Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 4/26/19: Character is IN Again, What Real Obstruction Looks like, And The Biden Follies Open

Wow, THAT week went by fast...

1 It’s the economy, stupid, except when the news media and Democrats want to overthrow the President…The Gross Domestic Product for the first quarter rolled in at 3.2%, considerably higher than the 2.5% predicted by “experts.” This is good news and big news, but because it’s favorable to Trump news, you can’t find it on the front page of today’s Times, or in the headlines at HLN. I’m an economics dummy—that’s one reason I majored in American Government, because I didn’t have to take major Economics course—but I worked at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce long enough to learn that all sorts of good things flow from a healthy GDP, which averaged well under 3 for the entire, benighted, protected and over-praised Obama administration.

There is no question that similar news—there was similar news in 2015—early in the Obama administration would have been heralded as cheer-worthy proof that Obama’s economic stimulus monster, derisively nicknamed “Porkulus” by critics, was working (it was an expensive failure), and that he was leading us out of the Wilderness, just as he had promised. Similarly, when Bill Clinton was running for re-election in 1996, his smug and slimy ways (“Where is the outrage?” asked poor Bob Dole) were already a matter of record even before Monica Madness, but the liberal news media and Democrats mocked the very idea that Presidential character should matter to voters.

That very year, my old theater company revived Gore Vidal’s “The Best Man,” a Sixties political satire on Presidential election politics. The play centered on an idealist candidate’s ethical dilemma of whether to release damning information on a competing candidate for the nomination, violating the good candidate’s ethics (the alleged scoop was that his competitor had dabbled in homosexual relationships in the army, not that there’s anything wrong with that: Gore Vidal certainly didn’t think so)  to win the nomination for himself and save the nation from the bad candidate, even though the Army rumors had nothing to do with why he was bad—the man was a Machiavellian right-wing monster (Gore believed all conservatives were monsters). The Washington Post reviewer panned the play, mocking the script as ridiculously outdated. “Who believes that character matters in choosing a President any more?” she asked. Continue reading