Politics as Total War
A few years ago, a Department of Defense official called for a boycott of tony law firms that represented – on a pro bono basis – Guantanamo detainees. He was roundly – and I think justly – criticized.
But his view of politics as total war – something to be imported into nonpolitical walks of life – seems to be gaining currency. Earlier this year, One Wisconsin Now organized a phone campaign in which it urged its supporters to call and complain to a large local law firm about one of its young associates’ pro bono work. This young woman was apparently donating her time in support of Wisconsin’s marriage amendment. The objective was to use a law firm’s natural desire to avoid controversy and her economic vulnerability to shut her up and deny a party the legal representation of its choice.