Republican hypocrisy is real, but it’s never a fair fight
Today marks a milestone. It’s Day 30 of the Trump presidency. 30 days of hell, anger, fury, frustration, humor, and hypocrisy. Sometimes all of these at once. And 30 days of Congressional Democrats flailing without a spine, and Republican cowardice at standing up to the bizarre reality show that is the Trump White House.
Speaking of Republicans, let’s talk about hypocrisy. I wrote a few weeks ago about the paradox of conservative morals. These last 30 days have presented yet more examples of the head-scratching bipolarity that is the current GOP mentality. It isn’t enough that Democrats feel that the election was tilted by foreign influence in favor of an unqualified individual. We also have a cadre of irresponsible members of Congress that release stunningly hypocritical statements that send Dems cartwheeling with rage.
First, there is the Don himself. Remember how he spent the last eight years questioning the legitimacy of the first black president?
Over and over again. He claimed “many people said” said Obama was born in Kenya, or “I have heard from people,” and so on. Never a quoted source. And so I find it ironically idiotic that the same twit is now complaining about all the “fake news” media.
Here’s the reality. He doesn’t like the coverage, which paints him (correctly) as an idiot. But if he wants to change that perception, he needs to start acting like a president – or at least like an adult. What kind of world leader continually brings up poll numbers, margin of victory, and approval ratings AT EVERY PRESS CONFERENCE? This is why the media paints him in a negative light. The burden of shifting this narrative falls squarely at Trump’s feet. Act presidential, and you’ll be treated likewise.
Let’s move over to the Senate. On January 4, when discussion shifted to the upcoming nomination of a Supreme Court Justice to replace the vacant seat left by the late Antonin Scalia, the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, said:
“Apparently there’s yet a new standard now to not confirm a Supreme Court nominee at all. I think that’s something the American people simply will not tolerate and we’ll be looking forward to receiving a Supreme Court nomination and moving forward on it.”
Need I remind you that this same Senator stalled the appointment of Merrick Garland for nearly 10 months, on the basis that the American people should have a say in the selection of the next Justice? Now, I’m no Constitutional scholar, but I’m fairly certain that provision is not contained anywhere in the Constitution. I’d certainly challenge anyone to find it and point out my error.
But even if we played along here with McConnell’s lunacy, the American people DO have a say, in the form of voting for a president that nominates that justice. Clearly, that was the political play McConnell was aiming for. But the fact is, the American people DID vote for a president – TWICE – and that president nominated Merrick Garland. So all this nonsense about the American people having a say comes down to political bullshit. It’s something the GOP does exceedingly well. And the senior Senator from Kentucky is the award-winning captain of the bullshit squad.
Finally, let’s move over to the House. Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House. Third in line to the presidency. Once thought of as a moderate Republican. Someone with common sense. Someone that came tantalizingly close to the vice presidency. Just this week, the House voted to overturn an Obama-era regulation that prevented people with mental disorders from purchasing a firearm. The Senate soon followed, and the measure now goes to Trump, who has indicated that he will sign it.
Remember after every mass shooting, when Democrats would cry for stricter gun control, and Republicans would push back, saying it’s a mental health issue? After mass shootings in California and Colorado in late 2015, Ryan said:
“I don’t want to keep saying the same thing over and over. But one of the things we’ve noticed: There are mental health issues here.”
The irony here is not to be missed. Republicans push back with full force on any discussion regarding gun control by creating a straw man argument around mental health. To be fair, there are indeed mental health issues at play, and reforms are needed in how mental health is diagnosed, covered, and treated. But to build a case against mental health, and then in a little over a year, sweep away regulation and thus allow those very same people with mental disorders to purchase a firearm? That is hypocrisy so breathtakingly stunning that it boggles my mind.
Now let’s be honest. The Democratic Party is not above this. Both parties have demonstrated time and again that politics, hypocrisy, and shameful behavior all go hand-in-hand. But here’s the beauty of the thing. Democrats are not in power right now. The Republicans are the majority party. And when you’re in control, everything you do is scrutinized to the nines. And I’ll be right here pointing out all the bullshit.