Conservatives haven’t cornered the market on hypocrisy

Not long ago, U.S. Rep. Jim Gibbons, a Nevada Republican, was widely excoriated for making unflattering remarks about liberals. Speaking at the annual Lincoln Day dinner in Elko, he said: “I say we tell those liberal, tree-hugging, Birkenstock-wearing, hippie, tie-dyed liberals to go make their movies and their music and whine somewhere else.”

In record time, my offended left-leaning friends had conniption fits normally associated with the average 4-year-old.

Editorials exploded across the country about Gibbons’ “hate speech.”

“See,” they said, “this is proof that Gibbons and his ilk are just right-wing meanies.”

For some inane reason, they went off on a second tirade when it was revealed that Gibbons took most of his speech from one previously given by GOP Alabama State Auditor Beth Chapman.

As my giggle-fits subside, consider that Gibbons was speaking to a friendly group of Republicans. His base, if you will. From all accounts, he received thunderous applause throughout the speech. Admittedly, the fact Gibbons or his staff purloined—OK, stole—the speech probably wasn’t the brightest move in politics.

But rhetoric is, after all, well, rhetoric. His remarks were certainly no more inflammatory than anything Democrats have spewed at Republicans. For example, Nancy Pelosi and Ted Kennedy come to mind as two of the more obnoxious Democratic blow-hards.

Yet I wouldn’t exactly categorize Gibbons’ copyright infringement as the equivalent of say, Sandy Berger. Berger, election consultant to presidential-want-to-be Democrat John Kerry, was busted for filching—OK, stealing—classified documents from a secure, classified reading room just before the last presidential election. It seems the documents related to Bill Clinton and the Democrats’ handling of things pre-9/11.

Concerned that the Democrats are due for a win in ‘08, the Justice Department recently gave Berger the proverbial “slap on the wrist.” (Apparently, prison is only warranted when Republicans do such things.)

But my liberal friends’ indignant outrage is over what? Oh yes, a right-wing meanie’s speech.

Yet Gibbons’ remarks were relatively tame compared with those voiced on conservative talk radio. If it’s any consolation, you left-leaning folks now get to listen to your own hate speech—I mean rhetoric—courtesy of Air America and KJFK AM 1230.So far, when I’ve listened, Al Franken’s most cogent argument to date has been that conservatives are “liars.”

It is afternoon host Rhandi Rhodes, however, who gets the “Ding-a-ling Award.” While ranting that the GOP’s actions in the recent Terri Schiavo case were “politically motivated,” Rhodes said, “I am a liberal. I believe in the Constitution and in what the Constitution says.”

If she does, she apparently missed Article 3 of said document. That would be where the verbiage is found giving Congress authority to send the Schiavo case to federal court, the same court, I might add, that—courtesy of Congress—has the power to review state court death-penalty cases. (Perhaps it should be Airhead America?)

Now the post-Schiavo Democratic spin is that liberals want to keep government out of all “private family matters.”

Conspicuously missing from the new guardians of smaller government’s rhetoric is that not one Democratic senator bothered to keep the Schiavo family matter “private.” A single objection from any pious, loud-mouthed Democrat would have quashed the Schiavo bill before it was foisted by the GOP meanies. Can anyone tell me the substantive difference between not voting “no” and voting “yes"?