Dershowitz's Un-American Activities
Elder, Frontpage Magazine
December 10, 1998
©1998, Laurence A. Elder
vintage Alan Dershowitz, the attorney and race-card player extraordinaire.
Appearing as an anti-impeachment panelist before the House Judiciary
Committee, Dershowitz accused Georgia conservative Republican
Rep. Bob Barr of "racism," "bigotry," and
"anti-Semitism." What did Rep. Barr do to incur
the wrath of Dershowitz?
Despite the fact that some of our law professors here today think
that this matter should all be handled by the courts, and the
Constitution should just be shoved aside, real America understands
that the Constitution is there for a reason that it does
mean something. I don't think these views represent the
clarity and the rationality and the common sense with which the
real America views these matters.
Let me respond to why I perceive this to be a personal attack.
First of all, whenever I hear the words 'real Americans,'
that sounds to me like a code word for racism, a code word for
bigotry, a code word for anti-Semitism. You ought to be
That is the silliest thing I have ever heard.
I hear you describe me as something other than a real American.
Shame on you! We may have a disagreement about the
merits of these issues, but I would no more impugn your Americanism,
and you shouldn't impugn mine.
You're being silly, professor. You're being absolutely silly.
this a distinction without a difference, but Barr said "real
America." Yet Dershowitz accused him of saying "real
on CNBC's Rivera Live, Dershowitz stepped up the attack.
This time, he accused Barr of calling Dershowitz "un-American."
So "real America" became "real Americans,"
which, in turn, became "un-American." What's next,
America," for many Washington pols, simply means outside
the Beltway, where common folks live, work hard, and pay taxes.
You know, Joe and Joan Six-pack.
Dershowitz apparently thinks the term "real Americans"
conjures up images of Jim Crow, internment camps, attack dogs,
and water hoses. Does Dershowitz sincerely believe Barr's
use of the expression "real America" makes him a 1950s
not. Dershowitz employed a tacticswitch the subject.
His 1983 book, The Best Defense, laid it all out.
"Almost all criminal defendants are, in fact, guilty."
"In representing criminal defendants especially guilty
ones it is often necessary to take the offensive against
the government: to put the government on trial for its misconduct."
Barr called Dershowitz's reaction "silly." He's
right. Let's go to the videotape.
5, 1995, President Clinton: "Look, I know America first
and foremost is a place where individual effort and family values
count. That's why I am successful. But I live in
the real America not in Washington, D.C." (Annual
convention of the American Association of Physicians from India.)
14, 1997, President Clinton: "Remember how you have
seen things like that during the natural disasters here in California.
That is the face of the real America. That is the face I
have seen over and over again. That is the America somehow,
some way, we have to make real in daily American life."
(University of California at San Diego, Calif.)
14, 1998, President Clinton: "America's got a good
agenda in the coming months. We can be for saving Social
Security first, better schools, a cleaner environment, and a Patient's
Bill of Rights, and we can sell that in every place in America.
They are real choices real Americans face in this election."
(Democratic National Committee Labor lunch, Washington,
18, 1994, Prime Minister John Major of Great Britain: "The
President told you most of the story of how I came to be here
this evening. . . . 'Come and have a look at a bit of Pittsburgh,'
said the President. Come and see a bit of real America.'
And here I am." (Pittsburgh Airport.)
4, 1994, Hillary Rodham Clinton: "They have enabled
this day to come about, because they were willing to think differently,
to put people first, to solve real problems that real Americans
face every day." (Signing of the School-To-Work Opportunities
Act, White House.)
12, 1998, Democratic House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt:
"We will carry on this fight every day of the rest of this
year to fight for the real issues that real Americans care about
so deeply." (News briefing, Trinity College.)
played the race card. Not satisfied with simply calling
the pro-impeachment camp wrong or unfair, this Clinton attack-squad
member unleashed a new weapon calling Clinton's critics
bigoted and anti-Semitic. Hey, whatever works.
change, but tactics remain the same. Attack, demean, mischaracterize.
Judge Robert Bork, Justice Clarence Thomas, Independent
Counsel Ken Starr, and now Rep. Bob Barr. What a distinguished
panel of . . . "un-Americans."