In the January 7th edition of left-wing Talking Points Memo, editor and publisher Josh Marshall has reached a conclusion: unlike the virtuous Left, the Right simply has no principles.
Marshall's article, erroneously titled "That One's Settled," proposes the theory that the right and left side of politics have certain shared, principled goals. For his examples, he uses "civil liberties and the rule of law." After a brief consideration, his deduction is certain:
"There may be a principled right that respects these foundational republican and democratic principles above more momentary ideological concerns. But they don’t exist in our current politics."
May? There may be??
To "prove" his point, Marshall points to an op-ed in the Washington Examiner by House Republicans Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan. In the article, the two suggest that Jeff Sessions should vacate his position as Attorney General due to his failure, according to Marshall, to stand up for President Trump amid continued conspiracy theories regarding Russia and the 2016 election. As Marshall quotes, from a previous TPM piece by Caitlin Macneal:
"Reps. Mark Meadows (R-NC) and Jim Jordan (R-OH) complain that the Russia probe has dominated headlines for the past year and that the focus on the probe has 'frequently masked the substantial accomplishments of President Trump’s administration.' They also charge that there is still no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, questioning why the investigations into the matter have continued with few results."
The smaller problem with Marshall's suggestion is, Meadow's and Jordan's reasons are not partisan or based on notions of personally defending Trump, as he insinuates. The two lay out their grievance in the Examiner:
"Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from the Russia investigation, but it would appear he has no control at all of the premier law enforcement agency in the world. It is time for Sessions to start managing in a spirit of transparency to bring all of this improper behavior to light and stop further violations. If Sessions can't address this issue immediately, then we have one final question needing an answer: When is it time for a new attorney general?"
Marshall's bigger problem is that Meadows and Jordan are right: there has never been a bit of evidence to confirm any of the left-wing accusations regarding Trump and Russian collusion. As is made clear in their article:
"In spite of the constant headlines, rampant speculation, and overshadowing of accomplishments, a simple truth remains: There is no evidence of any collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians.
"And let's be clear: The absence of evidence is not due to a lack of examination. There have been some six different investigations spent on the collusion narrative — more than the investigative efforts on former President Barack Obama’s IRS targeting of conservatives, the 30,000 missing Hillary Clinton emails, and Benghazi. And through all of that, there is zero (yes, zero) evidence of collusion."
So, according to Marshall, a desire to draw to a close a seemingly-unending probe where no evidence has been found is antithetical to "civil liberties and the rule of law?" The assertion is a sad case of pot calling kettle. Marshall attempts to portray the Right as being strangled by that singular motivation, not realizing that he, in his own partisanship, strains to see scandal where it does not exist while turning a blind eye to principle where it flourishes. There are none so blind as he who will not see, as Marshall confirms:
"This right – which is the only meaningful American right today – is consistently authoritarian and hostile to any checks on a right-wing President. It’s that simple. It’s not even really hypocrisy. It’s showing the true nature of what it is, which is authoritarian and anti-democratic."
And so goes the state of the Left in America.