Eugene Volokh has expressed interesting feelings about bringing pain and death upon his fellow man: In 2002 he at least considered the "slippery slope" argument against torture ("Once torture is legitimized in principle to save thousands, it becomes much easier to urge it to save one important person...") before telling us that "abstract arguments about moral high grounds or stooping to the enemy's level do more to weaken the argument against torture than to strengthen it." But by 2005 he was ready to let his freak flag fly:
…I am especially pleased that the killing — and, yes, I am happy to call it a killing, a perfectly proper term for a perfectly proper act — was a slow throttling, and was preceded by a flogging…
…I like civilization, but some forms of savagery deserve to be met not just with cold, bloodless justice but with the deliberate infliction of pain, with cruel vengeance rather than with supposed humaneness or squeamishness.In an update he relented, and thereafter devoted himself to more humanitarian causes, like promoting the death penalty.
And here's Volokh on Obama not wearing a flag pin:
Wearing a flag pin is not supposed to be an explanation or an argument, just as "I love you" is not supposed to be an explanation or an argument... Yet if you used to say this and then you stopped, the symbolic message is pretty powerful.The message is clear -- Obama no longer loves America! (Wingnut rejoinder: He never did!) Oh, and yeah, Volokh thinks homosexuals are trying to recruit.
As for his Conspirators: From 2007, here's Ilya Somin discussing "Dating Across Ideological Lines," which sounds like it could be a fun topic until Somin actually outlines his argument -- "I. Why People Overestimate the Undesirability of Cross-Ideological Dating" and "II. Defensible Limits of Political Tolerance in Dating" -- and dishes out passages like
Whether or not such pragmatic considerations are weighty enough to prevent a relationship will vary from case to case. However, it is important to recognize that they should in fact be judged on a case by case basis.There's a guy who never got enough wedgies as a kid. Also, Somin frets about socialism (which he links, via Hugo Chavez, to Hitler): "The spectre that once haunted Europe and the world may have been defeated and discredited. But we have not yet completed the task of driving a stake through its heart." If only capitalism hadn't taken a header into the loo!
Then we have David Bernstein, a reliable Bush bagman back in the day ("W just represents lots of things that coastal liberals dislike, and they will continue to dislike him regardless of how he governs policy-wise"), though by the beginning of the Obama era he was telling everyone Bush v. Gore? No one I know agreed with that! And you might get a kick out of his argument with Kevin Drum over whether or not he said the term "Likudnik" had become an anti-Semitic slur (spoiler: he did). Bernstein used to wonder a lot "why Jews tend to despise Republicans," but maybe they were just embarrassed by Republican Jews like Bernstein. (Or by Volokh, who, when Howard Dean said the Democratic Party was comfortable with Jews because Dems believed "there are no bars to heaven for anybody," spent hundreds of words arguing that surely there must be some "traditionalist Christians" in the Party who disagreed. No, baby, we had Andy Cuomo run 'em all out!)
As for Orin Kerr, here's my favorite quote:
Now, I wouldn’t in a million years compare torture and wiretapping with gay rights. Obviously, the subject matter is totally and completely different. But...These guys are often described as libertarians; I think it's the gay and torture things. Anyway, congrats on the new assignment.
UPDATE. In comments, Jon tells me "I know Orin Kerr sorta well (we're both law professors), and notwithstanding that he hangs out with some really questionable folk at VC, Orin is not a nut." Good news! brandonrg asks why I didn't mention Todd Zywicki. OK, here are two old alicublog posts that touch upon his considerable mendacity.
UPDATE 2. Commenter Vatnisse asks: "Isn't [Conspirator Ilya] Somin the guy that got all pissy and defensive after not scoring all that well on Charles Murray's absurd manliness test?" Why, yes, yes he is ("I would also have achieved a higher score if there were more sports-related questions").
Ann Althouse thinks your humble interlocutor is a "hack" because I lack "the grace to say you know, these guys pretty much are libertarians." Who said they weren't? My disrespect extends to them and to libertarianism, which is just a niche brand of conservatism for people with social anxieties anyway. There's no conflict between their beliefs and those of any other advocate of Maximum Freedom for the Rich.