Ethics Dunce: Pete Buttigieg

The competition for the worst Democratic Presidential nominee hopeful just got a bit more interesting when one of the media darlings among the 24 (24!) hopefuls made an Ethics Dunce of himself (in an interview with Hugh Hewitt) in a manner that is disqualifying for the Presidency by Ethics Alarms standards. Here’s the relevant section:

HH: … A very blunt question, because you talk about going to every Jefferson-Jackson dinner in Indiana when you were running statewide. Should Jefferson-Jackson dinners be renamed everywhere because both were holders of slaves?

Buttigieg: Yeah, we’re doing that in Indiana. I think it’s the right thing to do. You know, over time, you develop and evolve on the things you choose to honor. And I think we know enough, especially Jackson, you know, you just look at what basically amounts to genocide that happened here. Jefferson’s more problematic. You know, there’s a lot to, of course, admire in his thinking and his philosophy. Then again, as you plunge into his writings, especially the notes on the state of Virginia, you know that he knew that slavery was wrong…. And yet, he did it. Now we’re all morally conflicted human beings. And it’s not like we’re blotting him out of the history books, or deleting him from being the Found[ing] Fathers. But you know, naming something after somebody confers a certain amount of honor. And at a time, I mean, the real reason I think there’s a lot of pressure on this is the relationship between the past and the present, that we’re finding in a million different ways that racism isn’t some curiosity out of the past that we’re embarrassed about but moved on from. It’s alive, it’s well, it’s hurting people. And it’s one of the main reasons to be in politics today is to try to change or reverse the harms that went along with that. Then, we’d better look for ways to live out and honor that principle, even in a symbolic thing.

Even before this fatuous statement, my Presidential history, common sense and current day political analysis led me to conclude that the South Bend mayor has no chance of being nominated, and if by some miracle of convention deadlock deal he was, no chance of being elected. He is 1) gay, 2) white, 3) male, 4) way too young, and 5) too much immersed  the Democratic Socialist camp. I don’t have to get to some of his other problems, like the fact that he is infuriatingly smug. However, the statement to Hewitt would disqualify him for me even if I were a Democrat, and should make all thinking and ethical Democrats—you know, the ones that aren’t nascent totalitarians, look elsewhere, though good luck with that. Continue reading

Hugh Hewitt Bravely Takes Up The Challenge Of Identifying Substantive Reasons To Vote For Trump, And Fails Miserably

Six reasons

Apparently “Anti-Trump Sunday” is going to bleed into Monday. Sorry. Can’t be helped.

I have been—all right, the term is trolling—some sites and blogs where Trump supporters hang out to try to get one of them to articulate a single rational, substantive reason to support him for President of the United States of America. They can’t. I am still searching, and I have put out a challenge, but still no takers. I doubt one exists.

Radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt wrote a piece for the Examiner today called “Six reasons Trump is still better than Clinton,” which isn’t exactly my quest: I can give you six reasons why waterboarding is better than flaying, too. Still, it is as close as I’ve seen to an honest effort to justify voting for Trump, even though setting the only alternative as Hillary makes it a very low bar. Personally I think Hewitt is a knee-jerk hack and favored by CNN and others as the official “Right Wing Guy” because he makes conservatives look bad, but never mind: it’s an honest effort.

It is still a failure, however. He begins by destroyng his own credibility by excusing Trump’s insults and attacks on journalists:

“Bottom line: Insults of journalists don’t matter. Short of insulting my family, it simply doesn’t matter what Donald says to me or any reporters and pundits.”

Very, very, wrong. Presidents and national leaders undermine democracy by attacking the news media and specific journalists. Leaders who do that are sliding into censorship and autocracy, and devaluing the First Amendment. Obama has already started that process; it’s unethical, irresponsible and unprofessional, as well as unpresidential and an abuse of pwoer. Before Obama, the last President who made a habit of attacking the press was Richard Nixon. Are you surprised?

After that beginning, proving to me that  Hewitt really doesn’t comprehend the vital role a President has in upholding our democratic values, I’m not that interested in his analysis, but still, here are his “six reasons”: Continue reading

Hugh Hewitt’s “Gotcha!” On Trump

trump-hewitt

If the Republicans, conservatives and liberal media can’t torpedo Donald Trump’s ridiculous and destructive presidential quest fairly and based on substance, their problems go a lot deeper than Donald Trump.

Wait a minute—they do!

The attempt to make a big deal out of Trump’s performance on the conservative radio talk show hosted by Earl Warren look-alike Hugh Hewitt is another example of the kind of unfair tactics that will just drive more supporters his way. First Hewitt asked Trump about Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, who Washington Post blogger Erik Wemple calls the famous leader of Iran’s elite Quds Force. Really? Famous? I’ll say right now: never heard of the dude. I will also say that if my ethics business required dealing with Iraq, I’d be briefed on him thoroughly before I had to make any substantive decisions. Trump’s “yeeees…”  indicated that ether he knew a quiz was coming, or had no idea who he was; then he said,  “Go ahead, give me a little, go ahead, tell me.” Then…

Hewitt: “He runs the Quds Forces.” (Listen to this on the Post link. I’m from Boston.  Anyone in my high school would have pronounced “Quds” and “Kurds” indistinguishably)

Trump: “Yes, OK, right.”

Hewitt: “Do you expect his behavior–”

Trump: “I think the Kurds, by the way, have been horribly mistreated by us.”

Hewitt: “No, not the Kurds — the Quds Forces, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Forces — the bad guys.”

Trump: “Yes, right.”

Hewitt: “Do you expect his behavior to change as a result –”

Trump: “Oh, I thought you said Kurds, Kurds.”

This, apparently, shows that Trump is unqualified to be President.  (He is, but not because of this.) Count on Democrats using the fact that Hillary can run off these names as proof of her superiority, though she was, you know, Secretary of State. Later, when Hewitt tried more quiz questions about the Middle East, Trump objected: Continue reading