle in Hell for these hypocrites.

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