In Odd Move, Mikey Weinstein Defends ADF Christian Legal Group
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein recently publicized a letter (PDF) he wrote to Jeff Bezos, CEO of online shopping giant Amazon, to protest the removal of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) from the company’s charity program AmazonSmile. Weinstein titled his letter a “principled DEFENSE of RIVAL organization” (emphasis original) and said:
Frankly, we disagree with ADF’s positions on almost everything in law and policy. For years we’ve crossed swords and fought for our respective opposing views. But it is one thing to fight for ideals, and it’s another to marginalize and suppress others — even those you vehemently disagree with. And that is what’s happening when ADF is branded a “hate” group and thrown out of the Amazon Smile program.
It sounds noble, but it is very unusual for Weinstein — and wholly inconsistent with the rest of his character. Note, for example, he cites the difference between the “fight for ideals” and those who “marginalize and suppress others”. Yet it is Mikey Weinstein who routinely demeans and attacks those who “fight for ideals” while he “marginalizes and suppresses” those with whom he disagrees.
More obviously, why is Mikey Weinstein objecting to the decision by Amazon and not the SPLC, upon which Amazon relied to make its decision? (Weinstein said he “disagreed” with his “allies” at the SPLC, but he has not published a letter to them demanding they remove the ADF from their list.) Or, why did Weinstein not object when other similar organizations — like the Family Research Council — suffered the same fate? What is unique about the ADF?
While he claimed it was “principled,” Weinstein doesn’t convey a clear or consistent “principle” — other than to say he has friends at the ADF [emphasis added]:
In my long years of fighting…I’ve come to personally know several senior ADF lawyers extremely well…I consider them dear friends…
If I had not personally experienced their principled humanity, I would never be writing you today.
That doesn’t sound like Mikey Weinstein displaying principle. It sounds like he abandoned principle because of personal feelings and circumstances — something that is consistent with Mikey Weinstein’s character. So is Mikey Weinstein acting out of some odd personal emotion — or perhaps some ulterior hope for personal gain? It’s impossible to tell. The only thing that’s clear is there’s no “clear” principle.
Mikey Weinstein’s logic — such as it is — is an enigma to rational people. That said, if his one-off (while misguided) stand for “principle” will have positive effect, more the better.
But in the end, Mikey Weinstein’s plea will likely have little effect. Weinstein has little influence anywhere, and if Amazon were to act on principle, it have to do far more than reverse its decision on one organization for which Mikey Weinstein has personal positive feelings.
Maybe one day Weinstein will learn the virtue and value of actual principle. Until then, perhaps we can be grateful for the extremely rare ray of sanity that comes from his MRFF — even if by luck or error.