Conservatives Flunk An Integrity Test: The Puzder Withdrawal

Amazing. I am reading conservative bloggers and columnists blaming Andrew Puzder’s withdrawal as the Labor Secretary nominee on an outrageous Democratic Party hit job. This is the mirror image of Democrats and their news media describing every move by the President as a threat to the solar system. Why would anyone believe these conservatives when their charges are reasonable and  justified, if they call something like this an outrage?

Puzder was one of President Trump’s worst and most indefensible nominations, running in a dead heat with Ben Carson at HUD (unqualified, and an apparent idiot); and Rick Perry at Energy (appointing someone who wants to get rid of the agency he will be heading when he couldn’t even remember the name of the agency on live TV). His nomination is also the most glaring example yet of incompetent and lazy vetting, as well as insensitivity to obvious problems, and why the President desperately needs a pro, and adult, and a competent manager as Chief of Staff.

No, Puzder wasn’t forced to withdraw “just” because of his employment of an undocumented immigrant as his housekeeper. To be clear, however, that alone would have been sufficient to disqualify him to serve in this administration, which has made enforcement of immigration laws a centerpiece of its philosophy.

There was a lot more wrong with Puzder, however. President Trump had promised to protect working-class Americans, and Puzder has been an advocate for management, not labor. Democrats find him unacceptable because he opposes increases in the minimum wage (while they want extreme increases that will lose jobs and put small businesses in bankruptcy), but the job does require a more balanced approach than Puzder seemed to be likely to take. As the chief executive of CKE Restaurants, which owns the Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. fast-food chains, he also had serious conflict of interest problems—almost as many as the President.

The high-profile spousal abuse allegations against him, however, would also disqualify Puzder all by themselves. Puzder’s ex-wife Lisa Fierstein, appearing on an Oprah segment titled “High Class Battered Women,” said that he once told her, “I will see you in the gutter. This will never be over. You will pay for this.”  Fierstein also said she called the police when he beat her, explaining her abuse to Winfrey as she appeared in disguise as “Ann” in  a 1990 video.  Oprah herself made sure Democrats and the news media (but I repeat myself) had the tape in hand as ammunition against the nominee.

Puzder denied the accusations, and eight months after appearing on “Oprah,” Fierstein retracted tale of  domestic abuse as part of a child custody agreement. Then she said repeatedly that the allegations were a tactic to gain leverage in her divorce. (Nice ethics there, Linda, whatever the truth is.) But this does nothing to alter the perception that Puzder might be a spousal abuser. The President,  unapologetic misogynist that he is, still can not allow anyone with that shadow over him to serve in the administration. Puzder should have told the President about the issue, and Trump’s staff should  have discovered it if they were doing their jobs properly. If Puzder did reveal the controversy, that should have ended his chances of a getting the nomination. If he didn’t, then the President should have pulled the nomination. Maybe he did.

Democrats were absolutely right to seek this nominee’s defeat. Conservatives make themselves look foolish, insensitive, dumb and dishonest by claiming otherwise.

31 Comments

Filed under Business & Commercial, Ethics Dunces, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement

31 responses to “Conservatives Flunk An Integrity Test: The Puzder Withdrawal

  1. Steve-O-in-NJ

    Hardly. He dropped out because he didn’t have the votes, he didn’t have the votes because too many Republicans had legitimate questions, and too many Republicans had questions because his record isn’t completely clean.

    • Are you saying because enough Republicans were skeptics that he headline calling out “conservatives” is innacurate? Or do you just generally disagree with the reasons Jack claims are why he dropped out… which I’m not sure are mutually exclusive.

    • That’s like saying Hillary lost because the Electoral College didn’t swing her way. She lost because she was a lousy candidate, and deserved to. Puzger didn’t have the votes because he was conflicted, a hypocrite, a lawbreaker, and beat his wife. He shouldn’t have had ANY votes.

      “His record isn’t completely clean
      ” is like saying Hillary’s statements about her e-mails weren’t completely accurate.

      “Bias makes you sound like a Democrat…”

  2. Defenses of Puzder ultimately boil down to “they do it also”, “it’s not the worst thing”, and variations thereof.

  3. Other Bill

    Nominee for Secretary of Labor employing illegal alien as a housekeeper. Brilliant. “I’ll hire all the best people.”

  4. LF wilburn

    I love your insight Jack. Seems you are one of the few who still has a lick of sense left.

  5. Chris Marschner

    I am in complete agreement however the statement about allegations of spousal abuse makes me cringe. We live in a society that sees the charge of spousal abuse as equivalent to that of calling someone a person a racist.

    There is no doubt that spousal abuse happens. There is also no doubt that some spouses will threaten or allege spousal abuse to gain leverage. A more insidious form of manipulation is when spouses instruct children to make the estranged spouse look like a child abuser. More often than not these charges are leveled at men.

    This is the Scarlet letter of our age and we need to be aware of all facts before we hang that label on anyone.

    • Of course. But the label, once hung, doesn’t come off. It can’t. My guess is that Fierstein was abused, and bargained away the accusation, because this happens so, so often. Still, she might have made the whole thing up. That doesn’t make him a good choice for a “Pussy grabbing” POTUS, though, whose own wife also made, and recanted, a rape charge.

      • dragin_dragon

        And my guess, presented with absolutely no evidence either available or ever likely to be, is that the recant had a dollar sign in front of it.

    • Michael Ejercito

      Why would we believe mere accusations without corroborating evidence?

  6. Mike

    Jack, i think you owe Dr Carson an apology. I don’t know about his qualifications for HUD, but no one who has become a pediatric brain surgeon could possibly be an idiot.

    • Idiot savant, perhaps. Carson, in this field, is an idiot. His statements in the debates were idiotic; it is the only way to describe them. A sugeon is a carftsman, not a rocket scientist. The man literally said that it’s better to have no experience in heading up a government and managing an organization than having experience. He said this more than once. He frequently said that his qualifiactions as a surgeon were relevant to the US Presidency. Let’s see what comes up in y “Carson is an idiot” File—-AH!!! Here’s one from July, after melania Trump blatantly plagiarized Michelle Obama on national TV:

      “If Melania’s speech is similar to Michelle Obama’s speech, that should make us all very happy because we should be saying, whether we’re Democrats or Republicans, we share the same values. If we happen to share values, we should celebrate that, not try to make it into a controversy.”

      Celebrate plagiarism! Idiot. Let’s see what the next one is, just for fun! Hmmmm….AH!

      This, from November:

      “If there’s a rabid dog running around in your neighborhood, you’re probably not going to assume something good about that dog. And you’re probably going to put your children out of the way. That doesn’t mean that you hate all dogs.”

      Signature significance. Ben Carson knows that Democrats are characterizing as racism and bigotry—as the Geico ads would say, “if you’re a Democrat, that’s what you do”—legitimate concerns about the likelihood of allowing terrorists into the country along with refugees who come from the Land of ISIS. Nevertheless, Carson still compares the Syrian refugees to dogs (the rabies would be the terrorists.). I know Ben isn’t a lawyer—he isn’t smart enough to be a lawyer, and trust me, it’s not that high a bar—but the statement isn’t just stupidly offensive, it’s not even an accurate or well-constructed analogy. I made the correct version of that analogy here:

      “The proper analogy is admitting a refugee population with members suffering from a highly-communicable, infectious, incurable and fatal disease. No responsible government would risk bringing a plague into its population without being able to make certain—certain—that none of the refugees carried it. Thus there would be a quarantine period imposed on the refugees showing no symptoms, and those infected would not be allowed to enter the U.S. population at all. This is the same situation, except that the infectious, fatal, incurable contagion is radical Islam.”

      Carson’s got this all bollixed up. First of all, the refugees aren’t dogs, which is an offensive comparison and does betray a bigoted attitude. Second, one can easily identify rapid dogs, and we can’t identify terrorists, who don’t foam at the mouth and bite people. Nobody, including Obama, would accuse anyone of hating all Syrians if they took action against a proven terrorist.

      Being able to construct good and revealing analogies means that one has critical thinking skills. Ben can’t, and doesn’t. On top of that, knowing that Democrats are waiting around the clock to play the racial bias card against any Republican candidate and then by slime all Republicans with it, he represents Syrians and Muslims as sub-human—dogs—anyway! Immediately, all the liberal outlets leaped on it, and he should have known that would happen, too. (Oddly, none of the conservative news sources thought it was newsworthy.)

      He’s an idiot.

      Case closed…

      Or the simple fact that the guy accepted an appointment as head of HUD, also with no relevant experienced. Carson makes Donald Trump look like Gallileo.

      • Jack,
        Standing ovation!

        I’d like to offer you the honor of receiving the Comment of the Day award.

      • Chase Davidson

        I think Ben Carson is a good object lesson in being wary of educated and supposedly intelligent people speaking outside their area of expertise. Something I’ve seen all too often is people believing total idiocy because someone with a PhD or an MD endorsed it, when that person actually has zero understanding of the field in question.

        Carson is also a good example of WHY an education has to be more comprehensive than simply technical knowledge. I have no doubt that he is a brilliant neurosurgeon, but he understands nothing about history (believes the pyramids were built as grain silos), culture (holds fast to the outdated and over-simplistic ‘clash of civilizations’ idea), or politics (it speaks for itself).

  7. Mike C

    This won’t do, can’t have two Mike’s. I’m adding a C to the end of my name.

  8. E2 (nee Elizabeth I)

    To Mike et.al. defending Carson. Plumbers, electricians, clothing designers, actors, as just a few examples, can be and often are absolutely brilliant in their fields. Key term: In their fields. This, as we all know, does not make them brilliant or even competent in other fields. Pediatric brain surgery does not a national leader make.

  9. Not to discount most for the reasons this was a bad nominee, as I agree with all of them.

    Just want to comment that when Democrat politicos cheat on their taxes, they are allowed to either walk, or pay a nominal fine and walk.

    Timothy Geithner paid the taxes he ‘forgot’ to pay, with some interest, but no penalties. He was Secretary of the TREASURY (read ‘IRS’) for ‘not a hint of scandal’ Obama.

    The Clinton Foundation got the same deal.

    Charlie Rangel and Tom Daschle also escape penalties, as well as kept their careers.

    This is wrong no matter who does it. But the hypocrisy stick in my craw.

  10. Something just popped in my head; I think this episode gives us a little foresight about what to expect for the next four years from the political right.

    During the Obama years it was all about attacking the opposition with claims of racism; during the Trump years it will be all about Democratic Party hit jobs, fake news, and of course the evil media bias.

    This’ll be “fun” to watch.

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