The hypocrisy poisoning America

Summary: America’s largest problems don’t appear in the in the headlines, but between the lines. Such as the hypocrisy poisoning our politics. Here are some recent examples — and a simple solution.

“The health of a people comes only from its inner life — from the life of its soul and its spirit.”
— Words on a granite memorial stone in Berlin marking where Walther Rathenau “fell on this spot by the hand of a murderer.”

Hypocrisy of GOP and Democracy

Bill Clinton and his liberal defenders.

The liberal establishment worked overtime to whitewash Bill Clinton. They ignored the stories about his mistreatment of women: Kathleen Willey (sexual assault), Juanita Broaddrick (rape), and Paula Jones (sexual harassment). For example, Ms. Jones said that a State  Trooper summoned her — while working — to a hotel room, in which Governor Clinton dropped his pants, exposed himself, and asked for oral sex. Just like Harvey Weinstein. And Gennifer Flowers (sex, admitted by Clinton). Plus the most famous, Monica Lewinsky. Since there was definitive evidence for Monica’s story about oral sex (eventually admitted by Clinton), liberals — including feminists — lied the most loudly about her.

Sidney Blumenthal told journalists that “Monica Lewinsky was a stalker, an unstable minx who had been threatening Clinton and telling him that if he didn’t have sex with her she would say he had anyway.” Charlie Rangel (D-NY) said: ”That poor child has serious emotional problems. …She’s fantasizing. And I haven’t heard that she played with a full deck in her other experiences.” Maureen Dowd (NYT columnist, 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Commentary) called her: “a ditsy, predatory White House intern who might have lied under oath for a job at Revlon.”

Now feminists wonder why women have been reluctant to tell their stories about harassment by powerful men. Now liberals talk about investigating — perhaps impeaching — Trump for mistreating women — because that’s among the most serious problems facing America today!

Conservatives and the fiscal deficits

It is sad that something this obvious need be said: Republicans criticize Democrats for deficit spending, then run up mind-blowing deficits — mostly by cutting taxes for the rich. Republicans viciously attacked Obama for eight years about deficits. See the graph showing the change in the federal debt as a percentage of GDP (from the Politics That Works website.)

  • Blue on the left, with small increases in the debt. The exception is Nixon — by his record, one of the 20th century’s greatest liberal presidents.
  • Red on the right, with large increases in the debt. The exception is Obama, in whose term the US suffered a financial decline like 1929-1930 — but responded appropriately with stimulus programs that mitigated it into a severe recession (details here).

Change in Debt/GDP by President

Now the Republicans plan a third round of massive deficits to further erode the government’s solvency. Between the tax cuts for corporations and new spending, the 2019 federal deficit will be roughly $1.2 trillion. We should be paying down the debt at this point during an expansion — not accelerating its growth!

When they eventually bankrupt us, the 1% — richer than ever — will be ready to pick up the pieces.

Democrats ignoring Obama’s attacks on the Constitution

Our burning constitution

The echoes of Trump’s inauguration had not faded before Democrats accused him of attacking the Constitution. They were oddly silent during the Obama years — during which Obama tore large rips in the Constitution.

Obama’s Clean Power Plan.

Obama’s Clean Power Plan was one of his signature accomplishments. Bold, sweeping, and with a weak basis in the Constitution. Laurence Tribe, liberal icon and Professor of Law at Harvard, testified under oath at a hearing about the CPP before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power Chairman (of the Energy and Commerce Committee). Red emphasis added.

“EPA possesses only the authority granted to it by Congress. It lacks “implied” or “inherent” powers. Its gambit here raises serious questions under the separation of powers, Article I, and Article III, because EPA is attempting to exercise lawmaking power that belongs to Congress and judicial power that belongs to the federal courts. The absence of EPA legal authority in this case makes the Clean Power Plan, quite literally, a “power grab.”

“EPA is attempting an unconstitutional trifecta: usurping the prerogatives of the States, Congress and the Federal Courts all at once. Burning the Constitution should not become part of our national energy policy …” {Full transcript here.}

Obama’s unilateral approval of the Paris Climate.

No matter what you think of the Paris Climate Agreement (many climate activists thought it worse than worthless), Obama’s approval of it was blatantly unconstitutional. For a sad perspective on this, in no other democracies did one person approve the agreement (a treaty by another name). It was approved by a cabinet in India and Israel, and by the legislatures of everybody else that approved it. See the details here. Respect for law still exists elsewhere, just not much in America.

Obama’s assassination of US citizens.

The Constitution specifically forbids the President to punish citizens without trial. Nor can Congress can do so. This is deeply rooted in US history. During the Civil War Lincoln directed Francis Lieber to issue rules of conduct for war, which were included in General Order 100, signed by Lincoln on April, 1863. See Section IX, entitled “Assassinations.”

“The law of war does not allow proclaiming either an individual belonging to the hostile army, or a citizen, or a subject of the hostile government, an outlaw, who may be slain without trial by any captor, any more than the modern law of peace allows such intentional outlawry; on the contrary, it abhors such outrage. The sternest retaliation should follow the murder committed in consequence of such proclamation, made by whatever authority. Civilized nations look with horror upon offers of rewards for the assassination of enemies as relapses into barbarism.

In 1975 Justice Stewart delivered the opinion of the Supreme Court that “the Star Chamber has for centuries symbolized disregard of basic individual rights” (source). Obama assassination order — issued without any form of judicial or even executive review — gives Americans less rights than Brits had before that infamous tribunal (Wikipedia).  No, this was not a killing on a “battlefield.”  For details about this precedent-breaking act, see these posts.

The Left condemns the Right for giving the same response to domestic terror as they give to overseas terror attacks.

Dalrock documents this stunning example of the Left’s hypocrisy about the proper response to terror attacks. The response depends on the political utility of the incident. Moral relativism used unscrupulously.

Why more examples of the Democrat’s hypocrisy than the Republicans?

These are recent examples. The Democrats have been in office for eight years, so they have more points on the board. In next few years the GOP will give us many more examples of their hypocrisy.

The unifying thread to these incidents

Like most things in America, these things happen for a good reason. We approve of them when done by “our” side and condemn them when done by our political foes. But our foes don’t care about our opinions. Liberals can only influence  leaders of the Democratic Party. Conservatives can influence only leaders of the Republican Party.

The hypocrisy afflicting America is ours. That is good news, since it means the solution is under our control. All that is need is our will to change.

“Every country has the government it deserves.”
— Joseph-Marie, Comte de Maistre. From Lettres et Opuscules (1811).

For More Information

Ideas! For shopping ideas see my recommended books and films at Amazon.

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about the Constitution, about the New America, about Reforming America: steps to new politics, and especially these…

  1. Important: the Constitution is dying.
  2. What comes after the Constitution? Can we see the outline of a “Mark 3” version of the United States?
  3. Thomas Jefferson saw our present peril. We should heed his warning.
  4. Rome speaks to us. Their example can inspire us to avoid their fate.
  5. America isn’t falling like the Roman Empire. It’s falling like Rome’s Republic.
  6. Alert! Our institutions are hollow because we don’t love them.
  7. Let’s use the New Year to start the reform of America. — It is only February. Let’s start now.

A book about the secret power source of the Constitution

A Machine That Would Go of Itself
Available at Amazon.

A Machine That Would Go of Itself: The Constitution in American Culture.

By Michael Kammen (late professor of history at Cornell).

“The Constitution occupies an anomalous role in American cultural history. For almost two centuries it has been swathed in pride yet obscured by indifference: a fulsome rhetoric of reverence more than offset by the reality of ignorance.”

From the publisher…

“Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Michael Kammen explores the U.S. Constitution’s place in the public consciousness and its role as a symbol in American life, from ratification in 1788 to our own time. As he examines what the Constitution has meant to the American people (perceptions and misperceptions, uses and abuses, knowledge and ignorance), Kammen shows that although there are recurrent declarations of reverence most of us neither know nor fully understand our Constitution.

“How did this gap between ideal and reality come about? To explain it, Kammen examines the complex and contradictory feelings about the Constitution that emerged during its preparation and that have been with us ever since.

“He begins with our confusion as to the kind of Union we created, especially with regard to how much sovereignty the states actually surrendered to the central government. This confusion is the source of the constitutional crisis that led to the Civil War and its aftermath. Kammen also describes and analyzes changing perceptions of the differences and similarities between the British and American constitutions; turn-of-the-century debates about states’ rights versus national authority; and disagreements about how easy or difficult it ought to be to amend the Constitution.

“Moving into the twentieth century, he notes the development of a ‘cult of the Constitution’ following World War I, and the conflict over policy issues that persisted despite a shared commitment to the Constitution.”

15 thoughts on “The hypocrisy poisoning America

  1. About the section “Conservatives and the fiscal deficits”, what the graph actually shows is that both Democrats and Republicans engaged in curving the deficit deficit graph upwards. It’s a sweeping, accelerating, curve that no one seems willing or able to stop.

    Democrats are just as eager to criticize Republicans for deficit spending. The Democratic party trick is to fool everyone to believe they are more sensible since they want to raise taxes instead of decrease spending–when spending is the problem. It’s a pretty good trick.

    These are recent examples. The Democrats have been in office for eight years, so they have more points on the board. In next few years the GOP will give us many more examples of their hypocrisy.

    Probably true. I just wanted to note that the score (out of a possible 4 sections) is 4-1. This is the sort of game where both sides have a ball and can score simultaneously.

    1. Cane,

      “what the graph actually shows is that both Democrats and Republicans engaged in curving the deficit deficit graph upwards.”

      Wow. That’s quite a weird interpretation of the graph. Four of the five most recent Dem presidents reduced the deficit/gdp ratio. When Clinton left, the debate was about how long until the deficit was paid off — which was project to happen in 8-12 years under current circumstances. Bush Jr cut taxes to the rich to send the deficit back on path to the moon.

    2. Larry,

      Whoops! You are correct. Somehow I reordered the chart in my head as I came to the end of the article.

      My observation, though, is that the idea of fiscal restraint coupled with sensible and effective taxation are–for the foreseeable future–unthinkable for both parties. Factions describe the choices, unencumbered by reality. The game now is who can blow future generations’ wealth first…assuming we bother to breed them, of course. If we don’t They will spend it on something Our Side doesn’t like.

    3. Cane,

      I don’t understand why you believe the future patterns will differ from those of the past. Clinton and Obama both greatly reduced the level of deficits they inherited.

    4. Larry if this page is to believed you are wrong on Obama. He increased the deficits.

      https://www.usgovernmentspending.com/us_federal_deficit.php

      plull quote
      Defficit in Billions
      2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
      $161 $458 $1,413 $1,294 $1,295 $1,087 $679 $485 $438 $585 $665

      Yes he decreased what he had, but for the first 2 or 3 years it was tripple the 2008 value, and never got below that level.

      This link from .gov shows the outstanding debt (as typically understood ie not inlcuding off books Social Security) but it shows debt, not deficit, so math has to be done to see the table above.
      https://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/histdebt/histdebt_histo5.htm

      As to Obama sparing us a second depression. I’m not sure that he did. The numbers seem to point that he did, but several things are different from 1935 and 2010. Namely we have different way of helping – namely food stamps – rather than soup kitchen lines. It may be contrarian, but I’m of the opinion that Hoover and FDR both acted in ways to prolong the depression, not end it. And Bush and Obama did the same with the crisis in 2009. The actions they took between Fall 2008 and summer 2009 may have been a good thing, but Obama’s further actions post that time were major drags on industry. Be they large firms or the self employed down, the regulatory state of the Obama years prevented people from acting and taking risks and making money.

      That said, that your broader point is NOT falsified by this data. – that our political class is a mess.

    5. ACT,

      I said: “Clinton and Obama both greatly reduced the level of deficits they inherited.”

      The US budget year begins in October. The President takes office at the end of January. The first budget under Obama’s control was 2010. Bush’s imprudence sparked the great recession — ignoring the massive housing bubble and imprudent mortgage lending (which was front page news from 2005 until the bust). And his deficits were the result. The too-small emergency legislation of Bush and the larger package of Obama stabilized the economy, at the cost of large deficits.

      “As to Obama sparing us a second depression. I’m not sure that he did”

      You are entitled to your opinion. Every economist I respect — and a massive body of research — disagrees with you.

    6. Larry, under the pre Obama budget process you’d be correct, but since 2009, the spending bills have been getting very late. There was a CR in Spey 2008.

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_United_States_federal_budget

      “The final spending bills for the budget were not signed into law until March 11, 2009 by President Barack Obama, nearly five and a half months after the fiscal year began”. So that is on him, not just baby Bush. That means those budgets are in part, if not all his in 2009. I’m sorry, but your statement is false, Obama initially grew the deficit. Although honestly it would be more accurate to say Polosi grew it fro 2006 to 2010.

      On the economists, considering a lot of them think that FDR got us out of the depression, I’m not sure how credible they all are. But as you say they are the ones you like.
      And lastly given how we have change the way we measure things and handle problems, we very well may have and a second depression and just not realized it. I’m sure you’ve noticed the changes in how inflation is measured, unemployment and other official statistics like GDP instead of GNP for example.

    7. ACT,

      (1) That’s nuts on many grounds.

      (a) The president’s primary input to the budget comes from the instructions sent to the departments — in late 2007 for the 2009 budget — and the relatively minor changes made in response to the departments’ proposals. The president’s major contribution to the budget is the proposal sent to the House, for 2009 by Bush on 3 February 2008 (see the NYT article).

      (b) The president has some input in Congress’ processes, but less as the bill winds its way through. By the time Obama took office almost 12 months later it was almost done. It’s daft to believe that in the middle of a great depression-like crisis, in the last 6 weeks of the negotiations Obama could radically change the budget.

      (c) The 2009 budget year was 40% over by the time Obama signed the bill. Any changes in the budget from existing spending programs would take more months to take effect, so that the 2009 year would have been well over half over.

      (2) “On the economists, considering a lot of them think that FDR got us out of the depression, I’m not sure how credible they all are. But as you say they are the ones you like.”

      Again you’re making stuff up. First, I never mentioned FDR. Second, you are wrong. FDR mitigated the Great Depression in the US. The deficit spending of WWII ended it.

      (3) “And lastly given how we have change the way we measure things and handle problems, we very well may have and a second depression and just not realized it.”

      That’s quite unifomred about what the Great Depression was like. Read about it. Also, we did not have much in the way of economic stats back then (most resulted from work done in the 1930s and during WWII). But people didn’t need newspapers to see the massive unemployment and business closures around them.

  2. The bit about the Republicans and the deficit made me think of something I saw on YouTube the other day. They’ve resurrected The McLaughlin Group, and while they haven’t done a Weekend At Bernie’s with John McLaughlin’s corpse to emcee, they do have most of the original gang, and while they’ve visibly aged, they’re still saying the same stuff. But they did add John Schindler of XX Committee blog fame, and he was saying “I remember when the Republicans were in favor of a balanced budget.” And I thought to myself, “I know I’m old, drunk and retarded, but now I guess I’ve got Alzheimer’s too, because I don’t remember any of that.”

    Plus ca change…

    Anyhoo, it seems to me that sometimes hypocrisy can just be a short time horizon. Suppose the Democrats had dumped Bill as a sleazebag, what would have happened, really? Would women have been forced into back alley abortions,, and would Republican fat cats have used the blood of poor black children to make their sausage? No.

    Al Gore would have been President. And odds are, come 2000, when Al Gore had the advantage of incumbency, Al Gore would still have been President. So does defending the Big Creep to the last man and the last round still look like a good idea now? A lot of what you’re talking about in your post is stuff that has the potential to turn around and bite you down the road, and it shouldn’t take a genius to figure that out.

  3. The Bible talks about what is right being wrong and what is wrong being right in the end times. It’s more than hypocrisy, it’s an inversion of traditional values.

    Whatever… it sucks.

    1. Benign,

      “The Bible talks about what is right being wrong …”

      I don’t understand. Does the Bible discuss women in the US Marines?

  4. Just alluding to the difficulty of saying anything nowadays that someone else cannot deem hypocritical in some regard.
    cheers

    1. Benign,

      Good point! PC quickly becomes an impediment to communication.

      More serious, it creates outlaws — like 4chan. Once they are branded transgressive, they have no incentive to follow the rules. For example, 4Chan is one of the major sources of creative thought in America; albeit on a low level (memes, not philosophy). They are a disruptive element, and probably gathering strength. I recommend watching them. Under suitable circumstances, with the right leader, such movements can become powerful.

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