[Printed with slight changes in San Gabriel Valley Examiner, May 12, 2005]


There are no zealots as fanatical as "recovered" whatevers.  Of course, 
nearly all former drinkers, smokers, drug abusers and whatnot are to be 
respected for having kicked the unhealthy addiction destroying their lives.  
But now and then along comes a fanatic posing as a former whozit, ready to 
tell the world how to rid society of sinners.  Walk away - fast!

One group of zealots call themselves "recovered liberals," and seek an 
outlet to warn the rest of us about the danger of left-wing thought.  Many 
of them make a very good living off their liberal past, charging big fees 
for lectures, selling books, appearing on right-wing talk shows regularly 
and pushing their venomous screed in newspapers that are happy to fill 
space between the ads.  

David Horowitz, a professional ex-leftist, is the prime example of this 
cabal.  But Horowitz is echoed by lesser individuals who are happy to 
spread the "truth" for free, because they are true believers.  There is no 
one as dead sure as a "true believer."  Neither logic nor facts can alter 
that mindset.  So don't try.

The best that can be done is to appeal to the wisdom of the public at 
large, thereby undermining the attempt of the recovered liberals to 
misconstrue history and fact in their effort to misguide Americans.  They 
don't usually admit it, but "recovered liberals" apparently believe that 
the public is so naive that an anti-liberal "big lie," if repeated often 
enough, will win the argument.

Consider some of the outlandish claims that have appeared on these pages in 
recent weeks, put forth by a stable of right-wing columnists who tend to 
dominate this paper.  I paraphrase: Tenure for public school teachers is 
not under attack.  That statement appeared several times in the past few 

But just within the past week our good governor, whom "recovered liberals" 
dearly love, marched to a county office and filed petitions by the 
thousands to drastically alter the tenure system.  You'll likely get a 
chance to vote on his tenure "reform" in a special election later this 
year.  But, then, tenure isn't under attack.

"Recovered liberals" love to look back at earlier liberal presidents, 
claiming that Franklin Roosevelt or Harry Truman would be appalled by what 
the "left" - meaning anyone to the left of the far right - has done 
recently.  Harry and FDR, they tell us, were good Democrats.  

ROT! What the won't tell you is that the right wing, ideological ancestors 
of the "recovered liberals" fought Roosevelt and Truman tooth and nail on 
social security, hour and wage legislation, recognition of unions, civil 
rights and  every other social and economic reform that was instituted 
during their presidential administrations. If it was up to the party that 
the "recovered liberals" enthusiastically support today none of that 
legislation would ever have passed.

"Recovered liberals" revel in attacking the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, 
a watchdog that tries to protect the constitutional rights of Americans.  
They love to note that the Ninth Circuit has been overturned more times 
than any other circuit court in the land.  That's true, but they rarely 
cite any decisions to back up the claim, knowing full well that most 
westerners would support the court's effort to protect the constitutional 
rights of Americans from the authoritarian action of government and 
business.  If they do cite a case, it is one in which our "recovered 
liberals" refuse to present the opinion and logic offered by the majority 
on the Ninth.

It's o.k. to read columns by "recovered liberals."  Just consider them to 
be the comic section of the paper.