Ethics Musings II : The Dark Side Of The Democrats’ Debate


The dark side of the Republican Party is well documented, I’d say, and much of it is on display among the I’ve lost count how many is it now? field of GOP candidates for the Presidency: an affection for theocracy, anti-intellectualism, ideological rigidity in defiance of reality, self-destructive contempt and lack of sympathy for the poor, hypocrisy, estrangement from the evolving culture, an absence of integrity and courage. In other stygian corners lurks outright racism and misogyny.

Based on the display in the Democratic Party’s presidential debate, however, the Democrats’ dark side is scarier by far, in part because it appears party wide. That party, with its roots in the philosophies of Jefferson, Jackson, FDR and Kennedy, is approaching a full embrace of the principles and methods of leftist totalitarianism. Worse yet, the news media appears to be in full alliance with this effort. Worse still, Democrats in the public don’t seem to care. The party called Democratic is increasingly rejecting the principles of democracy, and its public doesn’t care.

During the debate, we witnessed:

1. A sham of a debate, in which the candidates largely bolstered the anointed Hillary Clinton and refused to engage her in the single most important reason she is unworthy of power: she is corrupt, and she lies. That is, of course, the import of the e-mail scandal. Not the e-mails themselves, but the machinations and deceptions surrounding them. For Clinton’s primary opponent, Bernie Sanders, to attempt to remove this critical aspect of her fitness to be President from public examination because the public is sick of hearing about it is a cynical cover-up tactic reeking with dishonesty.

2. Clinton was allowed to repeat lies that have already been exposed without any of her opponents challenging them.  This means that the Democrats are presenting an illusion of a real competition, nothing more.

Guy Benson, taking a recent interview since the debate in which Hillary essentially went through he same talking points, did what any of the candidates should have done, were obligated to do, but didn’t. Here’s the segment of the interview…

REPORTER: “Okay. I’m not going to ask you a trustworthiness question about the e-mail issue, but I do want to ask a judgment question. You used a small Denver company called Platte River Networks to manage your private server. It appears now that data off of that server got backed up to a cloud server somewhere else without your knowledge or consent. Platte River told me if it knew, and it’s not in the business of asking, but if it knew that you were planning to send State Department-type information through this system, this is not the system that they would have set you up with. You’re the nation’s top diplomat in that role, you’ve gotta know that what you’re sending through communications is valuable to foreign intelligence, why go with this system? Did any part of you think maybe this isn’t a good idea?”

CLINTON: “Well, look, I’ve taken responsibility for what I did, and it was a mistake. The State Department allowed it at the time. And I’ve tried to be as transparent as possible. I’ll be appearing before the Congress next week and answering a lot of questions that they may have, although, now it’s clear that this whole effort was set up for political partisan purposes, not to try to get to any useful end. But I’ll be in a position to respond and the American people can listen and watch and draw their own conclusions.”

REPORTER: “Yeah, but to someone who thinks that might have been a foolish move, what would you say about your judgment generally?”

CLINTON: “Well, nothing I sent or received was marked classified at the time. That is an absolute fact. It’s been verified over and over and over again. So I think that we’ll have a chance to explain what that means, if people don’t understand it.”

Writes Benson;

She’s “taken responsibility,” she says — albeit kicking and screaming, according to the New York Times. How authentic is that contrition? Her very next assertion is that her unsecure private server arrangement was “allowed.” No, it wasn’t.  Further, at no point has she “tried to be as transparent as possible.”  She kept the existence of her server a secret, resisted turning over emails until caving under pressure and court orders, only handed over the server itself when the FBI came knocking, and withheld relevant emails despite swearing under penalty of perjury that she hadn’t.  This is the antithesis of transparency.  Indeed, even many in the media and some Democrats concede that Occam’s Razor suggests the entire purpose of her server’s existence was to thwart transparency.  As for the “marked classified” parsing, I broke down the self-serving evolution on Hillary’s excuses on this front, each made necessary by the collapse of the last… From “no classified material” (false), to “no material that was classified at the time” (false), to “I didn’t send or receive the material personally” (false) to “it wasn’t *marked* classified at the time.” As I explain in the clip, this final distinction is meaningless. Under the law, it was her duty to recognize and protect classified information — and even the average layperson could instantly intuit that top secret details about North Korean nukes, or secret updates on the Iranian negotiations, or messages revealing the identity of a CIA asset in Libya very obviously constituted classified data, both at the time and ever since.  She is incapable of telling the truth on this issue because the truth could place her in further legal jeopardy.  Hillary Clinton, her “competitor” Bernie Sanders, and much of the Democratic base believes this is a non-issue that should go away.  Two Obama administration Inspectors General, the FBI, and most voters disagree.  Mrs. Clinton appears to have broken multiple rules — and possibly laws — while recklessly compromising national security, to protect her political ambitions.  And she’s lied about it.  Repeatedly

And yet the Democratic establishment is willing to run her for the Presidency, as every aspect of the party including her party opponents assist in misrepresenting her character to voters and refusing to challenge her. This is the Politburo, essentially.

4. In addition to misrepresenting allies as competitors, the DNC is limiting Clinton’ s exposure and suppressing dissent. With the assistance of a complicit Anderson Cooper, the maverick Jim Webb, a leader who is capable of lying down for anyone, was marginalized by the rules he was forced to agree to. (This was an especially despicable defense for Cooper. As a distant dark horse, Webb had no options but to agree to Hillary-dictated restrictions or not debate. This isn’t “agreement,” it is submission.

5.  Sanders’ function is to engage young voters with anti-American, fantastic policies that are by turn irresponsible pandering, class warfare, and attractive  to the ignorant (electing Supreme Court Justices), those who want giveaways (free health care, free college…on and on, none of which is really free), and income redistribution. For Sanders, this is sincere but nuts; for the Democrats, he is a tool to gain power. Very little of it is achievable, as Jim Webb pointed out, but never mind. Sanders is the ultimate useful idiot

6. We are told that when Sanders announced that the entire issue of Clinton’s corruption and honesty was off the table, the press room broke into cheers. Isn’t that chilling? The journalists who will be charged with covering the campaign are not only openly biased, but don’t even have the integrity to hide it.


7. On CNN, a report about Donald Trump forcing CNBC to shorten the debates was preceded by a gleeful, grinning young woman who mocked the Republican debates as resembling “The Hunger Games” and the “more polite and civil” Democrats presenting “an infomercial.” Dictatorships present infomercials. How “polite” were the Lincoln-Douglas debates? Was the debate in the Continental Congress over independence an infomercial or a desperate, passionate battle? Democracy is disagreement, debate and the exchange of conflicting ideas in search of the truth. Infomercials are indoctrination.

8. Hillary Clinton openly, and to cheers, described the Republicans as enemies. Totalitarian governments treat the opposition as enemies. Democratic governments require competing interests to have mutual respect for each other.

9. Combine these with the current Democratic administration’s politicized and corrupt Justice Department, its refusal to prosecute wrong-doing within the administration, its withholding of crucial information from the pubic until after elections, its use of lies to gain support for legislation, like the Affordable Care Act, its willingness to break laws and defy the Constitution until stopped, its abuse of individual rights and the President’s preference for governing by Executive Order, and the conclusion is unavoidable.

One should not have to be a Republican to recognize these trends, see them as a threat to our nation, and resolve to oppose them.

14 thoughts on “Ethics Musings II : The Dark Side Of The Democrats’ Debate

  1. Well CNN and MSNBC are emulating Izvestia very well. “Official Views” for masses have been well delivered by both Networks. I really don’t think I’ll bother to watch the next Democratic debate.

  2. I agree with most of this well-written post, but I am curious about a side point you make. In describing the Republicans, you paint a fairly bleak picture of them. How much of this do you suppose is genuine across the board, and how much is as force-fed in the common consciousness as the notion of the horde of pedophile catholic priests?

    “An affection for Theocracy” – Carson’s pretty vocal about his faith, and Huckabee’s a joke candidate. I can see how someone who expresses support for the Kim Davises of the world could be classified as this in some eyes. “Anti-intellectual?” Most the time I hear that charge levied, it’s either in regards to the fact that the candidate is anti-abortion (keep shouting that science is your side, and some folks believe it.) a climate change denier (again), or religious at all (because no sensible person could ever be anything but a staunch atheist.)

    “Ideological rigidity in defiance of reality?” Ideologues, agreed. Rigid, agreed. Defiant, agreed. But which reality are they remaining willfully blind to? Is it the kind of reality which, stubborn as mules, they bow their backs until they must break, or else is it the implacable slide which must be resisted or else it overwhelm all? Likely depends on the viewpoint of the viewer.

    “Self-destructive contempt and lack of sympathy for the poor” is another one. I don’t argue that it doesn’t describe Trump to a T, but disagreement with the methods posed for helping the poor is not the same as not feeling sympathy for them. They can both feel sympathy for the poor and remain adamant that Sanders’ plans would be a disaster. As for estrangement from popular culture, I’ve seen pop culture. Playboy can’t make money selling pictures of naked women anymore, whole states are vanishing into rolling fog banks of pot smoke, celebrities are a joke, and athletes are worse. And whatever flaws Trump, Hillary, and Sanders have – they are popular, by all means! Right there with the Jenners, Kardassians, Honey Boo-boos, and Duggars. I’ll admit that not making an effort to be relevant to the general culture is a losing tactic, but I’m no longer certain it’s automatically an unethical one.

    Hypocrites, I’ll grant. A lack of integrity and courage, absolutely. However, typically when a republican expresses a desire to see more of those quality traits, the response is slack-jawed amazement and astonishment that the current crop isn’t right-wing ENOUGH for them. Apparently one can’t be to the right of Christie without automatically being Huckabee or worse. Do racists and misogynists exist on the Right? Absolutely. But I also consider the source – it’s the “Black lives matter” and open borders crowds shouting racism loudest, and the pro-abortion, “Dear colleague” letter waving, 1-in-5, 77 cents to the dollar Hillary supporters who cry out most about the war on women.

    I appreciate the chance to ramble here – i’m not sure what my point is, other than the fact that I’m reluctant to let either side be completely defined by their opponents. As for the Republicans, I still think Carson would try the hardest to succeed although needing some serious statesman work (he’d be far better as a VP candidate right now, I think, although I do like many of his stances), Rubio and Cruz have got fire and bold ideas, but need to be tempered. Kasich should choose Webb as his running mate, and I’d vote for the pair of them in a heartbeat, no matter who was on top of the ticket. I even think Jindal’s still in there – He’s got the most experience of any of the remaining palatable candidates barring Christie (who is only borderline palatable, tbh.)

    • Great post. Republicans seem not to understand cognitive dissonance, for one thing. Every year, there will be 5 to 10 Republican officials and party leaders who will send racist, homophobic or misogyist jokes over the internet, or use language in public statements that are cringingly offensive, like Trumps menstrual allusion. The fact that no alarms go off while this is swirling in what they call a mind is telling. They are bigots in some form or another,it is likely many others in the party knew it, tey they were still in places of power in their party. I literally never see these kinds of ethics dunce stories about Democrats. Oh, they embarrass themselves in other equally disturbing ways: using race-baiting to inhibit legitimate criticism of Obama, arguing that suspicion alone based on a woman’s accusation should be enough to kick a man out of college, but infringing rights and stifling dissent just isn’t seen as “bad” by a lot of Democrats, just as being a bigot isn’t seen as being bad by far to many Republicans. Thus the GOP hinders its ability to protect the Republic by rendering themselves repulsive. That’s unforgivable.

          • There are better choices. Neither bigotry nor tyranny are ubiquitous markers of both parties, nor are they exclusive to either party. You’ll find your tyrant-oriented right winger and your bigot-oriented left winger often as well. The claim is merely that an uncomfortable amount of right-wingers are bigots and an uncomfortable amount of left-wingers are would-be tyrants.

            The mitigation in all this, is that it would seem vastly MORE left-wingers trend to would-be tyranny than right-wingers towards bigotry, VASTLY. The other mitigation is that in the end, bigots, lest they become tyrants themselves, CANNOT harm the vast majority of the community, but merely hurt people’s feelings, whereas the would-be tyrants of the left can utterly destroy the civil community and ruin life for ALL.

  3. Aaron, I think Jack was putting the Republicans in the light least favorable to them before contrasting them to the Democrats. I think this was a preemptive strike against someone (inevitably) saying, “Yeah, but the Republicans are this that or the other thing, etc.”Rationalization number __, It’s not the worst thing.”

    And, as has been noted in U.S. politics, it’s a Chinese restaurant menu: Choose from column A or column B. No substitutions. There are aspects of the Republicans I find very unsavory (bible thumping) but given the Democrats’ stunningly rapid descent into Stalinism, Republicans are the only show in town.

    And by the way, I don’t think anti-intellectualism is such a bad thing. It’s been part of the U.S. since time immemorial, certainly as long as guns. It’s helpful dealing with presidents who bill themselves as being the smartest guy in the room (See eg., W.J. Clinton and B.H. Obama). The SATs have nothing to do with identifying leadership skills or character.

    • And, as has been noted in U.S. politics, it’s a Chinese restaurant menu: Choose from column A or column B. No substitutions. There are aspects of the Republicans I find very unsavory (bible thumping) but given the Democrats’ stunningly rapid descent into Stalinism, Republicans are the only show in town.

      Indeed, it is the extremism among the Democrats who allowed extremism to be a viable political strategy among the Republicans.

      The Republicans are not openly trying to pass hate speech codes in public universities, nor trying to require private universities to expel men for rape merely because of suspicion, or calling for more gun control laws, nor claiming that global warming would destroy the Earth, nor revive segregation in public education.

  4. Hillary Clinton openly, and to cheers, described the Republicans as enemies. Totalitarian governments treat the opposition as enemies. Democratic governments require competing interests to have mutual respect for each oth

    this is poor propaganda. Her husband never referred to Republicans in general as enemies.

    “For psychological warfare purposes, it is useful to define the enemy as: (1) the ruler, (2) or the ruling group, (3) or unspecified manipulators, (4) or any definite minority. It is thoroughly unsound to define the enemy too widely.” (p. 51) The rank-and-file member of the opposing side is not “the enemy.” He or she is a victim of the enemies suggested by Linebarger: his/her ruler, ruling group, etc. “The sound psychological warfare operator will try to get enemy troops to believing that the enemy is not themselves but somebody else- the King, the Fuhrer, the elite troops, the capitalists. … ‘We’re not fighting you. We are fighting the So-and-so’s who are misleading you.'”

  5. Usually presidential debates are kind of boring as I’m already aware of the stands and character. This time around, both debates seem to just exhibitions for the leaders and cattle calls. Debates are NOT places to play nicey! We expect them to bloody the water and attack the flaws in the other candidates. If they can’t support their ideas on a debating stage, how can we expect them to defend American ideals on the world stage?

    So, instead of convincing me to choose them, I’m convinced the front runners need to get out and leave the grown-ups talk. They failed to convince me they have strong presence to handle the rough and tumble of national level politics with their convictions.

  6. “We are told that when Sanders announced that the entire issue of Clinton’s corruption and honesty was off the table, the press room broke into cheers. Isn’t that chilling?

    Hillary Clinton openly, and to cheers, described the Republicans as enemies. Totalitarian governments treat the opposition as enemies. Democratic governments require competing interests to have mutual respect for each other.” (Empasis added)

    What struck me time and time again was that this didn’t hit me as a professional debate. The raucous applause and hoots and yelling made me think several times of a rally, or a talk show. Note that this was the same press covering the GOP debates. What the hell were they thinking?

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