Afternoon Ethics Warm-Up, 4/25/19: Hypocrisy Edition

Having a delightful afternoon I hope?

1. “Ethics Bob” is back! After what I gather have been extensive world travels with his wife, Ethics Bob  reanimated his blog this week, and I am hoping that Bob, who kindly credited me with inspiring him to write his ethics book, and who teaches ethics himself, will begin commenting again on Ethics Alarms. He is that rarity around here, a committed liberal who plays fair in debates. Unfortunately, Bob’s return post is wrong—and I distinctly remember a lunch with Bob in which he insisted that Bill Clinton shouldn’t have been impeached—but that’s OK.  He’s ethical, thoughtful, and open-minded. Check in with him, and hope along with me that he starts checking in here.

2. How much hypocrisy can Democratic voters stand? In Virginia, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax has been hit with multiple allegations of rape and sexual assault. Despite the lip  service the national party has given to “believe all women,” and its position during the Kavanaugh hearings that accusations alone were enough to disqualify a judge for the Supreme Court,  Virginia  Democrats refused to join Republican efforts to sanction or remove Fairfax, who is black and the #2 official ins a state where #1 has admitted to wearing blackface. In order to show that they don’t approve of Fairfax (while not having the integrity to make him hew to the standards they have been advocating for years) the Democratic Party of Virginia rejected his $2,500 donation for the party’s Blue Commonwealth Gala in June.

“We were not comfortable accepting the Lieutenant Governor’s PAC’s contribution and we let his team know that when they reached out,” party spokesman Jake Rubenstein told the  The Washington Post .

“The Lt. Governor’s We Rise Together PAC was planning to have a group of African-American pastors and other supporters sit at his table,” Fairfax spokeswoman Lauren Burke told the Post. “He is innocent and has passed two polygraphs and repeatedly called for an investigation. DPVA has assumed he is guilty of a violent criminal act with no investigation or even a conversation to ascertain his version of events.”

But if the party believes Fairfax is guilty of violent crimes and #MeToo outrages, why is he still in office?

In related news, serial sexual harasser and assaulter Joe Biden announces his candidacy for the Presidency today, as he leads the 21 candidate field for the “party of women.” There is photographic evidence that Joe actually  did (does?) the kind of things Al Franken was accused of doing, as well as a Who’s Who list of disgraced leaders in the arts, journalism and industry. An internet  meme that can be trusted to follow Joe around like Lassie followed Timmy:

No, it’s not unfair. Biden, who has been signalling his opposition to harassment as if he would never touch a woman without her consent, is a hypocrite, bidding to make his party and its supporters hypocrites too. Well, bigger hypocrites…

3. Segue 1! Biden’s announcement video is anchored in a demonstrable lie, “says Ann Althouse, and correctly so. She writes,

Biden’s blandly earnest face asserted that Trump said some of them “are fine people.” But Trump did not say that! It’s absolutely established that Trump excluded those people explicitly before saying that there were some fine people on both sides of the question of keeping Confederate statues. (At the time of the fine people remark, Trump said, “I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and white nationalists because they should be condemned totally.”)  How dare Biden rest his campaign on a blatant lie — a lie that has been used to stir up fear and racial discord?! 

How dare he? Come on, Ann: the media has been pushing multiple Big Lies like this since 2016. Biden dares because his party endorses the unethical tactic, the news media deceives the public, and Democrats and the Get Trump mob don’t care about the truth.

4. Segue 2! And speaking of shameless hypocrites like Biden.KABOOM! Yes, this exploded my head:  Former Attorney General Eric Holder told an audience  that Attorney General Barr  needed to realize that he is “the People’s lawyer, not the President’s lawyer…You have a responsibility to run the Justice Department in a way that is not political.” Jonathan Turley nicely sums up how ridiculous this is coming from Holder:

Attorney General Eric Holder who was viewed as a highly political and intensely loyal member of the President Barack Obama’s cabinet. That reputation was highlighted when Holder proclaimed that he was “I’m still the president’s wingman”…[The criticism of Barr] was crushingly ironic from a nominee who had to promise not to put politics ahead of his oath given his role in the abusive use of pardon powers by Bill Clinton. Clinton not only pardoned his own brother but pardoned Marc Rich, a fugitive from justice who was also a major Democratic donor. Rich remains one of the least worthy pardon recipients in history and Holder had to promise that he would serve as an apolitical Attorney General. Holder was later repeatedly accused of being uncomfortably close to Obama as his self-proclaimed “wingman.”

Holder also refused to allow the Justice Department to do a serious investigation of the IRS scandal, which might have ended up looking into “what the President knew and when did he know it.”

15 thoughts on “Afternoon Ethics Warm-Up, 4/25/19: Hypocrisy Edition

  1. Biden’s hypocracy is well known to me. When the crime bill was moving through Congress I lobbied Biden’s office regularly to strip the bill of a provision that made state prison inmates ineligible for post secondary education benefits. We had longitudinal data going back 20 years demonstrating our program reduced recidivism rates to around 35% compared to 70-80% with regular DOC programs. His office responded with glib refusals to advance an amendment to strip that provision. So Joe Biden is guilty of “keeping y’all in chains.”

    When Biden talks about Trump destroying the soul of the country I want to hear him define what that soul actually embodies. Obviously, to him it embodies deceit.

    Related to number 4. HRC stated that any other person (other than Trump) would have been indicted for obstruction of justice. Wow. She is delusional regarding her own acts.

  2. 1. Ethics Bob

    Welcome back, very happy to see you!

    2. Fairfax

    But if the party believes Fairfax is guilty of violent crimes and #MeToo outrages, why is he still in office?

    To be fair, “belief” is probably not enough to remove him. Not only that, the political optics make it a dangerous move. So they equivocate. What else should we expect?

    If Fairfax were a Republican, I’d expect substantially the same behavior from the Republican Party of Virginia. No excuse, but sadly, this is the politics of 2019.

    And variants of that Obama “Hope” meme have given the right as much mileage as the Left. Fitting.

    3. Biden’s announcement

    How dare he? Come on, Ann: the media has been pushing multiple Big Lies like this since 2016. Biden dares because his party endorses the unethical tactic, the news media deceives the public, and Democrats and the Get Trump mob don’t care about the truth.

    I wish I could get outraged about this, but I’ve seen so many politicians take opponents’ statements out of context, it’s an exercise in futility. I don’t condone it, and you’re correct to call it out, but this is just what modern politics is. Alas.

    4. Holder

    Now this is worthy of a cranial detonation.

    Holder is the most loathsome person to ever serve in the position of AG by a mile, and this just shows how easily he surpasses even John Mitchell, Alberto Gonzales and Janet Reno. Auspicious company, to be sure.

    • “If Fairfax were a Republican, I’d expect substantially the same behavior from the Republican Party of Virginia. No excuse, but sadly, this is the politics of 2019.”

      This is very true, but the Republicans do not hold the ‘believe all women’ as a value. The Democrats do. Republicans have stated they believe in due process in such instances, the Democrats are against this.
      So, if the Republicans call for due process against their accused, as long as they accept the results of due process, they aren’t being hypocritical. If the Democrats call for due process, they are being hypocritical. You don’t expect people to act on things they don’t believe or value. I am not Muslim, so you shouldn’t hold it as hypocritical that I would draw Mohammed. But I, who wouldn’t think it wrong to draw Mohammed myself, might shout hypocrisy at a Muslim who drew Mohammed if that person had stated that it is wrong to draw Mohammed.

      • This is very true, but the Republicans do not hold the ‘believe all women’ as a value. The Democrats do [when it’s a matter of Republican and not Democrat behavior].

        There, fixed that for ya. 🙂

        So, if the Republicans call for due process against their accused, as long as they accept the results of due process, they aren’t being hypocritical. If the Democrats call for due process, they are being hypocritical.

        Yes, I see your point. Nobody who rejects due process (“Believe all women” implicitly rejects the possibility of due process) can be anything but hypocritical if they call for it.

        But the Democratic hypocrisy goes deeper, because they have also implicitly rejected “Believe all women” when it comes to Democrat misbehavior. The attempted memory-holing of Fairfax’s behavior is a clear example.

        What’s interesting, though, is that the Democratic party rejection of the Fairfax-related donation demonstrates a clear schism within the party — the left flank clearly would rebel if it was accepted, and the more moderate wings can’t reject due process to the point of condemning Fairfax. So they equivocate.

  3. 4. Let us also not forget about Holder’s activities surrounding the Fast and Furious gun running scandal. A deliberate and obvious attempt to undermine a delineated civil right.

          • That is correct – I was pointing out that the F&F was designed to provide an excuse to impose additional restrictions on the civil right enumerated in the Second Amendment.

      • How was it designed to undermine a civil right?

        The US Government sold (deliberately allowed to be sold) guns to Mexican cartels and drug dealers with the express intention of using the recovery of such guns to ‘prove’ that the source of weapons in Mexico was the USA. The stated purpose of this was to foist another ‘assault weapons ban’ upon legal gun owners.

  4. About SVB and “Afternoon Delight,” I will admit: The very first time I heard that song (on the radio), I thought it was an ad for some kind of beverage. I kept waiting for the singing and instruments to fade, and a voice-over to extol the irresistibly delicious, sweet refreshment of “Gulpable” Afternoon Delight. I caught on after listening a few more seconds. “AD” became one of my favorite “sex songs” of the 1970s.

    But AD couldn’t compete with Barry White’s songs, such as “Baby Blues.” (I’m surprised his song hasn’t been used in an ad – during the Super Bowl. Maybe it has already…)

    Damn! The video shows only white-looking lovers! An interracial re-make is needed!
    FIX it, PC Police, QUICK! Before I vote for TRUMP again!

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