EU Picks Commisioner

…The media describe Laszlo Kovacs as a “socialist.” In fact, he is a career communist with decades of totalitarian experience. Mr. Kovacs worked closely with the leadership of Janos Kadar’s sinister regime, installed literally over the dead bodies of the Hungarian democracy activists killed by Soviet tanks after the 1956 popular uprising against the Communist Party’s monopoly of power. Years before glasnost, Mr. Kovacs was one of the dictator’s henchmen with the title of “Deputy Head of the Department of International Relations” of the Hungarian Communist Party’s Central Committee…

…Given that communist systems imprisoned, tortured and murdered millions of people, one might think Euro parliamentarians would be slightly concerned about how deeply Mr. Kovacs was involved in some of the darker aspects of Hungary’s communist dictatorship.

Just as searching questions were rightly asked of former Nazi Party members seeking public office in postwar Germany, they might have queried speeches Mr. Kovacs gave in the 1980s, attacking Western institutions such as NATO and extolling the Soviet Union as the bedrock of Eastern Europe’s “stability….”

Kovacs was picked over Rocco Buttiglione from Italy who never previously participated in a murderous regime…All Professor Buttiglione did was articulate his beliefs and answer questions. A full reading of the confirmation hearings transcripts reveal a man with profound tolerance and a commitment to equality before the law and to the equal dignity of every individual. The transcripts also reveal his religious faith and his personal views on the family and homosexuality — views Mr. Buttiglione stressed would not affect his official duties. His opponents, however, began a public campaign and maliciously quoted the transcripts selectively to caricature Mr. Buttiglione as a homophobe who believes women should be in the home with children (ironically, Mr. Buttiglione’s wife is a successful working professional)…

…The breathtaking double standard of the past six weeks results from the rise of secularist fundamentalism. In the United States, secularist fundamentalism dominates academe, where speech codes are regularly used to harass any religious organization whose views on particular moral questions offend groups privileged by secular fundamentalism.

Secularist fundamentalism also rears its head in the political realm. For example, Attorney General John Ashcroft was the target of opposition for being a religious believer. The American Civil Liberties Union and a chorus of other opponents repeatedly told us Mr. Ashcroft would try to impose his religious beliefs or even seek a theocracy.

The secular fundamentalists do not care if the religious believer swears to uphold the law — all those with politically incorrect beliefs and faith must be persecuted and punished…

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