Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 3/3/2020: Super Tuesday Edition


1. The Super Tuesday tragedy. I can’t find it online, but this supposedly crucial day in the 2020 Democratic Party nomination race yanked out of my mental archives a cartoon in the old National Lampoon that ran in 1972. It showed Richard Nixon saying, “Vote for me! I’ll make Southeast Asia look like the bottom of a used Shake ‘n’ Bake bag!”, and on the other side, showed George McGovern saying, “Vote for me! I have a spine like a wet bed of kelp!” That was the first election in which I could vote, and I refused to do so as a matter of principle. I had good friends who were passionate about McGovern, and I felt sorry for them. He was decent man, but so obviously not a rational choice for President of the United States.

All four of the Democrats (sort of…two of them are pretending to be Democrats) still in the race today are just awful options for anyone with their eyes open and not overcome with hatred of Donald Trump, which, it is clear, a distressing number of once-intelligent people are.  In the end, the Democratic Party is accountable for allowing things to come to this, just as the Republican Party was accountable for allowing itself to be swamped by Donald Trump, a real estate mogul who began his campaign as just one more branding opportunity, and hit the jackpot. How can any Democrat defend a vote for Michael Bloomberg, when part of the “resistance’s”  hate for President Trump is based on his alleged autocratic ways and threat to a free press, and they know that the former New York mayor has ordered his own news agency not to criticize him and is betting that his money alone will give him the White House? How can any Democrat defend a vote for Joe Biden, after that  party has claimed for three years that President Trump is mentally unfit and sexist,  and hearing Joe Biden sound more and more like Grandpa before he was put in a home, and seeing  photo after photo of women and girls wincing as Joe exploited a photo op to kiss, hug, grope or sniff them? How can any American defend a vote for Bernie Sanders ( and if I have to elaborate, you’re hopeless)? Finally, how can any Democrats filled with hate for  the President because of his lies, real or imagined, vote for Elizabeth Warren, whose career and campaign have been built on a foundation of lies?

2. It worked! Chris Matthews got cancelled , literally and figuratively, for daring to call out socialism for the proven disaster that it is. Last night Chris Matthews began his MSNBC show by announcing his retirement, and disappeared after the first commercial, forcing someone else to finish. (Not professional, Chris.)

It isn’t possible that the long-time liberal pundit’s decision to quit was voluntary. Before he left, Matthews said something about how compliments on a woman’s appearance “that some men, including me, might have once incorrectly thought were OK are never OK, not then, and certainly not today” and that it was time for the younger generation to take over. I’m disappointed in Matthews, who obviously had a financial incentive to not make a public stink over what was being done to him. He could have done a lot of good by emulating Sir Thomas Moore in “A Man For All Seasons,” who decides, once he knows he is doomed, to tell the kangaroo court condemning him exactly what he thinks.

I stand on what I wrote about the transparent hit job on Matthews here, but I have a few thoughts to add:

  • If Matthews’ emphasis on the younger generation reflected what MSNBC head honcho Phil Griffin said in their “quit or else” meeting, then he’s a victim of age discrimination…which, of course, he is.
  • The four-year-old “compliments” that were used to bring him down are the weakest evidence of workplace sexual harassment imaginable. No fair or reasonable woman would use such comments to try to get someone in trouble; a fair and reasonable woman would say, “You should be careful Chris; that’s a little too suggestive, and some women will find a comment like that offensive.” In which case Matthews, being at heart a gentleman, would have said, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it that way,” and the episode would be over. As a manager, my response to receiving such a complaint would be to call the man involved into my office and to tell him, “Cut it out. Next time, I’m going to have to take official action.” Maybe I’d explain to him that old guys can’t get away with the kinds of comments that may have made a young woman’s heart skip a beat when the  old guys were unwrinkled, rich and famous; remember, the standard is whether the object of a compliment “welcomes” it.  I’m sure in Chris’s mind he’s 30. (I know in my mind I’m 14. Looking in the mirror is  a daily shock.)
  • Joy Reid is just one of many MSNBC talking heads who have said things on the air and off it that were far more deserving of dismissal than anything Matthews said, including his ill-advised comparison of Bernie Sanders’ rise to the Nazis conquering France. Reid is so bad, such a race-baiting bigot, that  I’ve stopped flagging her obnoxious remarks, like when she said, two weeks ago,

“Even though Donald Trump did not have a majority, the hungry constituency was a lot of white ethnic voters, north and south, who said ‘we’re taking this country back from the brown people, the immigrants. We’re getting rid of unlawful migration. We don’t care what you say… The smart, the smarty pants, the college educated… forget them. We’re the hungriest.'”

  • On one level, Matthews deserves this. Once, before MSNBC deliberately re-tooled itself to be the anti-Fox News, he was a reliable truth-teller, a liberal pundit who was open about his biases but completely capable of taking a contrarian position and bucking the Left. He was relentless in resisting Democrat spin attempts during the run-up to Bill Clinton’s impeachment, for example. Then he tossed his integrity away to become virtually indistinguishable from his progressive hack colleagues, swooning over Barack Obama and only occasionally letting the real Chris out his money-padded box. You could see it pained him: one memorable moment was when he rolled his eyes at Rachel Maddow ‘s angry outburst about how Republicans were lying about Obamacare increasing the budget deficit, because the CBO’s analysis said otherwise. “Well, you know, all of these big programs end up costing more that advertised, Rachel, ” he said , with a “God, why am working with such idiots?” tone of voice. Because of these intermittent flickers, Matthews was a moderating voice on an otherwise disgracefully biased and unprofessional network.

17 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 3/3/2020: Super Tuesday Edition

    • Remember, non-“progressives” are on the “wrong side of history”, which is really just short hand for “we kind of need you all to just die…and are pretty cool with things that accelerate that”.

      But, I wouldn’t expect attitudes different from people who like the flavor of totalitarian world views like Communism and Fascism.

  1. I read the comments Matthews made about asking why he had not fallen in love with the woman seated next to him in the makeup chair. I find his comments silly but not harassment.

    My understanding of the sexual harassment law requires that the behavior occurs more than once and the perpetrator must be made aware that the comments were unwelcome . If this is not the case, what stops anyone from making a charge of harassment for any statement?

    What if men begin to file harassment charges when they hear a female colleague make anti-male comments. Theoretically, any statement that suggests men, as a gender, are in any way inferior to women in terms of skill sets would constitute harassment and, if it continues, a toxic work environment.

    • A single episode can constitute harassment if it’s egregious enough. This obviously wasn’t There’s harassing conduct, and actionable harassing conduct. This is old and couldn’t be acted on now anyway.

  2. The easy answer to the first four questions is that none of these folks are Trump, and that none of these people are Republicans (at least not at the moment). Between the folks who are so overcome with hatred of Trump that they’d vote for the Devil himself instead and the folks who would vote for a cardboard figure as long as there was a (D) next to it, that’s a lot of people. They’ve put hate of Trump over love of country, the same as the PLO have put hate of Israel ahead of love of their own kids, the same as the IRA put hate of the UK ahead of love of their own homeland, the same as Hitler put hatred of the Jews above all else (taken to extreme). The thing is, once you’ve destroyed the object of your hatred, or your pursuit can’t go on, you lose your purpose in life.

    In all fairness to Chris, Jack, maybe he was only allowed to be on long enough to announce his retirement. A four-year-old comment being used to bring someone down? That’s ridiculous. That said, I can understand the concept of holding grudges and taking the opportunity to bring someone down when the chance arrives. I count myself lucky NOT to work with any women I find attractive and NOT to have any law school clerks in the office. We’ve had several, but nothing ever happened, although there was one who was closer in age to me when I was younger (single digit difference) who I had some chemistry with, and a flirty stereotypical “Asian airhead” clerk a few years back. In the first case both of us were professional enough that we kept our eyes on our work and it didn’t become an issue, in the second the law clerk got a quick “word to the wise” from the office manager and got the message. Anyway, as I get older (I’ll actually be 50 tomorrow) my interest in young women fades more and more. OK, being long-term married to a soulmate wasn’t in the cards for me, but, unlike some of these guys who see themselves as forever Rudolph Valentino, I can accept fading away gracefully

    • In Maoist China they had ‘struggle sessions’ in which a group of people would shame & ridicule a person with some backward idea that did not fit in with the Cultural Revolution.

      There is some mirror of this in the present. The Left-Progressive always sees her and himself as being absolutely in the right. They have a similar *interior mood* as a highly convinced and motivated revolutionary. I can’t help but think of our now departed commentator Chris. But at the same time, to be fair, there are those who write on this blog now who are just as convinced of the righteousness of their views. It is an interesting phenomenon for study: our certainties. When they are challenged, they react by becoming offensive in the wielding of shame & guilt. It is the same exact pattern. It is important to note that their shaming is emotion-based, not based in reason or reasoned categories. Why is this? Simple: in a reasoned and reasonable conversation we can win every argument. But this winning is intolerable. So, you have to take it to another level, and that level is personal. If they can’t shame you down, they will aim to bankrupt you and ‘deplatform’ you.

      Personally, I think the whole charade needs to be wiped off the table. With a gesture of absolute aggression. At some point this will have to happen (though I do not know what that point will be and I would not want to openly encourage violence given what the ramifications are). There will come a time when patience ends. And it must.

      This shows his confession-of-sorts and intercalated there is an interview he did with a woman that he found beautiful. It’s a pretty heavy crime! I am surprised he didn’t blow his brain out on TV.

      He had his diminutive *struggle session* though and it was broadcast for all to see. Is that not enough?

      • Hi Alizia,

        You wrote,
        He had his diminutive *struggle session* though and it was broadcast for all to see. Is that not enough?

        Apparently not. Let’s make it even worse for Matthews and ‘quote’ a fake (doctored) video with a false headline, “Chris Matthews Resigns While Drooling Over Female Reporter”.

        The real video of Matthews resignation is, Chris Matthews Announces Retirement | Hardball | MSNBC

        • This shows his confession-of-sorts and intercalated there is an interview he did with a woman that he found beautiful.

          in•ter•ca•late (ɪnˈtɜr kəˌleɪt)

          v.t. -lat•ed, -lat•ing.
          1. to interpolate or insert; interpose.
          2. to insert (an extra day, month, etc.) in the calendar.
          [1605–15; < Latin intercalāre to intercalate a day or month = inter- + calāre to proclaim]
          in•ter`ca•la′tion, n.
          in•ter′ca•la`tive, adj.

  3. I guess we live in a different age where some flirtatious comment must be scrutinized by the Ministry of Truth as conceivably being unwelcomed with the receiving party having no responsibility for making that known. I can understand this where there is supervisor/subordinate relationship. However thanks to the radical feminists we now operate under some kind of Napoleonic Code where guilt is presumed unless proven otherwise.

  4. It’s fun to watch this plot play out. Chris Matthews was a progressive of the swingin’ sixties variety, like James Bond, &c. This disordered form of masculinity was perpetrated by the same movement now harping against it, much as it was responsible for the Jim Crow it repeatedly and speciously congratulates itself for opposing. The surest thing is that the typical American conservative is just yesterday’s progressive. It’s a truth that cuts both ways if you’re not paying attention to which way the wind is blowing. Alas, Matthews in the end didn’t keep up and was counted amongst his enemies.

    Far better to have principles and be hated by the whole bestial food chain, neither moving with its current nor standing still with one’s feet getting soaked. Pandering to mindless animals is beneath a man, and the praise of an animal is an absurd notion. For a lion to rip your flesh is only natural, but the idea that one might admire you or consider you an ally is just a sort of madness. That’s a privilege for mindless lions alone.

  5. “…including his ill-advised comparison of Bernie Sanders’ rise to the Nazis conquering France…”

    Ill-advised? Clumsy, perhaps. But taken in context, I don’t read Matthews’s remark as comparing Sanders to the Nazis. I read it more as him comparing the DNC and the other candidates to the Maginot line. And i can’t say I disagree.

    • Or perhaps Sanders saw the DNC like the inept French Generals using outdated tactics trying to defend the status quo. After all, it worked when he ran against Hillary. They really should have know better but that’s the DNC today.

    • Surely ill advised! Chris had already compared Sanders to Communists, which is certainly apt. it’s like some of trump’s inflammatory analogies—it doesn’t matter what he really said, what matters is all the emotional hysteria from people who think, or want to think, that he said something else. Matthews is educated and historically informed—he could have easily come up with a safer analogy with the same message. With all the left-wingers who watch MSNBC, he should have known that any Nazi analogy would have heads exploding.

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