Sauce for the Goose 2/18/20

Thoughts by Richard Bleil

Hypocrisy is far too rampant today. I’m wondering if maybe its human nature, in fact.

A couple of weeks ago, the Senate voted to acquit the president on the charges for which he was (and will forever be regardless of actions of the Senate) impeached by the House of Representatives. Two days prior, he gave a “State of the Union” address which was highly inflammatory by the way he lashed out at the Democratic party. This was, in and of itself, unusual and quickly denounced for the misleading comments and lies. At the end of the speech, while still at the podium, behind him Nancy Pelosi tore up some paper that was presumably his speech (although the pages looked blank to me).

Personally, I don’t have a problem with Nancy. I think she did the right thing in bringing forward articles of impeachment, and frankly, it doesn’t matter what proof there is; a senate friendly to the president will never vote for removal. But I’m not exactly impressed either. For my personal taste, she’s too theatrical. It seems to be the way of politics these days, but I do wish we were above all of that. For her, I think it started early in her reign as speaker of the house, when she gave a rather immature “applaud” to the president, using it to show her contempt for him. Frankly, I thought she received too many accolades for this action. The tearing up of the speech was equally theatrical. But, that’s not the point of today’s post.

See, it made me think of modern American hypocrisy. See, many supporters of the President were quick to claim that this action was illegal, destruction of a government document, although I’m not sure that it applies since it was a copy and not the original document. None the less, it was an effective way to divert attention away from the content of the speech and towards a triviality that amounts to nothing. The hypocrisy, though, comes into play when you consider the response these same people gave to the Democratic supporters calling for blood after the President used a Sharpee to deface a document from the National Weather Support to show how hurricane Dorian is “predicted to hit” Alabama. Frankly I felt like this incident was comic relief; the president was being criticized heavily for his prediction of the pathway of the hurricane and took such a dramatically desperate measure to deflect the criticism that he used a black marker to extend the white lines on the official map. What’s worse, he acted as if it was an official part of the map instead of simply stating that he had modified the map to explain his own (very misinformed) reasoning. But what was “illegal” to some then is a matter of “triviality” today, and vice versa.

What made me think of this is a meme posted on my social media site today. Nancy has become the central rallying cry against the behavior of Democrats by Republicans. My preference is that people denounce all parties and vote with their hearts rather than with their party, but this is just my own personal opinion. In the meme, it showed the last two speakers of the house sitting as President Obama wrapped up his speeches, making a comment pointing out that Nancy was not the first speaker to remain sitting. Again, another example of hypocrisy.

Ultimately, this hypocrisy is misleading. It allows people to be distracted from the issues that are most important, in my humble opinion. The Republican party right now is trying to say the Senate’s vote “exonerates” the president from the impeachment, but acquittal is not exoneration. President Clinton was impeached in the House of Representatives but was acquitted in the Senate. I can guarantee that those who claim that Trump was “exonerated” would, in the same breath if necessary, argue that Clinton was not. This is hypocrisy, but it also diverts attention from the fact that Russia is expanding its aid to Venezuela, a move made possible by the acrimonious relationship between Venezuela and the United States created by President Trump’s actions and expanding Russia’s influence here in the western hemisphere. It shifts our focus away from the international court finding that separating children from their parents at the US border is a violation of international law. It detracts attention from increased terrorist activity against US targets in the Middle East since the assassination of Soleimani.

As Americans, we need to do better at keeping an eye on what is most important. We tend to spend too much time on trivialities like ridiculous orange skin tones and bad toupees, and not enough on shifts to Medicare that will result in the loss of benefits to people who need it the most. It’s time to stop watching memes and start reading the news from legitimate news sources.

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