Friday, October 01, 2010

Andrew Shirvell interview provokes many questions.

Many of the questions are really quite obvious, such as, how is this man not fired yet?  Here's the story link.

"Welcome to 'Chris Armstrong Watch,'" Shirvell wrote in his inaugural blog post. "This is a site for concerned University of Michigan alumni, students, and others who oppose the recent election of Chris Armstrong -- a RADICAL HOMOSEXUAL ACTIVIST, RACIST, ELITIST, & LIAR -- as the new head of student government."

Among other things, Shirvell has published blog posts that accuse Armstrong of going back on a campaign promise he made to minority students; engaging in "flagrant sexual promiscuity" with another male member of the student government; sexually seducing and influencing "a previously conservative [male] student" so much so that the student, according to Shirvell, "morphed into a proponent of the radical homosexual agenda;" hosting a gay orgy in his dorm room in October 2009; and trying to recruit incoming first year students "to join the homosexual 'lifestyle.' "

Cooper was rather gentle with the poor, deluded fellow, when I'm sure that in the back of his mind he just wants to grab him by the tie and drag him out of the closet, kicking and screaming.

Because, Andrew, darling... the MOST obvious question is this - are you in conscious denial that you are gay for various pragmatic, political and social reasons, or is it more of a delusion?

There are many excuses for being this obsessed about a dimpled cutie like this.

Goodness, dear, the photos you took of him - you never once show an unflattering photo. He's got big ears, a bit of a tummy and doesn't spend enough time on his hair,  but your photography belongs in a shrine, the graffitti notwithstanding. 

But, well, that's really just "first amendment protected speculation" of the sort Shirviell indulged in on his blog, before he made it "invitation only." A bit late, that...

One wonders what close circle of jerks are welcomed there, and one does hope that at least one is aware of what the terms "actionable statements," "bringing the profession into disrepute," and a few others. One DOES hope that at least one person reviewing the blog and other public statements made by Shirviell are by an experienced lawyer actually qualified to practice before the Michigan bar. The first rule of patronage appointees, Sir; strive NEVER to embarrass your patron.

It's not that you are a prig and something of a prick, Mr. Shirviell. It's not that you are something of a judgmental tool. It's not your moralism or your homophobia. The issues are, sadly, more foundational than that.

 The important questions are the ones that Shirviell should have asked and answered for himself before well, certainly before trying to defend himself in the court of public opinion.

Like, say, how will this reflect on me and my elected boss?

There are some private opinions one may hold as a public official that, well, if they cease to be private, raise questions about your understanding of what your public duty is.

Cooper underlined this painfully by simply asking  the assistant Attorney General of Michigan, an officer of the Court and one generally expected to have a broad familiarity with the state of civil and criminal law in his jurisdiction, whether or not his blog met the criteria for cyberbullying as defined by the State of Michigan.

His answer - or rather, his non-answer - was not so much an attempt to dodge a concern he was aware of, it was a revelation that it had never occurred to him. Clearly in his mind there is a "queer-bashing" exception to that definition.

Now, that speaks to him as a rather small and not terribly intelligent person, and he's certainly an embarrassment to people of the faith he claims to share, but that's really not the problem. As an assistant attorney general, one might reasonably expect him to find himself dealing with civil rights cases, harassment and bullying cases and, well, employing "Prosecutorial Discretion."

When you get destroyed on cross by a journalist - well, there are many people that reflects on, whether or not you "choose to comment on matters related to my employment." Any lawyer should realize that a refusal to comment IS a comment. Cooper surely does.

And that comment reflects on those, sir, who thought you were qualified to have a law degree, it reflects on your Church, it reflects on other, less rabid homophobes family values advocates; it reflects upon your boss, the office of the Attorney general, it affects the chances of your boss being re-elected and any ambitions in that direction you might have had. It raises the question as to whether your particular brand of social conservatism respectable or appropriate in a public official.

Oh, and one final note:

After allegedly stalking and harassing Armstrong outside his home, Shirvell, a University of Michigan graduate who cited pride in his alma mater among the reasons for attacking the student body president, was banned from the Michigan campus on Sept. 14 by the University's Department of Public Safety.

There's a bullet point for the resume, Andy me lad.


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