Saturday, 10 March 2007

Is the Right Blinkered?

I've often thought that politicians and supporters on the right of the political spectrum see things in a much more polarised, black and white fashion than those on the left. I believe that I read a scientific survey a few years ago that indicated this.

Some of the pontificating by conservative commentators over the Libby verdict is just mind-blowing. "It's all a left wing plot" - "Guilty of forgetfulness" - "pardon him now!". Listen to Charles Krauthammer in the WaPo today:

There are lies and there are memory lapses. Bill Clinton denied under oath having sex with Monica Lewinsky. Unless you're Wilt Chamberlain, sex is not the kind of thing you forget easily. Sandy Berger denied stuffing classified documents in his pants, an act not quite as elaborate as sex, but still involving a lot of muscle memory and unlikely to have been honestly forgotten.

Scooter Libby has just been convicted of four felonies that could theoretically give him 25 years in jail for . . . what? Misstating when he first heard a certain piece of information, namely the identity of Joe Wilson's wife.

For lying to cover for his boss, Dick Cheney, that's for what. And it certainly isn't a left-wing witch-hunt. As a reader of Andrew Sullivan writes:

No. The right hand man of the most powerful Republican Vice President in history was done in by a lot of other Republicans. The John Ashcroft Justice Dept agreed with the CIA request to investigate the Valerie Plame leak. Ashcroft’s Republican assistant, James Comey, appointed one of his own, Patrick Fitzgerald, perhaps the only Republican in Chicago.
The only question now is will the whole deception that became the raison d'etre for the invasion of Iraq start to unravel? The yellowcake from Niger, the WMDs that the UN inspectors couldn't find even though Rumsfeld was proclaiming we knew where they were (why didn't he just tell them where to look?), the Al Qaeda-Iraq connection, the Curveball evidence. Where did it come from? Who validated it? Who pushed it?

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