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Do As I Say (Not As I Do)

Publisher: Anchor • 2006 • 272 pages

Hypocrisy has proved to be a wonderful weapon for liberals in their war against conservatives. When a pro-family politician gets caught cheating on his wife, or a conservative pundit turns out to have a bad habit or addiction, their enemies use the charge to good effect. Fair enough. But what happens when the spotlights are turned on liberals themselves? Do the supporters of progressive taxes, affirmative action, strict environmental safeguards, and unionized labor practice what they preach? In a word: NO. “Do As I Say (Not As I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy” is Hoover Fellow Peter Schweizer’s hard-hitting exposé of the contradictions between the public stances and real-life behavior of prominent liberals like Hillary Clinton, Michael Moore, Al Franken, Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi, Ralph Nader, Barbra Streisand, and many more.

Weeding out the clear charlatans, Schweizer focuses on liberal leaders and spokesman who are generally esteemed by their constituents and have an influence on the broader culture. Using IRS records, real estate transactions, court depositions, news reports, financial disclosures, and their own statements, he brings to light a stunning record of shameless hypocrisy. Critics of capitalism and corporate enterprise frequently invest in companies they denounce. Those who believe the rich need to pay more in taxes prove especially adept in avoiding taxes themselves. Those who espouse strict environmental regulations work vigorously to sidestep them when it comes to their own businesses and properties. Those who are strong proponents of affirmative action rarely practiced it — and some have abysmal records when it comes to hiring minorities. Advocates of gun control have no problem making sure than an arsenal of weapons is available to protect them from dangerous criminals.

“Much of what follows,” writes Schweizer in his introduction, “will strike many people as a revelation precisely because liberal hypocrisy gets a big fat pass from the liberal press, which fails to subject prominent liberals to the kind of intense personal scrutiny that is commonly meted out to conservatives.”

Some of the shocking hypocrisy Peter Schweizer reveals:

  • “I don’t own a single share of stock,” Michael Moore declares. No, his tax returns show he has owned hundreds of thousands — profiting from some of the very companies (like Halliburton and Boeing) he viciously denounces
  • How Moore’s working-class, “regular guy” pose is contradicted by his lavish lifestyle and prima donna behavior — such as traveling the country in a private jet accompanied by a fleet of private SUVs and bodyguards
  • Moore also relentlessly exposes those who fail to meet his standards of racial fairness and equality. So, of the 134 producers, editors, cinematographers, composers, and production coordinators Moore he hired to work on his many movies, how many do you think were black?
  • The Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel: ultra-left class warrior, defender of the inheritance tax — and trust-fund heiress who fought the IRS all the way to the Supreme Court to avoid paying $2 million in estate taxes
  • Princeton “ethics” professor Peter Singer crusades for euthanasia for the severely disabled and terminally ill. But when it comes to his own mother, he operates according to more humane principles (fortunately for her)
  • During the 2004 campaign, John Kerry complained that the “super-rich” don’t pay their fair share in taxes. Care to guess what percentage of their income Kerry and his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry — who are worth over $700 million — are paying in taxes?
  • Noam Chomsky opposes private property and calls the Pentagon “the most vile institution on the face of the earth” — yet he has made millions in contract work for the Pentagon, owns two luxurious homes, and set up an irrevocable trust to protect his assets from Uncle Sam
  • Ted Kennedy favors racial set-asides on federal contracts — but when it came to his own investment in an entire city block of Washington, DC, he got his political friends to help him waive an affirmative action set-aside
  • Another of Kennedy’s great causes has been support of the estate or inheritance tax. But, he has repeatedly benefited from an intricate web of trusts and private foundations that have kept most of the family pie from ever ending up in the hands of the IRS
  • Kennedy has introduced dozens of pieces of legislation over the years to encourage alternative energy sources. But he helped block the Cape Wind Project — an effort to provide clean energy for thousands of homes on Cape Cod — because the project would be built in one of the family’s favorite sailing and yachting areas
  • Al Franken habitually calls conservatives “liars” and “mean and nasty” — yet as a writer for Saturday Night Live he penned jokes and skits so mean-spirited they appalled even his colleagues, and he uses brazen lies for his bestselling books all the time
  • Hillary Clinton supports the right of thirteen-year-old girls to have abortions without parental consent — yet she forbade thirteen-year-old Chelsea to pierce her ears and enrolled her in a school that would not distribute condoms to minors
  • How Hillary, despite her pose as independent feminist and anti-corporate crusader, used her husband’s position as Arkansas Attorney General to launch her corporate law career – then rode his political coattails into politics
  • Ralph Nader: how he speculates in the stocks of companies that might be influenced by his political activism. How he conceals enormous wealth and a lavish lifestyle behind a fa?ade of pretended frugality
  • Nancy Pelosi has made supporting labor unions a cornerstone of her public career. Yet the vineyards and hotels that comprise her $35 million fortune have one thing in common: they don’t use union labor
  • Barbra Streisand: how, on the three causes with which she seems most concerned — poverty, environmentalism and feminism — she engages in the very behaviors she says she deplores

Schweizer makes it clear that when it comes to the things that matter most in our lives — protection of family, property, and privacy — even the most outspoken liberals jettison their progressive ideas and adopt conservative principles. In short, he writes, “these do-as-I-say liberals don’t trust their own ideas enough to apply them at home. . . . Which can only make one wonder: If their liberal prescriptions don’t really work for them as individuals, how can they work for the rest of us?”

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