Republicans can dish it out but they can’t take it, or so it seems. Earlier this week when the Obama campaign unleashed some Spanish speaking political advertisements which took pot shots at the McCain campaign and featured excerpts from Rush Limbaugh’s program where Limbaugh does his usually good job of inserting his own foot in his own mouth, Limbaugh took offense and fired off a response which spoke of Obama’s divisive “racism”. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black……Then there was the racism card pulled by the Republicans when it came to Oprah’s refusal to have Sarah Palin on her show which had to be muted until the McCain campaign finally decided before they could criticize Winfrey for not having Palin on they first had to make her “available” to the press! The Repubs will resort to this tactic of “crying” how they are being misrepresented or misinterpreted alot during this campaign season and into the next four years if the lose. Of course they weren’t willing at all to entertain the idea that their opponents could have the same problem when inflammatory quotes were exhibited to demonstrate their opponents lack of patriotism.
Glen Greenwald does an excellent job of demonstrating the Republican’s hypocrisy in his blog on the latest Sarah Palin controversy surrounding her email account that was “hacked”. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a part of the GOP’s dirty tricks to get sympathy for their candidate, and it would have worked had Greenwald not pointed out some of the problems in the Party’s protestations.
The same political faction which today is prancing around in full-throated fits of melodramatic hysteria and Victim mode (their absolute favorite state of being) over the sanctity of Sarah Palin’s privacy are the same ones who scoffed with indifference as it was revealed during the Bush era that the FBI systematically abused its Patriot Act powers to gather and store private information on thousands of innocent Americans; that Homeland Security officials illegally infiltrated and monitored peaceful, law-abiding left-wing groups devoted to peace activism, civil liberties and other political agendas disliked by the state; and that the telephone calls of journalists and lawyers have been illegally and repeatedly monitored.
Shouldn’t these same people be standing up today and insisting that if Sarah Palin has done nothing wrong, then she should have nothing to hide? If Sarah Palin isn’t committing crimes or consorting with The Terrorists, then why would she care if we can monitor her emails? And if private companies such as Yahoo can access her emails — as they can — then she doesn’t really have any “privacy” anyway, so what’s the big deal if others read through her communications, too? Isn’t that the authoritarian idiocy that has been spewed since The Day That 9/11 Changed Everything — beginning with the Constitution — to justify vesting secret and unchecked surveillance powers in our Great and Good Leaders?
And then there’s the McCain campaign, protesting this “shocking invasion of the Governor’s privacy and a violation of law” even though the GOP nominee has supported every last expansion of surveillance power and stood by the President’s every last violation of our surveillance laws. I wonder if the laws which the Palin hacker violated are similar to the federal statute that makes it a felony — punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine for each offense — to eavesdrop on the communications of Americans without warrants, or the multiple statutes (.pdf) which expressly outlaw the telecoms from allowing government spying on their customers without warrants from a court?
All these privacy fetishists and (to use Joe Klein’s term) “civil liberties extremists” screeching today over Sarah Palin’s “privacy” need to get some sense of proportion. If Sarah Palin has nothing to hide, if she’s not a Terrorist, why would she mind anyone going through her emails? And just because these things — those things that some overly-earnest people call “statutes” or “laws” or whatever the new trendy Leftist term for them is today — say that you can’t invade people’s private communications without committing a crime, does anyone other than shrill Leftists really take that seriously, really think that someone who does what the law says you can’t do should get in trouble or — more absurdly still — be arrested? Isn’t it time — just like David Broder and so many other of our Elite Guardians have directed — that we stop criminalizing our politics?
‘Attaboy…sic ’em Glen.