As I pointed out on September 11 in "Waco: Conservative Cowardice And Stupidity Helped It Happen," the cross-examination of the BATF and the FBI over Waco is unfair. Both organizations had been given a license to kill, and they were only doing what both the left and the right had encouraged them to do. When the Branch Davidians discovered the BATF's impending raid, the BATF simply pushed it ahead a half-hour. This was in violation of all the normal confrontational rules. But it fulfilled the mandate they had been given in dealing with any armed non-leftist group.

When it came to attacking non-leftists who had weapons, the rules had been set aside. Armed leftists were protected by liberal opinion.

But when it came to armed rightists, the right demanded that they be massacred even more loudly than the left did. Rightists, and not just respectable conservatives, are desperate to convince liberals that they have nothing to do with condemned rightist groups. If leftists condemn these groups, rightists demand that they be crushed without consideration or mercy.

This reminds one of Senator John McCain's attitude about Kosovo.

Liberals wanted to attack the Serbs. McCain wanted to hit them harder, faster, more brutally, and preferably with American troops on the ground. The left wants to ban anything it chooses to call "hate" sites on the web. McCain wants to ban them even more.

Now, consider this: how would a President McCain deal with any group the left considers outside the pale? And when President McCain produces more Wacos, how will the right react? The entire right would follow its President faithfully. Can you imagine what would have happened after Waco if McCain had been president?


In fact, the only reason conservatives investigated Waco was because Clinton was a Democrat. The attack at Waco was the direct result of attitudes that developed under a series of Republican presidents. If the president under whom Waco had taken place had been a Republican, the two parties would have united behind the actions taken. No one would be more ferociously in favor of a Republican president slaughtering those condemned by liberals than conservative Republicans.

Professional conservatives are already beginning to cover for McCain. Southern Partisan editors split three to three over whether to support McCain for president. In their article on McCain, they praise him for his "honesty." They say he is like Barry Goldwater, in that his "honesty" often offends conservatives.

No way, Jose.

Barry Goldwater often outraged conservatives with his honesty, but Barry Goldwater also upset LIBERALS just as badly by his bald assertions. MCAIN'S SO-CALLED "HONESTY" NEVER, NEVER, NEVER DOES ANYTHING BUT PLEASE LIBERALS. Naturally, the Partisan conveniently forgot that little difference.

To repeat, to a so-called "leader" of the respectable right, "courage" is taking the liberal side against conservatives.

The Partisan also "forgot" another problem with McCain. It praised his enormous bravery in pushing the McCain-Finegold campaign finance reform.

The real problem with that proposal, of course, delights liberals. The real problem is that that bill would cut off business funding of Republicans, but would not touch union funding of liberals.

Surprise, surprise! Exactly like the liberal media, the Southern Partisan just happened not to mention that little problem. Like all conservatives who are trying to be respectable, the minute the Partisan decided to back the liberal stand, it began to use the liberals' tactics.

This brings us back to the original point: when the right wants liberal approval, it is at least as ruthless as the left, and uses their tactics shamelessly. It is no surprise that, when dealing with the Branch Davidians after a set of Republican presidents, the BATF felt it had a license to kill any armed group that had been condemned by the left.

McCain's only real interest is in being the liberals' favorite conservative. In every case where the Southern Partisan praises his great courage in outraging the right, it has been in cases where he was taking the side of the left on something crucial.

There are very few conservatives in whom I am still capable of being disappointed. I expect them to be to be gutless nitwits. But the editors of the Southern partisan do not have that excuse. When they indulge in this kind of dishonesty, it cuts far too close to home.

Cut it out, guys.