Hypocrisy as Far as the Eye Can See
Brad Johnson, Politics Contributor
Opinion - There is a famous saying that becomes especially popularized every four years. It goes as follows: “Opinions are like a*******, everybody’s got one, and they all stink.” Everyone deserves the right to an opinion, and many people exercise this right, and exercise it dutifully. However, many have become prone to exercising that right haphazardly. Whether you sit on the Right or Left of the ideological spectrum, it is possible to be a reasonable and consistent human being. Unfortunately, far too many have opted instead for insanity and hypocrisy.
Many on the Left have bought the conspiracy theory that Russia interfered with our most recent presidential election, and some even go as far as to claim it was “hacked.” The idea that Vladimir Putin hacked our election implies that he was able to enact mind control over millions of voters. It is as ridiculous an idea as it is impossible. It is used as an excuse to ignore the plethora of faults and mistakes made by Hillary Clinton. However, there is an argument to be made that Russia attempted to interfere with our election by various ways. But there is no evidence it actually happened. Rightly so, some are wary of Russian interference in our electoral process. Yet, just over the weekend, our now former President, and Leftist hero, did just that with the French election. Former President Obama released a video expressing his support for Emmanuel Macron, the French presidential candidate more in line with his policy preferences. Many cheered this act. To be clear, Barack Obama is now a regular citizen, and did not commit any illegal act. However, the same crowd clamoring for an investigation into Russian interference in our election cheered as blatant interference in a foreign country’s election was conducted. The hypocrisy is striking.
Just last week, the Director of the FBI, James Comey, was canned. Comey, who rose to fame during the 2016 presidential election, became hated by half the country for not pressing charges against Hillary Clinton and her email indiscretion. Shortly after, Comey caught the ire of the rest of the country with his reopening of the Clinton investigation. Pollster Nate Silver, founder of FiveThirtyEight, stated that Comey’s letter likely “cost Clinton the election.” Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer, criticized Comey’s actions preceding the election. However, in the wake of Comey’s firing, Schumer said it was a “big mistake.” Our newly elected President criticized the FBI Director when he originally announced the decision not to charge Clinton. He then praised James Comey following the letter to Congress announcing the reopening of the investigation. And now he has fired him stating Comey is no longer “able to effectively lead the Bureau.” It is important to remember that each political figurehead has their own pack of lemmings shadowing their every move and regurgitating their every word. So which is it everyone? Is Comey the bane of our country’s existence? Or is he the best thing since sliced bread? The incessant flip-flopping on both sides of the aisle is revolting, yet has become the norm.
The rules of the Senate used to require a 60 vote threshold to confirm federal appointments. However, in 2013, then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid deemed it necessary to blow up the rules of order so that President Obama could pack the lower federal courts with his favored judicial activist disciples. Senate Republicans had been filibustering the appointments, so Harry Reid in all of his miniscule foresight conjoined the appointments into one vote, and blew up the 60 vote threshold so that a mere simple majority was all that was needed to confirm the appointments. This is referred to as the “nuclear option.” Reid used this for all judicial nominees except those for the Supreme Court, but it was Mitch McConnell who put the final nail in the coffin.
Four years later, this Democrat-established precedent came back to bite them in the rear end when the Republicans chose to use the nuclear option to confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. In 2013, Democrats justified the use of the nuclear option by blaming an obstruction-focused minority party. Yet in 2017, the Democrat’s collective temper-tantrum decried the GOP’s apparent dismantling of established checks and balances. However, no such regard for restraints on authority occurred four years earlier because it benefited them. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) on Twitter praised Reid’s actions, and now likened McConnell’s to putting “a knife in the heart of the Republic.” The same goes for the GOP who in 2013 condemned Reid’s actions as damaging to the institution.
Within this whole hodgepodge of hypocrisy lies more hypocrisy. Neil Gorsuch was unanimously confirmed to the federal bench in 2006 without any objection. But when his name appeared as the Supreme Court nominee, he all of a sudden became an unacceptable candidate and an abhorrent human being. Both sides have acted in favor of what was politically beneficial instead of that which is morally correct, and thus succumbed to hypocrisy.
When the ends justify the means, hypocrisy infects all who allow such a thing to occur. When the very concept of a principle (a foundational belief) is thrown by the wayside, de facto nihilism becomes the rule rather than the exception. Thirst for power attracts scoundrels, scalawags, hypocrites, and all the like to elected office. But there are good and decent people in elected office throughout this country, and it is times like these where they stick out like sore thumbs. Look to them for direction, and ignore the hypocrites.
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