Using my inestimable hacking skills -
Alan Dershowitz Says Martha’s Vineyard Is ‘Shunning’ Him Over Trump
Dershowitz’s Defense of Trump Is Costing Him Friends
Alan Dershowitz, a professor emeritus at Harvard Law School, has frequented conservative cable news networks to defend President Trump. He says friends on Martha’s Vineyard are “shunning” him for it.
“So what evidence you see of collusion? Do you see anything?” “Well, first of all, I don’t see any evidence of collusion. But second, even if there was major collusion, that’s not a crime.” “I think the president is doing something very strategic, by the way. I think he has good cop, bad cop. He has the good cops, who are trying to make a deal with the special counsel to limit his exposure — to limit the kinds of questions. But then he’s also preparing bad cops. Joe diGenova, who can get on television, who can go to court, who can help litigate. I don’t think that’s such a bad strategy.” “I think Trump is being misunderstood when he talked about the one-state solution. He’s sending a message to the Palestinians: ‘You have to earn statehood. We’re not going to give it to you on a silver platter. You have to come and negotiate.’” “How dare liberals, people on the left, try to undo democracy by accusing a president of being mentally ill without any basis.” “The American public wants the truth. They’re sick and tired of a Republican truth, Democrat truth. We want the truth, and we’re not getting it today from the hyperpartisan investigators.”
It was not the sort of complaint likely to draw public sympathy, and it did not.
Alan Dershowitz, the lawyer and professor emeritus at Harvard Law School, argued in an op-ed last week for The Hill that Americans have grown increasingly intolerant of opposing political views, focusing on a call by Representative Maxine Waters to harass Trump administration officials wherever they go.
But it was a personal note in the column that soon grabbed attention.
“I never thought I would see McCarthyism come to Martha’s Vineyard, but I have,” he wrote, of the elite island enclave off Cape Cod where he is a fixture.
Mr. Dershowitz, a self-professed “liberal Democrat,” said that friends on the Vineyard had snubbed him for publicly arguing against impeaching President Trump on television talk shows and in a forthcoming book.
“For them, it is enough that what I have said about the Constitution might help Trump,” said the lawyer, known for his fierce advocacy for civil liberties and his defense of famous clients like O.J. Simpson and Claus von Bulow. “So they are shunning me and trying to ban me from their social life on Martha’s Vineyard.”
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This claim only seemed to draw a wave of mockery online that crested just as many of the nation’s media and political elites headed to the Cape for the Fourth of July.
“It is outrageous that people are now shunning Alan Dershowitz in their social lives,” one Twitter user wrote. “Really, what the heck took so long?”
Many rejected the comparison to McCarthyism, with its blacklists and smears that ruined careers. Countless people offered Mr. Dershowitz their thoughts and prayers. One enterprising troll even set up a crowdfunding campaign with a $5 million goal to “buy Alan some new friends.” But friends and acquaintances on the Vineyard confirmed that his outspoken defenses of President Trump had not been well received.
His name and the name of the resort were both trending on social media. There were jokes about fine “Vineyard whine.”
What kind of world do we live in when Alan Dershowitz gets side eyes at Martha's Vineyard and Sarah Sanders is politely asked to leave a Red Hen restaurant? The end of civility. The end of decency. The end of righteous outrage. Oh, look another baby ripped from his parents...
Socrates was forced to eat hemlock. Ovid, Dante, & Emma Goldman were sent into exile. Margaret Sanger was jailed. Rosa Luxemburg, Gandhi and Martin Luther King were killed. Spinoza was excommunicated. Alan Dershowitz can't find anyone to dine with at Martha's Vineyard.
In an attempt to clarify matters, Mr. Dershowitz gave an interview to The Martha’s Vineyard Times, published Tuesday, in which he said that his column had been misunderstood.
“If we’re going to start having Republican parties and Democratic parties, that’s not what the Island has been about,” he told the paper. “It’s a tragedy that it’s come to the Island. This is supposed to be a place where you leave your politics at the door.”
And he also responded to his critics on Twitter, saying he was “reveling, not whining” and “I’m proud of taking an unpopular, principled position that gets me shunned by partisan zealots. It’s not about me. I couldn’t care less about being shunned by such people.”
And later, in a phone interview with The Times, Mr. Dershowitz said that he has not supported Mr. Trump’s political agenda, but has merely defended the president’s civil liberties, as he would for any person.
“There’s a whole cabal of people who have decided that they will try to get people to stop interacting with me,” Mr. Dershowitz said. “The campaign has utterly failed.”
Perhaps it is no coincidence that his book, “The Case Against Impeaching Trump,” will be released this month. He wrote in his op-ed that it “could just as easily have been the case against impeaching Hillary Clinton. Indeed, I wrote such a book about Bill Clinton.” He said he voted for Mrs. Clinton.
Mr. Dershowitz is a longtime presence on the Vineyard, where he has been spotted in the past on Menemsha beach enjoying the sunset.
The summer enclave, associated with the Kennedys and other famous Massachusetts families, has been for decades a favorite haunt of media executives, artists, writers, entertainers, politicians and Bostonians escaping the sweltering summer in their hometown. John Kerry and Valerie Jarrett spend weeks here during the summer. So has Barack Obama, who continued the presidential tradition of snarling traffic as people sought to catch a glimpse of him and his wife.
Mr. Dershowitz owns a house in Chilmark, a town perhaps best known for Chilmark Chocolates, a candy shop where locals and visitors line up outside a swinging wood door to buy beetlebung bars, chocolate mixed with toffee and crushed almonds, a local favorite.
Years ago, he gave New York magazine a glimpse into his life as a dinner party host on the Vineyard, with guests that included authors and other luminaries.
“One time, we had Yo-Yo Ma and seated him next to this federal judge,” Mr. Dershowitz told the magazine. “Who would have thought it, but Yo-Yo and this judge have become really good friends.”
He was forthright about who wouldn’t make the cut. “I rarely invite my academic colleagues,” Mr. Dershowitz said. “Most of them don’t make good dinner guests.”
For at least one peer, the feeling is mutual. According to Mr. Dershowitz’s op-ed in The Hill, an unnamed “academic at a distinguished university” has refused to attend any dinner or party where he is present. That appears to be his main example of McCarthyism.
Laura M. Holson contributed reporting from Martha’s Vineyard, and Julie Bosman from Chicago.