Politics

The Left’s Selective Moral Outrage Over Leaks

President Obama, progressive activists, media were all too eager to bring to light Romney's '47 percent' remarks

In the last week, before the Electoral College gathered to vote on Monday, Democrats began their final political push against President-Elect Donald Trump. The goal was to perhaps upset him in the Electoral College vote totals, although that was always a long shot.

The main goal still appears to be to offer more excuses for Hillary Clinton’s unexpected loss on Nov. 8. While the excuses started by blaming “fake news” on social media, long-simmering rage over alleged Russian hacking into the Democrats’ email servers boiled over.

Secretly recording people on private property at a private home is a lot like computer hacking.

Soon, Trump was accused of benefiting from Vladimir Putin’s alleged desire to embarrass Clinton. The embarrassment began on Oct. 7, when hacked emails from her campaign chairman, John Podesta, began trickling out every day to the public.

Through those emails, it became clear Clinton had told wealthy bankers she supported open borders and unrestricted trade. Yet despite that revelation and many others, the news got buried by her own legal problems. And the media also focused largely on attacks on Trump.

Still, even last week, former President Bill Clinton partially blamed his wife’s loss on the hack. “You would need to have a single-digit IQ not to recognize what was going on,” Bill Clinton told an Upstate New York newspaper.

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It was a classic case of political karma. Karma is, of course, the mainly Buddhist belief that what one sows, one later reaps. In the case of the 2016 leaks, Democrats were on the receiving end of a karmic knot perhaps caused by a dirty trick in 2012.

In September 2012, a video was leaked (to liberal publication Mother Jones) of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney making a controversial comment. The video was an invasion of privacy — just like a hack into someone’s emails. The video was recorded secretly at a private residence.

Yet it became the hottest political story for the next month and well beyond. And instead of questioning how Romney was recorded surreptitiously at the home of businessman Marc Leder, the media played and replayed the controversial comments — helping to crush the chances of the Republican candidate.

Obama even acknowledged Romney’s remarks were made “behind closed doors.”

The remarks in question were from the “47 percent” speech in Boca Raton, Florida, in May 2012. In those remarks, Romney suggested that a solid 47 percent of Americans wanted government assistance and wouldn’t vote for Republicans.

“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president [Obama] no matter what,” Romney told a group of rich Republican donors in Boca Raton. “Who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims … These are people who pay no income tax … and so my job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

His comments brought furious reaction, including from Obama, the Democrat he was trying to unseat.

At the second presidential debate in October 2012, Obama said Romney had demeaned Americans. Yet in his remarks, Obama even acknowledged the remarks were made “behind closed doors.”

Romney already had a problem with a wooden image and an aloof manner. The wealthy businessman came across as qualified — but not passionate. When the video leaked, he looked like just another wealthy Republican who scoffed at the downtrodden.

Fast forward to 2016 — and another leak became one of the biggest stories of the presidential election. But it wasn’t the biggest story of 2016. Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton were attacking each other every day. By October, the public was exhausted from the battle.

Clinton said Trump was unqualified for the office. She suggested he was racist and, in an odd shot similar to Romney’s, said half of Trump’s supporters were “deplorable.” (Another karmic reaction happened after that remark, but that’s a different story.)

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Democrats likely will not accept a comparison between the hacking and the secret videotaping. They will say the Russian secret service (allegedly) hacked the email of Clinton campaign Chair John Podesta and the Democratic National Convention. The secret taping of Romney was done by a U.S. citizen.

That misses the entire point, though. The perpetrator’s citizenship does not matter when one’s privacy is invaded. And the identity of the Democrats’ hacker is still unknown.

Secretly recording people on private property at a private home is a lot like computer hacking. It’s hard to feel sorry for the Democrats after what they did to Romney in 2012.

Call it what you like, but karma — or perhaps the fair but somewhat cruel gods of politics — catches up sooner or later, and usually in spectacular fashion. And karma, like the Grim Reaper, doesn’t miss an appointment.

Liberals may be bitter for years, but the fact remains they simply reaped what they sowed.

meet the author

Political reporter, LifeZette. Indiana University journalism grad. Boston U. business grad. Former Indiana, Alabama statehouse reporter, Daytona Beach editorial writer.

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