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Monday, December 8, 2008
Right-Wing Myths Shot Down By ... David Horowitz?
Topic: Horowitz

David Horowitz normally takes a back seat to no one in passing along right-wing talking points, particularly about Barack Obama (witness his pre-election Obama-bashing.) So it's a bit of a shock to see Horowitz shoot down one prominent right-wing Obama myth, as well as another falsely blaming the financial crisis on Democrats.

Horowitz devoted a Dec. 1 blog post to shooting down various right-wing attacks on Obama, starting with the birth certificate:

Is Obama a legitimate president of the United States? Well, let me put it to you this way: 64 million Americans voted to elect Barack Obama. Do you want to disenfranchise them? Do you think it's possible to disenfranchise 64 million Americans and keep the country? And please don't write me about the Constitution. The first principle of the Constitution is that the people are sovereign. What the people say, goes. If you think about it, I think you will agree that a two-year billion dollar election through all 50 states is as authoritative a verdict on anything as we are likely to get. Barack Obama is our president. Get used to it.

And what could conservatives be thinking when they push this issue as though it were important (as The American Thinker did last week)? Do we want to go challenging the legitimacy of an election that involved 120 million voters? Have we become deranged leftists like Al Gore who would attack the one binding thread that makes us a nation despite our differences? The mystique of elections is the American covenant. Respect it. Barack Obama is the president of the United States. Get used to it. 

But Horowitz's readers didn't take too kindly to that notion, so he responded to them the next day:

Among the many attacks on my previous blog both abusive and not, one common theme seems to stand out. This is the claim that I have slighted the Rule of Law in favor of some misguided principle of democracy, which is not a conservative idea -- or so my critics would argue. My error is to have elevated the principle of majority rule over the rule of law.


The people voted for Obama. Assuming for the sake of the argument that Obama is not a natural citizen of  the United States, the question is: what are the consequences of having 9 appointed justices -- or more likely 5 of 9 justices -- tell 64 million voters that their votes don't count? Would our constitutional democracy survive such a conflict, and then would our Constitution? Ultimately, the answer to these questions lies with the people. They are the ultimate authority not some abstract Rule of Law because the Rule of Law is in any case ajudicated and enforced by (highly political) men and women, while the people in its majority have it in their power to destroy the Rule of Law if they so will. The Constitution itself recognizes this fact by giving the people the right to amend it by a two-thirds vote. This is itself a recognition that the Rule of Law is an institution of men and women.


At bottom, the problem with all these comments is that the people who make them haven't accepted the fact that we lost the election. We lost the election. Get used to it. That's the necessary condition for thinking clearly about the next step.

His readers still weren't buying it, so Horowitz repeated his contention the following day, but added:

Consider the bitterness, the pathological hatred of Bush, the sabotage of America's war effort by Democrats who believed that his election was illegitimate. Consider the 2 month delay this caused in the transition to the new administration and how that affected our inability to prevent 9/11 (the comprehensive counter-terrorism plan commissioned by Bush arrived on his desk on 9/10). We are fighting wars on two fronts. The attack on Mumbai is a reminder that the same could happen here at any moment. Do we have the luxury of a fratricidal conflict within our borders?

In fact, the the controversy over the 2000 election did not result in a "2 month delay"; the election was held on Nov. 7, and Gore conceded on Dec. 13. Further, Horowitz offers no evidence that the election controversy kept Bush from commissioning a counterterrorism plan any earlier than he did, which might have been delivered earlier than Sept. 10.

But the criticism continued, which prompted Horowitz to slip into victim mode in a Dec. 4 post, declaring that "It seems like I've taken on the thankless task of keeping conservatives from behaving like liberals, acting like unpatriotic sore losers and attacking the legitimacy of the new commander-in-chief." He then decides to ratchet things up more, invoking "another issue on which conservatives have bent themselves out of shape, refusing to accept their share of responsibility for the financial crisis that is upon us. Contrary to conservative mythmakers, the subprime credit is not the cause of the current crisis and the Community Reinvestment Act is not its trigger."

Horowitz then copies-and-pastes are Federal Reserve report pointing out that "the long-term evidence shows that the CRA has not pushed banks into extending loans that perform out of line with their traditional businesses" and that "only a small portion of subprime mortgage originations are related to the CRA."

That didn't go over too well either. In a Dec. 6 blog post, Horowitz added a restatement of the origin of the financial crisis by another writer, adding, "I didn't write the following, but I'm not going to identify who did and open him to the kind of ad hominem attacks that I myself have been subjected to. Suffice it to say he knows more about the economy than anyone posting to this threat [sic]." Horowitz also reiterated his claims on the birth certificate brouhaha: 

The continuing efforts of a fringe group of consrvatives to deny Obama his victory and to lay the basis for the claim that he is not a legitimate president is embarrassing and destructive. The fact that these efforts are being led by Alan Keyes, an unhinged demagogue on the political fringe who lost a senate election to the then unknown Obama by 42 points should be a warning in itself.

In a Dec. 7 post, Horowitz played the victim again in answering his critics:

I have become accustomed to the fact that when it comes to political issues people are averse to complexities and messy facts and prefer to argue ideological simplicities instead. Thus I am lectured by many that the Constitution matters, that it can't be subordinated to politics, etc., etc. Then I am told that I have gone ideologically soft, that I am Obama Republican and that I am not a conservative. All because I have pointed out what should be some obvious truths.

First, the issue is not whether the Constitution should be subjected to the whim of an electoral majority. It should not.

Second, the issue is whether an election that has been decided by nearly 120 million people should now be thrown into the laps of  9.


The attempt by some so-called conservatives to declare the winner of this election illegitimate and to deny Obama his office is a radical assault on our constituional framework and system of law. 

Will this end the saga? Don't count on it -- the truth means nothing to these people. After all, WorldNetDaily has continued to distort and lie about Obama's birth certificate, even after first reporting the truth.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:55 AM EST

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