Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I am a regular reader of Powerline. I have been for years.

I was surprised by the sudden, unexplained departure of Paul Mirengoff from the blog. I was absolutely mystified by the absence of any comment on that departure by his friends at the blog.

Charlie Martin at PJ Tatler has a post that may explain both of those things and a little more. In writing about the memorial service held for the victims of the Tucson shooting, Mirengoff made a comment about it being strange to have a Native American religious speaker at the service for the victims, none of whom were Native American. I can't link to the original post at Powerline because it has been removed, but it appears here through the miracle of the internet.

Martin writes that a partner at Akin Gump, the law firm at which Mirengoff works, who works on Indian affairs lobbying or some such, took offense. Mirengoff apologized publicly for having offended and removed the post. This, it seems, was not sufficient for the partner and Mirengoff left Powerline shortly thereafter.

If this is true, Akin Gump has not covered itself in glory. At best, it made a business decision to tell its employee not to express his personal opinions on his own time in order to assuage a client that had no real reason to be offended. I suppose that they are within their rights to do so, but it must make for some unpleasant working conditions. It makes me glad I am not subject to such constraints. I am perfectly free to offend my own clients. And lose them.

I am sad that Mirengoff's entertaining posts are no longer available to me. I am sorry that his writing, which I so enjoyed, seems to have put him in a position where he must choose between his career and publicly joining in political debates.

And congratulations to whoever is responsible for this. You have claimed a scalp from the other side. You did so not through the force of your ideas and beliefs, but by explaining that your opponent should shut up and making it stick.

Is that really the kind of world you want to create?

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