Memo to the Democratic leadership threatening to censure Rep. Joe Wilson if he doesn't publicly apologize on the House floor for calling President Barack Obama a liar on that floor: You don't have the moral authority to be demanding apologies.
Not only has their own decorum in that very chamber been abysmal at times, such as when they booed President George W. Bush during his 2005 State of the Union address; they do much worse damage every week to this nation and its institutions than Joe Wilson conceivably could have done with his temporary breach of decorum.
While Democratic leaders are wagging their fingers at the Republican Party's alleged descent into incivility over Joe Wilson's unplanned, indignant outburst, they have a very short memory about their own partywide monopoly on incivility, as they savaged President Bush throughout his presidency. I researched and wrote a 400-plus-page book documenting the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of these hypocritical scolds in 2006, in case you need a refresher course.
Unlike Rep. Wilson, these offending Democrats have never apologized for their outrages. Did Rep. John Murtha apologize for prejudging and slandering our battlefield Marines who were later vindicated? Did Sen. Harry Reid ever apologize for calling President Bush a liar? Al Gore? John Kerry? Has suspected tax evader Rep. Charles Rangel apologized for his conduct while devising new ways to confiscate even higher taxes from honest, hardworking Americans who actually pay their taxes?
Did Sen. Dick Durbin retract the substance of his remarks in comparing Gitmo to the gulag? Did House leader Nancy Pelosi repent for defaming the CIA?
While we're at it, is anyone calling Obama and his colleagues on their opportunistic attacks on the Bush administration for not capturing Osama bin Laden, just as bin Laden has reportedly issued another taped lecture against the United States from some undisclosed cave somewhere?
On a related matter, Democrats, in order to bolster their credibility to attack President Bush on Iraq, pretended for years to be war hawks on Afghanistan. Iraq, they said, was an ill-conceived Bush-Cheney diversion from the war on terror. The real war, they said, was Afghanistan, where al-Qaida trained for its 9/11 attacks. But I could have sworn I just read this past week that Nancy Pelosi said, "I don't think there's a great deal of support for sending more troops to Afghanistan, in the country or in the Congress." I guess Dems were just kidding, then, when they bludgeoned President Bush for soft-pedaling "the good war," huh?
Then there's the little matter of Social Security, the subject that gave rise to Democrats' unceremoniously booing President Bush on the House floor. Though Democrats were so concerned about a looming Social Security crisis in 2000 that Bill Clinton and Al Gore demanded Social Security funds be placed in a "lockbox," they caught partisan amnesia when President Bush tried to reform it five years later.
The Chicago Tribune reported Feb. 3, 2005, that Democrats "plan to stand in the cold and excoriate the president, accusing him of dismantling a 70-year-old promise to senior citizens." The beloved Sen. Harry Reid went so far as to say: "Social Security is not in crisis. It's a crisis the president's created, period." Do you suppose an apology will be forthcoming from Reid, though, now that government-revised estimates project the insolvency of Social Security to occur even sooner than expected?
How about the Democratic leaders who urged President Bush in January 2007 to reverse his "reckless" fiscal policies, a move that would include "difficult choices and shared sacrifices"? Where are these latter-day fiscal hawks now that President Obama is deliberately bleeding the national treasury and mortgaging our future earnings in pursuit of a fiscal recklessness so egregious that it represents a difference in kind, rather than degree, from President Bush's budgetary infractions?
In the meantime, could we please not lose sight of the fact that Wilson's claim was substantively true? President Obama has dissembled on many of his health care claims. Adding insult to injury, in that very speech before Congress, Obama was falsely accusing Republicans of lying — an accusatory art Democrats perfected during the Bush years.
Indeed, if Democrats were to issue public apologies every time accepted moral standards demanded it, they wouldn't have time for governance, which would be a wonderful development. This latest witch hunt — against Rep. Wilson, who has already apologized to the White House — is strategically designed, along with their infernal playing of the race card against Obama's critics, to divert attention from and marginalize the spontaneous grass-roots tidal wave of opposition to Obama's socialist agenda.
So please, Democratic high officials, spare us the phony sanctimony in your transparent attempt to mask your own policy outrages, about which the public has been awakened and duly mobilized.
David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney. His book "Bankrupt: The Intellectual and Moral Bankruptcy of Today's Democratic Party" was released recently in paperback. To find out more about David Limbaugh, please visit his Web site at www.DavidLimbaugh.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.