On Fox, April 9, 2014, The Five were discussing Lois Lerner and the use of the IRS against Democratic political opponents, when Bob Beckel said this:
if I were sitting in that seat and I had a shot at the Tea Party, I’d take it, too.
This is a stunning admission. With this, Mr. Beckel justifies institutionalized political repression by government.
It’s one thing to disagree with your opponents, call them names, rant against them as if they’re horrible, greedy people – that’s typical. One can apologize if he oversteps. Apology accepted.
It’s another to advocate, support, or justify the illegal repression of political opponents by denying them their First Amendment right to free political speech.
You all know the story.
Lois Lerner is probably the point-woman at the IRS who – protected by Eric Holder, in collaboration with Rep. Elijah Cummings in the House, Senator Chuck Schumer in the Senate and President Obama – moved to repress conservative groups like the Tea Party after the Citizens United decision.
It’s hard to imagine a more blatant and invasive violation of American constitutional rights. This conspiracy may have cost Mitt Romney the presidency.
Now, if Beckel was speaking at, say MSNBC, I’d expect this sort of thing from him. MSNBC makes a living as an attack-dog for the Democrats. But not at Fox!
Beckel’s schtick at Fox is to be “that guy” on the left. He could just say, “Sorry, I overplayed my schtick. I would never really advocate that the IRS be used to punish my political enemies.” That would be understandable – an acceptable explanation.
Absent that, if he really believes what he said – if he really supports the use of the IRS to “take a shot” at Obama’s political opponents, the antithesis of “fair and balanced,” the antithesis of the very definition of civility – Mr. Beckel should be fired.
The only redeeming factor I can see is the window Beckel provides into the Democratic group-think that self-justifies this type of behavior. Apparently, being Liberal these days is a license to be as self-righteously mean as you like to others, to say whatever terrible things you like about others, and to do whatever you like to people who disagree with you, to justify your corruption.
Classical liberals should be ashamed.
I can’t believe someone at Fox didn’t pull him aside afterward and say, “Hey, Bob, maybe you should watch that.” But I haven’t heard anyone else mention it.
Look, Bob Beckel is entitled to whatever opinion he may have of someone like me. But when he starts advocating for illegal political repression of someone like me, that is crossing the line, beyond the pale, jumping the shark.