The Hypocrisy Hall Of Fame

Recently, Max Boot–formerly of the GOP and now a self-described “man without a party”–authored a scathing column in the Washington Post. The introductory paragraphs give a hint of the points made in the remainder of the essay.

“In scandals such as this, it is always members of the president’s party who have particular leverage, and therefore who have a particular responsibility, to hold the president accountable for his actions.”

So wrote noted Republican moralist Bill Bennett in his 1998 book, “The Death of Outrage.” Bennett went on to excoriate Democrats who were “troubled by the credible allegations of ethical and criminal wrongdoing” and who saw “the harm that is being inflicted on America” but failed to say so “forcefully, unambiguously, publicly.” “No Democrat went to the president of the United States and insisted, emphatically, that he do what is right, none insisted that he fully answer questions, stop stonewalling, and come out, immediately, with all of the facts, wherever they might lead,” he wrote. “This is shameful.”

Agreed, it’s shameful when members of a President’s party see the harm being inflicted on America and fail to speak out.

Some of us think that personal corruption, incessant undermining of the Constitution and rule of law, encouragement of white nationalism, and refusal to admit economic reality in order to start a trade war likely to devastate the nation’s farmers (among others) might–just might–inflict a greater harm to the body politic than discovering that a President had received a blow job in the Oval Office.

As Boot notes, Republicans have remained deathly quiet, although Mueller’s report documented conduct by Trump that “beyond a shadow of a doubt” is both criminal and impeachable. Over 800 former federal prosecutors signed a letter saying that Trump would have been indicted for obstruction of justice if he wasn’t president.

Trump is committing further “high crimes and misdemeanors” by vowing not to comply with “all” House subpoenas. The House Judiciary Committee has just votedto hold his attorney general, William P. Barr, in contempt for refusing to provide the unredacted Mueller report to Congress. His treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, risks similar sanctions for refusing to provide Trump’s taxes to the House Ways and Means Committee. Yet no Republicans are speaking out to condemn Trump for his lawlessness or urge him to comply with congressional subpoenas. This stands in stark contrast to the way that Republicans rained rhetorical fire and fury on Democratic presidents who stonewalled Congress.

Boot calls out several Senators by name: for example, he quotes Florida Senator Marco Rubio’s criticism of then-Attorney General Eric Holder for failing to provide some of the requested documents during a House probe of a gun-running sting. Rubio’s language was scorching:

“I think that it is outrageous that any attorney general — Republican or Democrat — refuses to comply with Congress’s constitutional right to hold them accountable and the Justice Department accountable. I would say that if that if this was a Republican just like I do now because it’s a Democrat. Not only that, I think this has gone on so long and the stonewalling by the attorney general has been so egregious, that I think he has to resign.”

Now there’s a Republican administration, and Rubio isn’t calling for Barr to resign for his stonewalling.

Then, of course, there’s Lindsey Graham, whose performance as a slavering Trump sycophant must be making John McCain roll over in his grave.

Rubio is joined in the hypocrisy hall of fame by Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) who, as a House member in 1998, demandedthat President Bill Clinton be impeached for, inter alia, refusing to comply with congressional subpoenas: “The day Richard Nixon failed to answer that subpoena was the day he was subject to impeachment, because he took the power from Congress over the impeachment process away from Congress and he became the judge and jury.”

Well, Clinton was a Democrat.

Boot gives other examples, and concludes that “Republicans believe in presidential power only when the president is a Republican. When it’s a Democrat, they suddenly discover the importance of congressional oversight”.

There is no disinterested principle that could possibly explain or excuse Republican conduct. Their only principle is blind partisanship. We are in a “constitutional crisis,” as Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) says, and Republicans are siding with their party over the Constitution.

I remember when many more Republicans were like Max Boot–when, as honorable public servants, they would have been appalled by Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham and all the other Republican office-holders who are so eager to place partisanship above patriotism, and who fear Trump’s rabid and ignorant base far more than they love their country.

History will place them all in the hypocrisy hall of fame.


  1. There are scores of quotes from hypocritical Republican lawmakers who bashed Clinton and Obama and now stand silent as Trump does the same and worse. In this digital, 24-hour-a-day news cycle, one does not have to dig too deeply to find examples. Every time I read one of these historical quotes I always ask the same thing: why doesn’t the news media play the quote to the lawmaker in question and ask them if they still believe what they said about a Democrat and if not, why have they changed?

    The political amnesia exhibited by congress is mind-numbing. While calling them out on their hypocrisy may do little to change their actions, it would at least acknowledge the Republican elephant in the room.

  2. I don’t use past utterances by politicians and others to point to their hypocrisy. I look at their actions and lack of actions. In the case of Republicans, particularly those who self describe as “Christian”, I see the very worst of hypocrisy.
    One cannot claim the mantel of morality and then silently stand by as children are kidnapped and locked in cages, people are denied health care, regulations that were put into place to protect everyone are discarded so that a handful of people can be made rich, yell and stomp about “family values” and then worship a leader who cheats and lies his way through three marriages and incestuously gropes his own daughter, and steadfastly support a political party that is systematically helping to destroy democracy in order to stay in power.

  3. “As Boot notes, Republicans have remained deathly quiet,…”

    DEATHLY QUIET are the key words in this entire blog today; we did not live in personal fear of loss of income, health care, education or life due to increasing possibility of nuclear attack because Bill Clinton lied about a blow job. The shame and embarrassment was his and his alone; it did not shame and embarrass, as well as endanger, this entire country and our future generations.

    “I remember when many more Republicans were like Max Boot–when, as honorable public servants, they would have been appalled by Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham and all the other Republican office-holders who are so eager to place partisanship above patriotism, and who fear Trump’s rabid and ignorant base far more than they love their country.”

    OUR lives are in danger from all sides with little hope of help from former strong allies those named above have alienated, possibly permanently, while we pay for their full protection 24/7/365 with our tax dollars.

    And if Ben Carson’s confusion yesterday regarding the difference between REOs and Oreo cookies in his job as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development doesn’t “out” the ignorance level and lack of qualifications to perform their appointed jobs in the entire administration…what will?

    The entire Republican party needs to be impeached and restarted; rebuilt from the bottom up.

  4. Republicans know they have lost the electorate and the populace. Their only path to remain In power is to ignore the corruption of this Administration. Supposedly, Trump won the presidency because there was a significant segment of the population that believed the government had become so corrupt it was impossible for them to thrive. How ironic that that segment of the electorate brought us the most blatantly corrupt president in our history.

  5. Don’t expect the Republican party to EVER recover from this spiraling descent into the pits of hypocrisy, irresponsibility and stupidity. As said, they are willing to sacrifice the entire country, never mind the dignity of the presidency, for political power. So, who is behind all that un-patriotic behavior?

    See “Citizens United v. FEC” for starters. Then look at who brought that case in the first place: Corporate/Banking America. It wasn’t enough for these mindless corporatists/capitalists to have regulations cut away so they could drive our economy into the tank for the sake of quarterly reports. No, they had to execute the final act from the Powell report (1971) and finish purchasing the government.

    The retention of power is now the sole purpose of Republicanism. Otherwise, how does a rational person explain the absurd silence mentioned above? Good government, patriotism and adherence to the rule of law is out the window. The Republicans have consciously decided to support a criminal enterprise – that they helped create – because their donors have told them to. It won’t matter to the quarterly report people that democracy will be destroyed in the process; they’ve NEVER liked democracy anyway even though it’s what made these bastards so rich.

    Will one election fix this (If we’re allowed to have one in 2020.)? Nope. This problem is systemic. The Republican party presents NOBODY who is willing to return to the rule of law and normal, bipartisan government. They are completely at the mercy of their donors and their donors are NOT looking out for the best interests of the American people.

  6. Is it really trump’s rabid and ignorant base that they fear or are they following the orders of their billionaire plutocrat/oligarch/corporate donors that may be ordering them to stay silent?

  7. The coming election might not fix anything. In fact, if 45 isn’t beaten by a wide margin, it might be the end of the Republic. Will what’s left of Federal law enforcement be willing to turn him out of the White House? Will the military honor the Constitution? A few days ago, I pointed out that a key weakness in our Constitution is that it relies on people of good will. Today we have a President, a cabinet, and a political party who are not people of good will. We have to hope that those who are part of what the Republicans call the “deep state”, especially law enforcement and armed forces, are.

  8. The Republican Party has two major features the first is the donor class, like the Koch Bros, and other lobbyists who use the Republican Party as a vehicle for legislative change in their favor. The second group is the actual Republican Voters who are the Reactionary – Right Wing- NRA-Theocratic Evangelicals.

    President Agent Orange and Pastor Pence are in total control of the second group. The posts I read on Face Book from the second group celebrate every victory by the anti-abortion forces and any proposal to build the wall. This second group knows and understands President Agent Orange is an imperfect vessel but he delivers what they want – the ends justifies the means.

    It is then logical for the elected Republican officials to line up behind President Agent Orange. These elected officials know their political survival in the Republican Party is tied and chained to President Agent Orange. Any disloyalty to President Agent Orange will punished via a Tweet and a real chance of being opposed in a primary fight.

    The stonewalling and obstruction by President Agent Orange to subpoenas by the House is viewed as one more example of the strong authoritarian leader he is.

    President Agent Orange does have a knack for finding people with moral vulnerabilities to achieve his goals. The most important moral vulnerability is blind obedience to President Agent Orange.

  9. I do not disagree on the hypocrisy.

    I just don’t understand the Democrats strategy.

    1. Mueller laid bare McGahn’s testimony on obstruction.

    2. A subpoena to a senior presidential advisor ( former or not) about his official duties is not as clear cut legally as has been suggested. Bush invoked similar privilege 6 times and Clinton 14.

    3. It took 3 years from the issuance of the subpoena to Holder (Fast and Furious), from 10/11 to 10/14, for the court to settle the matter and then Holder was allowed to withhold “predecision and deliberative documents.”

    4. The Mueller Report was not the complete victory the Dems sought, as some of us feared, and no 2020 votes will change from it now, nor will the Senate remove Trump from office for it.

    Some one is out there beating on a dead horse.

  10. If one think blow jobs are seductive, consider power. As Lord Acton so famously put it, “power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely”. In other words completely, totally.

    How did this come about? It came because the Koch Bros et al, looking for power to reestablish aristocracy here, discovered that religious and racial superiority and regional culture, and misogyny, and nationalism, in other words, extremism, could be harnessed through the power of now pervasive entertainment media to produce democratic power. The power of numbers. They could have power by sharing it with others who regarded self interest as primary. That even works in a democracy.

    Now Trump is showing them that not even the Constitution will stand in the way of totalitarianism. Just find a President willing to ignore it. Once that happens the Republican cabal of power seekers will just let him. After all they don’t want freedom, they want power. When he threatens our freedom in favor of their power they will stand silent and he will stand powerful.

    We are the only defenders of the Constitution left and he’s counting on the traditional weakness of democracy, the glacial pace in which action unfolds through collaboration, to paralyze it and so far he’s been right.

    We can lose this fight. We can lose the country that we have loved. We can lose our freedom and become North Korea or Saudi Arabia or Russia or China. We have one non violent opportunity left in 2020. It’s going to take all of us united vs all of them united.

    Trump Trump 20/20. Your children and theirs are counting on you.

  11. Republicans are not hypocrites, as they have no principles to betray. They have habits, talking points, and double standards, but are entirely amoral.

  12. What Theresa wrote, plus – I want something other than “a measured response” to Republican attempts to subvert our democracy via a felon at the helm pretending that what we are seeing in plain view is politically “normal.” It isn’t; it is a slow coup, the same subversion Trump recently suggested Democrats were pulling via his projection (where the projector blames his/her enemies for what he or she has in mind), which he projected to the gullible for consumption. It rather resembles 1933 Germany and I, for one, am not and will never be a “Good German” like in pre-Nazi Germany, whose lack of nerve and apathy allows our blood-soaked democracy to disappear via either fear, apathy, or for any other reason.

    I have therefore (after flirting with Nancy’s timing for impeachment) come down for immediate filing of such articles along with the immediate use of every weapon House committees have in bringing these democracy destroyers to heel, including impeachment of all those involved who are subject thereto, fines, confinement, indictment (good luck with the DOJ, Gerald), and any other appropriate remedy to end this lawless exercise plainly designed to destroy our democracy, Letters and whining aren’t getting it; it’s time if not past time to show these wannabe dictators what tough is in the defense of our most precious asset held in common, our democracy, and figuratively speaking, taking no prisoners in the process. So let’s go!

  13. What Gerald wrote and this: It’s like your house is on fire and the fire department comes but stands there doing nothing because they are waiting for the miracle of rain to put it out. In this scenario the fire chief is Nancy and the arsonist who set the fire is Mitch.

  14. Theresa and Gerald; so true. And to add to Theresa’s comments; those sitting Republican Senators are feeding the fire Mitch set and roasting marshmallows as it burns.

  15. if the demos take back the senate,and boot trump to the,er prison?…bush the second,and the senate and congress changed the meaning of laws by a few words,like bushs patriot act. if using capitalist jargon, make what mcconnel and his mob is doing today, guilty of teason,by undermining the economy and rule of law,
    lieing to the public,by not fulfilling thier game plan,and finding money from foreign intrests as a removal from office?
    we need a new law for,treason…best wishes.

  16. What did we do with treasonous bastards during our original Revolution? What did we do with traitors? Didn’t the Rosenbergs get electrocuted for spilling secrets to the Soviets? So are the crimes being seen in plain sight and reported everywhere any different than these cases?

    Jeff Daniels asked on Nicolle Wallace’s show about where were the patriots? What do patriots do? They do what it takes when all else seems to not work. Who will step up to do the right thing(s)?

    The whole world wonders….

  17. Thank you Sheila and once again Vernon Turner,

    I also saw Jeff Daniels on Nicole Wallace’s “Deadline White House”, a political talk show I always try to watch, ask that very important question – “Where are the patriots?”, which is a question I keep asking myself as well. Surely all these people that infest a Congress and the Senate grew up growing to grade school and high school as no doubt you did and I did as well. Why and for what specific reasons did they lose sight of what they were taught as children and adolescents regarding basic patriotism in regard to this country?

    You obviously did not lose sight of that, Sheila definitely hasn’t lost sight of that nor have any of the regular contributors two this blog lost sight of that dairy basic aspect of citizenship in this country. The standard answer to this question is probably, well they have to go through all the hoops to being a lacked it and rub elbows with the big money men and all the special interest and they lose sight of things that they really shouldn’t. I guess the answer is that running for public office is so corruptive to one’s soul that this is what happens. Obviously, it’s more than that with politics being an essential ingredient but to support outright criminality in order to get reelected by a political base that has been undermined via vicious targeted propaganda is outrageous. That none of these Republicans can stand up for what I would hope they would no doubt deep is rights is equally outrageous. One can only hope that if the tables were turned and Democrats were in the majority in the Senate that the result would not be the same.

    I sometimes think that this is all so deeply destructive that we really can’t fathom the true depths of just how bad the situation is which might explain why we seemingly cannot get past grousing about it and doing anything substantive to affect this situation. I dare say none of us regularly contact our Congressmen and Congresswomen or Senators from this state and read the riot act to them. I don’t and, probably like most of you as well, see it as a complete waste of time because they won’t listen and all we will get in reply is a very carefully and benignly written form letter that will only stilled our anger that much more without any real outlet for it.
    At some point those of us and genuinely feel patriotism for this country and all that it’s supposed to stand for have to act whether that’s bombarding these elected officials cut with overwhelming piles of letters and emails and phone calls, attending marches and rallies against what is happening or having a huge, and I do mean huge, march on the White House and the Capitol in Washington, DC. These blank and self-absorbed Republican legislators, thanks to no small degree by their political advisers and the national Republican Party, are counting on us to do nothing and to go quietly into that night and we must prove them wrong for the sake of this country and for our sakes as well.

    I also think of my third grandnephew who was born three days ago and what kind of country he is going to inherit as a result of our actions now or the lack thereof.

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