A few months ago, The Malcontent‘s Robbie wrote, “For many on the Left . . ., hypocrisy is quite possibly the greatest crime one can ever possibly commit.” Yet, it seems that on any number of issues, liberals, including their allies in the MSM, are the greatest hypocrites around.
Back in 1991, then-Congressman Barbara Boxer (D-DailyKos) led a group of angry Democratic female representatives in a staged march to the Senate to “demand a delay in the confirmation of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court.” She and her liberal colleagues were upset by allegations that the first President Bush’s second nominee to the Supreme Court had been accused of sexual harassment. And while the allegations against that good man were far less consequential than those leveled against Democrat Bill Clinton a few years later, Mrs. Boxer stood by her fellow Democrat in the 1990s, even thanking him in her victory speech when she won re-election to the U.S. Senate. The woman who raised a ruckus over a Republican accused of boorish behavior (talking about porno movies and pubic hairs on Coke cans) was silent when a Democrat was accused of rape.
And while no one had been able to corroborate the charges against Clarence Thomas, the woman who accused Bill Clinton of rape could substantiate hers. If Barbara Boxer held Democrat Bill Clinton to the same standards to which she had held Republican Clarence Thomas, she would not only have voted to impeach him, but would have also advocated his public flogging and subsequent lifetime incarceration.
We see successors to Barbara Boxer’s hypocrisy today in the American news media. MSM web-sites newspapers, magazines and even networks, ever eager to publish “art work” mocking sacred symbols of the Christian faith — even lambasting those who attempted to deny government funding for such sacrilege — refuse to publish cartoons disdainful of images sacred to Muslims. (My view is that our news media should show respect for all faiths — faulting, in the same tone, those who would dip a crucifix in urine and those who would represent the Prophet Mohammed in a derogatory manner.)
Eugene Volokh (via Instapundit) has collected various Boston Globe editorials to present a striking example of MSM hypocrisy — the same paper which showed sensitivity to Muslim sensitivities in the fuss over the Danish cartoons was disdainful of elected officials who sought to cut off federal funding from institutions showing art works which mocked symbols sacred to Christians.
Why is it, I wonder, that some on the left and in the news media show more sensitivity to representatives of a faith foreign to many Americans than they do to a faith to which the vast majority of Americans adhere? (Michelle Malkin has offered the most comprehensive coverage of this kerfuffle, especially here and here.)
And it’s not just the Danish cartoons where the media has established a double standard. Just look at the coverage of the leak of the NSA program to eavesdrop on the international communications of suspected terrorists and that of the name of a low-level CIA operative.
The MSM got into high dudgeon at the mere allegation that a White House official may have leaked the name of Valerie Plame to the news media. And while a scrupulous federal prosecutor has thoroughly investigated this leak, he has yet to file any charges for the underlying offense (i.e., the leak) nor has he indicated that the leak “resulted in any national security damage.” In today’s OpinionJournal Political Diary (available by subscription), John Fund notes that the “the journalism community in Washington seems largely uninterested in who leaked the NSA material” despite the fact that Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Porter Goss said that the leak has severely damaged the CIA’s “capabilities to carry out our mission.”
At least since Barbara Boxer organized her staged march up the Senate steps, those on the left will use any allegation of impropriety against a Republican to tarnish that conservative’s reputation. It’s not the impropriety that bothers them as much (no matter what their outrage) as the partisan affiliation of the individual accused. And should someone on their own side commit a similar impropriety, they will either ignore it — or explain it away.
Note how when questioned about his role in the Abramoff scandal, instead of denying his own involvement, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid starts repeating his mantra that it’s a Republican scandal. It seems he’s saying that if a Republican does it, it’s bad, very, very, very bad, but since it’s a Republican scandal, he couldn’t have done anything wrong because he’s not a Republican even if he did do some of the very things the corrupt Republicans did.
We have long heard of “situational ethics,” a term which defines the morality of the act based on one’s state of mind at the time the act performed. I think we need a new term to describe the morality of the left and and their MSM allies. Let’s call it situational politics.* If a Republican does (or is accused of) a certain impropriety it’s very bad, but if a Democrat does (or is accused of) the same thing (or even something worse), it’s not really all that bad because there are extenuating circumstances (which, of course, don’t exist for Republicans). Even if there are no such circumstance, it really can’t be that bad because a Democrat did it. And Democrats — and the news media — are good.
Perhaps, this is all because in the mind of the left, all Republicans are narrow-minded corrupt hypocrites while Democrats (and their media allies) are noble individuals who only do noble things. And this shows — yet again — how narrow-minded the left really is. They can’t see Republicans as they are any more than they can see themselves, so obsessed are they with being right rather than doing right.
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com
*As I completed the first draft of this post, I googled “situational politics” and found that I’m not the first person to use this term. In a similar context, for example, talk show host Rusty Humphries uses the expression in this townhall.com column.
UPDATE: In today’s Best of the Web, James Taranto weighs in on the media’s hypocrisy in the Danish cartoon kerfuffle, contrasting the Washington Post‘s failure to publish the offensive Danish cartoons with its publication of a cartoon which, many believe, demeans our military and its leaders:
What accounts for the difference? A combination of fear and ideology. Muslim fundamentalists, or at least some of them, express offense by torching embassies and threatening terrorist attacks. By contrast, U.S. military leaders write firm but polite letters to the editor, and Christian fundamentalists ask their elected representatives to stop spending tax money on offensive stuff. (Never believe a liberal when he professes to find Christian fundamentalists “scary.”) There is no need to appease an opponent who respects rules of civilized behavior.
If you haven’t already, read the whole thing!
UP-UPDATE: Iowa Senator Charles Grassley on the leak to the New York Times of the NSA program:
I don’t hear as much about public outcry about this leak as I did about Valerie Plame and the White House disclosures of her — or presumed disclosures of her identify of a CIA agent. And to me that’s a two-bit nothing compared to this sort of issue that we have before us of this information being leaked to the press.
Because as prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald noted in a footnote to an affidavit he filed on August 27, 2004: “To date, we have no direct evidence that [then-Vice Presidential Chief-of-Staff I. Lew “Scooter”] Libby knew or believed that Wilson’s wife [i.e., Valerie Plame] was engaged in covert work.”
UP-UP-UPDATE: Dr. Sanity comments on Senator Grassley’s remarks:
For me this about sums up the Valerie Plame affair — a “two-bit nothing” matter — and tells me what the Democrats basically stand for these days. They get their panties in a bunch about Plame/Wilson, and then act like nothing happened (except of course “abuse of executive power”)when a really major breach of national security occurs.
(via Polipundit’s Lorie Byrd).