Few creatures are more detestable, more verminous, than the special interest bureaucrat. He is the banal quintessence of evil. With his sniff of sedentary power, he is that most craven of all schlumps, always and everywhere just following orders, mindless and industrious as a louse, implacable as a meter maid. When challenged on his fierce illogic, he merely parrots the shopworn slogan, "I just work here."
Today in America, such flacks are almost exclusively the property of the complainant left, which has homogenized and mass-produced them, wound them up and marched them, like Energizer bunnies, into the loop of public discourse.
Special interest lobbies such as the National Organization for Women, the Feminist Majority Foundation and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation are home to battalions of these fanged pink fuzzies.
In her recent book, "The New Thought Police: Inside the Left's Assault on Free Speech and Free Minds," Tammy Bruce fingers these groups and others such as the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People, exposing them as bureaus of intimidation bent on silencing anyone who deviates from the party line, bastions of hypocrisy where principle has become a casualty of power politics. That this argument comes from a lesbian former president of L.A.'s chapter of NOW makes Bruce's book an inside job--wickedly satisfying and full of priceless opinions such as this one about NOW's unwillingness to condemn O.J. Simpson and specious quibbling over President Clinton:
"NOW is able to overlook wife-beating ... in the case of someone who's a role model for young black men and the sexual exploitation of subordinates in the case of someone who can help the organization politically and financially."
Then there's Bruce's recounting of GLAAD's campaign against conservative radio shock jock Dr. Laura Schlessinger. GLAAD put the kibosh on Schlessinger's short-lived television show by intimidating its advertisers into rescinding their sponsorship. And, as if Bruce weren't already taking on the whole circus, she rightly slams Julian Bond of the NAACP, who accused President Bush of choosing nominees from the "Taliban wing of American politics."
Aside from her spot-on assertion that left-wing McCarthyism and Nixonian scare tactics are standard fare among advocates of the so-called disenfranchised, what's interesting about Bruce's book is the lack of attention it's getting in the liberal-leaning mainstream press, which goes a long way toward affirming the thesis of Bernard Goldberg's new book, "Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News."
As Bruce told me: "When I was with NOW, I could get an interview on anything anywhere. With the media's complicity, I knew I could move any issue and make it work. Now they don't even return my phone calls. I've found out what it's like trying to get your message out when you're on the 'wrong' side of an issue."
According to Bruce's publicist, aside from her appearance on ABC's "Politically Incorrect," no major liberal media outlet, either print or broadcast, has discussed or reviewed Bruce's book. Meanwhile, conservative venues such as the National Review, the Washington Times and Fox News have given it the attention that its controversial subject matter and considerable sales (40,000 copies since its publication in October) deserve.
Are the illiberal apparatchiks having their way again, dispensing their chits of pillory and slander? You can bet on it. After all, you don't have to shoot the messenger if you can make her disappear--which, of course, just proves Bruce's point.