Stop Making Me Defend Joe Biden!

Once again, the accountability concept is eluding Democrats.

Joe Biden is many things, few of them admirable, though he has been bolstered by either gullible or complicit journalism for decades, He is not, however, responsible for the gruesome state of the current Democratic Presidential field, nor is it Joe’s fault that Democrats are facing the prospect another defeat at the hands of Donald Trump, this one worse than the first.

In the wake of the impending collapse of Biden’s campaign, accelerated by his embarrassing showing in New Hampshire, the memo has already gone out, it seems, recruiting pundits and others to blame Joe for the current mess.

Jonathan Chait has always been one of the less impressive progressive mouthpieces in the news media, with “think pieces” that seldom show much quality thought and advocacy skills that would fail a First Year law student moot court competition. Chait was in typical form, which is to say “poor,” with this essay  titled “Biden’s Campaign Was a Disaster For Liberalism and the Democratic Party,” which concludes,

Right. It’s Joe’s fault. The fact that the Democrats tossed away all the traditions of minimal cross- party comity and attempted a never-ending coup for President Trump’s entire term: that’s on Joe. The fact that three anti-Jewish, anti-American, far, far Left women prone to saying vulgar, stupid and bigoted things, handicapped by varied ethical problems have become prominent symbols of the Democratic Party: Biden’s fault. That the Dracula-like romance between disaffected members of the Left coalition and government dominance over the economy and personal liberties has once again risen from the dead…it’s that damn Biden again! The contrived impeachment was botched so badly that it made the President more popular rather then less? That’s Joe’s doing too. Continue reading

Ethics Quote Of The Year: U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr

“One of the ironies today is that people are saying it is President Trump who is shredding our institutions. I really see no evidence of that. From my perspective, the idea of ‘resisting’ a Democratically elected president and basically throwing everything at him, and really changing the norms on the grounds that we have to stop this president. That’s where the shredding of our norms and institutions is occurring.”

—The Attorney General, on CBS This Morning today.

Exactly. Continue reading

Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 4/19/18: “Boy, Am I Sick Of This Stuff” Edition

Morning….

1. Once again, the Orwell Catch-22. Ethics Alarms has several times flagged the unconscionable use of the Orwellian ” If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear’ in the news media and among the resistance as they try to demonize the President of the United States for insisting on basic principles of due process and legal procedure. (Here, for example.) How did the Left come to such a state where they embraced this unethical concept, which is totalitarian to the core, and the antithesis of liberal thought? It is pure corruption, and forces fair Americans to side with the President and his defenders whether they want to or not.

To get a sense of how insidious this trend is, read Jonathan Chait’s recent effort for New York Magazine. Chait isn’t an idiot, but he’s so biased that he often sounds like one, as in his ridiculously blind 2016 essay declaring that “The 2016 Election Is a Disaster Without a Moral.”

This time, he makes the argument that President Trump must be guilty of horrible crimes because various Trump allies have denied that Michael Cohen will “flip” on his client, meaning that he would testify against him. Lawyers can’t testify against their clients, even if they have knowledge of criminal activity. They can testify to client efforts to involve them in criminal activity prospectively, because requests for advice regarding illegal acts are not privileged. Chait, however, doesn’t observe this distinction: he is simply towing the ugly If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear’ position that has been adopted, to their shame, by many left-leaning pundits and supposedly legitimate news organizations like the New York Times. Look at this section in Chait piece, for example: Continue reading

“The 2016 Election Is a Disaster Without a Moral”? Only If You’re In Denial, Mr. Chait!

That should be "lessons," plural...

That should be “lessons,” plural...

The many outbursts of  liberal anger, resentment, accusations and denial over the election have been revealing, and not in a good way. Few have been as directly and stubbornly misguided and biased, however, as the current New York Magazine article by Jonathan Chait, with the clickbait title, “The 2016 Election Is a Disaster Without a Moral.”

It is, in essence, yet another example of Democrats attempting to argue away any accountability for their own misfortune, making Chait’s piece itself a denial of several moral lessons, such as “I am the architect of my own destiny,” “Take responsibility for your failures,” and “Don’t blame others for your own mistakes.” The post-election progressive freak-out, of which Chait is a part, also has a very important moral lesson in store, the one embodied in the Serenity Prayer authored by theologian and philosopher Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971):

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the  courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

Clearly, this moral lesson is completely elusive, with pointless recounts underway supported by the Clinton campaign; round the clock complaining about the Electoral College, part of the 225 year-old rules of the game the Democrats accepted when they ran a candidate in the election; unethical and futile attempts intimidate electors or convince them to violate their vows;  embarrassingly infantile laments and near-breakdowns of whining students on college campuses,; and “Not My President!” protests and riots.

The lessons are there to learn, Jonathan, you just don’t want to learn them. He actually writes—and if this isn’t denial, I don’t know what is, “It is hard to think of an election defeat more singularly absent of important lessons.”  What??? To the contrary, it is hard to think of an election that taught more important lessons than this one. Continue reading

The Clinton Foundation’s Confession, (or) “Is The Public Really As Stupid As The Clintons Think It Is?”

stupidity1

Bill Clinton said last week that the Clinton Foundation would no longer accept foreign or corporate money and also that he would resign from its board should Hillary Clinton win the Presidency.

The logic of this, one assumes, is to allay any fears that President Hillary Clinton would allow access and influence to be purchased by foreign powers by contributing to a foundation that exists substantially to line the pockets of the three and to provide a foundation...but the other kind, not the non-profit kind—for Clinton power-brokering, career advancement and mutual back scratching.

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Allow me to pause for a brief expansion on that…

The New York Times, which really is good at telling the truth while deceiving its readers anyway, describes the Clinton Foundation as working “globally to combat AIDS/H.I.V., malaria, childhood obesity and climate change, and promotes women’s rights and other causes.” This is true, but it is also lying by omission, because it intentionally omits the shady side of the story. Here is how Jonathan Chait, as full-throated a Clinton booster as you can find in the pundit ranks, describes the Foundation:

“The purpose of the Clinton Foundation is to leverage Clinton fame into charitable donations. That purpose has important positive effects — shaking loose donations for AIDS prevention and training African farmers and other worthy causes. But it also has the unavoidable side effect of giving rich people a way to curry favor with a powerful elected official.”

Exactly. Perfectly stated, except that “giving rich people a way to curry favor with a powerful elected official” is a euphemism for “quid pro quo,” or better yet, bribery. It is unethical, and also illegal if you can prove it, which is generally hard to do, especially when the “contributions” are designated for worthy causes, though much of them somehow end up paying for the Clintons’ regal lifestyle. Chait’s uncritical assessment of this per se corruption is stated thusly:

“There’s a reason the term politician is synonymous with lying, calculation, and ambition — these are common qualities for politicians. The Clintons are common politicians, motivated in general by a desire to implement policy changes they think will make the world a better place, but not immune to trimming and getting rich in the process. None of their behavior is disqualifying, given the number of elected officials, presidents included, who have done the same”

Translation: “Everybody does it, but the Clintons are just better at doing it and getting rich in the process. Stop bitching.”

That Chait says that behaving this way isn’t disqualifying explains everything, including why the metastasizing  ethics rot in our government will slowly but surely result in the predatory elected official conduct common in Africa if the public doesn’t insist that it is disqualifying, and start recognizing ethically-hollow opinion makers like Chait for what they are…enablers and courtiers.

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Parenthetical discourse over; thank-you for your attention. Continue reading

Ethics Quote Of The Week: Jonathan Chait

I mean, what's not to like?

I mean, what’s not to like?

“One of the unfortunate habits overtaking the left is a tendency to conclude that any behavior that could plausibly be motivated by bigotry is likely motivated by bigotry.”

—-Liberal commentator Jonathan Chait in New York Magazine, in his article, Are Biden-for-President Supporters All Sexist?”

Absolute Truth: My first reaction upon reading this: “No shit, Sherlock! What was your first clue?”

As I just wrote last week*, the entire Obama-enabling machine has been fueled by that premise for almost eight years, highlighted by claims last month by Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) that Bejamin Netanyahu, believing that the Iran nuclear agreement is an existential threat to his nation (and he’s right, too), only took the extraordinary measure of addressing Congress because Obama is black. And no liberal pundit calls Clyburn out on this slur, this insulting and stupid slur. I haven’t checked Chait’s output over the last eight years, so I don’t know if or when he’s played that double-dealt card himself. Still, he deserves credit for honesty and a fair analysis that doesn’t reflect well on his colleagues. It is just irritating that he could and should have made the point long ago.

A second and third less-than-sober thought that quickly followed that first:

  • No, Biden supporters aren’t sexist.  They are insane.
  • Or desperate.

What prompted Chait’s ethical candor was this jaw-dropping article by Scott Lemieux at The Guardian. He really appears to think that there is no possible reason anyone would prefer Biden to Clinton. I mean, what could it be?

“In policy terms, Biden and Clinton are virtually identical. On domestic policy, they’re both moderate liberals who are too close to the financial service sectors in their home states. On foreign policy, they’re both moderate liberal hawks who voted for the Iraq War. It would be harder to name two major politicians with more similar policy profiles. If Biden is going to enter the race, it’s not because he disapproves of the direction in which Clinton is going to lead the country. And it’s hard to see any evidence that Biden is more electable.”

So, Lemieux concludes, the only possible explanation is that he has “one characteristic that makes him seem more “presidential” to too many journalists: a penis.”

Oh, that must be it! Not the fact that Clinton is a serial liar. Not the fact that she is a blatant influence peddler, a greedy hypocrite, a fake feminist, Bill Clinton’s enabler, a flop as Secretary of State, and completely untrustworthy by any measure.

These things don’t matter to auto-pilot progressives like Lemieux, because these strange and ethically disinterested people really don’t think character–or competence even—matters. As far as I can see, they would elect Machiavelli, Chauncey the Gardener, Lucretia Borgia or Jack the Ripper as long as they pledged to tax the rich, add more entitlements, open the boarders, make gun-owning nearly impossible, ban hate speech, open the jails and  protect “the right to choose” under all conditions. It’s amazing. Frightening too.

Lemieux shows how biased and deluded he is by making it clear that he thinks Hillary’s e-mail evasions show she is as pure as the driven snow, and that it’s the biased news media—that’s right, the news media is biased against the poor, innocent, misunderstood Clintons—that is causing her poll numbers to fall.

With zombie progressives like this guy, I can’t tell if he’s been brainwashed or is lying. He writes,

“In addition to the misogyny, there’s something else going on here: the Clinton rules, the media’s tendency to give much more attention to spurious allegations than to proof showing that the allegations are untrue. In late July, a New York Times story initially alleged that a criminal probe had been opened into Clinton’s emails during her tenure as Secretary of State. The only problem is that the story was botched 11 ways from Sunday. First, the story was changed to reflect the fact that there wasn’t a criminal probe and then changed again to reflect the fact that the non-criminal probe wasn’t about Clinton.”

Yes, the story was changed, you shameless hack, because the Times unethically took orders from the Clintons. The allegations about Clinton risking national security, violating government protocol, destroying e-mails she knew would be evidence and lying repeatedly about the matter are true beyond question.  Moreover, the FBI is investigating Clinton’s e-mail shenanigans, and the FBI investigates crimes. Several news sources have confirmed that it is a criminal probe, and of course such a probe is a probe of Hillary Clinton. This week several media volunteer spinners for Hillary, like the Today Show’s Savannah Guthrie, kept emphasizing that it is the server that is being investigated, not its user. That’s right, Sanannah, you disgraceful biased hack, the FBI is going to arrest the server. Hillary is 100% responsible for the misuse of the e-mails and the violation of policy. Deal with it. Better yet, report it.

Yes, I know you don’t have a penis; never mind. Try being a journalist.

Arguing that the FBI is focusing on the server and not Hillary is exactly the same as saying that the SEC was investigating Bernie Madoff’s business but that Bernie wasn’t a target. It was his business—if the business broke the law, he did. If Clinton’s e-mail server broke the law, she did.

I must be a sexist, right, Scott Lemieux?

At least Jonathan Chait isn’t fooled.

Finally.

*“It all was seeded, of course, by the cynical strategy, developed even before Obama was elected, to characterize the same kind of criticism all recent Presidents have been subjected to as racially-motivated, even as this ill-prepared leader has lurched from one disaster to another, domestically and abroad. This was excellent for the goal of making sure that African Americans, whose fortunes have suffered more under this President than any other group, voted for skin-color over self interest in 2012. It has also been a social and cultural calamity. Still, the strategy continues.”

Now THIS Is A Witch Hunt! The Northwestern-Laura Kipnis Ethics Train Wreck

Springfiled mob

I really tried to ignore this ridiculous story. Campus political correctness battles, like examples of public school teacher incompetence ( my head just exploded yesterday, so I refuse to write about THIS), are so common and so self-evidently whacked that the blog could easily be over-run by them. The lower education episodes are more important, I’ve concluded, because the victims are children who still might be saved from indoctrination and a life-wrecking warped concept of how authority should be wielded, and children must be protected from the kind of child abuse a lot of these episodes represent. In the college campus fiascos, much of the time, it is the students who are the initial culprits (remember, they are adults, supposedly), and the administrators are mostly the craven enablers. Initially, I thought this episode was just another example of runaway progressive fascism feeding on itself. And it is, but there is more to it than that.

To briefly summarize…Laura Kipnis is a Professor of Radio, TV and Film at Northwestern University. She wrote an entertaining article in the Chronicle of Higher Education about what she termed the ‘sexual paranoia’ on college campuses, including hers, and delivered observations about how these attitudes were strangling discourse and sane human interaction in society at large.

I wasn’t crazy about the article, because Kipnis, as I might expect from a theater prof, appears to know nothing about ethics at all. Her over-arching position is Old Sixties Berkeley: if it involves sex, chill out. I will bet my head that Kipnis was one of Bill Clinton’s defenders on the grounds that lying about sex isn’t lying, even when it’s under oath, even when it’s on TV, even when it’s to the American people’s face, even when you use your power and high office to support it. It’s sex, and sex is groovy. Who knows, she might also have defended John Edwards, and no, I have not had any respect for people like this since the Nineties. Continue reading