Why won’t the left attack its own?

Earlier this week, Mike Tipping, Bangor Daily News blogger and communications director for the Maine People’s Alliance, fell all over himself in his BDN blog complimenting state Sen. Roger Katz for declaring his intention to not support Republican nominee Donald Trump. Katz was, in Tipping’s words, “a good person and a good Republican.”

My name was also brought up in comparison. “Other Maine Republicans have previously attempted to distance themselves from Trump,” he wrote, “but most have done so by disparaging [Trump’s] conservatism.”

The implication, of course, was that my repeated and frequent criticism of Trump for the last 18 months — 18 months that Katz was basically silent, incidentally — is less valid, noble or noteworthy because it is largely based on what I consider his ideological apostasy.

Never mind that my criticism has repeatedly been about Trump’s rhetoric and tone, in addition to his positions on issues, this type of “compliment” of Katz tells us something very plain.

To liberals, you can only qualify as a good person as a conservative if you attack your own — not only your own ideology, but also your own politicians, and give cover to Democrats. This, they say, demonstrates clarity of thought, independence from demagoguery, and an ability to rise above the wrongness of being a conservative or libertarian.

To the liberal, being on the political right is simply invalid and unworthy of respect, and it is only by eschewing and rejecting your own side that you can be invited to polite society.

The arrogance of that position is quite stark, particularly considering how much more ideologically diverse and willing to dissent conservatives are.

This week here in Maine, Sen. Susan Collins rejected Trump and said she couldn’t vote for him. So did Katz. We saw a letter signed by 50 national security experts on the Republican side, expressing concern about the nominee.

Sens. Mark Kirk of Illinois and Ben Sasse of Nebraska are withholding support, and you frequently hear establishment figures such as Speaker Paul Ryan and Sen. John McCain condemning Trump openly for whatever the controversy of the day is.

Everywhere you look, you have Republicans who are willing to speak out against their own side.

They do so for several reasons, both philosophical and temperamental. Their willingness to do this is a testament to the begrudging willingness of the right to allow people within the movement freedom to police itself.

Where, exactly, is that on the Democratic side?

Hillary Clinton in Des Moines, Iowa, on Wednesday. Chris Keane | Reuters

Hillary Clinton in Des Moines, Iowa, on Wednesday. Chris Keane | Reuters

It is a fact without question that Hillary Clinton jeopardized our national security, out of a vain and paranoid attempt to obfuscate her public work as secretary of state.

It is a fact without question that Clinton has a very troubling history of lying, and lying about things that are obviously proven false.

It is a fact without question that Clinton loyalists at the Democratic National Committee attempted to rig the system in her favor because she couldn’t beat a septuagenarian socialist who wasn’t even a Democrat.

And it is a fact without question, we learned Wednesday, that Hillary Clinton used her position as secretary of state to essentially launder money through the Clinton Foundation, and trade access to her government department as a tool for what should be illegal fundraising activities.

I’ll repeat that: Using her position at as secretary to connect Clinton Foundation donors to the State Department in an obviously crooked pay-to-access scheme.

Liberals love to demand that conservatives attack their own. They love to sow discontent on the right. They lecture us on the need to demonstrate our independence, fairness and righteousness by standing against those they deem to violate liberal values.

Yet where are they now? Where are the members of the left savaging their own? Where are those on the left attacking their nominee for obvious corruption? Where are they repudiating the never ending lies? Where are they condemning the rigged Tammany Hall style politics she represents.

For that matter, why are they not calling out her hypocrisy on Wall Street? Why are they not attacking her constant, politically motivated flip flops? Her participation in the Iraq invasion? Her abandonment of the gay rights movement when it needed her most? Her complete and total inability to accomplish anything of note as either a senator, or as secretary of state?

You see, no matter how you slice it, the Democratic nominee is truly deserving of being rejected, abandoned and repudiated. She is as much of an ideological heretic as Trump is, and she is also a conniving, corrupt politician who represents all the things that liberals claim to hate.

Yet while Republicans voice their concerns with their own nominee, the Democrats remain silent, and lecture us that we need to do it more, lest we not be “good people.”

Telling, isn’t it?

Matthew Gagnon

About Matthew Gagnon

Matthew Gagnon, of Yarmouth, is the Chief Executive Officer of the Maine Heritage Policy Center, a free market policy think tank based in Portland. Prior to Maine Heritage, he served as a senior strategist for the Republican Governors Association in Washington, D.C. Originally from Hampden, he has been involved with Maine politics for more than a decade.