Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Liberty Univ.: Lying Down with Dogs Again

Oliver North: Criminal.
You have to wonder what Liberty University is thinking when it features a couple of thoroughly discredited, corrupt and criminal former politicians in its convocation.

Academic freedom would allow for one alternate voice, but Liberty specializes in right-wing corruption in a way that would make other academic institutions cringe.

Most recently it featured former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, the very face of GOP corruption as the jury deliberates his fate, as a "distinguished professor" in government at the (Jesse) Helms School of Government. Jesse Helms?!? Is that right wing enough for you?

The newest additions are former Virginia senatorial candidate Oliver North and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. North, a convicted felon (Iran-Contra), was so poisonous that a sitting Republican Senator and a former Republican governor endorsed his opponent. Santorum, who was defeated in his run to hold on to his seat, is the sex-obsessed "king of earmarks."

Santorum was named one of the three most corrupt senators in Congress two straight years (that is a real accomplishment, considering his competition) and he is accused of taking $73,000 in unwarranted tuition reimbursements for his home-schooled kids and getting a deal from campaign contributors for a five-year, $500,000 mortgage. He also helped his friend Sen. John Ensign cover up his adultery scandal, which the Senate said broke the law.

Rick Santorum
In 1988, North was convicted of three (of 16) felony counts: accepting an illegal gratuity, aiding and
abetting in the obstruction of a congressional inquiry, and ordering the destruction of documents. But those were thrown out eventually on a technicality (with the ACLU's ironic help) that still doesn't make a lot of sense.

 There were also strong allegations by a Senate Kerry committee that North and his cohorts turned a blind eye to drug trafficing in Nicarauga when it suited their purpose of arming one side in a conflict. The corruption was complex, deep, thorough and very sophisticated. But it was corruption.

Both men have been commentators for Fox News, which may be as damning as any crime.

My thought here is that if Liberty is ever to achieve the broad support and respect it so desperately wants, this type of invitation needs to be in the past and not even a consideration in the future. There are plenty of conservatives out there who are clean, honest and who speak well. Try that on for a while. When you lie down with dogs ...

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