Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Doubling Down On His Double Standards

Last week, Professor Rick Esenberg took it upon himself to try to chastise me for pointing out the story of Walkergate.  He did not get the response he expected.

Instead of leaving well enough alone, he decides to double down on his previous post with another - one which is more verbose, more convoluted and more self-contradictory that his first.

Just trying to follow his leaps of illogic is enough to make one's hair hurt. But to save the reader some hair pain, Professor's Esenberg's post can be pared down to a few talking points:
  • Apparently I didn't do what I did, or is it I did what I didn't do? I told you, it's rather confusing.  He also said that he wasn't comparing my saga to Walkergate, and admits he can't, but then proceeds to do so anyway.
  • He said we don't know what's behind Walkergate or what they're investigating and because of that -
  • He feels it's inappropriate for me, or any other lefty blogger, to "speculate" on the facts.
  • And that every time I post on Walkergate, I'm supposed to have a full confessional of what I did and didn't do attached to the post.
I don't need to provide a rebuttal to his first point, since the Professor's self-contradictions are painfully apparent to anyone but him and less than a handful of allies, two of which don't really help his cause at all.

But I would point out to Professor Esenberg, who said that what I was accused of, reading JSonline and some blogs, is no different that posting contents, that there is probably some unfathomable number of authors who could explain the difference between reading a book and actually writing one.

As to the second point, Professor Esenberg wrote:
But here's the thing. I don't know - and he doesn't know - that any of the people that he thinks are being investigated did anything worse. He doesn't know that the Governor did anything at all. When he knows something, then he can crow...
Well, cockadoodle-doo to you, sir.

We already know that William Gardner was investigated, charged and pleaded guilty about illegal campaign contributions.  And as for Tim Russell, apparently Professor Esenberg doesn't believe me or his own eyes.  And does the good Professor really expect to believe that the FBI would be invading homes with battering rams at the ready for leaving a comment on JSOnline.  Nor would they be granting immunity to so many people, including people that would have had absolutely nothing to do with campaigning on county time because they weren't county employees.

And as for Scott Walker, we do know that he, and many of his top people, were doing the same thing that I was accused of., by their own admission.  Ironically, nowhere does Professor Esenberg mention this, much less dedicate a number of blogs of faux outrage towards it.  Maybe I should feel honored.

The third point of Professor Esenberg is that it's just wrong for me, Emily Mills or anyone else to speculate on Walker did or didn't do.

The irony here is that is exactly what Professor Esenberg does throughout his entire post!  What he claims he does know what spurred the investigation into me, but he does not state that the claims have thoroughly discredited - repeatedly even. If one is basing their "knowledge" on a demonstratively false premise, it would seem to me that they don't really know anything.  Also, when you use terms like "must have," "could be" and "seems to me," well, those are indicative of a speculative declaration.

Furthermore, the events of a disciplinary hearing, whether the accused is guilty or innocent, is a private matter and what happens in those are in no way to be discussed publicly, by any party.  I will bend that rule a little by stating that I do not recall Professor Esenberg being there at any time, so he couldn't possibly know anything, by his own reasoning.

Lastly, Professor Esenberg feels that every single time I post about Walkergate, I need to include a full disclaimer on what he thinks happened.  Maybe I should also where a giant sandwich board while I type?

I scoured his site, but there wasn't one post calling on Charlies Sykes to recount how the union saved his job every time he decides to bash the unions.  Nor did I find a post condemning Scott Walker for complaining abut outside money coming in even as he was reaching out for Koch money and not saying a word about it.  And surely, since he feels so strongly about disclosure, he'd expect Michael Gableman to mention his lying commercial whenever he accused a fellow Supreme Court Justice of lying - but alas, I could not find that post either.

So all in all, this is just another post by Professor Esenberg exemplifying a double standard and faux outrage over something that makes them look bad.

Given that, I would offer some free unsolicited advice to the Professor, with the full understanding that there is no obligation that he takes it.  That advice would be that if he doesn't like that I am writing about Walkergate or any of the other examples of misconduct by Scott Walker, don't blame me, blame Walker and his people for their misdeeds.

But I would be ungracious if I did not at least thank the good Professor for being a reader, so thank you, Professor Esenberg.


  1. "Apparently I didn't do what I did, or is I did what I didn't do? I told you, it's rather confusing. "

    Sure is.

  2. After all, as he repeatedly assures us, what the Professor does on his blog is not politics, but it is an important part of what Marquette is paying him to do: comment on public events related to the law, based on his professional experience. So don't take it personally, Capper. It's what Marquette wants him to do!

    On the other hand, when you were using the Internet on County time, you were clearly gathering information for political purposes.

  3. I think this blog is interesting. The people who get mad about this are people who agree with Walker's policies. That is the nature of our polarized state.

    A blogger has no power over the governor of the state, so why would anyone even care? You cannot stop people from speculating, because it is entertaining.

    We now email,blog, comment, and text, we used to talk to neighbors and chat on the phone. There will always be speculation. Fact of life.

  4. On the county's intranet, there is a link for JSOnline. I wonder if MU computers come with a link to Prof. Shh-n-Ssh's blog.