“The Popeye,” From The Ethics Alarms Ethics Estoppel Files: I Can Say The Republican Party Is Rotting, Democrats, But You Can’t

“That’s all I can stands, ’cause I can’t stands no more!”

—Popeye the Sailor, when he felt like I did while so many of my progressive friends were posting this op-ed by David Brooks.

Democratic posturing and moral outrage over Roy Moore’s support by Republicans is too much to bear. The hypocrisy and historical amnesia their caterwauling requires is truly nauseating. I could not believe that David Brooks of the Times would write about how the REPUBLICAN PARTY is rotting while the Democratic Party was wildly oscillating between defending a Congressman who had apparently harassed multiple staff members while in office because he was an “icon,” to playing the race card against its own Senator because he had been accused of conduct he denied years before he was elected, to dispensing with due process to demand that another Democratic Congressman resign, to forcing the Senator to resign (but probably only because their party controlled that State House), to forcing a vote on a shamefully contrived impeachment resolution, to all but guaranteeing the election of Moore because of revelations of the astounding sexual hypocrisy of their core allies among the news media, their key donors and their mouthpieces in Hollywood, while their bitter, losing Presidential candidate’s claim of a conspiracy to excuse her inexcusable defeat became less and less tenable as the investigation it spawned revealed itself to be incompetent and conflicted.

But the Republican Party is rotting.

Now, Ethics Alarms, unlike Brooks, unlike the Times, unlike MSNBC , unlike Hillary Clinton and unlike the Democratic party and any citizen so devoid of integrity to align with such a crew, can say the Republican Party is rotting. In fact, like Mr. Kimball would say on “Green Acres,” I will say it: the Republican Party is rotting. I can say it now because I said two years ago that it would commence rotting if it could not and would not stop Donald Trump from getting its nomination, something the party leaders had the power to do but neither the will nor the integrity. I said this, in various ways and with assorted provocation, right up to the convention.

Roy Moore? He’s minor rot, comparatively, and the Democrats don’t even honestly or competently argue what is most rotten about him. They want to concentrate on his “Deliverance,” hillbilly, low-life, dating preferences enabled by ignorant Alabama mothers forty years ago, when the man  today thinks he can defy the Supreme Court and the Constitution, thinks America was at its best under slavery, thinks women should be kept barefoot and pregnant, would love to see gays stoned to death, and wants a Christian theocracy to rule the land.

But that’s quibbling: Moore is certainly rotten, and the GOP doing anything but declaring him a human pathogen for the Senate and democracy is certainly proof of rot. Until, however, Republicans make Moore the keynote speaker in a future convention dedicated to condemning a “war on children,” I’ll handle the rot assessments, thanks, along with any other commentators, academics and citizens who didn’t spend the last, oh, half century or so extolling the likes of Jack Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, Teddy Kennedy, and the Clintons.

The Democratic Party has happily celebrated, covered up and profited from rot. As Obi Wan would say, “The Rot is Strong Within Them.” Thus they are estopped from calling out rot anywhere.

Brooks writes, hilariously:

“The Republican Party is doing harm to every cause it purports to serve. If Republicans accept Roy Moore as a United States senator, they may, for a couple years, have one more vote for a justice or a tax cut, but they will have made their party loathsome for an entire generation. The pro-life cause will be forever associated with moral hypocrisy on an epic scale. The word “evangelical” is already being discredited for an entire generation. Young people and people of color look at the Trump-Moore G.O.P. and they are repulsed, maybe forever.”

Oh, really? Funny, I don’t recall the Democratic Party being loathsome for a generation after it supported a Senatorial candidate who let a young woman die in a submerged car to protect his political career. Correct me if I’m wrong, David, but the negligent homicide of a campaign worker by a cheating married man—in other words, a Kennedy—is a touch less loathsome than feeling up a 14-year old,  or do you disagree? This same cowardly killer, whose freedom and reputation was bought and paid for by the First Family of the Democratic Party, was the hero to whom the Affordable care Act was dedicated: No stain there? Really? Not just a little bit repulsive?

The only reason playboy Ted was even considered Senate material,  of course, was that his brother was and still is the most admired Democratic President of recent vintage. I was just refreshing my revulsion by watching a documentary about JFK. He didn’t just cheat on his wife, though he did. He didn’t just intimidate young women and pass them around like sexual candy to other pols and celebrities, though he did that too. He had an affair with a mob moll while his brother was investigating organized crime. He had affairs with two women who were spies, one of whom was working for the Kremlin. More than once, Bobby threatened Justice Department harassment to intimidate journalists from ending JFK’s Presidency by informing the public.

But they all knew. Just as with Harvey Weinstein, the Democrats all knew. When they raised the money for a huge, gaudy arts center as President Kennedy’s memorial, they knew the kind of man they were honoring. Every time we see the broadcast of a Kennedy Center Honors ceremony, Kennedy’s disgraceful recklessness and serial degradation of women with the complicity of the Democratic Party is being rubbed in our faces. It’s just not so bad, because the news media still is enabling the lies.

Since 1960, the Democrats have been flying on wings forged by rapists, sexual abusers, liars, thugs and hypocrites. Has a whole generation rejected them yet? Compared to the Kennedys, Roy Moore is a Boy Scout.

Notice that I haven’t even gotten to Bill Clinton.  The Democrats are suddenly sounding like they read my posts about Bill from 20 years ago. There’s been no new evidence. As I was writing about why “personal conduct” in the workplace by a President is still professional misconduct, the Democratic Party was portraying this perv–is being proven to have used the power of the Presidency to persuade an intern to defile herself with a cigar less loathsome than allegedly molesting a teen four decades ago” Gee, let me think about that. I think it’s a close call—as just a victim of contrived conservative Puritanism. After all, it’s just sex! Sex is always good! Jerry Seinfeld said so!

David Brooks thinks the Republican Party will be loathsome for a generation because it didn’t block a perv from becoming a Senator for just two years (there’s another election in 2020), but the Democratic Party not only ignoring a President’s multiple sexual assault accusations of far more recent vintage than Moore’s, and then using that same smirking misogynist to promote feminist causes isn’t more loathsome? That same party running his beard, enabler and accomplice in intimidating her husbands victims and facilitating his avoidance of accountability as a Presidential candidate on a feminist platform—a feminist platform!– that demanded justice for the victims of sexual assault isn’t more loathsome?

I’ll listen to and respect those who were willing to call out the disgusting, cynical, corrupt conduct of

Harry Reid (Harry on his deliberate lies about Mitt Romney: “Romney lost, didn’t he?”),

…Eric Holder’s racialist Justice Department, the Obama IRS, which perfectly read the desires of its leader to corrupt the 2012 campaign and then let Holder and House Democrats avoid a fair investigation, and

…The Clintons’ pocket-lining influence peddling while Hillary was Secretary of State, including accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars from Russian interests.

Those fair and serious critics join me in saying the GOP is rotting, if they choose.  They’ve earned the privilege. But those partisan hacks who attack the other party as rotting while their own has been ejecting putrid, stinking hunks of dead flesh in all directions for half a century, right up to the present?

Uh-uh. No way.

I’ve earned the right to call the GOP rotten, because I and people like me have demonstrated that we are interested in truth, integrity, and good government, not partisan warfare. The others, like Brooks, and my friends who posted his screed on Facebook?

They are estopped from calling anyone rotten.

They have proven that they are rotten themselves.


31 thoughts on ““The Popeye,” From The Ethics Alarms Ethics Estoppel Files: I Can Say The Republican Party Is Rotting, Democrats, But You Can’t

  1. The Democratic party is made up of cynics preying on useful idiots and true believers. They are also counting on the fact that nothing will change most people’s minds, which is why you have baseball capped Trump supporters and black masked thugs fighting it out in the streets

    • ”the half century of rot has been what’s supposed to be the Democrats’ good half century.” (bold mine)

      Mercy me! THAT’s cast rather a gloom over things, am I right?

      Probably not the time to bring up then SoS Madeleine “we think the price is worth it” Albright’s chilling acceptance of the number of deaths (~ 500,000, more than died in Hiroshima) of Iraqi children which resulted from imposed sanctions.

      Albright went to win the ”Presidential Medal of Freedom,” the highest civilian honor given by the U. S. of A.

      The award ”recognizes those people who have made ‘an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.’ ” (bolds mine)

      • The more I think about Brooks’ nonsense, the more annoying it is, and there are other such peices popping up.
        Althouse this morning accurately writes,

        Does a win by Roy Moore really mean all that? Why can’t it just mean that the voters of Alabama — deprived of these allegations (about old events) until after the primary — were stuck with a choice between a particular, possibly morally flawed Republican who would represent them in Congress by voting for the policies they want and a Democrat who might be less morally flawed but would vote against the policies they want, and they voted according to their policy choices and not as a judgment on the morality of the man? If Roy Moore’s opponent wins, I would expect Democrats to exult at the fabulous new political opportunity and even to laugh openly at the Alabamans (who will be on the receiving end of contempt no matter what they do).

        And I do not believe that after this election there’s going to be any great shift to voting based on which candidate is more moral. I watched the Sunday shows this morning. All that cheesy emoting in the Theater of Sanctimony. Such scenery chewing! Especially by Brooks.

            • What I am decidedly not happy about?


              Different, gender specific standards denote binge drinking: ”men who have had five or more drinks, four or more for women,”

              X-Chromosomal Units shouldn’t have different guidelines than their male counterparts, should they? Isn’t that discriminatory?

              ”Detox.net says approximately one in eight Americans is struggling with alcohol abuse, with particularly troubling increases among women and minorities.” (bolds mine)

              Could it be that society is inching toward the equal opportunity to get pie-eyed?

              • That’s funny. Women are supposed to be Rangers and Navy SEALS or fire fighters notwithstanding their smaller body type, but when it comes to drinking, they’re placed in a different category because of their smaller body types. Good catch, Paul.

                • Since sports and drinking seamlessly coexist in the Schlecht resident Red Room, allow me to touch upon some real shortcomings in the athletic arena.

                  Why? Because this (lighter shot put) equality (shorter par distance) thing (smaller WNBA BB) is (smaller NCAA women’s BB) fraught (less inflated NCAA women’s BB) with (closer 3 point line) inconsistency.

                  And no horizontal or parallel bars, pommel horse or rings in women’s gymnastics? What gives, Sistahs; a pound is a pound the world around, am I right?


                  (bolds mine throughout)
                  “Some scholars see male athletic excellence as a vestige of patriarchy..”

                  ”Eileen McConagh and Laura Pappano, authors of the 2009 book Playing with the Boys: Why Separate is not Equal in Sports, argue that segregation in sports is based on the false assumption that women and girls are unable to compete with men and boys.

                  This segregation, they argue, perpetuates social inferiority.”

                  Female sportswriters have a mandated right to male locker rooms; is the reverse true?

                  Not exactly.

                  Women LUV to slobber effusively about the female kicker and other “you go GRRL!” examples that furnish “opportunities for women.”

                  Boys wanting to compete in girl’s events?

                  What about Y-Chromosomal “social inferiority” in literacy, numeracy, college attendance/graduation/dropout/degrees, HS attendance/graduation/dropout rates, suicides, murders, victims, incarcerations, etc., etc., etc.?

                  Reckon we’re askin’ for it?

  2. Bravo for laying it out so succinctly. And high time.

    I really do think you should post this for those Facebook “friends” of yours who are buying Hillary angels for their Christmas trees, because they clearly do not read this blog and have no interest in history, truth or ethics.

  3. There has to be a boundary somewhere between disqualifying inconsistency bordering on hypocricy, and ‘whataboutism’ designed simply to distract. Time and relevance must be crucial. “What about Chappaquiddick?” is the wrong side of that divide (nearly 50 years ago and the key parties are all dead) – an irrelevant “whataboutism” distraction.

    ‘Estoppel’, as I understand it, is not in any ethics that I recognise. Manipulative deception is of course ‘wrong’. Bias however can only be fully avoided by the totally ignorant.

    • The Kennedys have been key to the Democratic Party in the US since bootlegger Joe Kennedy Sr was appointed to the Court of St. James, was a Nazi appeaser, and was called back by FDR. Excusing his sons’ behavior as they gained political power was perhaps not the beginning but certainly a benchmark when the Democratic Party cared more for ideology than facts or ethical behavior. History is history, and the behavior of the Kennedys was only one example of Democratic blindness. If the Democratic Party in the US continues to deny its own history, it should leave the other party alone. Venom and ideology do not history make.

    • In the future, if you are going to be completely unable to comprehend a post, just alert me and I’ll send a helpful guide.

      I. You don’t know what “whataboutism” is, so you shouldn’t try to use it. The term describes a method of deflecting legitimate criticism, by saying, “Oh yeah? Well, what about X?” That isn’t remotely what the post is about. Please note that I condemn Moore as much as anyone, except that I emphasize what’s substantive and most important about his unfitness, not just the accusations. Nor was I deflecting anything. My focus was entirely on the outrageous hypocrisy Brooks hyperbole requires from any Democrat.

      II. I am pointing out the ludicrousness and wilful amnesia of a party that supported, indeed idolized politicians and still do that actually did far worse than Moore has been accused of, in claiming that the election of Moore will be some kind of eternal plague on the GOP. That’s not whataboutism, that’s called logic, fairness, and calling bullshit.

      III. Ted Kennedy was in the Senate until 2009. That’s not ancient history. Every damn second he was allowed to pollute the U.S. Senate and the Democratic Party as an unpunished murderer was an ongoing disgrace. Yup, voters and his Party repeatedly re-endorsed Kennedy’s conduct by electing and seating him—that’s the point. The party and its voters NEVER acknowledged that negligent homicide and the death of a young woman shouldn’t be ignored as a means to an end, so that party MAY NOT pretend that electing Moore now is some kind of unique and horrible blight that will haunt the GOP til the end of days. They know it isn’t, because they got away with far worse. It is less cynical and less disgusting to elect Moore. Ted, who let a girl die in an accident he was 100% responsible for, was elected in 1962, 1968, 1974, 1980, 1986, 1992, 1998, 2004 and served through 2009! 2009 is not ancient history, and no, no manner of service in the Senate made his unpunished homicide any more forgivable. (See: The Ruddigore Fallacy)

      IV. This is not a case of presentism, as you inexplicably suggest. What Ted Kennedy did was murder then, and murder now. Actually killing young girls when you are fooling around and drunk has never been any more acceptable than allegedly feeling up teens. Less in fact. MUCH less, in fact. The relevant standards haven’t changed at all. That’s also one of the 653 points or so you appeared to miss in the post. Many of us knew that it was beyond disgusting for the Democrats to pretend Ted wasn’t scum–like Moore but worse, and with a famous name and better hair. Me, for example..I decided the party was loathsome right about then, but not many others did. Which is why I know (and so does Brooks) that Brooks was hyping unforgivably, and ignoring inconvenient history.

      V. Yes, Ethics Estoppel isn’t anywhere else because I named the phenomenon and defined it. See, I’m an active player in the Ethics World: it’s called a “tool” or “a useful concept.” It describes a group or party that has such negative credibility in a given area of ethics that their opinion that conduct they have blatantly engaged in themselves without shame or hesitation is wrongful should be shut out and banned, even if the opinion is objectively valid. Thus we do not care to hear Bill Cosby or Bill Clinton talk about respect for women. Their conduct has precluded their right to hold such an op0inion in public. It is too cynical and insulting.

      • Thanks for explaining your “ethics estoppel” concept. I wonder how the other ‘players’ received it (?). The idea that any opinion should be ‘shut out and banned’ because of who expressed, would fit a totalitarian manifesto and sounds abhorent. You may not care to hear Crosby or Clinton talk about ‘respect for women’ and there is certainly no obligation on you to listen. And you can ignore them in your blog. But any further ‘ban’ or ‘shut out’ would in my view be quite unacceptable.

        • “Banned” was a poor choice of words, but I was writing fast. Of course, in this country, any opinion or argument is not and cannot be banned. For some reason the right word escapes me. In court, estoppel does ban an argument that a party’s conduct and past arguments make inherently incredible coming from that party. The term I’m looking for would mean, “We don’t want to hear this from YOU, thanks. Shut the hell up. You’re insulting our intelligence.”

          In other words, “estopped.”

          • And please accept my apology for the nasty tone of the original response to your comment.

            I was all geared up for a wave of backlash by the Kennedy fans and Friends of Bill, but it never materialized, perhaps because there is no legitimate case to be made that the supporting more can be honestly called out by Democrats as proof positive of a uniquely rotten party, since their party supported so much worse, so often, for so long, without any appreciable public backlash at all. So your mild cavill got everything I was storing up for a wave of far more annoying comments.

            That was ufair, and I’m sorry. You deserve better.

  4. Excerpt from recent Variety review of Chappaquiddick:

    . . . a tense, scrupulous, absorbingly precise and authentic piece of history — a tabloid scandal attached to a smoke-filled-room travesty. It recounts and anatomizes, with riveting detail, the tragic car accident and its aftermath that cast its shadow over the political career of Edward Kennedy and, in many ways, came to symbolize his existence. The movie is avidly told and often suspenseful, but it’s really a fascinating study of how corruption in America works. It sears you with its relevance and, for that reason, has every chance to find an audience.

    • I read Joyce Carol Oates’ Black Water, which is loosely based on the Chappaquiddick incident, in college. It is stunning, and has always left me deeply uncomfortable with the idolization of Ted Kennedy. I don’t know if he was a monster, but he was a cruel coward when it counted.

      • That’s a spot on assessment, Chris. Kennedy was a hard-working, respected Senator by the end, but anyone but a super-privileged son of a multi-millionaire would have been in prison at the beginning, and that end would have never been.. I remember watching his televised, live explanation of his actions on TV in Arlington, Mass. My father said, “I can’t believe he’s going to get away with this!”

        But he did.

  5. On a related note.

    Moore now has the strong support of Donald Trump, who currently claims that 19 different women are lying about his sexual harassment. In the future, when the nation looks back on the things it was capable of overlooking at the polls, this is going to be at the top of the charts.

    Let’s hope.

    Is it fair to compare Trump to Bill Clinton? People never had to listen to tapes of Clinton bragging about all the girls he’d groped. And it really wasn’t until the impeachment that his supporters were confronted with unavoidable evidence that he was the worst kind of sexual harasser. Yet even then, the public did not want him tossed out of office. In areas not involving wanton, repulsive adultery, he was doing a good job. The economy was up. Crime was down.

    I wonder what role Gloria Steimen had in this…

    • Groping, kissing without permission, pressing against someone—these are almost never criminal offenses, and are literally never prosecuted. Weinstein, Spacey, Cosby, Clinton and C.K. allegedly engaged in crimes. That’s one clear demarcation.

  6. I think it’s important to realize that the Democrats who thought they were tanking Moore made a miscalculation. Not a huge one, mind you…. But you have to look at the timeframe.

    Roy Moore, even before this current campaign was universally reviled by Democrats, and not always top of the list for Republicans, and with good reason: He’s an ideologue on the bench, and that’s never good.

    Because of that, and because of the length of investigation into Moore’s past, it doesn’t particularly surprise me that the shadiest parts of his life are on display right now (and although it wouldn’t surprise me if there was more, I feel that the barrel of what can be seriously alleged has probably been scraped). What DOES surprise me, if true (and I don’t believe it to be true), is that the story broke naturally 30 days before the general election.

    How…. Fortuitous, no? See, If it had broken 90 days before the general, Alabama Republicans could have punted Moore and run someone else… Jeff Sessions springs immediately to mind. if it had broken 30 days after the election, voters could be forgiven, because they didn’t know and Moore probably wouldn’t resign, because even if true (and I accept that they probably are), the allegations are… creepy in the extreme, but almost certainly not criminal.

    So the allegations broke at a very opportune time for Democrats, because one of a few things could happen: Moore could step down, and Republicans basically forfeit the seat, because there isn’t enough time to get a real candidate set up, Moore could keep fighting, and Republicans could reject him, allowing the seat to fall into Democrat hands, or Moore could stick it out, the Republicans could rally to him, and they’d still win, but it’d be a PR blow to Republicans.

    Now… I’m not going to say that the people setting this up didn’t see all of these possibilities, and probably more, coming. But I am going to guess that they hoped for the first two. Voters, especially young voters, have the memories of mayflies, and as much as they’ll try to milk the situation for every headline they can get out of it, I think they’d have preferred the seat.

    It also brings inadvertently a truth into the light: The people who ran this story… They care about politics more than the victims, more than their espoused principles, because if they cared about their principles, they wouldn’t have waited for the story to break the most damage, they just would have run it. This breaks tenants of journalistic ethics (Do as little harm as possible (although to be fair: snort. This isn’t the hill THAT died on.).), it’s a golden rule violation, but more than that… it made the lives of the victims harder. Had the story broken 60 days earlier, and the Republicans been able to relatively painlessly replace Moore, pushback to the victims would have still been there, let’s be real, but there would have been less, because the entrenchment of party politics wouldn’t have been so strongly bulwarked.

    But the people who did this… They didn’t care. Well, they cared about something.

    • Great analysis, and Comment of the Day.

      There are some mitigations. I can see the Washington Post thinking before the Strange-Moore run-off, “There’s NO way that creeo Moore will win.” Isn’t all investigative reporting to some extent political in its targets and timing? Why didn’t the Times out Weinstein before the 2016 election, for example?

      By the way, Gillibrand calling for the President’s resignation based on unsubstantiated allegations was another gift to Moore. Morons.

      • I’m not sure if the listen and believers are being hoisted on their own petard, or miscalculating there either…

        It would be hard, you see, for them to be able to claim: “There’s Trump! He needs to go, for saying what he did on the Access Hollywood tape, and on the words of a few less than concrete allegations.”, and NOT throw the people under the bus that they have been. But is that a feature or a bug?

        Did the Democrats facing oblivion now not see the dangers of unmitigated belief? Did they think that they were impervious? Did they think that what they were doing was acceptable? Did they think there were bigger fish to fry, and they wouldn’t make it to the pan? I have no idea… But that’s the “Bug” option.

        The “Feature” option is that this is calculated…. They hate Trump you see. I’m not sure if we all know that yet, so it bears saying…. And they know that Trump is all about the “what about him”s, so what I think they could be doing is throwing their fellows under the bus, adding kindling to a fire, hoping to roast an Elephant.

        I’ve seen HUGE frustrated meltdowns recently, Cenk Uygur was probably the best, where left leaning pundits angrily decried “If all these guys are resigning or being fired, why isn’t Trump?!?!?!”

        Let’s just see this… It’s GOLDEN (Good stuff starts about 1:50)

  7. What can I say? THIS very feature of the Democratic party is what i have spent my entire adult life despising.

    The Establishment GOP has run everyone with an iota of conservatism (well, Ted Cruz maybe…) out of Washington, and is simply playing the game like the Democrats have for decades.

    A pox on both their houses.

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