The Left is so obsessed with its “slugfests” with President Trump that is abandoning its “once-supposed cherished principles.” The justification is the “short-term advantage of nullifying the Trump agenda,” writes Victor Davis Hanson (author of many books including How the Obama Administration Threatens Our National Security) in American Greatness.
There is a problem though. As Mr. Hanson reminds readers, after Donald Trump is long gone and when Democrats return to power, the Left’s principles will be impossible to reassert.
- Liberals, who warn of Trump’s “war on the press” long ago excused Eric Holder’s monitoring of the Associated Press reporters and Fox News’s James Rosen.
- John Brennan’s lying under oath when he claimed the Obama CIA had not monitored the computers of Senate staffers.
- Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s lying to Congress in his denial of government surveillance of U.S. citizens.
- The National Security Council under Obama helping to surveil American citizens, unmask them, and leak their names to the press.
- The press, hand-in-glove, complying in spreading such unsubstantiated dirt.
- The Obama FBI and Justice Department officials deliberately misleading FISA courts, on the premise that spying on American citizens even with flimsy or fabricated evidence was OK—if it at least neutered the Trump candidacy and presidency.
No one again will have much confidence either in the FISA courts or any rationale for spying on any American citizen. They will logically assume FISA requests are political efforts to spread dirt on the opposition—in the fashion that we now have no idea, in the era after Lois Lerner, what prompts an IRS letter in our mail. The legacy of the Obama Administration is that if one is not progressive and loud in the public sphere, he may well be monitored, audited, or investigated.
- FBI Director James Comey denying under oath the prominent role of the Steele dossier in FISA warrant applications. Leaking a classified government memo with the expressed intent of prompting a special counsel investigation is not what FBI directors do.
Any notions of conflict of interest are gone. The Obama Justice Department, FBI, and CIA destroyed that concept entirely. When Loretta Lynch met Bill Clinton on the tarmac in the course of investigations about his wife’s likely illegal behavior or the Justice Department and FBI gave immunity to Clinton’s top aides after making false statements, all credibility was shot.
There is no longer any sense of public and private first families. If Barron Trump can be smeared and ridiculed in print and cartoons, if the president can be accused of incest with his daughter by mainstream reporters, if the first lady can be demonized as everything from an illegal alien to a former call girl, no first family is off limits. The next time a Democratic president takes office, any call for “restraint” or “have you no decency” to recreate the bubble that once protected the Obama family would be laughed at—and understandably so.
It used to be a progressive truism that “words matter”—as in the warning not to give voice to violent things because they may happen just because you said them. Actually, words today no longer matter at all. If they did, Madonna, Johnny Depp, Kathy Griffin, Robert De Niro, or Peter Fonda would all be socially ostracized for their threats of bodily violence to the president of the United States or his family. God forbid that such eliminationism rhetoric will spill over to the next Democratic presidency.
But if it should, the Left has now lost all moral authority to condemn it.
Read more from Victor Davis Hanson here.