Leftist Professor and His Smear Campaign

By Samuel Francis, Syndicated Columnist
Tuesday, December 29, 1998

If there's one man whose guts the left-wing friends of Bill Clinton hate with passion these days, it's Rep. Bob Barr of Georgia. Well before Monica Lewinsky's name was more than a smirk on the lips of the First Lecher, Mr. Barr was pushing for Mr. Clinton's impeachment. The victory that impeachment has won is a testament to Mr. Barr's leadership, and the left knows he has to be smeared to death before his leadership goes national.

The loudest splash in the smear campaign has been made by Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, always predictably supportive of left-wing causes, who was offended by a recent statement from Mr. Barr that seemed to imply that Mr. Dershowitz was not part of the "real America" because his name, as the professor says, is "Jewish." What exactly Mr. Barr said I don't know because Mr. Dershowitz never bothers to tell, but I am perfectly confident the congressman did not mean to suggest that Mr. Dershowitz is not a "real American."

The way Mr. Dershowitz went about smearing Mr. Barr was to claim in a recent column in the Harvard Crimson and in subsequent radio and television talk shows that the congressman is closely associated with the Council of Conservative Citizens, a national grassroots activist group of which I happen to be a member. It's true that Mr. Barr spoke to the CCC last June at its national board meeting in Charleston, S.C. Mr. Dershowitz says that, and it's one of the few true things he does say about either Mr. Barr or the organization.

The CCC, according to the law professor, is "a slightly softer version of the KKK" which "opposes the immigration of Jews from the former Soviet Union who were prevented from practicing their religion by the communists, arguing that they are atheists whose language and culture are alien to that of real Americans." The only thing you can say to the Big Lie is the Small Truth. Mr. Dershowitz' claim is simply and totally false. In the four years I have been associated with the CCC, I have never heard or read any such thing from any of its members or publications, and it's certainly not the position of the organization.

Mr. Dershowitz displays a genuine though weaselish talent at twisting the truth, as when he writes, "At a rally to support the Confederate battle flag in Mississippi at which CCC members handed out Confederate flags, white supremacist Richard Barrett said that the Confederate flag 'signifies the real American way of life as it was before James Meredith and Earl Warren, and as it can and will be again.'"

Yes, but you see (a) Mr. Barrett is not a member of the CCC and has no affiliation with it; (b) there was a demonstration in support of the flag organized by the CCC and other respectable organizations, but Mr. Barrett was not there; and (c) there may have been CCC members present at the meeting where Mr. Barrett made the statement (if he made it at all), but (c-1) how does anyone, let alone Mr. Dershowitz, know whether there were or not, and (c-2) who cares?

Mr. Dershowitz then goes on to claim that Mr. Barr "joined the ranks of other CCC keynote speakers such as David Duke, the former KKK leader." Again, totally false. David Duke has never been a keynote speaker before the organization at all.

But the smear that takes the cake for viciousness is Mr. Dershowitz's claim, on an Arizona talk radio show earlier this month, that Mr. Barr, whom he calls "this bigot, this anti-Semite" with absolutely no substantiation of these labels, is "from an area that's not far from where Leo Frank was hanged.... Frank was the only Jew ever to be lynched in America, and I'm sure that if Barr had been of age, he would have attended that lynching."

Mr. Dershowitz started his smear of Mr. Barr by saying his remark about "real Americans" "reminded me of the bad old days of McCarthyism, where people who disagreed with the Senator from Wisconsin were called un-American." As with much of what Mr. Dershowitz says, that's not even true about Joe McCarthy, but aside from that, it's exactly the tactic this cheap and phony liar uses.

Mr. Dershowitz' lies seem only in part to be motivated by his devotion to Bill Clinton on the eve of his impeachment; they are also driven, I suspect, by his simple hatred of those, like Mr. Barr, who have brought Mr. Clinton down. But whatever their motivation, they are clearly lies, and the fraud who spewed them out ought to be driven out of decent public life as much as the perjuring president he adulates.