A View From The Handbasket

Friday, October 28, 2005
If being conservative is a crime, only criminals will be conservatives
Posted by neros_fiddle at 12:28 PM
Tom Delay says:

"We are witnessing the criminalization of conservative politics."

This picks up a talking point that William Kristol is selling over at the Weekly Standard:

But it's a reasonable bet that the fall of 2005 will be remembered as a time when it became clear that a comprehensive strategy of criminalization had been implemented to inflict defeat on conservatives who seek to govern as conservatives.

The conservative movement's victimization-based ideology is reaching its apex. Here we have some of the movement's leading figures insisting that charging conservatives with crimes is tantamount to "criminalizing conservatism."

Only the "woe is me, I'm so oppressed" right could come up with such lunacy. When Clinton was lashed to the fiery stake of impeachment for perjury, I don't recall the right going around minimizing the importance of perjury. (That's leaving aside the problem of Clinton's lying about a blow job vs. Scooter Libby lying about blowing the cover of a CIA operative. A different kind of blow, if you will.) And I certainly don't remember Clinton bellyaching about "criminalizing liberalism" (or, in Clinton's case, "criminalizing mushy centrism").

If this talking point gains traction, the right will have a ready-made sound bite for future indictments and charges -- "Oh, you're just criminalizing conservatism." This has worked for them before. Have a problem with the Iraq war? You're on the side of the terrorists and/or you hate America. Don't like huge upper-class tax cuts? You're just indulging in class warfare.

Someone needs to ask Delay, Kristol, et al if they think liberals are free to be indicted on similar charges if caught doing the same things.

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