Doing Penance

Words and Deeds?

This is a very strange time, in which loud public protestations of liberal morality are supposed to suspend memory itself-and override all past and current behavior.

We are in a sort of medieval mode in which the suspect wine-bibbing, fornicating priest cleverly launches a general inquisition against the use of alcohol and sex to escape scrutiny. As a general rule of thumb, the more one hears or reads about a fanatically angry official or pundit on a moral crusade, the more likely they were involved in just the sort of behavior they are railing against. We saw this on the Republican side with a Larry Craig, Duke Cunningham, and Mark Foley, but the liberal establishment has taken it to new heights.

You Don't say?

We were going to get a liberal pantheon of financial and political pros savvy enough to raise taxes on the demonized "them" and get us out of the mess. So they zeroed in on that damnable elite, the top 5% who supposedly got away with murder. An entire vocabulary of abuse was aimed at the entrepreneurial and technocratic class. Who then stepped up to the plate to run the new high-tax-collecting Treasury Department? Timothy Geithner, high-salaried member of the very class he was to target, who not only took dubious write-offs on his own taxes, but pocketed for himself the very pre-alloted funds that were paid by his employer for his own FICA contributions.


Tom Daschle was supposed to run a gargantuan HHS Department whose directive was to help provide services for the less privileged, who suffered so under the elitist Bush administration. He eagerly lobbied for the job- despite his own tastes for private limousine service paid for by rich associates and never reported as income to the government. Rule? The more DC officials like limousines, the more likely they like the poor.

No Geneva Convention For You!

Attorney General Eric Holder supposedly was going to reexamine Bush-administration lawyers to find out whether they committed impropriety by their recommendations at Guantanamo. Yet Mr. Holder in 2002 publicly went on record with CNN to defend Guantanamo-and, well beyond that, by arguing that the detainees could both be held indefinitely and were not subject to the Geneva Convention. (But then 2002 was when the Bush administration was highly praised for keeping us safe when the Buffalo Six, Bali, John Lee Mohammed, Jose Padilla, the Chechnyan hostage taking, the intifada, the Indian parliament attack, etc. made it look like Islamic lunacy was unstoppable worldwide)

Waterboarding? What waterboarding?

Nancy Pelosi, Jay Rockefeller, Charles Schumer and other noteworthies after the November election were apparently eager to review the past Bush anti-terrorism record, and dredge up for political purposes supposed proof of near criminal activity. But did they ever think that a poor CIA agent who briefed Pelosi and Rockefeller about "enhanced interrogation techniques" would remain silent in the face of such contortion and reinvention? Did Sen. Schumer not remember that he is on tape warning his colleagues about the need to have a resort to such harsh techniques in times of national crisis?

Damned Advocates of Violence and Deception

Much of the furor over the interrogations in the blogosphere is vented by one moralist Andrew Sullivan. But Mr. Sullivan himself once went way beyond advocacy for the Iraq war. He accused Bush II of softness in his apparent hesitation about invading Iraq, warning him not to revert to his father's squishiness. When the anthrax letters surfaced, Sullivan contemplated the possible use of nuclear weapons in retaliation. He fanned rumors that Gov. Palin's latest pregnancy was actually faked, the Down's Syndrome child  supposedly delivered by her own daughter, a slur that was as unfounded as it was cruel-and ironic given the deception of Mr. Sullivan's own past personal sexual scandals that entered the public domain.