VDH on Parallel Lives

Victor Davis Hanson, who is my favorite author by far, penned a great article pointing out the different standards of morality applied to several people in the news lately, and comes to the inescapbable conclusion that the obvious double standard is based completely on whether the offender is liberal or conservative.  For example, Richard Fuld ran Lehman Brothers into the ground and is castigated about it by the elite media whereas Clintonite Robert Rubin, who ran Citigroup into the ground gets a free pass.  Or Charles Rangle, the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, which oversees U.S. Tax Policy.  There is significant evidence that he committed criminal acts of tax evasion and fraud.  As Hanson puts it:

Let us count the ways: (1) Rangel paid no federal income tax on some $75,000 in rental income from his Caribbean villa — that lapse would result in a felony tax-evasion charge for the rest of us who dared to try that year in and year out. (2) Something called Nabobs Industries gave $1 million to something called the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at City College of New York — and, apparently in exchange, got tens of millions of dollars in tax waivers from Rangel’s committee. Surely if Scooter Libby went to prison for faulty recall about not being the first one to “out” (non-covert) CIA operative Valerie Plame, a special prosecutor could also examine Rangel’s role in what may have resulted in a nearly $1 billion shortfall to the federal treasury. (3) Rangel seems to be claiming his New York campaign office as his home in order to continue to garner rent-control exemptions, improperly saving him thousands of dollars through aggregate subsidies. That someone who oversees the drafting of American tax policies and regulation cannot follow them himself is now a statement of fact, not baseless slander. 


Or juxtapose how Alberto Gonzales was trashed and run out of office for implementing the President’s judicial anti-terrorism policy with how Eric Holder, who secured a pardon for Marc Rich, now seems to be a shoe-in to be the next Attorney General.  Marc Rich, you may remember, was a fugitive from the law and was on the FBI’s Most Wanted list for massive tax evasion and violating the Trading with the Enemy Act by buying and selling Iranian oil while Iran was holding the US Embassy hostages.  Hanson also points out that Trent Lott was forced to step down from his Senate leadership position because of stupid comments made at the 100th birthday of former segregationist Strom Thurmond whereas Chris Dodd who, along with Barney Frank, is at the top of the list of people whose got this economic collapse rolling, gets a free pass.  Dodd even got a sweetheart deal with Countrywide Mortgage while at the same time serving as chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.  Hanson points out that “Dodd curiously now plays a crusading role in Congressional damnation of Wall Street greed, and the supposedly inept Bush administration’s regulation of the banking industry.”   Does anyone believe that a conservative would get away with that?

Professor Hanson closes by hitting the nail on the head:

Perhaps — as we saw from the asymmetrical media treatment of the two candidates during the recent campaign — in matters of power and politics today, intention, symbolism, and rhetoric are everything; facts essentially nothing.

Or maybe less cynically — in the minds of self-appointed liberal moralists concerned about the greater good — exalted ends at times necessarily entail regrettable means.

Read the entire article.

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