Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

The Democratic defense of Larry Craig

with one comment

AmericaBlog has a post that makes a very good point: the ones attacking Larry Craig belong to the GOP, not to the Democratic party:

Because I’m a small step above a Luddite, I still belong to AOL. One of the few perks are the columnists who write there on a daily basis. Yesterday, I came across a column by Dinesh D’Souza.

In the column, D’Souza tries to turn around the “Republicans are hypocrites” narrative by saying that liberals would react differently if Larry Craig was a Democrat.

If Larry Craig was a Democrat, we’d be hearing a lot from liberals in the media about how he was bravely exploring his sexual identity. We would hear indignant objections to this policeman who, obviously having nothing better to do with his time, was doing surveillance in airport bathrooms in search of innocent people to harass and victimize. The ACLU would be right in there, asking about Craig’s right to privacy and wondering why such ambiguous evidence (he placed his bag in front of the door, he tapped his foot) was enough to warrant arrest and prosecution. Even Craig’s guilty plea would be employed in his favor: look, the man is at least being honest about what he did, and why should he be ashamed of being who he is? If Larry Craig was a Democrat, the system, not Craig, would be on trial.

Frankly, it’s a stupid argument for a number of reasons. First, Democrats haven’t been asking for Craig to resign. It’s the GOP and conservatives that have forced Craig out (no pun intended).

But what really undermines D’Saouza’s argument is that liberals have, in fact, made the very arguments he suggests on behalf of Craig. For instance, D’Souza says that if Craig were a Democrat, a liberal would complain about surveillance being done in a public restroom. But Arianna Huffington has already made that point on behalf of Craig.

In the consensus judgment of America’s 16 intelligence agencies, the terrorist threat to our homeland is “persistent and evolving,” placing our country in “a heightened threat environment.”

Given that chilling assessment, isn’t it the height of madness to use America’s finite law enforcement resources to seek out and arrest people for tapping the foot of a cute undercover officer in a restroom?

D’Souza then suggests that some liberals would attack the evidence and wonder whether it warranted prosecution if Craig was a Democrat. But Matthew Yglesias has made that very same argument on behalf of Craig.

On the other hand, I do regard this as somewhat mitigated by the fact that I continue to regard Craig’s arrest as fundamentally unjustified.

Clearly, D’Souza didn’t do any type of research before making his ridiculous claim as both Huffington and Yglesias are pretty prominent liberal bloggers. Given his past statements, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if D’Souza wrote this column without doing any checking to see if his claims were accurate.

But I think it speaks to a real mindset of the right. Since they are not intellectually honest, they do not expect anyone else to be. Conservatives disregard an argument the minute it conflicts with one of their desires (they care about States Rights, until a state passes something they don’t like, like a “right to die” initiative). D’Souza assumed liberals wouldn’t defend Craig based on their ideals, because as another partisan hack, D’Souza wouldn’t defend a Democrat based on his own ideals. I hope someone sends this to Dinesh, cause he ought to at least apologize for being wrong. But more to the point, he ought to learn that intellectual consistency does exist, just not on his side of the aisle.

Written by Leisureguy

5 September 2007 at 1:03 pm

Posted in Democrats, GOP

One Response

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  1. D’Souza has a horribly homophobic history. He has no credibility on any issue concerning the queer community.



    5 September 2007 at 7:42 pm

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