by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Liberalism rode high during the Watergate era. It had demanded that civil liberties be protected from the illegal or unconstitutional overreach of the Nixon-era FBI, CIA, and other agencies. Liberals alleged that out-of-control officials had spied on U.S. citizens for political purposes and then tried to mask their wrongdoing under the cover of “national security” or institutional “professionalism.”
All those legacies are now eroding. The Democratic party, the investigative media, and liberalism itself are now weirdly on the side of the reactionary administrative state. They have either downplayed or excused Watergate-like abuses of power by the former Barack Obama administration.
Liberal journalists apparently have few concerns that the FBI apparently used at least one secret informant to gather information about the 2016 Trump campaign. Nor are they much bothered that members of the Obama national-security team unmasked the names of U.S. citizens who had been improperly surveilled. Many of those names then were illegally leaked to the press.
Democrats seem indifferent to the fact that Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign paid a foreign agent, Christopher Steele, to compile dirt on Republican candidate Donald Trump — largely by trafficking in unverified rumors from Russian interests. Obama administration officials leaked details from that dossier.