Saturday Ethics Warm-Up, 3/23/2019: Hypocrisy, Rationalizations, Spin, And Things Your Facebook Friends Will Hate To Pieces

Good Morning!

Doesn’t Barbra sing beautifully? Does knowing she’s ethically dead inside ruin her singing for you? (see #2)

1.  How arrogant and incompetent is this? UNBELIEVABLY arrogant and incompetent. Apparently Jared Kushner and the President’s daughter, Kushner’s wife, have been using private email accounts for official business. It’s against the law. it’s absurdly hypocritical, after the (deserved) criticism the President leveled against Hillary Clinton for her private server shenanigans. The Justice Department should prosecute both of them, and if the President had anyone else competent that he could trust as a close advisor—he fear he doesn’t—he should fire them both.

2. Wow! Barbra rationalizes sexual child abuse! Will this mean that Babs will no longer be welcome at Democrat fundraisers? Doubtful. Progressive never met a double standard they wouldn’t use.

Here is what the singing icon said to the The Times about Michael Jackson’s recent accusers (via documentary and lawsuits), Wade Robson and James Safechuck, and hold on to your heads:

“His sexual needs were his sexual needs, coming from whatever childhood he has or whatever DNA he has. You can say ‘molested,’ but those children[ now grown-up Robson and Safechuck] as you heard, say they were thrilled to be there. They both married and they both have children, so it didn’t kill them.”

Should I rename the infamous Rationalization #22. The Comparative Virtue Excuse: “There are worse things” after the Funny Girl? Her statement is a perfect example: a child being raped by a grown man isn’t a big deal if the kid doesn’t die. Then there is #42. The Irrelevant Mitigation: “He’ll/She’ll/They’ll get over it”:

” #42 is pure callousness mixed with consequentialism, and thus beyond redemption or ethical application.. It holds that wrongful conduct is somehow mitigated by the fact that the wound heals, forgiveness is granted, or time breeds forgetfulness. It isn’t. How and whether victims recover or get over their anger does not alter the original misconduct, mitigate it, and certainly does not erase it. Those who cite this rationalization are shrugging off accountability and are signalling that they will repeat their unethical conduct or worse, counting on their victims to give them an opportunity to harm them again. Anyone who employs The Irrelevant Mitigation cannot be trusted”

The despicable suggestion that Jackson’s alleged victims consented to being raped, however, because they wanted it, is really revolting. This is #48. Contrived Consent, or “The Rapist’s Defense”, which…

…aims to cleanse unethical conduct by imagining that the victim consented to it, or secretly sought the result of the wrongful act. The most infamous example of this rationalization is, of course, the rapist’s defense that the victim either was inviting a sexual assault by flirtatious conduct or provocative dress, or secretly “wanted it.”

It is, perhaps, the ugliest rationalization of all.

The good news is that these idiotic comments, signature significance for someone whose ethics alarms have turned to moldy cheese, are attracting appropriate condemnation. Good. [Pointer: Other Bill]

3. Here’s some dishonest leftist spin for the Mueller investigation, as the impeachment hounds try to somehow make the facts consistent with their delusions. From ThinkProgress:

“Mueller’s team has filed dozens of indictments and secured convictions and guilty pleas in the conspiracy to interfere in the 2016 election: Six of Trump’s close associates and employees have faced charges. George Papadopoulos, a former campaign adviser; Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chair; Rick Gates, a campaign aide and longtime Manafort business partner; Michael Flynn, a former foreign policy adviser; Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and fixer; and Roger Stone, a longtime Trump adviser, have all been charged by Mueller. Manafort and Cohen have been convicted and sentenced to prison.”

That’s multiple lies framed by a lie. None of Mueller’s indictments involve any conspiracy to interfere with the election except the symbolic charges against Russians,  and if there had been any evidence of such a conspiracy, an American would have been inducted on those grounds. Manafort was indicted for his own crimes, not any related to the campaign. Flynn and Cohen had no involvement with Russia either. The others were charged with process crimes: lying to law enforcement, not “colluding” with Russia.

4. “Worst Nazi Ever!” That’s Instapundit Glenn Reynolds gag tag for Trump actions like declaring that Israel should  have sovereignty over the Golan Heights, ending decades of U.S. policy of tip-towing around the issue. It also fits here: The President issued an  executive order directing federal agencies to “take appropriate steps” to “promote free inquiry” at institutions that receive federal research and education grants, including thorough compliance with the First Amendment.  F.I.R.E. approves.

5. Surprise! Your Facebook friends are wrong, and don’t know what they are talking about...It is overwhelmingly likely that the supreme Court will approve the use of emergency powers to build “the wall.” Richard H. Pildes, professor of constitutional law at New York University, wrote a convincing article, “How the Supreme Court Weakened Congress on Emergency Declarations,” in which points out…

  • The National Emergencies Act (NEA), passed by Congress in l976, never defines that an emergency is, largely leaving that assessment to the President.
  • Presidents have used the NEA 58 times. In every case–every case!— the President spent funds not appropriated by Congress.
  • In no case did the Supreme Court overturn the action.
  • The Supreme Court decision in Immigration and Naturalization Service v. Chadha, which declared that “legislative vetoes are unconstitutional,”  including vetoes of Presidential actions under the National Emergencies Act.
  • Absent Congress overriding Trump’s veto of the bill designed to stop his declaration of the emergency at the border, a result that is unlikely, there is no legal way to block the Trump as he acts on the authority of the NEA.
  • Trump neither violated the Constitution nor violated the separation of powers. His unilateral action was a constitutional power ceded to him by an act of Congress
  • President Obama used the act to transfer funds without congressional authority to his health care act.

I didn’t think there was a chance that the President’s power to do this would not be upheld, and the article makes me more certain than ever.  I also agree with Ronald Trowbridge that if the Justices were capable of ruling only on the law rather than partisan politics, the decision would be unanimous.


18 thoughts on “Saturday Ethics Warm-Up, 3/23/2019: Hypocrisy, Rationalizations, Spin, And Things Your Facebook Friends Will Hate To Pieces

    • Quick, now, name me a Democrat who says that he/she isn’t a progressive. (Socialists are just progressives on steroids.) Yes, not all progressives are Democrats, but close enough

      • Jim Webb, who IIRC stopped his presidential run in part because the party had embraced identity politics. Although I suspect the party has moved sufficiently leftward that he could be considered a democrat in name only.

        • You may recall that I’ve mentioned that I know Jim—we were in law school together. I would say we were friends, except I don’t know that Webb really has friends…he’s frightening intense and focused on his own goals, and may be the least cuddly Senator ever. He was a Republican, then was a Democrat, but he’s really not a member of any party but the Jim Webb Party, which means that he decides what’s right and doesn’t care what a party line is. He was one Democrat I would have voted for in 2016, because I knew that he would pay no attention to the party whatsoever.

  1. Jack I am not sure on the first one, if it is true I agree but with all the extra damning info now coming out about Hillary’s communication I don’t trust the media to have this right. I think it is more likely that it is made up or misconstrued to provide the media cover to report on the current administration instead of the previous democratic party ran one.

    • The New York Times’ story conveniently buries that the attorney claims his client didn’t do anything wrong: “Mr. Lowell, in a letter of his own, accused Mr. Cummings of misrepresenting parts of what he told lawmakers last year and disputed suggestions that either of his clients had broken the law.”

      I find it hard to credit that any of the President’s family could be so stupid as to violate the law while enduring their enemies’ prying gaze. They may have skirted the edge of reporting requirements, but I’d wager that they adhered to the letter of the law. As to whether they considered the intent of those laws… I’d need more specific information.

      Based on Cummings’ previous manipulative and deceitful comments, I suspect that he is simply trying to force them to publicly reveal perfectly legal, but potentially embarrassing Emails.

    • It is mostly based on Cummings and in the story they quote him quoting the trump’s lawyer, from a closed session, but seems to discount the same lawyers public statements that contradict Cummings.

  2. First of all, I will provide an example of moral luck.

    A drunk driver leads the police on a chase at speeds in excess of 100 mph. the car hits a curb, and strikes a man.

    it does not matter if the man was a serial rapist feeling the scene of his latest crime. It does not matter if that drunk driving collision means that the rapist would not be able to harm, let alone kill, any more young girls (whether due to the rapist ending up in jail, the hospital, or the morgue)

    The drunk driver is still liable and responsible under legal and ethical principles.

    Now, on to the points.

    1. No doubt about it.

    2. that is exactly like people who say underage students are lucky if they have sex with their teachers.

    3. The whole investigation arose from a fairy tale made up by sore losers.

    4. Trump has the same constitutional authority for this executive order as Obama did for the 2011 Dear Colleague Letter.

    5.Nice history lesson. Too many people confuse “inappropriate public policy” with “unconstitutional”.

  3. I never understood the Streisand adoration, so it’s not a far leap for me to ignore her. Her hypocrisy has always been larger than life. Embracing leftist ideals while not wanting to be looked upon by the unwashed masses. It is not surprising that she can justify Jackson’s bizarre behavior.

  4. 2. She may not understand now what was so wrong with her statements, but I’m sure, bit by bit, she’ll be “Putting it Together”. In the meantime they’ll have to “Send in the Clowns” to distract from this gaffe by a leftist showbiz veteran.

    3. Something for Congress and voters to remember going forward, power that is given away cannot easily be taken back.

    • Babs has already been making clarifying remarks. Any child victimized by sexual molestation is doubly victimized if the parents are complicit. Streisand trying minimize it isn’t an easy take back.

  5. CNN’s description of the investigation-

    “ In the eyes of the President and his aides, many of whom traveled to South Florida for the weekend, it was a moment to celebrate: the conclusion of an investigation that did not find enough evidence to indict the President or his confidants for conspiring with Russia to win the 2016 election.“

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