Posted: Sunday, August 8, 2010 10:27 pm
Tina Dupuy, guest commentary
It's not that Republicans aren't hypocrites - it's more the label just isn't an effective dig. First, hypocrite is a fancy foreign Greek word like amnesty, ethics or Europe - how is that going to appeal to Republicans? Second, espousing virtues you don't personally have to live up to is basically the point of being a Republican.
Talker Rush Limbaugh, speaker for Republicans everywhere, famously railed against drug users and called for harsher sentencing for possession when it was fashionable in the '90s. Then in 2006 Limbaugh was arrested and went to rehab after losing his hearing as a direct result of his long-term drug addiction. Needless to say, he's cool with hypocrisy. He even thinks hypocrisy is a good thing. During South Carolina G overnor Mark Sanford's "Appalachian Trail" love affair last year, Limbaugh defended the Republican politician, telling his audience, "Hypocrisy shows that there are moral values in a culture. Without moral values in a culture it would not be possible for anyone to be a hypocrite."
Yes, according to self-proclaimed personal responsibility advocate Rush Limbaugh, personal choice doesn't make you a hypocrite - society does.
Calling a conservative "hypocrite" is like calling a progressive "liberal": It stings, but they don't actually understand why it's supposed to be offensive. The GOP doesn't see self-contradiction as a moral shortcoming. They see people who don't agree with them as a moral shortcoming.
Take closeted homosexual GOP lawmakers who stand with their party and vote against gay rights. I'd list them all by name but I have a word count limit and it's widespread (er stance) enough to be a cliché. Does it really hurt them to be called hypocri tes? No.
Take the canard that Republicans are somehow FOR the government getting out of our lives. That's unless we look like we could be Mexican, or we're a woman of childbearing capability. Then it's the government's job - responsibility - to get up in our business. Is it effective to call them hypocrites? No.
Take Fraction Governor Sarah Palin who spends her free time telling President Obama how to do his job after she quit hers during the greatest economic downturn her state has ever faced. Not to mention her daughter, the unwed teenage mother Bristol Palin, who is now a paid advocate for abstinence. Do they care if they're called hypocrites? No.
Fox News rails against the "mainstream media" while bragging about their high ratings and now their front row seat in the White House press briefing room. Republican leadership castigates Democrats for high unemployment rates while stalling the jobs bill. Not to mention Republicans floating the myth that the biggest donor to the Obama campaign was BP when the bumper sticker/rallying cry of the 2008 RNC was "Drill, Baby, Drill." Does calling them hypocrites somehow stop this? No. Does it make them consider these positions to be flawed? This is about national security! Do you hate America?
No, using the word "hypocrite" should really be stopped altogether. It's become a meaningless insult like "Nazi," "bias," or "environmentalist." It actually has some spray back onto its user anyway. Basically pointing out someone is a hypocrite makes you sound like an angsty emo tween. It's a word we learn in junior high to apply to grownups.
Instead of "hypocrite" I recommend the word "fraud." It sounds bad. Fraud is illegal. Fraud is immoral. And it's an accurate way of describing hypocrisy without sounding like an irate Justin Bieber fan.
Plus, we're faced with a GOP who have appointed themselves as deficit hawks, but who are now for renewing the Bush Tax Cut s. These tax cuts added to (wait for it) the deficit - that's why they're going to expire. The only way the original bill could pass through reconciliation was for the Congressional Budget Office to have it expire in ten years. Will renewing these tax cuts add to the deficit? Just a couple of trillion dollars. Former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan was asked on Meet the Press this week if he agrees with Republican leaders who say that tax cuts pay for themselves. His answer? A curt, "No, I do not."
What does that mean? It means Republicans are FRAUDS when it comes to being deficit hawks.
See how easy that was?
Tina Dupuy is the editor of FishbowlLA.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.