Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Michael: Limbaugh's Deep Throat

The Radical Right are attacking Mark Felt, a.k.a. Deep Throat, as a traitor, an opportunist, and a liar. Limbaugh's attack is representative, radical rightists around the dial and throughout the bsphere are denigrating Felt. Why would the radical Right feel a need to attack an old man who had done a great service for his country at great personal risk by stopping an Administration that was engaging in illegal acts? Well, that's somewhat of a rhetorical question, isn't it? With whistleblowers creeping out of the woodwork to drop the dime on the illegal and immoral shenanigans of the Bush Administration, it is simply self-preservation to try to demonize leakers and whistleblowers, regardless of their motives.

To the Rightists, the model American is one who marches in lockstep with his political leaders, regardless of where they are being led, and regardless of the objective truth of what they are told. The good American doesn't question, keeping his head down, and his mouth shut.

But mainstream Americans know that the greatest security America can have is an actively questioning citizenry that follows their conscience, not their political party's ideological pronouncements. We know that to question, even to violate procedure by revealing 'official' secrets, is an essential check on the abuse of power. The personal conscience and ethics of America's people is what keeps America safe, not blind loyalty to some electoral idol with feet of clay.

The dittoheads will no doubt attempt to lump Felt in with people have have leaked information or broken the law, not to safeguard the public interest or to stop officials from breaking the law and abusing the trust we give them, but simply for partisan advantage. They will compare Felt to someone like Brett Kavanaugh, a member of Starr's staff, now up for an Article III judgeship, who leaked what was essentially grand jury testimony in an effort to harm Clinton politically. An investigation was already under way! It isn't as if Starr had any motive to conceal facts about Clinton's Administration from the public, but there were limits on when information could be released, and so a leaker was needed. Kavanaugh was simply acting a political hit man for Starr, not as a whistleblower of the Administration's secrets.

Rush Limbaugh even characterizes the scandals floating around Abu Graib and Gitmo as similar kinds of 'leaking', and as nothing more than partisan attempts to 'get' Bush. It has come down to this: in the minds of the radical Righties, there is no longer any public interest or higher purpose to government. It is all a game of who 'gets' who. To the Righties whistleblowers, leakers, and confidential sources no longer serve a legitimate purpose of keeping the government accountable to the public by providing information those in power would rather we didn't have. They are all nothing but partisan hacks aiming at political advantage, personal aggrandizement, and the main chance. The main thing that disguishes one from another is whether they're on 'your' side.

Time to ask yourself, especially if you consider yourself conservative, "Do I agree?" Or do you believe that the individual citizen of conscience still has a role to play in keeping the government, and our leaders, in check and accountable?

7 Comments:

At 7:53 PM, Blogger Joel Gaines said...

Some days I think Rush is nothing more than a Republican apologist - other days I am sure of it and just don't care. He occassionally has great premises, but you have to dig through a lot of crap to find the gem. Not worth the time when there are a number of serious thinkers out there. Rush is a "Bush can do no wrong" kind of guy" and nobody is that perfect - not even me.

I am a fan of Dr. Thomas Sowell. Whether you agree with him or not, he makes you think.

 
At 11:08 PM, Blogger Michael said...

I read his book on religion in politics a few years back. I wasn't much impressed with him. I found him pendantic and far too impressed by his own arguments.

 
At 1:21 AM, Blogger Jack Benway said...

"I found him pendantic and far too impressed by his own arguments."

Wow, that's exactly how I'd describe you, Michael. On the other hand, that's also how some describe me.

Back to being serious:

There are legitimate criticisms of Felt, although the traitor argument is not one of them. His handlng of the Weather Underground amounted to complete disregard for due process and deserves the same criticism that you unleash on Gitmo and Abu Graib, or that I unleash on Ruby Ridge and Waco. His whistle-blowing had great historical consequences, but in reality, the guy was motivated by power that turned to jealousy when he was passed over for J. Edgar Hoover's position. Bad people do good things sometimes, but it hardly makes them heroic.

 
At 1:41 PM, Blogger Michael said...

well, it is a pretty facile criticism of a pundit, that's true :) I'd add that Sowell has a persecution complex, but the same could also be said of many, me included.

I agree Felt is no angel. But he did the right thing at great risk to himself.

 
At 10:05 AM, Blogger Randy Kirk said...

Stuff on Nixon should have been exposed. Method, questionable. Result of Nixon going down probably a good thing.

Stuff on Clinton should have been exposed. Method, questionable. Result of Clinton no going down probably a bad thing.

As a firt time visitor I was impressed that this set of comments had some balance, which was minimally true of the blogcritics post where I first saw your writing. Thought I'd add some of my own balance.

As I commented at blogcritics, I don't think you know any real conservative, but take your opinion from the tv, radio (NPR?), etc. I live in a 80% liberal neighborhood, so I don't demonize liberals, any more than I demonize folks based on race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, or anything else that I can think of.

You seem to want to paint me as a Nazi.

 
At 10:07 AM, Blogger Randy Kirk said...

I missed a couple of letters in that comment. Like the "t" in no"t" and the "s" on the end of conservative. Hmmm.

 
At 2:50 PM, Blogger Michael said...

Randy,

In my opinion, if you think my post doesn't apply to you it is for one of two possible reasons: I does and you think it doesn't, or it doesn't and you think it doesn't.

Probably it is the latter. I don't maintain that all conservatives are bigots, just that some are and they are far too often allowed leadership positions in the GOP. I do know plenty of conservatives (both the political kind and the cultural kind) and like most of them just fine. Hell, until this Administration my own brother was a fire-breathing conservative. He's had to do some rethinking because of this Administration's radicalism.

As you can tell from the comments, I welcome real conservatives who have open minds and good hearts to my blog. I don't censor people, and I try to respect their differences of opinion. I hope you'll re-read my post and find that my intent was cautionary (mostly to liberals) and I don't at all mean that all conservatives are bigots or bomb-throwers. You have to admit that some, too many, are - just as some liberals are. Unfortunately, some of the worst conservatives are in office and introducing unconcionable legislation and sometimes passing it and some of the best are wondering how that came to be.

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home




Feeds:
RSS/Atom Feed Site Meter
Powered by Blogger