Thursday, December 09, 2004

Liberal Hypocrisy

Over the weekend on NBC's Meet the Press, new Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid disparaged Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, calling him an "embarrassment" and saying that his opinions were "poorly written".

The comments, which came in response to host Tim Russert's question about prior anti-Thomas comments Reid had made, were widely reported. A number of conservative commentators, including James Taranto in his OpinionJournal - Best of the Web column for Monday the 6th, accused Reid of making (at best) racially insensitive comments or, at worst, engaging in racial stereotyping due to Reid's generalizations.

These comments have drawn a number of responses from liberal pundits which Mr. Taranto has rounded-up and responded to in his column today:

This, along with the racist attacks on Condoleezza Rice we noted last month, got us to thinking about the relationship between the Democratic Party and black Americans. Some have likened it to a plantation, but it seems to us that a better analogy is a protection racket. The deal is that the Dems will protect blacks from racism and blacks will give their political support to Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, John Kerry and the like. But the most blatant racism in America today comes from Democrats and is directed against black politicians and public servants who opt out of this arrangement.
I think this is a fair assessment. Black Americans who don't agree with liberal ideology are routinely belittled in the MSM and branded "Uncle Toms" or "Oreos" in its most partisan reaches. Comments far worse than those that led to the removal of Trent Lott as majority leader are routinely bandied about by those on the Left without the slightest objection. Liberals push for affirmative action and then use it as a smear against any black American they disagree with (if Justice Thomas is an "embarrassment" as Senator Reid claims, then surely he means to imply that it was his race which secured him his position).

This hypocritical behavior isn't limited to matters of race; after the election there were plenty of commentators on the Left who groused that most Blue States "paid" more in taxes than they received back from the government while the reverse was true of Red States (based on an opinion piece by Daniel Pink in the New York Times back in January - no longer available for free). The sentiment was either that this should stop (in order to punish the Red States for voting Republican) or derision that Bush was supported by "welfare" states.

It's funny that the Left doesn't apply this same reasoning to individuals; those in the top tax brackets pay more to the government in taxes than they receive in benefits while a large percentage of Americans pay nothing or in fact receive a net payment through the mis-named earned income tax credit. In fact, I seem to recall Hillary Clinton telling a gathering of wealthy donors that they would in fact pay even more if the Democrats had their way because they could afford to.

The Democrats see an onerous tax burden, like affirmative action, not as a something that is justified in and of itself, but merely as a means to reward those who agree with them. When those same benefits go to their opponents, they change their tune.