Three Republican Candidates: Gaffes, Disqualifications, Or Something Else?

shooting-yourself-in-the-footI felt badly about piling up three posts recently on unethical female Democrats running for office, and was inspired by the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent to do some analysis of Republican candidates who, at least according to Sargent, deserve equivalent criticism to what has been leveled at Alison Lundergan Grimes for refusing to say whether she voted for President Obama. [She did it again last night in her debate with Sen. McConnell.]

Sometimes finding Republican candidates who deserve an Ethics Alarms slap is hard, unless they say something bat wacky like, say, Richard Mourdock. If a Democrat is flagged by The Daily Beast or the Post, I can be pretty sure there was something said or done that was objectively troubling, because the mainstream media will bury anything from a Democrat that is vaguely defensible. A Republican, however, might be accused of certified insanity for a statement that offends progressive cant. Fox and many of the right wing websites, meanwhile, will ignore any Republican whose pronouncements don’t rise to “I am the Lizard Queen!” level of derangement, and will find fault with Democratic candidates on dubious grounds. Here are the GOP candidates for today’s ethics audit: Joni Ernst (U.S. Senate in Iowa); Tom Cotton (U.S. Senate in Arkansas); and Greg Abbott  (Texas Governor race): Continue reading

Reflections On President’s Day, 2012: A United States Diminished in Power, Influence and Ideals

Rep. Ron Paul is fond of saying that the United States shouldn’t be the world’s policeman, and thanks to irresponsible stewardship of America’s resources and horrific maintenance of its ideals, his wish has already come true. One result is a world that has no functioning opposition to evil, a world at the mercy of chaos with no champion or guiding inspiration in sight. The other result is a United States that no longer stands for its own founding principles.

For proof, we have only to look as far as Syria, where a brutal dictator is killing his own people at an accelerating rate. Although his people have tired of his tyranny, Hafez al-Assad, like Gaddafi before him, seems determined to kill as many of his own countrymen as he has to in order to stay in power. Our President, Barack Obama, has delivered stern admonitions and disapprovals, which is this President’s style and approximately as effective as tossing water balloons. The Secretary of State, Mrs. Clinton, expresses frustration, for all the good that does. The killing, of course, goes on.

If you think I’m going to advocate U.S. action in Syria, you are wrong. Quite simply, we can’t afford it—not with a Congress and an Administration that appear unwilling and unable to confront rising budget deficits and crushing debt with sensible tax reform and unavoidable entitlement reductions. Yesterday Congress and the President passed yet another government hand-out of money it doesn’t have and refuses to raise elsewhere, among other things continuing to turn unemployment insurance, once a short-term cushion for job-seekers, into long-term government compensation for the unemployed. Part of the reckless debt escalation was caused by the last President unconscionably engaging in overseas combat in multiple theaters without having the courage or sense  to insist that the public pay for it, and the current administration is incapable of grasping that real money, not just borrowed funds, needs to pay for anything. The needle is well into the red zone on debt; we don’t have the resources for any discretionary military action.

Ron Paul thinks that’s a good thing, as do his libertarian supporters. President Obama, it seems, thinks similarly. They are tragically wrong. Though it is a popular position likely to be supported by the fantasists who think war can just be wished away, the narrowly selfish who think the U.S. should be an island fortress, and those to whom any expenditure that isn’t used to expand  cradle-to-grave government care is a betrayal of human rights, the abandonment of America’s long-standing world leadership in fighting totalitarianism, oppression, murder and genocide is a catastrophe for both the world and us. Continue reading

United Nations Ethics

 

After the U.N., Plan B

Ah, the United Nations—can’t live with it, can’t live without it!

 

But I think it may be time for the U.S., having tried to live with a corrupt, hypocritical, impotent monument to how disastrous a one-world government would be—while supplying the lion’s share of its funding— to try living without it.

The U.N. Human Rights Council has issued a 23-page report praising the Gaddafi regime’s human-rights record. Continue reading

Ethics Quote of the Week: The Washington Post

“Mr. Obama has spoken only once in public about the Libyan crisis. He has yet to condemn Mr. Gaddafi by name. He has not called for an end to the regime. He has expressed concern about protecting U.S. citizens – most of whom were evacuated from Libya on Friday – but has showed no intention of protecting the Libyans whom Mr. Gaddafi is slaughtering. The White House appears content to allow France and other nations to take the lead. But the reality is that as long as the president of the United States remains passive, the help Libyans are begging for will not come.”

—-The Washington Post, in an Editorial entitled “A Passive President”

President Obama is unilaterally abdicating the United States’ critical and honorable role as the world’s advocate for freedom and human rights. As President Obama calculated the political angles, people are dying at the hands of a mad dictator. He has condemned the Governor of Wisconsin with more intensity than he has Libya’s butcher.

There are certain sacred duties of being President Of the United States, and this one doesn’t apparently sit well with Obama’s famous “reserve.” It is the duty to lead the World to oppose evil, and he is ducking it as people die.

Cheers to the Washington Post for noticing, caring, and speaking out.

UPDATE: 2/26/11 The same day the Post ran its editorial, the White House announced that the President told Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel that “when a leader’s only means of staying in power is to use mass violence against his own people, he has lost the legitimacy to rule and needs to do what is right for his country by leaving now.” I suppose that covers “He has not called for an end to the regime” part of the Post’s indictment, though someone has to explain to me why Obama is condemning the Libyan dictator without mentioning his name ,and weirder still, only doing so by reporting what he has said to the German Chancellor.

UNICEF’s Unethical War Against International Adoption

UPDATE, 12/19/2011: There is more on the topic of international adoptions here.

There are few things more harmful than a trusted organization associated with good will and good deeds that uses its influence irresponsibly, and there are few organizations with more accumulated trust than UNICEF, the United Nations organization dedicated to children’s rights, safety and welfare. That UNICEF could be promoting policies that actually harms children seems too awful to contemplate, but that appears to be what is occurring. The problem is that most people have grown up thinking of the organization as the epitome of international virtue. UNICEF doing something that hurts kids? Impossible. Since the group’s impressive moral authority seems to be focused in an unethical direction, the damage it can do before public opinion turns is substantial.

The area is  international adoptions. Continue reading

9-11 Conspiracy Claims: The Hate Crime We Cannot Stop, But Must Not Tolerate

The stated belief that the United States government murdered its own citizens and military personnel on September 11, 2001 is, if sincere, proof that an individual possesses intractable misconceptions, hatred and disrespect for America’s history, culture, and ideals. If the belief is not sincere, then the claim that the Bush administration orchestrated (or allowed) the Twin Towers and Pentagon attacks is an effort to harm our nation by destroying its reputation and honor, dragging it into the swamp of other nations to which murder and dictatorship are traditional. The First Amendment requires that we allow these individuals, be they deranged, sinister, irresponsible or merely stupid, to deny what makes the United States unique and slander its elected leaders, but it does not require that we accord them respect or tolerance. Continue reading