Who was that unmasked man?

Liberal thought unmasked was expressed at New York's Public Radio station affiliate. The New York Post reports  

The criticism that took the cake came from the usually reasonable Brian Lehrer at WNYC, who posed this question to his listeners: "If pardoning Richard Nixon was good for the nation's healing, then how could executing Saddam be good for Iraq?"

Well, gee: Saddam is responsible for the torture and deaths of millions. Nixon ordered a break-in and wiretapped phones, then tried to cover it up. The differences in the magnitude of the crimes seem painfully obvious.

But Lehrer's question came closest to revealing the unspoken view of virtually all the liberal critics: They don't really believe that Saddam was uniquely evil. That became even more clear when Lehrer asked if Saddam didn't deserve to be treated with more dignity.

Bizarre. Most opponents of the death penalty - myself included - think it's inherently undignified. Are we suddenly supposed to think that having the executioners show respect would make it dignified?

And, again - opposition to the death penalty aside - why are we talking about the dignity due a brutal dictator? Instead, shouldn't we be delighting at least a little at the thought of Kim Jong-il or Robert Mugabe sleeping a little less soundly - knowing that the unthinkable could someday happen to them, that they too could be called to account for their crimes against humanity?"

While I can't speak for her, I believe the article's author, Kirsten Powers, is indirectly saying that Brian Lehrer is not the type of standup guy who would protect her. This is an obvious implication of what she is saying in polite words: she finds his value system and thoughts are inconsistent, at best - and totally convoluted, at worst .

I've heard Brian Lehrer on New York's public radio station WNYC. He generally sounds calm, stable and kindly, like someone's uncle. But here we see his level of non-commitment to freedom from oppression, particularly for the "little guy" liberals so much love to talk about helping. He's passionately against tyranny - as long as no one has to exert himself to stop it, in which case, he opposes the anti-tyranny forces. In a variation of Sen. Kerry's famous quote, he was against tyranny before he was neutral on it.

(Jack Kemp is not the former politician of the same name.)