Silence on anti-terror tactics speaks volumes about liberal hypocrisy

Robert Ehrlich takes the left to task on the NSA, Bradley Manning, Margaret Thatcher and campus radicalism

June 23, 2013|Robert L. Ehrlich Jr

Are you easily annoyed these days? Me too.

So, herewith, a brief sampling of the most annoying and shamelessly under-analyzed and under-reported incidents of recent weeks.

Democratic silence as President Barack Obama follows and expands upon Bush Administration terror-war policies. Liberals in Congress and the media cried bloody murder (and worse) when the Bush Administration began (warrantless) eavesdropping on domestic communications and indeterminate detention of suspected terrorists.

Indeed, the then-freshman senator from Illinois — and former law professor — proclaimed such actions as "an assault on American values and "[tantamount to] the shredding of our Constitution." (You may also recall the then-mayor of Baltimore's bold proclamation that George Bush was more of a danger to the American public than al-Qaida!)

Now, fast forward to today, as the president not only asserts his authority to conduct wide-ranging secret surveillance but also the ability to kill American citizens with no legal process. In the words of Bush Administration CIA Chief Michael Hayden: "We needed a court order to eavesdrop on him [suspected terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki] but we didn't need a court order to kill him. Isn't that something?"

So, where are the Code Pink and Move On demonstrations? Answer: nowhere. Progressive invective toward Bush-era terror tactics has proved to be more political than ideological. The startling proof is there for all to see.

Sympathy for Bradley Manning. Osama bin Laden had confidential intelligence materials in his possession on the day Navy Seal Team 6 paid him its historic visit. The materials had been provided through Pfc. Bradley Manning to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks (and its editor-in-chief Julian Assange) for worldwide distribution. Today, Private Manning faces potential life in prison for his traitorous activities.

Now, along comes a familiar list of Hollywood lefties (Oliver Stone, Russell Brand, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Phil Donohue, etc.) with a supportive video on behalf of the accused leaker.

As I watched these usual suspects trumpet their endorsement of a notorious traitor, I wondered if they would feel similarly if their son or daughter was killed as a result of classified material being placed online? Just a thought as you stand in line at the local movie theater.

The grotesque reaction of certain British Laborites to the death of Margaret Thatcher. Spontaneous "death parties" sprouted up across the U.K. in the aftermath of the former prime minister's passing. So many copies of "Ding Dong, the Witch Is Dead" were purchased online that the song reached the No. 2 spot on the British pop charts. Extra security precautions were required at the state funeral.

So, what were Mrs. Thatcher's horrible misdeeds? None, other than a (partially successful) campaign to downsize Britain's huge welfare state. It was this initiative that assured permanent disparagement from the left. Her Reagan-esque ways struck fear in the hearts of the government-entitlement crowd. And she would not back down when confronted with the usual "isms" from liberal character assassins (although "sexism" was quite a leap). A woman of principle and strong moral character. R.I.P.

The maniacal intolerance of today's campus lefties. Check out the following headlines: "Anti-Wall Street protesters heckle Karl Rove at UMASS Amherst"; "Ann Coulter disinvited to speak at Fordham University"; "Rand Paul disrupted at Howard University"; "[Former Bush Trade Rep.] Robert Zoellick withdraws as commencement speaker at Swarthmore College"; "Dr. Ben Carson withdraws as commencement speaker at Johns Hopkins University." The point is hard to miss: Conservatives are not welcome on (most of) America's college campuses. The academy simply lacks the appetite to contest and defend the previous four years of liberal indoctrination. The most surprising aspect of the protests is that these folks were invited in the first place.

Recent statistics reflect the unfortunate trend. In 2012, the top 100 liberal arts universities invited three Republican officeholders to give commencement addresses. There were no conservative speakers at Ivy League commencements and no conservative speakers outside the South. This year, Newark, N.J.'s Democratic mayor had as many addresses as all current elected Republicans combined.

Those who attributed racial motivation to early-season criticism of Orioles star center fielder Adam Jones. Recall the early-season stint of poor fielding by our popular Gold Glover. The chapter began with a burst of criticism from sports talk radio and was then followed by charges of racism from (some) fans and commentators.

Way too much over-analysis here. Those who sign big-money deals (up to $91.5 million over six years) generate big expectations. Just ask Joe Flacco in September. The criticism should have been expected; it's part of the bargain for highly paid stars — regardless of skin color.

A further point: Such gratuitous charges only minimize instances of true racism. The same fans who still revere Paul Blair, Frank Robinson and Ken Singleton were not suddenly motivated by race, just the expectation that catchable balls get caught.

Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s column appears Sundays. The former Maryland governor and member of Congress is a partner at the law firm King & Spalding and the author of "Turn this Car Around," a book about national politics. His email is ehrlichcolumn@gmail.com.

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.