A False Narrative Exposed, Part 2: The Times’ Editors Beclown Themselves

Clowns

[This is Part 2 of the Ethics Alarms essay that begins here.]

The first section of “A False Narrative Exposed” concluded,

The extent of the Democrats’ false smearing of Justice Amy Coney Barrett and the blatant fearmongering regarding the consequences of her confirmation are put in sharp perspective when one goes back and re-reads the New York Times editorial of the week before headlines, “The Republican Party’s Supreme Court.”  Indeed, the Times editorial shows us much more: the utter dishonesty of the mainstream media and its willingness to mislead rather than inform the public; it’s deliberate employment of false history to advance its partisan ends, and perhaps  most damming of all, the weak powers of reasoning and analysis the alleges cream of the journalistic crop applies to its craft. Then there are the repeated reminders that the Times is so deeply in bed with the Democrats that it can count its moles.

Let’s look at that editorial…

“What happened in the Senate chamber on Monday evening was, on its face, the playing out of a normal, well-established process of the American constitutional order: the confirmation of a president’s nominee to the Supreme Court. But Senate Republicans, who represent a minority of the American people, are straining the legitimacy of the court by installing a deeply conservative jurist, Amy Coney Barrett, to a lifetime seat just days before an election that polls suggest could deal their party a major defeat.”

Right—those phony polls meant to suppress the GOP vote showing that the Democrats were going to increase their dominance of the House and win control of the Senate. The scandalously misleading and mistaken polls were also part of the novel Democratic argument, endorsed by the Times, that the Senate should reject a legal and historically routine SCOTUS nomination because of clearly biased polls…a corrupting phenomenon the Founders never heard of.

“As with President Trump’s two earlier nominees to the court, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, the details of Judge Barrett’s jurisprudence were less important than the fact that she had been anointed by the conservative activists at the Federalist Society. Along with hundreds of new lower-court judges installed in vacancies that Republicans refused to fill when Barack Obama was president, these three Supreme Court choices were part of the project to turn the courts from a counter-majoritarian shield that protects the rights of minorities to an anti-democratic sword to wield against popular progressive legislation like the Affordable Care Act.”

The only valid question for the Senate to consider was whether Barrett was qualified. Even the deeply progressive-biased American Bar Association  agreed that she was. I don’t know what the Times is trying to say: the Federalist Society wouldn’t have approved of an unqualified justice. “Anointed’ is just cheap Times rhetoric meaning “conservatives tended to agree with her jurisprudence,” just as progressives approved of the late Justice Ginsberg. Both had to excel during tough questioning in their confirmation hearings. Neither was “anointed.” The editorial board is pandering to its readership’s hysterical biases against conservatives….

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A False Narrative Exposed, Part 1: Fearmongering And The Comey Lie

Terror

Wrote conservative columnist Tyler O’Neil after this week’s oral argument in the SCOTUS case of California v. Texas, “While the resolution of California v. Texas remains unclear, it is likely that the Court will preserve most of Obamacare. Such a decision would expose Democrats’ shameless fearmongering about Amy Coney Barrett as a disgusting political ploy.”

Wrong. It was a disgusting and unethical political plot no matter how that case comes out, but hey, it probably won a lot of votes for Joe Biden from the brick-ignorant public, so it’s all good, right? The ends justify the means.

During the confirmation hearings for Barrett, Democrats warned that Barrett would destroy the Affordable Care Act, joining with the other intractable right-wingers on the Court to finally strike down the law for all time. Yet when the Supreme Court heard arguments on the Obamacare case last week, the Associated Press reported that the tenor of the questions from the Justices made it clear how unlikely it was that the Court would strike down the health care law. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh signaled that they were  unwilling to invalidate the entire law just because the individual mandate forcing people to purchase health insurance was unconstitutional.  

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“Systemic,” A Four Part Ethics Alarms Depression, Part 4: Systemic Patriarchy And Hypocrisy

feinstein Schumer

As the election draws nigh, I am thoroughly sick of writing, “If the Democrats had any integrity, they would…” and I’m sure you, faithful ethics fan, are sick of reading it. Quite obviously the current Democratic party cares no more about integrity than they do about process, the Constitution, civility, or trying to avoid dividing Americans.

But I admit, as an ethicist, the flagrant hypocrisy I have seen virtually every day since the Democrats decided that destroying a President was more important than preserving American democracy is depressing, and often frightening. Yesterday, Joe Biden raised the specter of Joseph Goebbels in reference to President Trump, when it is his party—and he—who have used the Goebbels’ Big Lie tactic repeatedly, as Ethics Alarms has documented extensively. The fact that Biden is his Party’s nominee is as gross an example of hypocrisy as ever witnessed in American political history: the same party that spent two years insisting that sexual assault and sexual harassment disqualified prominent men for positions of power in all fields, and that women had a right to be believed when they accused men of abusing them, chose a man whose habit of sexual harassment is decades long and a matter of photographic record.

Last week, it again was the feminist base of the Democratic Party that was abused, but never mind: clearly these women have no more integrity or ethical principles than the men they pimp for. They are in the right party, obviously—they one that postures without meaning what it says.

At the conclusion of the Amy Coney Barrett Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings, ranking Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, foolishly believing that statesmanship, comity and collegiality were still values the Senate was supposed to embody, commended Committee Chairman Lindsay Graham for his leadership and said it was “one of the best” hearings she’d ever been a part of. She then hugged him.

Yet yesterday, as if that was all a mirage, there was Feinstein standing submissively behind Chuck Schumer on the steps of the Supreme Court, as the Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that his fellow Democratic Senators  had boycotted the committee vote because it was an “awful, awful hearing.” Schumer had, we were told, had a little talk with the oldest Senator in the body, apparently warning her to expect a horsehead in the bed if she didn’t meekly toe the party line, even though she thought she was doing that. Remember “when they go low, we go high?” Remember all of Feinstein’s party’s blathering about Democratic norms? Restoring bi-partisanship in Congress?

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Weekend Ethics Update, 10/18/20: As The Election Nears…Seeking Contrast And Perspective

  1. Ethics movie alert. Its heart is true blue—this is an Aaron Sorkin film, after all—but “The Trial of the Chicago Seven,” now on Netflix, is excellent, as well as must-watching for the astounding number of Americans under 40—50? 60?—who know almost nothing about the previous period of liberal arrogance, political incompetence and institutional failure, the late Sixties. The cast is excellent and star-studded; whoever came up with the idea of casting Sasha Baron Cohen as Abbie Hoffman should win a casting Oscar, for example. For me, the movie brought back memories sharp and grim: what a shitstorm that trial was. Frank Langella, whom I just watched in his remarkable performance as Richard Nixon more more than a decade ago in “Frost/Nixon,” is a memorable if unsympathetic Judge Julian Hoffman. Hoffman, I think, deserves better: like Judge Ito, Hoffman never had a chance to avoid judicial infamy once that trial became a circus, and that bwas something no judge on Earth could have stopped.

Then there is the frightening reality that the Chicago Seven (and Bobby Seale made Eight), who seemed like fringe-y, juvenile extremists at the time, look moderate and reasonable in comparison to today’s antifa, Black Lives Matter followers, and…dare I say it? … a nearly critical mass of Democrats.

2. Speaking of which…Senator Diane Feinstein is under attack from that nearly critical mass for indulging in traditional professional civility and bi-partisan responsibility by not pushing the recently completed hearings on the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett nomination to turn into a hyper-partisan fiasco, like the Kavanaugh hearings. She even praised her Republican counterpart, Senator Graham, for doing a good job (it wasn’t that good a job) in chairing the hearings, unlike, to just pick an example out of the murky past, the job Senator Joe Biden did during the infamous Clarence Thomas hearings. Feinstein is nearly 90, and should not be in the Senate at that age just as the unjustly sainted Justice Ginsburg should not have been on the Supreme Court long enough to die in office. Nonetheless, she is trying to hold the line against forces in her own party that would make peaceful and functioning Democracy impossible.

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