Another Take On The Sherrod/Breitbart Affair

Posted by | July 20, 2010 19:35 | Filed under: Top Stories

By James Frye

This may not be a popular position here, but as a former union local president there’s something that’s sticking in my craw with this Sherrod thing.

Alan’s covered the to-do nicely today, especially with how the Breitbart Big Liar tale is quickly unraveling.  Even the NAACP has backed off their denunciation of Sherrod as more facts emerge. The Obama White House has been a Profile in Cowardice in this too, demanding that Sherrod resign.  And that is the keyword here: resign.

Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve never been one of the “special people” that judge all things political from their high positions, but I have to ask the question:  If there was nothing to the Breitbart claims, why did Sherrod quit?  Let’s use the correct terms here – she may have been under tremendous pressure to leave, but she was not fired.

Twitter is all a-buzz about this and there are tweets galore about how Sherrod should be filing lawsuits over this.  There’s a problem with that idea.  I’m no legal expert but I think you have to show damage (such as loss of income due to a job termination) before you can go after people like Andrew Breitbart and his echo chamber.  I would think that would be exceedingly difficult to do in the case of a voluntary resignation like what Sherrod did by caving to the pressure.

If I had been Sherrod’s shop steward in this case, my advice would have been for her to tell the people demanding she resign to stuff it, she did nothing wrong and isn’t going anywhere.  Make them actually fire her and then fight that.  Of course, union rules don’t apply to people in her (former) position, but the concept remains the same.  Her fight could have taken place in the court of public opinion and in a court of law as well.  Now she’s simply unemployed and out of luck.

If the Democrats want to stay in power, they’re going to have to learn to fight back when targeted by the far right – and I mean everyone, no matter at what level.  The pressure should be on Breitbart and his ilk to prove their charges instead of the Democrats caving to them.   Doing that doesn’t show political courage, it gives people like Breitbart a win and an invitation to do it again.

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Copyright 2010 Liberaland
By: James Frye

Long time progressive activist in the Pacific Northwest and self-studying student of politics

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