FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Dershowitz the Sophist

It’s late at night, snowing and the roads are slick. You are in the back seat of a car with Alan Dershowitz. His driver is doing 65, the speed limit, and the car is having trouble holding the road. You see on your maps app, there is black ice up ahead. You ask the driver to slow down but he throws a glance at Dersh and laughs. Alan begins arguing that he has the right to drive 65—that’s the speed limit and he is obeying the law.

In his many appearances on television, Dershowitz is not staking out his positions in a vacuum. His positions are used to defend Trump who, many of us believe, is completely corrupt, a danger to our country, democracy and the West (not to mention immigrants, black lives, women, gay rights, the liberal media and the rule of law). Could John LeCarré have created a better Soviet asset than Donald Trump?

Yet Dershowitz wants to argue against impeachment. 1) Is someone being impeached? 2) Is someone driving the country off a cliff? Despite making the wrong argument at the wrong time, Dershowitz wants us to invite him to the party and engage him in a lively debate so we can admire his rhetorical skills. What fun! How uncivil of us not to want to listen to him.

And where has our let’s-hear-all-sides-of-the-story approach gotten us anyway? Wasn’t it partly the fault of the mainstream media in attempting to present us with both sides of issues exploited by Trump and his team? On the one hand, we have facts and on the other we have “alternative facts.” On the one hand, we have Mueller, and on the other, we have Rudy Giuliani.On the one hand, we have an investigation against the president, on the other, we have DJT tweeting “no collusion…witch hunt.”

Mueller, a lawyer with that increasingly rare trait of integrity, is not talking, and his standing is falling by the day because the mainstream media gives Trump and his acolytes a voice. What’s wrong with this picture? We’re playing nice while Trump and friends are eating our lunch.

Meanwhile, we are quickly heading toward a country with one branch of government–an executive branch with administrative assistants doing the president’s bidding in the Supreme Court and in Congress. I believe this is what is referred to as a coup. We’re learning that the founding fathers never anticipated a situation like this in which the government is controlled by one party, and that party is controlled by one slightly unhinged, amoral man. At the same time, the 4thestate, which should function as check on the president, is under attack, or in the case of Fox, acting as a public relations firm for the president.

Dershowitz is a sophist. In ancient Greece, he’d belong to the school where rhetorical skills were taught without any grounding in morality. He would have argued along with Georgias that we should admire Helen. She had little to do with starting the Trojan War after all and she was a great beauty.Of course for someone out of the limelight, it is hard to resist television appearances, especially when one is being shunned.

 

More articles by:

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

June 26, 2019
Melvin Goodman
The U.S.-Iran Imbroglio: Dangerous Lessons To Be Learned
Paul Street
Reflections and Correspondence at the Abyss
John Laforge
Trump’s Ministry of No Information
Paul Edwards
Fool Me Twice
Rob Hager
Warren and Sanders: Compare and Contrast
John Steppling
The Monkey’s Face
Evaggelos Vallianatos
A World of Shadows
Jaspal Kaur Sadhu Singh
Correcting a Colonial Injustice: The Return of the Chagos Islands to Its Natives
Binoy Kampmark
Violent Voyeurism: Surveillance, Spyware and Human Rights
Jonah Raskin
Reflections on Abbie Hoffman and Joshua Furst’s Novel, Revolutionaries
Dave Chapman
The Hydroponic Threat to Organic Food
June 25, 2019
Rannie Amiri
Instigators of a Persian Gulf Crisis
Patrick Cockburn
Trump May Already be in Too Deep to Avoid War With Iran
Paul Tritschler
Hopeful Things
John Feffer
Deep Fakes: Will AI Swing the 2020 Election?
Binoy Kampmark
Bill Clinton in Kosovo
Kenneth Surin
Brief Impressions of the Japanese Conjuncture
Edward Hunt
Is Mexico Winding Down or Winding up the Drug War?
Manuel E. Yepe
Trump’s Return to Full-Spectrum Dominance
Steve Kelly
Greed and Politics Should Not Drive Forest Policy
Stephen Carpa
Protecting the Great Burn
Colin Todhunter
‘Modified’: A Film About GMOs and the Corruption of the Food Supply for Profit
Martin Billheimer
The Gothic and the Idea of a ‘Real Elite’
Elliot Sperber
Send ICE to Hanford
June 24, 2019
Jim Kavanagh
Eve of Destruction: Iran Strikes Back
Nino Pagliccia
Sorting Out Reality From Fiction About Venezuela
Jeff Sher
Pickin’ and Choosin’ the Winners and Losers of Climate Change
Howard Lisnoff
“Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran”
Robert Fisk
The West’s Disgraceful Silence on the Death of Morsi
Dean Baker
The Old Japan Disaster Horror Story
David Mattson
The Gallatin Forest Partnership and the Tyranny of Ego
George Wuerthner
How Mountain Bikes Threaten Wilderness
Christopher Ketcham
The Journalist as Hemorrhoid
Manuel E. Yepe
Yankee Worship of Bombings and Endless Wars
Mel Gurtov
Iran—Who and Where is The Threat?
Wim Laven
Revisiting Morality in the Age of Dishonesty
Thomas Knapp
Facebook’s Libra Isn’t a “Cryptocurrency”
Weekend Edition
June 21, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Brett Wilkins
A Brief History of US Concentration Camps
Rob Urie
Race, Identity and the Political Economy of Hate
Rev. William Alberts
America’s Respectable War Criminals
Paul Street
“So Happy”: The Trump “Boom,” the Nation’s Despair, and the Decline of Joe Biden
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Ask Your Local Death Squad
Dr. Vandana Shiva
Fake Food, Fake Meat: Big Food’s Desperate Attempt to Further the Industrialisation of Food
Eric Draitser
The Art of Trade War: Is Trump Winning His Trade War against China?
Melvin Goodman
Trump’s Russian Problem
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail