As John has said, the easiest way for a Republican to make news is to criticize another Republican. It’s equally true that the easiest way for a conservative to make news is to criticize another conservative.
That’s the lesson of my interview with the Huffington Post yesterday, in which I stood behind, and amplified, my criticism of the video by Keep America Safe that dubbed Justice Department lawyers who did pro bono work for terrorists “The al Qaeda Seven” and suggested that these lawyers share al Qaeda’s values. I’m told that my comments are “all over the web” in posts that claim, as the Huffington Post did, that “conservatives [have] turned against Liz Cheney.”
Citing me as evidence for that proposition reminds me of a debate I had with Arianna Huffington herself (in 2005, I think). Huffington was arguing that conservatives had turned against the war in Iraq. As evidence, she cited, among other extremely peripheral figures, Melvin Laird, of whom I had not heard in 30 years.
The major difference between citing Laird and citing me is that virtually no Huffington Post reader has ever heard of me.
Are conservatives “turning against Liz Cheney”? I very much doubt it. But I hope that most conservatives agree with me about the video itself. It is irresponsible to conflate extremely misguided civil libertarianism with sympathy for al Qaeda’s values.
As for the McCarthy comparison, McCarthyism is a phenomenon (and not a simple one); the video is a single event. In that sense, the comparison is inapt. But I stand by my view that the video’s attempt falsely to portray Justice Department lawyers as sharing al Qaeda values can be compared to some of the accusations associated with McCarthyism.
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“Arise and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.” Winston Churchill