Unethical Quotes Of The Month: DisruptJ20 Organizers David Thurston And Legba Carrefour

disruptj20

“We are not in favor of a peaceful transition of power, and we need to stop it.”

 —Legba Carrefour, one of the organizers of DisruptJ20, a group working with Black Lives Matter and other protest groups to disrupt the Inauguration with demonstrations, predawn blockades and efforts to interfere with inaugural balls in the evening.

“We want to shut down the inauguration. We want to see a seething rebellion develop in this city and across the country.”

—David Thurston, another DisruptJ20 leader.

This is, increasingly, the face of the political Left in 2017 America. These two are a bit more radical, self-righteous, undemocratic and extreme than the Democratic Party and its allies in academia and journalism, but not as much as one would think, or hope.

A significant number of progressives and Democrats have completely lost their minds, as well as their common sense, during the still rolling 2016 Post Election Train Wreck. At least Thurston and Carrefour are honest and straightforward about wanting to undermine the democratic process and to justify a coup solely on the basis that their candidate did not prevail. Democrats, progressives, academics and pundits are advocating or encouraging the same thing, but are less direct about it.

Every few days, often every day, bring new examples. I don’t just mean certified left-wing crazies like Michael Moore, who says we have to find some way to stop Trump from taking the office he was duly elected to, or Rosie O’Donnell, whose status as an idiot would normally make me hesitate to cite her except that ABC News gave her a forum as a pundit on “The View” for a few years, who says that Trump should be “arrested.” When did any conservative, libertarian, or Republican not residing in a padded room advocate that a Democratic President-Elect should be forceably prevented from taking office?

I know, I know: Trump is special. Trump justifies suspending ethics. The New York Times Rule.

About a week ago, another Hollywood video led by Sally Field demanded that Congress “stop” Trump, without really knowing what they will be stopping. The video is pure fear-mongering without substance, calling Trump “racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, anti-worker, anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic, anti-environmental…” Of course, the same people were part of a loud group of indignant Democrats who maintained for eight years that for Congress to deny the wishes of a President was akin to racism and treason. The previous video, that one headed by fake President Martin Sheen, made the historically stupid argument that Electors were supposed to have the power to veto the will of the people, at least when Democrats lose. That worked well…as as it deserved to.

Yesterday, over at The Hill, an assistant professor of government in American University’s School of Public Affairs was given a forum to make the batty argument that Russia’s hacking and leaking e-mails that exposed some of the filthy under-belly of the Clinton machine and the Democrats mandate cancelling the results of the election and holding a new one. Now, it would be a slightly less batty argument (but batty still), to call for a re-vote if damaging information was uncovered after an election that the winner withheld from the public, like, say, the fact that the IRS was sabotaging conservative groups to keep them from participating in civic discourse, or that the President lied to pass Obamacare, or that the Democratic Senate leader deliberately lied to smear the losing candidate….like in 2012. This guy (his name is Chris Edelson, and I am officially ashamed to have once been on an American University faculty with him) so hates Trump that he advocates causing a Constitutional crisis because damning information about the corruption of Clinton and the Democrats enlightened the public so they could, if they chose, use it to cast an informed vote. Cant have that.

Worse still was the jaw-dropping argument by liberal columnist Richard Cohen a few days ago, in a screed titled, “How to Remove Trump From Office.” Like all of the Left’s suddenly revolution-minded, Cohen begins with a list of Trump’s failings and character deficits, asserting that he is not fit to be President.  Boy, when did the concept of “an election” become so alien to the Left? I happen to agree with Cohen about Trump completely, but see, Richard, it is the voters, not us, who get to decide who is fit to lead the country. If you argue that your opinion should prevail over theirs, you are not a supporter of the Constitution, or democracy. You are an elitist autocrat, tending to totalitarianism.

You, and people like you, scare me a lot more than Donald Trump.

So what is Cohen’s brilliant plan for reversing the will of the people?

Under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, the vice president, together with a “majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide” can remove the president for being “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” No doubt the mere mention of incapacitation would summon a horde of lawyers to Washington to contest it or the meaning of every term. But it is plain that the 25th Amendment does give a role to Cabinet members that is not generally considered when they are up for confirmation. This time, however, they should all be asked whether they are aware of the 25th Amendment and, if need be, whether they would be willing to implement it.

This is so ignorant, so foolish, so intellectually dishonest and so manifestly illegal that I still can’t believe that it isn’t some kind of a terrible joke.

Cohen has readers who trust him and his judgment:it is a betrayal to misuse his influence to propose nonsense like this. The 25th Amendment is entirely there to deal with actual disability, as when Ronald Reagan was shot, when Woodrow Wilson was incapacitated by a stroke, or Eisenhower had a heart attack. There is no ambiguity, in either the Amendment’s wording or the legislative record. “Unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office” cannot be tortured into meaning “not what Richard Cohen, Hollywood, Harry Reid and Rosie O’Donnell believe is a qualified President.”

But such is the current ugly derangement on the Left, and if it does not diminish public respect and trust of Democratic Party further—make that even further—I will be surprised.

_________________

Source: Yahoo!

 

 

Ethics Quote Of The Day: Washington Post Columnist Richard Cohen

'Oh, all right, here's what I really think, since I'm already ticked off...'

‘Oh, all right, here’s what I really think, since we’re way past the 2012 election and I’m already ticked off...’

 “The Russians managed to do what they wanted to do in Syria. Why not the United States? The answer has always been clear to me. Obama did not care enough. Not from him ever came a thundering demand that Russia and Iran get out and stay out. Behind the arguably persuasive reasons to do little in Syria was an emotional coldness. This was not Obama’s fight. Kellyanne Conway keeps pointing out that Hillary Clinton had no message. True. Neither for that matter did Obama. He waved a droopy flag. He did not want to make America great again. It was great enough for him already. The banner he flew was one of American diminishment. One could agree, one could not be proud . . . Since the end of world War II, American leadership has been essential to maintain world peace. Whether we liked it or not, we were the world’s policeman. There was no other cop on the beat. Now that leadership is gone. So, increasingly, will be peace.”

Richard Cohen, reliably liberal Washington Post op-ed columnist of long-standing, in his latest titled, “Thanks to no-drama Obama, American leadership is gone.

Good for Cohen. Like George Will on the conservative side, Cohen will occasionally break through his biases to pronounce hard truth. Except to pacifists and isolationists, Obama’s foreign policy has made the world a far more dangerous place, and created a power vacuum that is being filled by Russia, Iran, China and terrorist organizations. Weak, feckless and inept, the President’s foreign misadventures and evasions have been substantially shielded from accountability by public apathy, media alibis, and Hillary Clinton’s bind, which prevented her from articulating her own criticisms of our current foreign weakness  for fear that it would lose her the support of the blind Obama cheering section. Continue reading

Ethical Quote Of The Day: Columnist Richard Cohen

Richard Cohen

“Trump could win. He could become president, commander in chief, ruler of the Justice Department and head of the IRS. In other words, the American people could elect someone who has not the slightest appreciation for the Constitution or American tradition. When Trump insisted that he could compel a military officer to obey an illegal order, I heard the echo of jackboots on cobblestone…. It does no good to argue that Trump is just doing a shtick, that he means little of what he says, that he is all swagger and bluff. Trouble is, his supporters do not see him that way. They take him at his word.

History nags. It admonishes. “American exceptionalism” is a phrase that refers to the past, not necessarily the future. Nothing is guaranteed. I’d like to think that Americans really are exceptional, that we have an exceptional faith in democracy and the rule of law. I now have some doubt. I always knew who Trump was. It’s the American people who have come as a surprise.”

—— Eccentric liberal  political columnist Richard Cohen in his essay, “Trump has taught me to fear my fellow Americans”

Richard Cohen is an odd duck in the world of liberal punditry. He is often emotional rather than rational; he wears his biases on his sleeve, and his ethical quirks are legion: for example, he is an infamous apologist for sexual harassment, and therefore Bill Clinton. He is not unperceptive, however, and I feel obligated to recognize him for one of the few times I have been in total agreement with his analysis.

I may have to start a new category called “Ethical Quotes About Donald Trump.” I promise if I ever encounter an ethical that is positive about The Donald’s divisive and dangerous candidacy, you’ll be among the first to learn about it. My assumption is that never the twain shall meet.

Ethics Dunce (Again): Washington Post Columnist Richard Cohen

No danger of an innocent being unjustly executed here...

No danger of an innocent being unjustly executed here, Richard…Now what?

Most Ethics Dunces named on Ethics Alarms are being chided for one, possibly anomalous, instance of ethics cluelessness, but not Richard Cohen. He is a lifetime, career-long ethics dunce. It is noteworthy when he writes something that doesn’t reek of ethics confusion.

Today he is blogging about the death penalty. There are coherent, powerful arguments that have been and can be made against the death penalty, but Cohen doesn’t bother with any of them, which, as a reflex old-school liberal, he should at least know by heart. No, he attacks the decision of Eric Holder to approve his Massachusetts U.S. Attorney’s request to seek the death penalty for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving Boston Marathon bomber as “political cowardice using one invalid argument after another, and by the way, curse you, Richard Cohen, for forcing me to defend Attorney General Holder.

Here are Cohen’s “arguments”:

  • The death penalty is a horrible crime on par with Tsarnaev and his brother intentionally killing and maiming innocent spectators of the Boston Marathon. Such an absurd statement carries a high burden of proof, which Cohen doesn’t even attempt to meet.
  • “[The death penalty] is the sine qua non of lack of thought, a medieval tick of the political right, a murder in the name of murder that does absolutely no good, unless it is to validate the killers’ belief in killing.” Ironically, Cohen’s post is the sine qua non of lack of thought. Since the death penalty has been around continuously since well before Medieval times, calling it a medieval tick is about as fair and accurate as calling religion, warfare, and property laws  medieval tics. Of course it does good: the fact that a vicious anti-social murderer is permanently removed from society and no longer uses up resources, space and oxygen that can be better employed in the furtherance of humanity is an absolute good, and that those contemplating similarly heinous acts are on notice that the same fate awaits them is also good. Continue reading

Unethical Excuses From All Over: Time Magazine, Richard Cohen, and Toronto

escuses

Caught red-handed in unethical conduct, the right, honest, courageous and yes, practical thing to do is to admit wrongdoing, eschew excuses, acknowledge fault, express contrition, and resolve not to behave in a similar manner again. Unfortunately, this is difficult for many people, especially, it seems, those in the public eye. Another reason it is difficult is that people who engage in grossly unethical conduct tend to gravitate to unethical responses when they are called to account for it.

We are currently awash in examples of this phenomenon:

I. Time explains that its fat slur cover on Chris Christie wasn’t what it seemed.

Ethics Alarms was one of the first to call foul on Time’s unprofessional “Elephant in the room” cover on New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and the condemnation of it was almost universal. There was no defense for this, a purely juvenile and biased insult masked as journalism. An ethical organization would have immediately responded:

‘Time used poor judgment in its language on the recent Chris Christie cover, which was gratuitously insulting to the Governor and millions of Americans. It was wrong to mock the governor because of his weight, as it is wrong to denigrate anyone based on their physical appearance. This was a failure of our editing process, by our staff, and of the entire organization, which failed to meet the high standards of professionalism, fairness, civility and integrity that Time has traditionally strived to meet, and has met in the past. We apologize to Governor Christie and our readers. Everyone should expect better of Time magazine, and we betrayed that trust. We vow to work diligently to regain it.’

But noooooooo!

What Time really did was… Continue reading

Ethics Quote of the Week: Eliot Cohen

captain-america

“Above all, a president has no business confessing to war-weariness. Sending soldiers to war is a hard business. But President Obama knew he was going to be a war president; if that duty was too trying for him, he should not have run for reelection, because, as he has discovered, he might have to fight new wars and not merely end old ones.

“For a president to confess to war-weariness is to confess weakness.

“It is the business of the commander in chief to inspire, either with tempered optimism or grim determination. He fails in his duty if he tells his subordinates, his people and the world that he is weary of the burden that he assiduously sought. In their dark moments, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who presided over infinitely more consequential and bloodier wars than Barack Obama, were undoubtedly war-weary. Can anyone imagine them proclaiming it to the world? “

—–Eliot Cohen, a teacher at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, concluding a Washington Post op-ed titled (in the paper’s print version), “We have not earned war-weariness.”

If there is a silver lining to the President’s Syrian Ethics Train Wreck, other than convincing those still capable of independent thought that we who saw the weakness of President Obama’s leadership skills were the ones whose eyes were open all along, it is that it has provoked some perceptive writing and debate on the topics of leadership, character, and America’s role in the world. Continue reading

A Side Benefit of the I.R.S. Scandal: Self-Identification By Dishonest Partisan Hacks

You know better, Gov.

You know better, Governor.

I mentioned this once already, but it bears repeating: any spinner, excuser, minimizer or defender of the I.R.S. scandal who uses the “it was a Bush appointee” talking point has insulted your intelligence or impugned his own, as well as marked himself or herself as an untrustworthy hack. I’m taking names and making lists myself now, and it’s growing by the hour.

Yesterday I added Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, whom I once believed had some integrity, and Donna Brazile. Today Richard Cohen, among others, joined the list. It really is shocking, and it’s increasingly more difficult to shock me. It is also ominous. Things we haven’t yet learned must really be ugly for such a transparently desperate excuse to be trotted out so early by people who almost certainly know what garbage it is.

Yesterday I heard Rendell literally drive Joe DiGenova, the former Attorney General, to apoplexy—Joe’s eyes were popping out of his head and I though he was going to fall over to the floor foaming at the mouth— by stating repeatedly that the I.R.S. fiasco “couldn’t be a conspiracy because a Bush appointee was in charge.” This is either unbelievably ignorant or despicably dishonest, and I suspect the latter. As I wrote in a previous post, Continue reading

Ethics Dunce: Washington Post Columnist Richard Cohen

Richard Cohen, a fair and smart liberal columnist who sometimes jumps the ethics rails...like now.

Richard Cohen, a fair and smart liberal columnist who sometimes jumps the ethics rails…like now.

Richard Cohen, the veteran liberal columnist at the Washington Post, is not your usual knee-jerk partisan pundit. He’s that rarity, a thoughtful and fair opinion journalist who does not choose his positions according to which side he would rather have drinks with. He really, really doesn’t like Republicans and conservatives, but he is capable of siding with them, or at least against his philosophical brethren, when common sense and matters of basic right and wrong beckon. I used to think of him as a left-biased partisan, but then I had a chance to read E.J. Dionne and Eugene Robinson on a regular basis, and Cohen’s relative objectivity and fairness became obvious.

He does have blind spots, however. One is sexual harassment, which, as an older guy who likes flirting with young women at the gym and doesn’t understand that whole “unwelcome advances” thing, he just doesn’t comprehend. Another is the compliance delusion. To be seriously unethical in Cohen’s eyes, you have to break the law. Otherwise, it’s “everybody does it.” Cohen is prone to fall for other classic rationalizations as well.  He is a “gut instinct”analyst where ethics are concerned, and gut instincts aren’t enough. They will eventually lead you astray. They lead Cohen astray.

This was the glaring flaw in his recent column about the Benghazi controversy, where Cohen fell into line with the Obama protectors in the media whose argument is, “So they lied…who cares?” He wrote in part…

“…President Obama was then really Candidate Obama and he surely did not want the words “terrorist attack” uttered during the presidential campaign. In addition, the CIA and the State Department were in a cat fight and could not agree on the wording of the talking points — or even, from a fair reading of their clashing e-mails, who the fanatical enemy was: al-Qaeda or members of Congress? In all this, it’s almost possible to forget that four Americans died in Benghazi. The event was a tragedy and it hardly matters, as then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton vociferously maintained, if the attack occurred spontaneously or was planned. Either way, it was a success for the terrorists and a debacle for the United States.

“It is good to find out how this happened — who’s responsible for the inadequate security, etc. — and it is also good to hold the Obama administration accountable for putting out a misleading statement. But the record will show that a thorough report was, in fact, compiled. Its authors were Thomas Pickering, an esteemed retired diplomat, and Adm. Mike Mullen, an equally esteemed retired chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. They found the standard mistakes and snafus — but no crime….Watergate, though, was a crime. Iran-contra was a crime. Government officials were convicted and some of them went to jail. Fudging a press release is not a crime. Compromising on wording is not a crime…It is not a crime either to make a mountain out of a molehill, but this particular one is constructed of a fetid combination of bad taste and poisonous politics. Dig down a bit and it becomes clear that some — many? — Republicans suspect that Barack Obama and-or Hillary Clinton are capable of letting people die to cover up a terrorist attack. Either that, or this is what they want us to think.”

It’s a fascinating passage, because you can see Cohen slowly going off the ethical rails: Continue reading

Ethics Hero: Richard Cohen

It’s more effective to compare Harry Reid to “Godfather II’s” Sen Pat Geary than to claim he’s a pederast. It takes some wit to do that, however…

I used to find Richard Cohen to be the most infuriating of knee-jerk liberal columnists, until the Washington Post added writers like Eugene Robinson and E.J. Dionne who make Cohen seem fair and balanced by comparison. And he, unlike them, also is occasionally capable of a noble bi-partisan moment, such as today’s column calling Harry Reid what he is for his Mitt Romney smear, claiming that an anonymous source from Bain Capital told him that Mitt Romney was a tax cheat.

This, sad little right-wing warriors, is how dirty politicians like Reid get their just desserts, not by mass name-calling and scrawling “Harry Reid is a poo-poo head” on your blogs. Pundits and other prominent voices on Reid’s own side don’t want to associate with him, and suddenly exhibit rare candor and honesty. A liberal writer like Cohen wounds Reid more than a million vindictive posts about his fictional pederasty. This is the system working properly, as it occasionally does. What a shame for conservatives that so many of their number exposed themselves as enthusiastic gutter-dwellers because they wouldn’t wait for a truth-telling liberal like Cohen to get to his keyboard.

Some highlights of Cohen’s terrific take-down of the Senate Majority Leader, nicely titled, “Harry Reid’s Gutter Politics”..

  • “In “The Godfather Part II,” a senator from Nevada is portrayed as corrupt. His name is Pat Geary. In real life, a senator from Nevada is a jerk. His name is Harry Reid.”
  • “Whether such a source exists, really, is beside the point. It could be that someone did indeed tell Reid that Romney paid no taxes for 10 years. Journalists get that sort of tip all the time, and their responsibility is (1) to check it out and (2) identify the source. Reid has not done the latter and apparently has not done the former, either. The truth is that Reid doesn’t really care if the charge is true or not.”
  • “He contributes to bad feelings, gridlock and the sense — nay, the reality — that everything is done for political advantage.”
  • “He is the face of the Democratic Party in the Senate and the ally of President Obama. Yet, not a single Democrat has had the spine to rebuke Reid.”
  • “…Reid has managed to draw both his party and his president into the gutter with him. When Reid accuses the Republicans of being overly partisan, he now lacks all credibility. For a long time it’s been difficult to believe anything he says. Now, it’s impossible.”
  • “As for Obama, he is tarnished by this episode. The fresh new face that promised us all a different kind of politics is suddenly looking cheesy. The soaring rhetoric that Obama used in his first campaign has come to ground in the mud of Harry Reid’s latter-day McCarthyism.”

That’s showing how it’s done, Mr. Cohen.

Bravo.

_________________________________________

Source: Richard Cohen

 

Richard Cohen, National Interests, and the Ethical Duties of the US to the World

There used to be no columnist who infuriated me more consistently than Richard Cohen. Those were the hazy, golden days before I discovered E.J. Dionne, Paul Krugman and Harold Mayerson, however, whose rigid ideology virtually precludes objective analysis. Cohen isn’t biased, he’s just wrong more often than not. But he is also capable of bursts of moral and ethical clarity. Today was an example, as he took on the isolationist voices on the left and the right that make up a large component, if not the majority, of our elected leadership today.

Cohen begins by recounting a section from  Erik Larson ‘s book,“In the Garden of the Beasts,” about how the American foreign policy establishment in the Thirties resisted efforts by William Dodd, then ambassador to Germany, to protest the Hitler government’s increasing persecution of Jews. Humanity, and the U.S., paid a steep price for its inward-turning perspective after World War I, as we abdicated our traditional role as defender of liberty, freedom, democracy and human rights on the world stage. Continue reading