Dreher on the D’Souza Hypocrisy

Rod Dreher, one of the most intellectually honest conservatives, takes his fellow conservatives to task for their hypocrisy over Dinesh D’Souza’s criminal breaking of campaign finance laws. The cries of selected persecution, without a shred of evidence, elicits this response:

I have no trouble believing that D’Souza may have been selectively prosecuted. But even if he was, that does not justify his knowingly breaking the law. Does this really have to be explained to conservatives, of all people? We can’t call for law and order, but carve out special exemptions for our political allies. This is what some on the establishment Right did for Cheney aide Scooter Libby when he was convicted for perjury. Joseph Bottum, for one, denounced conservatives who would not stand up for Libby as cowards.

And he quotes Daniel Larison, another thoughtful conservative, in response to those claims about Libby and Cheney:

It seems to me that it would require a good deal more courage for a conservative today to stand up and say, “Perjury is a serious crime, and it should be punished whether or not the perjurer is a highly placed Republican administration official.” All those lectures about the rule of law c. 1998 have to have meant something, or else most of the people calling for Clinton’s impeachment for perjury and obstruction of justice (who are now calling for Libby’s pardon) were impressively shameless hypocrites.

This is nothing but political tribalism, or what I often refer to as sports fan politics. Anything that is bad for anyone on your team is automatically viewed as a terrible injustice and any accusation against someone on the other team is automatically the Most Horrible Thing Ever. Liberals do it too, of course.

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  • StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Yep. Human nature.

    Find me one person who is immune to this .. & I’ll , welI dunno, be very impressed and surprised I guess,.

  • dingojack

    That’d be you, wouldn’t Stevo?

    😉 Dingo

  • http://Www.metalmischief.com YOB – Ye Olde Blacksmith is a Spocktopus cuddler

    Calling out hypocrisy is, to me, a Good Thing™ especially when it is “in-tribe” hypocrisy.

  • anteprepro

    All those lectures about the rule of law c. 1998 have to have meant something, or else most of the people calling for Clinton’s impeachment for perjury and obstruction of justice (who are now calling for Libby’s pardon) were impressively shameless hypocrites.

    What an amazing and stunning insight! And it only took 16 years or so! Maybe conservatives might catch up to reality eventually!

  • Kevin Kehres

    @1…

    Me. I believe in the rule of law. Can’t do the time — don’t do the crime.

    I believe this is the case even for unjust laws (like marijuana use). Go ahead and break the law if you feel you must — just don’t complain if the law is enforced.

    Dr. King knowingly broke the law many times during his career and gladly did the time, so breaking the law in protest of a bad law still does not exempt you from prosecution under it.

    Democrat, Republican, Tea Party, whatever other in-group you want to mention. If we’re a nation of laws, then we’re a nation of laws. Period.

    There’s your answer.

  • doublereed

    “one of the most intellectually honest conservatives”

    Is that kind of being like one of the sharpest hammers?

  • petemoulton

    “One of the tallest Munchkins” comes to mind…

  • Michael Heath

    Ed concludes:

    This is nothing but political tribalism, or what I often refer to as sports fan politics. Anything that is bad for anyone on your team is automatically viewed as a terrible injustice and any accusation against someone on the other team is automatically the Most Horrible Thing Ever. Liberals do it too, of course.

    Well the fact liberals do it as well provides us with no utility. The more important question is whether partisanship as an end game is an attribute of liberalism like it is for conservatives.

    From my vantage point and therefore relying solely on anecdote evidence, there’s no comparison. One illustrative category is what congressional committees focus on when their side is in power. One side seeks to take down the other side’s leaders and make it more difficult for their opponents to gain electoral advantage and wield influence. The other side uses its power in an attempt to improve our collective lot.

  • Nick Gotts

    Rod Dreher, one of the most intellectually honest conservatives

    …one of the most law-abiding Mafia dons;

    …one of the most compassionate Nazi leaders;

    …one of the most philosophically sophisticated Scientologists;

    …one of the speediest gastropods;

    …one of the most adamantine jellyfish.

    *sigh*

    No, I just can’t match Ed’s talent for an oxymoron!

  • Michael Heath

    Rod Dreher is in no way intellectually honest. He only grades out well when compared to other conservatives.

    I don’t read Daniel Larison much anymore. But when I did I never found him thinking or arguing in any way like a conservative. I also never encountered him promoting a cause that distinguishes American conservatives from the rest of the country; so all he has is the label and a job at a conservative institution (if he’s still with Buchanan’s magazine).

  • colnago80

    Re Nick Gotts @ #9

    Well, being one of the most intellectually honest conservatives is a very low bar.

  • zippythepinhead

    Yes, Republicans say the Democrats are easy and sleazy, but when a conservative gets caught doing something unethical, they say, but but but the Democrats did it too!

  • smrnda

    @5 Kevin

    How far would you push this? If there is a law in a nation that rape victims must be stoned, would you be saying the same thing (if you don’t want to get stoned don’t get raped?) , or are you applying that only to the US? If so, why? One could say we’re a ‘nation of laws’ but overall, I think our claim to be that is rather shoddy compared to much of the rest of the civilized world. Laws are always enforced in an arbitrary and capricious fashion, which only demonstrates they were designed to work that way.

    Nation of laws? When I see a cop flip on his lights to speed through a red light and then *turn them off* I can’t say that with a straight face.

  • parasiteboy

    Clinton should have been impeached for perjury even if it occurred in a civil trial. Our judicial system relies too heavily on people giving truthful testimony to allow anyone to get away with perjury. I don’t remember what the obstruction of justice charge refers to, was it the Flowers or Whitewater case?

  • robertfaber

    “Liberals do it too” is rather a false equivalence, in my opinion. It’s not remotely the same. Liberals get pissed off when our own end up being corrupt. For example, I don’t recall a huge outcry of selective prosecution when Rod Blagojevich, Jesse Jackson, jr, or William J. Jefferson got caught. Not remotely the same way as with Delay or D’Souza or Libby or the entire cast of Iran-Contra (most of whom received pardons from Bush I). Perhaps you could point to some examples of “liberals do it, too”, other than maybe Clinton’s perjury over Lewinski? That’s only one example. What else is there?

  • colnago80

    Re parasiteboy @ #14

    Ken fuckface Starr had no business asking Clinton about his relationship with Lewinski in the first place. Instead of lying about it, Clinton should have told Starr to go fuck himself.

  • parasiteboy

    colnago80@16

    Clinton denied having sex with Lewinsky in his deposition of the sexual harassment case brought against him by Paula Jones (I said Flowers earlier, but she was an admitted affair). Linda Tripp taped Lewinsky saying that they did and she was the one who brought the tape to Starr. So he has evidence that the President committed perjury in a civil case (all depending on what your definition of “is” is) and you don’t think that’s relevant? Starr asked him about Lewinsky after he had evidence of his perjury.

  • Matt G

    Like others, you lost me after the intellectually honest conservative bit. The cognitive dissonance has stalled my brain and flooded the carburetor. No more thinking for me today, I guess.

  • colnago80

    Re parasiteboy @#17

    In the first place, the tape that Tripp had was inadmissible as evidence because it was made illegally in Maryland without the knowledge of Lewinsky (known in the legal trade as the fruit of the poisoned tree). The law in Maryland for recording a conversation is that both parties must agree to it. In the second place, a requirement for a perjury conviction is that the lie, even if under oath, must be about about a material fact. I fail to see how Clinton’s relationship with Lewinsky was a material fact in the Paula Jones case, since it occurred long after the alleged incident with Jones occurred and there was no evidence that the incidents with Lewinsky were in any way, shape, form, or regard unwelcome by her. The notion that this would have supported a perjury indictment against Clinton is piffle.

  • Olav

    Matt #18:

    Like others, you lost me after the intellectually honest conservative bit. The cognitive dissonance has stalled my brain and flooded the carburetor. No more thinking for me today, I guess.

    Ed said: “one of the most intellectually honest conservatives” which I think is a fair statement. Mr. Dreher is really not the worst of the conservative bunch.

  • Alverant

    One thing overlooked about Clinton’s “perjury” is that when he said “I did not have sex with that woman” the word “sex” had a specific meaning in the setting in which he gave testimony. Getting a blowjob did not technically count as sex with respect to the testimony. It would be like saying, “I did not take any drugs that day” then someone playing a game of “gotcha” by pointing out you drank coffee that morning which has caffeine and caffeine is technically a drug. Another example is a creationist saying “Evolution is just a theory.” at a scientific symposium where the word “theory” has a different meaning than the everyday meaning.

    As for Ed’s closing line “Liberals do it to.” That may be technically correct but it’s not to the same extent nor is it with the same kinds of crimes as conservatives.

  • http://polrant@blogspot.com democommie

    I saw the header and thought, “Well, maybe pigs WILL fly out of my butt.”.

    Then I read the first sentence.

    “I have no trouble believing that D’Souza may have been selectively prosecuted.”

    The rest of the “intellectually honest” Rod Dreher’s column would be a birdcage liner, if I had a bird–and really, Really, REALLY hated the cheerful little fucker.

    Ed is correct that both sides do it.

    I remember well, the public outrage of the rebpuklican’ts, in Congress even, when Cheney faceshot a guy he was drunkhunting with and simply walked away from responsibility.

    And the condemnation by GOP movers and shakers in the instance of Cheney and Bush refusing to turn over documents relating to the “Albany Summit” style meeting between Cheney and the Oilgarchs in the MOTHERFUCKING WHITEHOUSE!

    There were many millions of “column picometres” in the liberal MSM with comments of commendation by the members of the understandably outraged republ–oh; there weren’t? Umm, nevahmind.

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    Come on people, Dreher and the other guys at Am Con aren’t so bad. I disagree with them a lot, but at least they make cogent arguments and are willing to go against their own side, which is rare enough for all of us but practically unheard of among conservatives. They should be cultivated, kind like an endangered species of weed.

    As for “both sides do it”, yeah they do, but it’s definitely different with Republicans. I eventually came to the conclusion that Republicans are such hypocrites because they really do think that they’re special. They simply don’t believe that rules should apply the same way to them as to others, so in their eyes it’s not hypocrisy. (Not that this is conscientious on their part; it’s just how they see things and they don’t question why.) With liberals hypocrisy is a weakness rather than a built-in part of their character.

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    Not remotely the same way as with Delay or D’Souza or Libby or the entire cast of Iran-Contra (most of whom received pardons from Bush I).

    Not only do they get pardoned, they get lionized. Ollie North became a right-wing hero and has his own Fox show. Poindexter was given a job in the Bush Jr. administration and cushy defense contract work. G. Gordon Liddy (of an earlier scandal) has long been a right-wing radio host.

    Apparently, being a criminal pays off nicely if you’re conservative. It shows you’re willing to do anything for the team, pesky laws notwithstanding.

  • dingojack

    Could this be factor as well (apart from conservatism being more attractive to Authoritarian Leaders and Followers).?

    Dingo

  • laurentweppe

    We can’t call for law and order, but carve out special exemptions for our political allies

    Oh but we can: it’s called nobility and it has been the dominant rule of human civilizations since we invented the agrarian society.