Just imagine for a moment that Mitt Romney had been elected President in 2012. Imagine further that a progressive intellectual (e.g., Michael Pollen, Matt Yglesias, Bill Moyers, Arianna Huffington) who had been consistently critical of conservatives and his administration had mistakenly ran afoul of campaign finance laws by making a relatively small contribution to a losing candidate. Imagine still further that the conservative administration's justice department levied a criminal felony indictment against the progressive intellectual.
How do you think the broader main stream media would react? I think you know the answer. There would be a firestorm of protest which would last for weeks, if not longer, a clarion call for congressional investigation into the administration's intimidation of its opponents. Hundreds of gauzy puff pieces extolling the virtues of the indicted would appear. Basically, the progressive intellectual would become a hero.
Of course this wouldn't happen. Mitt Romney is too good a man and too competent a leader to create such a firestorm -- and besides, this is all just imagining.
Now ... to the case of Dinesh deSousa—a conservative intellectual who has suffered the exact fate I imagined, but this time for real under the Obama administration. Paul Rahe comments:
Not much attention has been paid in the mainstream press to the arrest and indictment of Dinesh D'Souza for supposedly breaking the campaign finance laws by reimbursing those whose money he collected in his role as a bundler for Wendy Long's [losing] run for the Senate in New York in 2012.Indeed, as I have stated many times in this blog,"this administration's partisan use of prosecutorial discretion to harass" its opponents is a scandal that makes Watergate pale by comparison, and yet ... crickets. Obama's trained hamsters in the media simply look away.
But then the same mainstream press has been notably reluctant to look into the charges that the IRS persecuted Tea-Party groups and that Erich Holder's Department of Justice whitewashed the affair.
This administration's partisan use of prosecutorial discretion to harass conservatives and Republicans more generally is one of the great scandals of our time. But, to be fair to the Obama administration, so is the partisan bias of the mainstream press.
Alan Dershowitz is a liberal in the 'old school' definition of the term. He's a life-long democrat and a good man. He is quoted in a Newsmax article as stating:
"This is an outrageous prosecution and is certainly a misuse of resources," charged Dershowitz. "It raises the question of why he is being selected for prosecution among the many, many people who commit similar crimes.Past administrations (lead by good and decent men) would avoid even the appearance of intimidation. They would likely look the other way if a minor campaign finance violation occurred or at most, provide a slap on the wrist, just to be certain that they were not perceived as misusing the full power of the federal government against their opponents.
"This sounds to me like it is coming from higher places. It is hard for me to believe this did not come out of Washington or at least get the approval of those in Washington."
But not the Obama administration. They know the trained media hamsters will ignore their oppressive actions and remain silent. As a consequence, Eric Holder brings a felony indictment, violating past precedent and common decency in such matters. And the IRS continues to target Obama's opponents.
Hope and change, baby, hope and change.