The liberal intelligentsia are often all too eager to accuse conservatives of being fear-mongers, purveyors of hate speech, etc. But when they engage in what they accuse conservatives of doing, it's a different set of rules.
Take Newsweek columnist and MSNBC regular Jonathan Alter for example. In an appearance on MSNBC's Jan. 5 "The Rachel Maddow Show," Alter took it to former Vice President Dick Cheney for being critical of the Obama administration - saying the President made us "less safe," which according to Alter, "emboldens" the terrorists (emphasis added).
"The problem, I think, we have now is sort of crystallized by former Vice President Cheney's role in this debate," Alter said. "And I think that he has actually gotten to a place where he is emboldening the terrorists. If you have a former vice president who is saying that our current president is weak - by the way, that's the first time in American history that's ever taken place, that a former president - a former vice president has said the sitting president is not protecting the country. Never happened before, must end."
That according to Alter sets the country up for terrorism.
"He must stop doing this, because that does tell potential terrorists out there that perhaps we are weaker since he was the architect of the prior administration's policy," Alter continued.
However, one other former vice president did a lot of talking when George W. Bush was in the Oval Office, contrary to Alter's claim. Former Vice President Al Gore in 2004 at a Democratic rally in Nashville, Tenn. launched into a loud and shrill tirade about Bush: "He betrayed this country! He played on our fears. He took America on an ill-conceived foreign adventure dangerous to our troops, an adventure preordained and planned before 9/11 ever took place."
Nonetheless, Alter claimed that Cheney should remain above the fray, or he must be stopped.
"So, this is what we need to be focusing on, is that the Republicans now, Cheney in particular - what a radio blow hard says or congressman blow hard, not important. Former vice president - very, very significant, must be stopped," Alter said.
"The Rachel Maddow Show" host Rachel Maddow reiterated Alter's claim with her own brand of "fear-mongering" - that Cheney's outspokenness was "dangerous to the country."
"Being heard by America's enemies by terrorists, you think in a way that is dangerous to the country," Maddow proposed.
"Very dangerous," Alter replied.
However, Maddow admitted even if the Obama administration didn't particularly care for what Cheney was saying, there was little they could do to stop the former vice president.
"If the Obama administration shares your view and wants to stop [Vice] President Cheney from doing that, it's not like they have a lot of options, [Vice] President Cheney doesn't seem to be hearing any calls to conscience on this issue," Maddow said.
Alter had his own ingenious proposal - a beer summit with Dick Cheney, versus perhaps a shift in national security policy.
"He doesn't, but remember President Obama has said that he believes in talking to our enemies abroad, he ran on that. He should also talk to his enemies at home," Alter continued. "And I think that he needs to have a session with the former vice president, perhaps bring in Bob Gates and some others, and tell him that he is not enhancing national security of the United States with his comment."
Maddow was skeptical of that becoming a reality.
"I can't imagine how excited Dick Cheney would be to get that invitation, but maybe it would be the only way to try to make some progress there," Maddow said.