Great, Trump’s First Unethical Quote Of The Month Of 2023

“It wasn’t my fault that the Republicans didn’t live up to expectations in the MidTerms. I was 233-20! It was the “abortion issue,” poorly handled by many Republicans, especially those that firmly insisted on No Exceptions, even in the case of Rape, Incest, or Life of the Mother, that lost large numbers of Voters. Also, the people that pushed so hard, for decades, against abortion, got their wish from the US Supreme Court, & just plain disappeared, not to be seen again. Plus, Mitch stupid $’s!”

Donald Trump, scoring a rare (even for him) unethical Trifecta on Truth Social

No, Trump’s Ethics Quote of the Week yesterday was in a different category: Ethics Alarms “Ethics Quotes” are reserved for statements that raise ethical issues (in that case, is it responsible for a former President to express himself like an 8th grade playground bully?) but are not per se unethical in themselves. His latest is an unethical quote, and remarkably so.

It begins with a whiny, Bart Simpsonesque “I didn’t do it!” lament; this was typical of  Trump as President (to be fair, also Biden and Obama) as he habitually refused to accept responsibility when his actions backfired, but wanted all the accolades when his policies worked. (Incidentally, this is a common CEO mindset. My boss at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce once said that may job was to make him look good: when I did well, he would take credit, when i failed, it was all on me.) Trump is being substantially blamed for the failure of the “Red Wave” to materialize, and rightly so. His incessant complaining about the 2020 election allowed Democrats to make the mid-terms about him rather than their own miserable management, and his endorsements helped inflict enough weak Senate candidates on the GOP—like Herschel Walker and Dr. Oz—in winnable races that what should have been a new Republican Senate stayed Blue. Trump wasn’t solely at fault, but he shares a large chunk of the blame. Next eh engages in deceit, a specialty: many of the candidates he endorsed won, nut most were in safe districts where they would have prevailed anyway. Those 20 losses were mostly winnable races, and crucial ones that could have been won if Trump had just kept his trap shut for two years. Continue reading

Ethics Dunces: Fetterman Voters

Exit polls are showing that the reason John Fetterman, the Democratic candidate for the open Senate seat in Pennsylvania, won his race against “Dr. Oz” despite not being able to speak clearly or understand English without technical assistance was that they were inspired and impressed by the fact that he continued his campaign after a stroke, and even by his willingness to debate his opponent when he had obviously not recovered.

Naturally, the New York Times frames this depressing logic in Democratic-Spinnese:

Rather than seeing his difficult recovery and uneven debate performance as evidence of lack of fitness for office — as Mr. Fetterman’s Republican opponent, Dr. Mehmet Oz, tried to frame it — voters said they found Mr. Fetterman relatable, even an inspiration. His personal revitalization, however incomplete, echoed a promise he campaigned on — the resurgence of Pennsylvania communities that feel left behind

Ugh. Fettermman’s debate performance wasn’t “uneven,” it was disastrous and frightening, probably the worst debate display by a candidate for national office in history. Oz didn’t need to “frame it” as evidence of lack of fitness to serve in the Senate; it was definitive proof of lack of fitness. Anyone who couldn’t figure that out didn’t know what Senators do.

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15 Dawn’s Early Light Post-Election Ethics Notes

Spuds woke me at 5:30 am, so I might as well get this up now….

1. The good news is that there’s not going to be any violence: the one scenario that makes civil unrest vanishingly unlikely occurred. There was no GOP “wave,” but the party still will get control of the House, albeit unimpressively, and can eke out a bare majority in the Senate, although we might not know for sure until December. Yay.

2. I watched Fox News and CNN track the election returns. Neither were overtly biased; both played it straight.

3. The unavoidable conclusion from the night’s proceedings is that the vast majority of voters will vote for inanimate carbon rods it they have the right party affiliation. This is not a healthy, competent or ethical way to behave in a democracy, and it plays into the hands of manipulative power-seekers.

4. The Stopped Clock Award: I hate to say this, but Mitch McConnell was right: his party shot itself in both knees by running too many sub-par, extreme or otherwise unqualified candidates.

5. Both #3 and #4 above are illustrated by John Fetterman’s victory. He is wildly unfit to serve and was irresponsible to stay in the race. Dr. Oz was a foolish, needlessly poor choice to oppose him.

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Why There’s No Ethics “Dirty Dozen” This Election, And Those Wacky Shavers: Whatever The Truth Is, The Father Is Unethical And The Son Is Untrustworthy

This story reminds me that I used to have a post every election cycle listing my “Dirty Dozen”—a list of 12 candidates for re-election or office that I deemed ethically unacceptable. The list would include, in addition to automatic honorees like Rep. Maxine Waters, such oddities as Rich Iott, whose candidacy foundered when it was discovered that he had an obsession with dressing up as an SS officer. Usually I made an effort to include an equal number f Democrats and Republicans—it wasn’t hard.

It wouldn’t be hard this time, either. What would be hard, indeed, I decided, impossible, would be to keep the list to just a dozen. To begin with, “The Squad” would take care of all of the Democratic slots right off the bat. Every one of them (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Jamaal Bowman of New York and Cori Bush of Missouri) is an embarrassment: incompetent, blindly ideological, and anti-American to the core. There wouldn’t even be room for Waters, or Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Majority Whip (and hypocrite “election denier”) James Clyburn, or the ridiculous Stacey Abrams. Then we have Nancy Pelosi, who has crossed more ethics lines with each passing year, and the truly horrible Adam Schiff (D-Cal). I couldn’t fit John Fetterman onto the list, or any of the awful Democratic governors running for re-election—and if I tried, then there would be no room for the Republicans who should never hold political office, like Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), or (you knew this was coming) Herschel Walker, the creepy Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Rep. Mary Miller (R-Ill.), Rep. Andrew Clyde of Georgia, who compared the Capitol riot to a “normal tourist visit,” and Rep. Tom Massie (R-Ky) who thought this was an appropriate Christmas card…

Well, I could go on, but this is depressing me. The point is that there are far, far too many ridiculous, incompetent, unethical people making our laws for anyone to be able to trust the government….and I haven’t even drilled down to the state level, where it’s worse.

So meet the entertaining Shavers. Clyde Shavers, the Democratic candidate for Washington state’s 10th legislative district, claimed to be an officer serving on a nuclear submarine in the Navy for eight years. He wasn’t one. He also has claimed to be a lawyer. He isn’t a lawyer either; in fact, he doesn’t know what a lawyer is. On his website, Shavers writes,

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Andrew Sullivan Makes An Ethics Case For Throwing Out The Democrats

Because he writes so well and because he is an accomplished critical thinker, iconic blogging pioneer Andrew Sullivan’s opinion pieces are always worth reading even when he’s completely wrong. True, bias sometimes makes Andrew stupid, which shows the awesome power of bias because he’s definitely not stupid. Sullivan’s devotion to gayness is one source of emotionalism for him; another is his blind hatred of Donald Trump, which to my eye seems to be of the George Will/Bill Kristol variety: Sullivan thinks Trump is an unmannerly low-life too vulgar for him to agree with. I think Sullivan may be terrified of cognitive dissonance self-destruction if he admits to agreeing with Trump on most substantive issues, which he does.

In his latest substack newsletter, Sullivan spins his topic a bit to avoid alienating his mostly left-leaning readership, calling it “Will Biden And The Dems Finally Get It? Their far-left record has made the far right more electable.” Oh, see? The real problem with the Biden policy fiascos is that they will let the evil far right gain power. Shame on you, Andrew. Have the guts and integrity to be clear about what you are really saying…which is this:

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New Progressive Standard: Apparently It Is Now Acceptable To Describe Black Republicans Using Racial Epithets

At least, it’s okay if the speaker is black and a good Democrat.

Good to know, don’t you think?

Professor Sundiata Cha-Jua, a history and African-American studies professor at the University of Illinois Urban-Champaign, referred to Republican Georgia U.S. Senate candidate as “incompetent, subliterate and coonish” in a column for The News-Gazette.

Coonish! “Coon,” dictionaries tell us, is “a contemptuous term used to refer to a Black person.” It is no better than “nigger,” it’s just avoided the publicity. Calling a black individual a “coon” is as racially denigrating as one can get; it meets the legal definition of “fighting words.” Yet the professor has not received any backlash from students at his university, nor faculty, nor administration. A white professor who made similar statements about, say, Barack Obama, would have to join witness protection.

In the same column, this esteemed prof, who teaches “antiracism,” compared a black Republican named Terence Stuber to a slave because he is running to be Champaign County Clerk against a black Democrat.

“What type of Black Republican is Stuber?,” Cha Jua wrote. “He was recruited by White Republican leadership to run against Ammons, the only African American clerk in Champaign County history… Stuber reiterates “massa” Trump’s talking points. Intimating fraud, he cast aspersions on the 2020 elections….His words and deeds indicate he’s a genuine MAGA Black White supremacist.”

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On Biden’s Speech….

I’m not even sure the partisan campaign speech President Joe Biden delivered last night from Union Station [text here] in Washington, DC even rises to the level of grasping at straws. It was certainly desperate and pathetic in its desperation and hypocrisy: Ethics Alarms has been predicting that as the reality of public lashback against the spectacularly failed Democratic Party rule since 2020 (and in many places, before) became undeniable, the lies, tantrums and other excesses of those accountable would escalate. I’m sure even worse is on the horizon, but the most charitable thing one could say about Biden’s speech last night is that it wasn’t a terrible as his earlier one calling Republicans fascists. Nonetheless, in my preliminary research, no President has ever given two such divisive and intellectually indefensible speeches in their entire time in office, and Joe Biden gave them within 60 days of each other.

The speech comes as the various polls are finally showing what anyone paying attention knew was the case long before: Democrats are losing support even from their base, and face an epic shellacking. The slashing conservative blogger Ace of Spades, I think, has this scam figured out. He writes that the polling organizations, most of them allied with with progressive universities and biased news organizations, deliberately slanted their polling groups towards Democrats in order to please their clients. (Another analyst adds that such fake news gives Democrats sufficient hope to peddle in fundraising appeals, knowing well that the real numbers would be far more discouraging.) Now, however, because their future credibility depends on not looking like idiots when the votes are tallied, the pollsters are finally playing it straight.

Still, even as all around Biden are losing their heads and blaming it on him, I cannot fathom the epic gall required for this President of all Presidents to base a last ditch appeal for his party on the argument that “we the people must decide whether we’re going to sustain a republic where reality is accepted, the law is obeyed, and your vote is truly sacred.”

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Update: The Axis Of Unethical Conduct’s 2022 Mid-Term Elections Freak-Out

I’d like to know who was the genius that suggested “The evil, fascist Republicans who want to destroy democracy caused the violent attack by a whack-job on Nancy Pelosi’s husband with their hateful rhetoric must be stopped by any means necessary” would be a smart and persuasive argument to turn the Red Tide and pull off an upset on November 8. Then I’d like to have those among the “resistance,” Democrats, and mainstream media—that’s the Ethics Alarms Axis of Unethical Conduct—- who reacted with, “Hey! That’s brilliant!” explain their reasoning before checking themselves into a hospital, because they’re the ones who are acting like they have been hit in the skull with a hammer.

Can they really not detect the obvious hypocrisy and self-contradictory reasoning of this strategy? Apparently not. Yet it was Democratic Senate Majority Leader who pointed the way to an eventual assassination attempt on Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh by shouting, “I want to tell you, Justice Kavanaugh and Justice Gorsuch, you have unleashed a whirlwind, and you will pay the price.You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions!” Then just this month, Nancy Pelosi told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell that she would have attacked President Trump on January 6, 2021 if he had come to the Capitol “I would have punched him out. I said I would have punched him out. I would have gone to jail. And I would have been happy to do so.”

Because Republicans, and especially Trump, are evil and dangerous, you see. And they engage in hateful rhetoric that incites their supporters (of which Paul Pelosi’s attacker was not one by all indications) to take violent action! As Olsen Johnson so wisely observed,

Here are some recent examples of the commentary arising from that parallel universe:

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“By Any Means Necessary”: The Final Stage In The Axis of Unethical Conduct’s 2022 Mid-Term Election Freak-Out Begins

The frantic efforts of the news media, some Democrats (Rep. Jackie Speier tweeted: “While the motive is still unknown we know where this kind of violence is sanctioned and modeled.”) and ranting bloggers and tweeters like this guy to try to link the certifiable lunatic who attacked Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer to Republicans is just the beginning. Pop that metaphorical popcorn—between now and a week from Tuesday, this will get crazier by the day. Reality has set in. The piper must be paid, the chickens are coming home, the walls are closing in, the jig is up and there’s no way out. The vast majority of those active in the Axis of Unethical Conduct (“the resistance”/the Democratic Party/the mainstream media) are evidently going to thoroughly embarrass themselves and soil our political discourse by ensuring as much confusion, bitterness and division as their imagination, energy and ethics void will permit. It’s going to be ugly, perhaps historically ugly. In “1984” terms, those hungry rats are about to be let loose on these dunces and villains faces, and they will do or say anything, betray any individuals or principles, to avoid the horror. They are in the throes of Rationalization #31, The Troublesome Luxury or “Ethics is a luxury we can’t afford right now” nd #40. The Desperation Dodge or “I’ll do anything!”

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Autumn Afternoon Ethics Leaves, 10/25/2022: Hope, Harvard, Fakes, And Weenies.

So far, at least, Biden’s spectacularly incompetent and unethical Cabinet hasn’t seen anyone indicted, though there are good arguments that at least two of them should be impeached. This date in history, October 25, marks the day in 1929 when Albert B. Fall, Secretary of the Interior in President Warren G. Harding’s cabinet, was found guilty of accepting a bribe while in office. Fall was the first Presidential cabinet member to be so humiliated. There would be others.

Fall accepted a $100,000 interest-free “loan” from Edward Doheny of the Pan-American Petroleum and Transport Company in exchange for Interior granting him a valuable oil lease in the Elk Hills naval oil reserve, which together with the Teapot Dome naval oil reserve in Wyoming, had been transferred to the Department of the Interior as part of Fall’s scheme to profit by receiving bribes. The Senate Public Lands Committee launched an investigation that revealed not only the $100,000 bribe that Fall received from Doheny, but also a $300,000 bribe that Harry Sinclair, president of Mammoth Oil, had given to Fall for use of the Teapot Dome reserve in Wyoming.

Yet Fall was only sentenced to a year in prison. It’s comforting to know that laws were only for the “little people” 100 years ago too, don’t you think?

A Cabinet member who betrays the public trust like that belongs in prison for decades, if not life.

1. There is hope! At least one committed progressive activist of note has the integrity to be revolted at what her party of choice is doing. Susan Sarandon, a charter member of the Hollywood Left, posted this on Twitter:

Good for her.

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