Oh, this feels so good.
Just as I am always pleased when someone like Bill Clinton, a bona fide Ethics Corrupter, can he justifiably honored here for an Ethical Quote, or when a reliable ethics alarms punching bag like HBO’s Bill Maher earns ethics kudos as he did when the snide HBO host condemned Facebook’s banning of Alex Jones recently, saying, in words that apply with equal force to YouTube’s recent ban on “Triumph of the Will”:
“If you’re a liberal, you’re supposed to be for free speech. That’s free speech for the speech you hate. That’s what free speech means. We’re losing the thread of the concepts that are important to this country. If you care about the real American s*** or you don’t. And if you do, it goes for every side. I don’t like Alex Jones, but Alex Jones gets to speak. Everybody gets to speak.”
It gives me hope; it reinforces the ethics tenet that very few people are 100% wrong, destructive, or irredeemable. In today’s case, it is especially welcome because it saves me from having to fill out an ethics violation ticket that I was disgusted that I should have to issue.
I was nauseated—yes, I think that’s the right word; certainly not “surprised”— to learn that Speaker Nancy Pelosi had said of the President, in a conference with her Democratic colleagues, “I don’t want to see him impeached, I want to see him in prison.” This crosses a line that should not be crossed in a democracy, and frankly, I did not relish having to explain what I believe is an example of res ipsa loquitur.
If you don’t comprehend why attempts to criminalize politics strike at the core of American values and the viability of democratic government, then you should go back to school, frankly. We’re adults here; I have a Stupidity Rule for commenters. Whenever possible I try to avoid posts that explain why something any citizen of reasonable education and intelligence should immediately know is unethical is, in fact, unethical. Such posts are boring, and that’s really not what this blog is for.
Yet in chronicling the horrible carnage of the Post 2016 Election Ethics Train Wreck, I could hardly ignore Pelosi’s new low, any more than I could ignore Rep. Tlaib’s disgusting “We’re gonna impeach the motherfucker!” boast.
So, just as I sat down at the keyboard, weary and ill at ease, and my fingers wandered idly over the sticky keys, I discovered that two veteran, hate-flinging, Trump-smearing, journalism ethics-defying MSNBC social justice warriors had explained to their viewers exactly what I was preparing to write.
First, Ari Melber saw the hypocrisy of Pelosi adopting a Democratic version of “lock her up,” the ugly Trump crowd chant that was widely condemned as evidence that Trump is a Nazi. Then Melber pointed out that “there was a judicial, legal, process,” the Mueller investigation, which “did not result in an indictment, whether you like it or not.” In fact, there isn’t a single crime even alleged or rumored involving the President that could result in his being jailed.
Chris Matthews, reminding me that way back in the 90s he was a relatively balanced and fair liberal pundit before he sold out to MSNBC, zeroed in on what is so wrong with Pelosi’s statement. His example was Pakistan, but he just as easily could have used any banana republic, or the Soviet Union:
“Now the Speaker of the House is saying [Trump] ought to be in prison,” Matthews said. “Imagine that you live in some rinky-dink country out in the world that has always looked up to ours. You know, some fourth-world country, doesn’t even have democracy. And here we have the leader of the opposition, saying the other guy ought to be in prison. This is the stuff we used to see in Pakistan in the old days. Defeat the guy, then hang him.”
The criticism of two stalwart Trump-haters on the all-Trump hate all the time network was so much more valuable as a slap in the face of the progressive Facebook Borg than hearing it on Fox New , even though on that network Alan Dershowitz completed what my lost post would have said:
“I have to tell you, as a liberal Democrat, I’m appalled at Nancy Pelosi. The idea of her weaponizing the criminal justice system — and calling for the imprisonment of the president of the United States without him being charged with any crime, without him being charged with any impeachable offense — it’s just outrageous,.”
Thank you all.