Hypocrisy watch: The other side gets to drop H-bombs!


The logic that simply won’t leave: We strongly recommend Kevin Drum’s recent post, The Hypocrisy Trope That Won't Die.

Drum’s post concerns the claim that Obama is being hypocritical by supporting Priorities USA Action, a Democratic super-PAC. To us, the logic here is grindingly obvious. But Drum is right—this narrative never dies.

An earlier manifestation:

During Campaign 2000, the New York Times endlessly suggested that Candidate Gore was being a hypocrite on an even stupider basis. Gore had proposed public financing of elections. But in the absence of such laws, he was still raising private money! Just like Candidate Bush! In the small slow mind of Katharine “Kit” Seelye, this suggested a vast moral breakdown. To recall the relentless way she and her colleagues punished Gore’s misconduct, see THE DAILY HOWLER, 3/20/02.

Warning! Cover the eyes of the children and pets! And no! According to Nexis, no one else has ever used the word “ca-CHINGed” in the New York Times! It’s amazing that this nonsense occurred, more amazing that liberals allowed it.

Pols should play by the rules which exist. You’d think this logic would be obvious—but as a mattger of fact, it isn’t. This Wednesday, Lynn Neary and Ken Rudin seemed thoroughly bollixed by this logic on NPR’s Talk of the Nation.

Suitably cued, so were some of their listeners.

We listened as we rolled in the car. Incomparably, we shook our head while holding the road and remembering “Kit” Seelye’s strange conduct.


  1. The idea that Obama "must" support this PAC as to not put himself at a "disadvantage" financially during the election helps to obscure the fact that Obama is the one with the most money to spend.

    Funny that.

  2. I disagree. Playing by the rules that exist means exploiting every loophole written by lobbyists and gaming the system to within an inch of its life and nothing ever changes. Obama, in fact, campaigned in part on the theme that we should all "Be the change you want to see." And not every change we want to see in our political culture requires a rule change; just a behavioral change. Additionally, the Obama campaign has ALWAYS intended to use Super PACs - just like they never intended to uphold its pledge in 2008 to use public financing. They would play by the rules that existed and fix it once they got elected! Still waiting. Finally, Obama's highly tuned rhetoric about Super PACs really make him a hypocrite. They are a pox on our system and I can't wait to get one for myself! Please.

    1. Before he was one of them, Obama even mocked candidates who claim they won't use the awful super PAC's but change once they're elected.

  3. The problem is Obama so self righteously declared that not only are the rules bad for Democrats, they're "a threat to our very democracy." If you come out against a campaign practice on the basis that you're too superior to use it and those who do hate democracy, you reveal your phoniness when you flip flop.

  4. I've been making this point about "hypocrisy" ever since I started blogging back in 2007. It was annoying then and it's annoying now. The worst is saying that Republicans who sleep with men are "hypocrites," as if being gay is a choice and they're chooses to not practice what they preach. It's even sadder that lots of gay people make that argument.

    "Be the change you want to see" is a nice sentiment, but if it means perpetually being out of power, then it's just that.

  5. This sort of bogus hypocrisy charge has often been made against conservatives by liberals. E.g., Clarence Thomas, who dislikes affirmative action, was accused of hypocrisy because he (allegedly) took advantage of affirmative action.

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