Feature

The partisan’s necessary hypocrisy

For a perfect demonstration of the “awesome power of the partisan mind-set,” said Ross Douthat in The New York Times, consider the recent furor over airport security.

Ross DouthatThe New York Times

For a perfect demonstration of the “awesome power of the partisan mind-set,” said Ross Douthat, consider the recent furor over airport security. If it had been George W. Bush making travelers choose between a full-body scan and a “private security massage,” liberal pundits would have vented their outrage over “yet another Bush-era assault on civil liberties.” But with a Democrat in the White House, the script “read in reverse”: The Right fulminated against the intrusive procedures while the liberal commentariat generally defended them. That just goes to show that however much we talk about ideas and philosophies, “we tend to reverse-engineer the arguments required to justify whatever our own side is doing.”

Such purity can be maintained only through hypocrisy: Liberals who once accused Bush of “shredding the Constitution” give Barack Obama far more leeway in fighting the war on terrorism, while conservatives who applauded the Bush administration’s security initiatives now fear a looming police state run by Homeland Security chief Janet “Big Sis” Napolitano (as the Drudge Report has dubbed her). Our side, you see, always means well. “The other guys can’t be trusted.”

Recommended

How Russia is skirting ban on nationality markers at Olympics
Mikhail Artamonov.
know it when you see it

How Russia is skirting ban on nationality markers at Olympics

Britain fears labor shortages due to 'pingdemic'
Tesco supermarket in
the coronavirus crisis

Britain fears labor shortages due to 'pingdemic'

U.S., Germany reach deal to pave way for completion of controversial Russian gas pipeline
Joe Biden, Angela Merkel.
mixed response

U.S., Germany reach deal to pave way for completion of controversial Russian gas pipeline

After collecting thousands of titles, woman fulfills her dream of opening a bookstore
A lot of books on a shelf.
dreams come true

After collecting thousands of titles, woman fulfills her dream of opening a bookstore

Most Popular

Rapinoe addresses resounding Olympic loss to Sweden
Megan Rapinoe
'dumb stuff'

Rapinoe addresses resounding Olympic loss to Sweden

Tom Brady's 'gentle' roast of Trump at Biden's White House: 'Deeply vicious'?
Tom Brady, Joe Biden
Quotables

Tom Brady's 'gentle' roast of Trump at Biden's White House: 'Deeply vicious'?

America's shared smoke blanket
The Statue of Liberty.
Picture of Joel MathisJoel Mathis

America's shared smoke blanket