Sunday, February 20, 2005

Whom the Gods Would Destroy

PowerLine has been following the Jeff Gannon affair and is amazed at how ugly it has gotten. Remember that what Gannon did was infiltrate the White House press conference by misrepresenting himself as a reporter and lob a belt-high pitch toward the President's wheel house. This simple political prank has opened the spigots of Left-wing venom in the blogosphere.

The Left has dug up every ounce of dirt on the man that they could find and have worked themselves into a frenzy with it. It is as if these people have actually gone mad in their hatred for anyone who would try to make Bush look good and they're determined to tear to pieces anyone who is sympathetic to the president. Here's Power Line's account of recent developments:

I can't count the number of emails we've gotten from Democrats on the Jeff Gannon "story." For the most part, they drip with venom and irrational hatred. I'd like to believe that there is some kind of a respectable left in this country, but where is it? It sure isn't showing up in our email inbox.

This missive, which came in this morning, is typical:

"I guess you 'holier-than-thou moral values conservatives' don't have a problem with gay male prostitutes who pose as conservative reporters as long as they are republican, huh? Hypocrites. If there is a god, you hypocrites are all going to hell. (I don't think God will forgive you, even if you ARE republican.)"

The stupidity of these people, as well as their malice, is mind-boggling. Can anyone discern what this guy, and the dozens if not hundreds of Democrats who have sent more or less identical emails, are talking about? Why are liberals obsessed with the fact that Jeff Gannon was once a gay escort? Beats me. Why does this character think that as conservatives, we are duty-bound to hate gay escorts? Beats me. We've done close to 10,000 posts on this site, and I doubt that we've ever mentioned gay escorts one way or another. Would I want my son to be one? No. Do I think that having once been a gay escort should disqualify Jeff Gannon from becoming a reporter, or entering any other occupation? No. Why do liberals find this so hard to understand? And how on God's green earth does this make us "hypocrites"?

Of course, what we've criticized the left-wing blogs for is posting nude photographs of Gannon. How does the twisted "logic" manifested by these emailers justify that contemptible practice? Once again: beats me. The only conclusion I can come to is that a great many liberals are so consumed by hate that they have gone stark raving mad.

UPDATE: The meltdown continues. Here is the latest from our email inbox: Jeff Gannon and Karl Rove are secretly lovers! I'm not making this up; not only have we heard about this theory via hate mail from lefties, a reader (a sane one, that is) also says this is popping up all over AOL's political discussion sites. It's just about time for the men in white coats to intervene, I think.

To get a deeper sense of the foulness of the sewers these people inhabit check out Cheat Seeking Missiles for the Left's latest bizarre slander. Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad (Euripides).

With Friends Like This

A man who claims to have been a friend of President Bush secretly taped phone conversations with Mr. Bush before his election in 2000 and has now made the tapes public. His reasons seem painfully inadequate to the task of justifying the betrayal of the confidence of a friend.

The conversations revealed on the tapes show Bush to be pretty much the man that most observers deem him to be. He means what he says and isn't easily swayed by political considerations. Nor does he say much that we don't already know. Even so, we expect that the MSM will try to squeeze something out of this material that will discredit Bush either as a politician or as a man. It's hard to see from accounts like this one, however, what that would be, but they will surely try to manufacture something.

The individual who comes out looking tawdry in this business is the man who released the tapes, one Doug Wead, a "friend" and former aid to Bush 41. That he secretly taped private conversations with a friend is bad enough. That he made them public without seeking the President's permission is inexcusable, even if the tapes make the President look good, which in most respects they do. He will especially be admired, in my opinion, for his stand on gays, on the one hand, and gay marriage on the other:

Early on...Mr. Bush appeared most worried that Christian conservatives would object to his determination not to criticize gay people. "I think he wants me to attack homosexuals," Mr. Bush said after meeting James Robison, a prominent evangelical minister in Texas.

But Mr. Bush said he did not intend to change his position. He said he told Mr. Robison: "Look, James, I got to tell you two things right off the bat. One, I'm not going to kick gays, because I'm a sinner. How can I differentiate sin?"

Later, he read aloud an aide's report from a convention of the Christian Coalition, a conservative political group: "This crowd uses gays as the enemy. It's hard to distinguish between fear of the homosexual political agenda and fear of homosexuality, however."

"This is an issue I have been trying to downplay," Mr. Bush said. "I think it is bad for Republicans to be kicking gays." Told that one conservative supporter was saying Mr. Bush had pledged not to hire gay people, Mr. Bush said sharply: "No, what I said was, I wouldn't fire gays."

As early as 1998, however, Mr. Bush had already identified one gay-rights issue where he found common ground with conservative Christians: same-sex marriage. "Gay marriage, I am against that. Special rights, I am against that," Mr. Bush told Mr. Wead, five years before a Massachusetts court brought the issue to national attention.

When asked why he would make the recordings without the knowledge of Mr. Bush, Mr. Wead said he recorded his conversations with the president in part because:

...he thought he might be asked to write a book for the campaign. He also wanted a clear account of any requests Mr. Bush made of him. But he said his main motivation in making the tapes, which he originally intended to be released only after his own death, was to leave the nation a unique record of Mr. Bush.

"I believe that, like him or not, he is going to be a huge historical figure," Mr. Wead said. "If I was on the telephone with Churchill or Gandhi, I would tape record them too."

Why disclose the tapes? "I just felt that the historical point I was making trumped a personal relationship," Mr. Wead said. Asked about consequences, Mr. Wead said, "I'll always be friendly toward him."

Or maybe it was to achieve his own fifteen minutes of fame. It's doubtful that the President is much in need of friends such as Mr. Wead. Friends, after all, don't betray the trust of their friends.