The Criminalization of Republican Politicians
What do these people have in common?: George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, William J. Casey, Dick Cheney, Tom Delay, Raymond Donovan, William Frist, Lewis Libby, Robert McFarlane, Oliver North, John M. Poindexter, Karl Rove, Kenneth Tomlinson, Caspar Weinberger. Answer: they are all conservative Republicans who have been accused by the liberal press and/or prosecuted for criminal acts under pressures brought by liberal politicians. All of them have been persecuted by the threat of legal action or by actual indictments for political reasons. None have been found guilty although some have had to go through the expense of an appeal process to clear their names.
As William Kristol asks in the Weekly Standard, “Why are conservative Republicans, who control the executive and legislative branches of government for the first time in living memory, so vulnerable to the phenomenon of criminalization?”
Is it just a coincidence that effective proponents of conservative policies, who are not defeated at the ballot box, are then targeted for criminal investigations?
“Don't try selling the idea of coincidence to Kenneth Tomlinson, until recently the chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). Last May, the New York Times published a lengthy account of Tomlinson's efforts to bring increased balance to public television--i.e., giving a bit more of a hearing to conservatives. He commissioned a modest study to confirm what most everyone already knew, that the practice on shows produced or moderated by Bill Moyers is to interview conservatives and Republicans only when they are in disagreement with the predominant conservative or Republican position on a given issue.
Within days of the Times piece, Democratic congressmen David Obey and John Dingell, ranking minority members on two key committees, wrote a letter to the CPB inspector general, Kenneth Konz, demanding a detailed, elaborate investigation of Tomlinson. Not only did Konz comply, he asked Tomlinson to provide all his emails, which Tomlinson did, and conducted a search of Tomlinson's office files without telling him. A few months later, in September, Konz gave an interview to Bloomberg News in which he confided, concerning an ongoing and incomplete investigation, "Clearly there are indications of possible violations." Konz later said he had been misunderstood, and that it was much too early to come to any conclusions.
And what was the left's central, most deeply felt image of the presidential campaign of 2004? Actively marketed by Dan Rather and CBS News, it was this: John Kerry was a war hero and George W. Bush went AWOL. AWOL is, of course, an acronym: "Absent Without Leave." In the military, being AWOL is a crime subject to court martial, and to lengthy imprisonment. So saying Bush was AWOL was not just an attempt to compare his military service unfavorably with Kerry's, which is fair enough. It was an attempt to criminalize Bush's military career. Though the attempt backfired when it became clear CBS had accepted faked evidence, Democratic and liberal elites were sold on the idea that "war hero" vs. "AWOL" was the key to undermining the widespread respect Bush had achieved by his response to 9/11.” The Weekly Standard.
The fall of 2005 will be remembered as a time when it became clear that a strategy of criminalization has been implemented to inflict defeat on conservatives. This appears to be another part of the overall effort on the part of Democrats to win or preserve through the courts, what they cannot win or preserve in free and fair elections. Political correctness in the classrooms, in the colleges and in political forums has stifled open discussion of most issues. Now we have to worry about fighting off a criminal case against us if we advocate policies that the left doesn’t like.
Let’s keep this in mind as Lewis Libby is excoriated, and the left rejoices in his legal problems.