The Hypocritical Oath

The Hypocritical Oath

    It’s not to be confused with the Hippocratic Oath that doctors take, with the admonition to “First, do no harm.”  Those who have over-prescribed opioids while taking kickbacks from the drug companies are indeed hypocrites, but nowhere is hypocrisy more painfully obvious than in politics.  Both Democrats and Republicans are guilty, but not equally.  Maybe it’s because I’m a tree-hugging liberal, but it seems to me that for Democrats hypocrisy is an off-key melody, but for Republicans its grand opera.
    Al Gore, Jr. has been passionate about environmental concerns (if you can imagine Gore being passionate), but the Right loved to call him a hypocrite because of the $30,000/year utilities bill for his 20-room mansion, and his flying around in jets.  I kind of see the point, but it’s a little weak.  It’s like saying to an environmentalist well, if you’re against fossil fuels, you ought to disconnect the electricity to your house.
    Last March, after Pres. Obama nominated Merrick Garland to fill the vacant seat left by Antonin Scalia, Sen. Majority Leader McConnell violated his Constitutional Oath to even give the man a hearing, invoking “the Biden Rule.”  See, Biden did the same thing.  Well, no, he didn’t.  In 1992, as Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he suggested that then Pres. George H.W. Bush not nominate a replacement for the High Court, should one come up, until after the coming presidential election.  There was no vacancy at the time, it was just a hypothetical.  It’s apples and oranges, as they say.
    I’ve seen several instances where Republicans called Democrats hypocrites because while they fight for gun control, they don’t seem to have a problem with armed guards like the Secret Service.  This is the kind of stuff you just have to laugh at.  But it’s not as if Democrats are always being falsely accused.  Nancy Pelosi was given the Cesar Chavez Award by the United Farmworkers Union while she employed non-union workers at her vineyard in the Napa Valley.
    I admire Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.  He’s long been a hero in the environmental movement.  Yet he has staunchly opposed the Wind Cape Project, 160 wind turbines in a ten mile area of Horseshoe Shoal, at the shallow part of Nantucket Bay.  It would be visible, you see, from the Kennedy family compound at Hyannis.  He helped form the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, and claimed the project would cause all sorts of environmental damage, including two burial grounds sacred to the Wampanoag tribe.  Burial grounds at sea?  Please.
    The official Democratic National Platform has a provision continuing to attack for-profit colleges.  Last year we saw the Dept. of Defense cut off the University of Phoenix from its tuition assistance program (for the military).  But in early July The Chicago Tribune reported the President playing a round with one of his favorite golf buddies, Marty Nesbitt, who just bought Phoenix’s parent company.  Hillary Clinton urges tougher regulations of for-profit schools, while her husband is Honorary Chancellor of Laureate Education, Inc., the nation’s largest for-profit education corporation.  There’s some hypocrisy for you.
    Okay, we’ve been playing double and triple A ball; I think we’re ready for the Major Leagues.  Why don’t we start with — trumpet fanfare — Hillary and her emails!  No wait, let’s go back to Benghazi, where it all started.  After literally dozens of hearings, trying to pin something, anything, on her, they found nothing.  Meanwhile we learned that the Republicans had cut embassy security funding by $128 million for 2011 and $331 million for 2012 (this last only months before the attack at Benghazi).  CNN reported that a front man for embassy security in Libya had asked for more security months before, and was denied.
    The Benghazi persecutions having failed, they went after her private email account and server, and 33,000 missing emails.  No one remembers, I guess, that Pres. George W. Bush, VP Cheney, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice, all had private email accounts, and some had private servers as well.  And no one brings up the five million missing emails from the Bush White House, either.
    A gem of hypocrisy occurred during the 2008 presidential campaign, when Obama was seen in public without an American flag lapel pin!  They’re mostly made in China, by the way.  Then Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA), a true doofus, was being interviewed on MSNBC’s “Hardball” by host Chris Matthews, and whining about Obama being unpatriotic.  Matthews immediately called him on it:  “But you’re not wearing one right now!”  Ahem and haw.
    Unless you’re a Millennial, you may recall the witch hunt and resulting impeachment trial of Pres. Bill Clinton, for the Monica Lewinsky scandal.  Then House Speaker Newt Gingrich was a main attack dog, but at the same time he was having an affair himself.  Henry Hyde, then Chair of the House Judiciary Committee that convened the hearings, was at the time having an affair.  After Gingrich resigned in 1998, Bob Livingston became Speaker and continued the proceedings, also while having an affair.  NV Senator John Ensign called for Clinton to resign, stating that “an adulterer was unfit to be president,” then resigned in disgrace after the affair with his best friend’s wife was uncovered.
    Republicans love to claim strict adherence to the Constitution, especially the States Rights amendment, #10.  But on Dec. 12, 2000, the Supreme Court ordered Florida to halt the recount mandated by that state’s Supreme Court, thereby appointing George W. Bush to the presidency.  The only sound heard from the Right was crickets.
    The pro-life people really get me.  They seem to have no problem with capital punishment or endless wars.  They’re not really pro-life anyway, they’re pro-fetus.  After the child is born, they couldn’t give a rat’s ass if it grows up in abject poverty.
    Remember the $800 billion stimulus bill Obama signed in 2009, to try and recover from the wrecked economy George W. Bush left us?  Remember how viciously Republicans fought it?  Then in 2010 the Democratic National Committee published a list of 71 GOP congress members caught celebrating the benefits of that same stimulus bill to their own states.
    I’ve often wondered if Republicans secretly take an oath of hypocrisy when they assume office.  A most glaring example has been repeated constantly for the past seven years:  that no one has been more divisive than President Obama.  I hear it all the time on right-wing hate radio.  This is the same Obama who said there are no red or blue states, only purple states.  Then there was the Tea Party, waving signs showing him as some African witch doctor, a Kenyan Muslim, and even the antichrist.  Bill Maher said it best, that these people don’t like the idea of a black family eating off the White House china.
    At the DNC Convention President Obama talked about “homegrown demagogues.”  You know of whom he spoke.  So Mike Pence made this statement:  “You know, I don’t think name calling has any place in public life, and I thought that was unfortunate that the President of the United States would use a term like that . . .”  Can you believe it?  Has Pence listened to Donald Trump at all?
    June 12th was the mass shooting at an LGBTQ club in Orlando.  Igor Volsky of Think Progress compiled a list of Republicans in Congress who tweeted in unison, “Our thoughts and prayers,” etc, along with their career contributions from the NRA and affiliates.  Here are a few:  Sen. Ron Johnson, WI ($1.3 million), Sen. Pete Sessions, CA ($80,000), Sen Pat Roberts, KS ($322,000), Sen. Orrin Hatch, UT ($98,000), Sen. Tom Cotton, AR ($1.9 million), Sen. Roy Blunt, MO ($1.4 million), Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, KY ($922,000).  At least McConnell used different wording:  “The nation’s prayers are with . . .”  And by the way, where was the NRA when Philandro Castile was gunned down after telling the officer who stopped him he had a gun and legal permit?  Oh, that’s right — black man.
    The God-King of hypocrisy is Donald Trump; he has no equal.  I could go on for weeks on him, but this column already runs long, and I apologize, so one towering example should do.  You’ll recall at the DNC Convention the Muslim parents of an American Army captain who died in Iraq in 2004, and how the father, Khzir Khan belittled Trump.  The RNC Convention had their own example, Patricia Smith, mother of a serviceman killed at Benghazi.  Trump went on and on about how much press the Khans got, while overlooking Mrs. Smith:  “They gave her virtually no airtime and they give other people (meaning the Khans) an unbelievable amount of airtime.  It’s just so unfair.”  In the Real world, all the networks carried Patricia Smith’s speech live, except for one:  Fox News.  What were they airing at the time?  A Bill O’Reilly interview with — wait for it — Donald Trump.
    Perhaps you’ve seen the photo of Donald Trump’s wife, Melania, circulating around the internet.  She’s posing in a bikini top, thong, knee-high black leather boots, and holding a big pistol of some kind.  There are also nude photos available; after all, she was a model.  I haven’t heard a thing from conservatives about these depictions of possibly our next First Lady.  But do you remember the hysteria a few years ago when Michelle Obama appeared in public in a sleeveless dress, showing those totally ripped arms?  I’m not a 2nd Amendment guy, but I’d buy a ticket to that gun show.
    I can only hope there’s a very deep and special pit in Hell for these people.
    You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.          — Matthew 7:5 (New Revised Standard Version)


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