The Smearing of Dick Durbin

The smearing of Dick Durbin (search), that is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo".

As you may know, the senator from Illinois has been taking a pounding over his comparison of interrogation techniques used at Gitmo to those used by the Soviets and Nazis. Now the left wing press is rallying to his defense, claiming that Durbin is being smeared by the right.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune (search) editorializes "by [apologizing], Durbin did just what the orchestrated right wing smear effort required to succeed. It made him the story rather than focusing further attention on the outrageous violations of international law and human rights being perpetuated in Guantanamo (search) and elsewhere in the name of the American people. Durbin was spot on in his assessment of Guantanamo.

Well, you can decide if Durbin is spot on because the issue is straightforward. Durbin and the Minneapolis Star (search) believe the U.S. government sanctions tortures. Others believe there is no such policy, that some mistakes have been made, but coercion is necessary to save lives. Again, you decide on that.

But the smear business is interesting. It is echoed by far left columnist Richard Cohen (search) of the Washington Post (search) who writes, "The vitriol being heaped on Durbin would be almost funny if it weren't so mean."

That sentence from a guy who has viciously attacked me and others using the worst possible personal invective, even as he has done shameful personal things. Keep it up, Mr. Cohen, you'll regret it.

Finally, our pal Howard Dean (search) is also riding to Senator Durbin's rescue. He's appearing alongside Durbin at a fundraiser tonight. But the senator might want to rethink that association. The latest FOX News Opinion/Dynamics poll says just 23 percent of Americans approve of Dean's slash and burn tactics. And Dean continued his hate tour 2005 yesterday in Boston, using the same old tired attacks on people he doesn't like.

So it's quite amusing to see the vicious left criticize those who are criticizing Durbin. The hypocrisy is staggering.

Finally, "Talking Points" would like very much for Senator Durbin to appear on "The Factor." We have absolutely no personal questions for him. We just want to debate the issue of coerced interrogation in the context of the war on terror. Surely that's a worthy discussion. What say you, Senator Durbin? And that's "The Memo."

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

Los Angeles Times (search), the paper that's having a hard time, trying an experiment whereby readers would be able to write their own editorials online. After two days, that experiment was killed. That's because some loons were posting foul language and pornographic material as editorials. Not good.

But that should have been expected by the poohbahs at the Times. Unfortunately, there's no shortage of disturbed people willing to degrade themselves by what could have been an interesting forum.

Ridiculous? Of course it is. But give the L.A. Times credit for trying.