Thursday, June 23, 2005

Hypocritical Democrats Demand Retraction from Rove (but not from Durbin)

At a New York fundraiser last night, Karl Rove compared the responses of conservatives and liberals to the September 11 attacks:

Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers.
Rove's comparison incensed Democrats, who demanded an apology and a retraction, something that only one Democrat (Chicago mayor Richard Daley) demanded of Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) for comparing American soldiers to Nazis, Soviets in the gulags, and Pol Pot. As Captain Ed at Captain's Quarters notes, "What we have here, in this demand for a retraction after a season of personal attacks from Howard Dean, Harry Reid, and the entire leadership of the Democratic Party is pusillanimity at its most hypocritical."

Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), leader of the Senate Democrats, put out a statement. He said, "Karl Rove should immediately and fully apologize for his remarks or he should resign." He further stated, "I hope the president will join me in repudiating these remarks." Is this hypocritical coming from a man who has never repudiated Durbin's slander on American soldiers? Is this hypocritical coming from a man who has never called on Durbin to apologize for his remarks or to resign from his number 2 position in the Senate Democratic leadership?

Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, asked that Pres. Bush "show some leadership and unequivocally repudiate Rove's divisive and damaging political rhetoric". Is this hypocritical coming from a man who has aimed incendiary rhetoric at Republicans time and time again?

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) said to Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld and military leaders in a Senate hearing, "I would hope that you and other members of the administration would immediately repudiate such an insulting comment from a high-ranking official in the president's inner circle." Is this hypocritical coming from someone who has never repudiated Durbin's insulting comments?

Rove's claim that liberals want "to prepare indictments" is right on target. Just listen to the many liberals who want the Guantanamo detainees, including the man who would have been the 20th hijacker on 9/11, to have access to American courts and to have all the protections of American criminal law. Rove's "therapy" comment is an exaggeration, to say the least, but his comment that liberals want to "offer ... understanding for our attackers" is unfortunately all too true for many liberals.

MoveOn.org, one of the leading liberal groups, started a petition within 48 hours of the 9/11 attacks. The petition called for "moderation and restraint in responding to the recent terrorist attacks against the United States" and the use of "international judicial institutions and international human rights law to bring to justice those responsible for the attacks, rather than the instruments of war, violence or destruction".

Three weeks after the 9/11 attacks, Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Haw.) said, "I truly believe if we had a Department of Peace, we could have seen [9/11] coming." A little more than a year after the 9/11 attacks, Al Sharpton, a liberal Democrat who competed for the Democrat presidential nomination in 2004, said, "I truly believe if we had a Department of Peace, we could have seen [9/11] coming."

The liberal response to 9/11 has been generally to treat the attackers as criminals rather than as fighters in a war. The liberal response to the war effort has been relentless attacks on Pres. Bush and our soldiers. When a liberal goes beyond the bounds of truth and decency, as Sen. Durbin did last week and as Howard Dean has done many times, few, if any, liberals will ask for an apology or a retraction. But when Karl Rove criticizes the liberal response to the 9/11 attacks, liberals hypocritically demand a full apology.

Maybe Karl Rove should consider Durbin's approach to apologies and should apologize that Democrats were offended. Or maybe Rove should adopt Dean's in-your-face approach of refusing to apologize. Liberal Democrats always love that approach when Dean uses it.

Frankly, Rove has little to apologize for. Unlike the remarks of Durbin, Dean, Reid (Bush is a "liar"), and other red-meat Democrats, Rove is mostly on target.

Karl, stand your ground. You can cite many statements by liberals to support your comments. The Democrats will not enjoy a public war of words over their many statements supporting softer, more understanding treatment of terrorists who want to kill Americans by the thousands.

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