What time is it? I’ve lost track…
1. Keep being intentionally divisive, and eventually you’ll get division…I trace the irresponsible efforts to divide the nation and unravel the bonds of society to the 2000 election, and the false partisan claims that Bush’s was a “stolen Presidency.” Divisive rhetoric became an 8-year strategy of the Obama Administration, with blacks, Hispanics, illegal immigrants, Muslims, LGTB citizens and women being accorded special status as victims and groups in need of special consideration, while whites, men, straight citizens, wealthy citizens, Christians, and, naturally, conservatives and Republicans were consistently demonized and marginalized. Critics of the first black President were racists, critics of illegal immigration were xenophobes, critics of Hillary Clinton were sexist, and opponents of gay marriage were bigots. The resentment over this long-term and cynical strategy bore misshapen fruit in the election of Donald Trump, and now, says a Zogby Analytics survey, 39 percent of the country support states breaking away from the national government and country, with 42% of Democrats, who have continued to escalate the divisiveness by refusing to accept the election of President Trump as legitimate, leading the way.
This was where we were headed in 2000, and those who have been reading the Ethics Scoreboard and Ethics Alarms since then know I said so as forcibly as I knew how. Now we are at a point where one party’s leaders are calling for members of the opposing party’s administration to be harassed in public, an attitude that would have been unimaginable just a few years ago.
In the latest example , Attorney General Jeff Sessions visited Houston last week and dines at two Mexican restaurants. The general manager of one of them posted on Facebook, “We had the honor to serve Mr. Jeff Sessions, Attorney General of the United States. Thank you for allowing us to serve you.” The post attracted such an angry reaction that it had to be taken down. [Pointer: Neil Dorr]
2. Of course! Why else would anyone not love Nancy Pelosi? The news media and its various pundits is deeply complicit in the unraveling of the bonds holding American together, as exemplified by the Washington Post’s jaw-dropping column claiming that Republican opposition to Democratic House leader Pelosi is entirely based on misogyny and sexism—you know, the same reasons I didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton. Paul Waldman wrote,
“Can we stop treating this lie seriously once and for all? We all know what’s really going on. The Republican attack on Pelosi is about conservative identity politics, full stop. It’s partly the same kind of ugly misogyny that has driven conservatives for years, and that comes out whenever the prospect of a woman wielding genuine power rears its head. Women who display ambition are judged harshly, particularly by conservatives; it’s no accident that Bernie Sanders, whose policy ideas are much more opposed to conservatism than Pelosi’s, inspires nothing like the venomous loathing on the right that Pelosi and Hillary Clinton do.”
Oddly, I have found many reasons despite her gender to regard Nancy Pelosi as an unethical menace, and I haven’t come close to covering all of them.
3. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is obviously up to speed. Cute, smug, glib and ignorant young socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez–she’s the emerging face of the Democratic Party, did you know that?—was challenged by Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro, a well-practiced conservative advocate, to a debate. Shapiro promised to donate $10,000 to Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign if she agreed to spar on his “Sunday Special.” Now, no rule says that anyone is ever obligated to accept such challenges, and there are many acceptable ways to decline. I’d advise Ocasio-Cortez to declines, because it’s abundantly clear that Shapiro would make her look foolish. However, the tactic the New York Congressional candidate took was as unethical as it was absurd. She responded via Twitter,
“Just like catcalling, I don’t owe a response to unsolicited requests from men with bad intentions. And also like catcalling, for some reason they feel entitled to one.”
You go girl! Except the statement makes no sense, like so much of what she says. Who solicits a challenge to debate? Shapiro’s offer had no gender component whatsoever, and he has challenged male progressives to debate in the past. Her response, however, was anti-male and sexist in exactly the way his offer was not, as she gratuitously compared him to men harassing women on the street.
Meanwhile, Washington Post Fact-checker Glenn Kessler couldn’t resist debunking five of Ocasio-Cortez ‘s more ridiculous claims on her recent media tour: Her claim that “Everyone has two jobs.” (The July jobs report showed only 5.2 percent of Americans hold two jobs; her statement that “ICE has a bed quota”(Kessler: “this is an urban legend”); “the upper-middle class does not exist anymore in America” (It has actually grown 16.5 percent since 1979); her really silly statement that Medicare for all is “much cheaper than the current system.” (the Washington Post had already awarded three Pinocchios for this; Medicare for all would cost at least $33 trillion over the next 10 years), and her explanation that the Affordable Care Act was upheld by the Supreme Court because SCOTUS deemed monthly health care payments to be a tax. ( Ugh. This was rather thoroughly publicized, I’d say. SCOTUS upheld the Obamacare individual mandate as a legal tax rather than an unconstitutional penalty.
But we all know Kessler only wrote the column because he objects to women in power. Or maybe Latinas.
Or perhaps political candidates who don’t know what the hell they are talking about…