Why Aren’t Democrats Ever Accused of Political Hypocrisy?

If you’ve been looking into politics for any length of time, you’ll notice that the most ideologically idealistic politicians are always the most susceptible to accusations of political hypocrisy.

There are few political things more tenuous than the reputation of a Tea Party Republican. If you preach low taxes, small government, individual liberty, family values, and free market capitalism—and you are running against a mainstream incumbent in bed with a corrupt system—you better make sure all your ducks are in a row. Even if you aren’t a two-faced political opportunist, you are going to be painted that way.

People will assume there’s a mask to remove, and if you give even an ounce of credibility to that claim (with present or past compromises), you won’t ever shake it. If you have ever voted for a local earmark—even one—it’s going to come out. If you have ever said anything that could be considered racist or sexist, it’s going to come out. If you have ever voted for government regulations, corporate bailouts, or higher taxes—you are going to be accused of political hypocrisy.

This is the biggest plight of the political purist—if you are not perfectly pure, you are going to be lambasted for it. And you are going to lose. Because no matter how bad your opponent is, people hate hypocrisy far more than they have ever hated a transparent lack of scruples.

Think about Ron Paul. The man is about as much of an ideological perfectionist as you’ll ever encounter this side of Paradise. After decades in Congress, he had compiled one of the most consistent voting records in American political history. But what did people focus on? The fact that he proposed earmarks for his home state a few times. ((This was at the bidding of his constituency. Very few people mentioned the additional fact that he always voted against those same measures if they were taken up by fellow Congressmen.)) Or that some obscure remarks buried in correspondence from three thousand years ago could have been misconstrued as racist or homophobic. Or that his foreign policy “extremism” was at odds with his claims of patriotism. Or that his states-rights stance on homosexuality was contrary to his claim to uphold family values.

And the recent record against current Tea Party candidates indicates the same trend. Consider these statements in The Atlantic on the waning power of “fringe” Republicans:

But with [Republican] incumbents now keenly aware of the danger they face in a primary, . . . Tea Party-aligned hopefuls are finding themselves under more scrutiny than ever. And oftentimes they’re not holding up well.

 

“Inevitably, in a statewide race, any issues in any candidate’s background would come to the forefront,” said Brian Walsh, a former NRSC communications director. “And we’re seeing incumbents who aren’t taking anything for granted.”

But you barely hear of moderate Republicans being accused of political hypocrisy. The reason? They have few real values or ideals to betray. And you basically never hear of Democrats being accused of political hypocrisy—for the same reason. They have no values, principles, or convictions that they wouldn’t jettison to gain a few more votes.

So this puts true conservatives in a bit of a pickle. In some ways, the candidates that are most maligned in the public eye might just be the most honorable people in politics—though it rarely seems that way. But that is not something in which Tea Party idealists can or should take comfort.

Instead, we need to take the words of Solomon to heart: “Like a trampled spring and a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked” (Prov. 25:26). If we hold to a higher ideological standard, we are all the more accountable to stick to it without wavering. The stakes are very high, and no one else really has to play by the rules. So even one compromise is one too many.

46 responses

  1. The Tea Party’s Philosophy of Hypocrisy the first people to scream DON’T TREAD ON ME at the top of their lungs when it comes to their guns and their beliefs, among other things, are the first to advocate trampling the rights of others because of what they believe. That is very definition of hypocrisy; If you want the government to enact more laws restricting birth control, sex education, abortion, same-sex marriage, and drug use, among other things, it makes you pro-big government, it doesn’t make you a “don’t tread on me” small government libertarian. It also makes you a colossal hypocrite, plain and simple.

    • Well Boob, it would be hypocrisy if it were true, but the scenario you’ve posted is something you conjured in your feverish mind.

      Every thing you posted is a straw man, an absurdity, and illogical.

      Put down “Rules for Radicals” and “The Communist Manifesto” it’s got you all worked up.

      • The tea party wants to enact more laws restricting birth control, sex education, abortion, same-sex marriage, and drug use, among other things. How can you say it’s something conjured up?

        • Our hegemony is our business. Your hegemony is your business. We have the numbers and a head start. You’re gaining but we’re waking up. We will not apologize for wanting our world our way.

          • If so, you have nothing to fear. If not, you should worry, but we both know you won’t because our forces in the latest generations have become spineless. But I have hope that this newest youthful generation sees your oppression for what it is — revenge for past hurts. Your hatred is as apparent as my hopefulness.

          • This is incorrect. But if it is correct, it only shows that the 26th Amendment needs to be repealed, so that the law no longer favors your kind but my kind.

            But I’m not talking about GOP vs. Dem, I mean that communism is about to become obsolete by its very nature. Obama has shown that the greatest hopes of American revolutionary action by Leftists descends into the corruption of material goods and cronyism just as much, if not more, than capitalism. Welcome to the real world, Bob. There is no Left or Right, just money and power.

          • By protect our rights what you mean is have big government trample on the rights of others & you’re to stupid to see the hypocrisy

          • Please explain to me exactly who you want to enact laws trampling on a woman’s right over her own body if not big government?

          • if we dont protect the most innocent among us, than nothing else matters much. its not just her body anymore. there is another human being involved. im a woman. i am really sick of this bs. just because itsher child does not give her the right to murder him/her. i had a child , i chose adoption.think about it

        • By you it is! There has never been a T party rally demanding the list you conjured up. You sir are a bold face liar…in other words ..Typical LIB…. fresh from the REID, BOMBO mold

        • Simple Bob, what you’ve said the Tea Party wants, isn’t true. I know it’s what Marxist Democrats SAY the Tea Party wants to enact, but that’s nothing more than propaganda designed to smear the Tea Party by misrepresenting them. Put simply: you’re lying!

          It’s an old, old communist trick: disinformation.

          Why is it that progressives, liberals, democrats have an affinity for communist tactics and strategies?

          • Are you trying to tell me teabaggers are not trying to get government to pass laws outlawing abortion?

          • Well, you listed a long line of things that weren’t on the agenda of numerous American patriots, and you even left it open ended as if there is a long list of things you’ve dreamed up to attempt to smear these Americans via false propaganda.

            Now, you come to the place where you’re only interested in abortion. Don’t you realize that the majority of people in the U.S. now believe in the right to life? Of course those people aren’t familiar with you, or it would be otherwise.

            Tell me, why is it that you and your fellow leftist claim to be oriented to science and to be sensitive to people’s needs, yet you all can’t get enough babies to kill to satisfy your blood lust? The count is close to 56 million now.

    • Dialectical materialism. You want EXACTLY what we have, AND you want to be called “good” also. All you want is access to natural resources and weapons, to oppress those who you say oppress. if you’re right, so are we. If we’re wrong, so are you.

    • No BOB it does NOT take big government to enforce or deal with the issues you named. It takes backbone. It takes severe punishment for crimes. It takes moral fortitude. Something liberals, socialists and progressives lack.

    • Another of your golden oldies MrMalibuBarbieBoob. I haven’t seen this one for awhile. You are really just a bot aren’t you, recycling the same posts over and over? Just by looking at the headlines on this site I can predict with almost 100% accuracy which stories you will comment on.

      • It doesn’t matter if you’re right or wrong. You don’t even care, actually. This is a struggle for hegemony. We will have our evil and ugliness over your evil and ugliness. Your promises of better distribution of resources and power are neither appealing nor true.

        • Take a look at an electoral map. The Dem’s has a LOCK on OVER 270 votes that aren’t even in play. Add that to the demographic death spiral the gop is in & the future is even worse for the GOP

          • Who is speaking of GOP or Democrat? I’m speaking of communist vs. individualist. In fact, I’m speaking of Communism vs. God. America may fall of its own weakness but God will win in the end. You can have your 270 electoral votes. I’m thinking about a popular revolution, a Prairie Fire of conservative action which stems from youth. We shall see.

          • The toxic fairy tale of religion is dying, and it can’t come too soon. Modern conservatism is a kind of intellectual poison that corrodes modern economies by degrading politics, society, and culture

          • If religion died on its own, it would be natural. But communism wants to destroy God’s Law in order to replace it with the State. Communism is therefore its own religion.

            The rest of your thoughts are merely regurgitated Marxist diatribe. There is no “modern conservatism” or “modern economics.” Conservatism is keeping to one’s own hegemony. That doesn’t change. YOU are conservative in your own idealism (if it is). Economics is merely buying and selling. That doesn’t change. Your ACTUAL charge is that my kind are detrimental to your acquisition of the natural resources and weaponry.

            It is only a matter of whose law it will be. Rest assured that your kind will not hesitate to oppress also.

  2. Are Right Wing Conservatives Hypocrites By Nature?

    The fire-and-brimstone Christian Right bible-thumper who gets busted
    buying crack cocaine from a male prostitute, or the “family values”
    conservative who turns out to be a serial philanderer. These are now
    stock characters out of GOP central casting.

    But other than the rather tedious accumulation of examples of self-righteous Republicans who want us to do as they say and not as they do, is there something
    about Republicanism itself that produces these double standards? Is
    hypocrisy, in short, endemic to conservatism?

    That is what Washington Post liberal E.J. Dionne wants to know. In his column this week, Dionne says that hypocrisy – “the gap between ideology and practice” — has now reached a “crisis point” in American conservatism.

    “This Republican presidential campaign is demonstrating conclusively that there is an unbridgeable divide between the philosophical commitments conservative
    candidates make before they are elected and what they will have to do
    when faced with the day-to-day demands of practical governance,” writes
    Dionne. “Conservatives in power have never been — and can never be —
    as anti-government as they are in a campaign.”

    In an oft-quoted 2006 essay in Washington Monthly, “Why Conservatives Can’t Govern,” Boston College professor Alan Wolfe called contemporary conservatism “a walking contradiction” since conservatives were unable to shrink government but also unwilling to improve government and so ended up splitting the difference in ways that resulted in “not just bigger government, but more incompetent
    government.”

    The problem begins, says Wolfe, when conservatives promise to shrink the size and reach of the federal government but find once in office they are “under constant pressure from constituents to use government to improve their lives.” And this, says Wolfe, “puts conservatives in the awkward position of managing government agencies whose missions — indeed, whose very existence — they believe to be illegitimate.”

    To Dionne, this pulling in opposite directions is what inevitably makes conservatives hypocrites.

    Why, for example, are so many conservatives anti-government while spending long careers drawing paychecks from the taxpayers? asks Dionne. Why also do
    conservatives “bash government largesse while seeking as much of it as
    they can get for their constituents and friendly interest groups?”

    Why do conservatives criticize entitlements and big government yet promise
    their older, conservative base they will “never, ever to cut their Medicare or Social Security?”

    And what about defense? Why do Republicans support the free market yet
    refuse to consider any cuts at all in the bloated Military Industrial
    Complex that takes taxpayer dollars and transforms them into private
    profits.

    The list goes on. The reason our political system is so “broken,” says Dionne, is that conservatives are hypocrites who keep making “anti-government promises that they know perfectly well they are destined to break.”

    Dionne’s criticisms are well taken. But he needs to dig deeper. It’s not just small-government conservatives who are hypocrites about the size and cost of government they are willing to support. It’s that conservatism itself, as a collection of ideas about organizing society, inevitably breeds hypocrisy.

    Conservatives
    are sure to cry foul and will no doubt respond by producing a mountain
    of examples where liberals have behaved hypocritically. I am sure they
    can. But that’s beside the point. The real point is that liberals care
    about hypocrisy and conservatives don’t.

    Here’s why: liberals
    want to build a larger community by weaving together the different
    threads in our society into a fuller and more varied tapestry. This
    multi-culturalism and promotion of diversity, in fact, is what
    conservatives hate most about liberals since conservatives want to
    defend the community they already have by keeping others out, and by
    using politics to do it.

    Hypocrisy matters to liberals because
    the only way to build a larger community is by first building trust. And
    the only way to build trust is by treating everyone equally — by
    consistently and impartially applying the same universal principles to
    like individuals in like situations.

    Hypocrisy is the unequal
    application of principle, producing an arbitrariness that eats like a
    cancer at the connective tissues of the ethnically, religiously, and
    demographically diverse communities liberal societies hope to create.

    Hypocrisy
    matters to liberals like Rachel Maddow — a lot — as her long-time
    listeners well know. Nothing makes Maddow madder than when people say
    one thing and do another. The best parts of her show, in fact, are when
    she takes apart right wing hypocrites with prosecutorial precision,
    exposing Republicans who attack Obama’s “job-killing” stimulus program
    on Fox News while taking credit for the jobs actually created in their
    local newspapers back home.

    When Republicans accused Democrats
    of destroying the American Republic by using budget “reconciliation” to
    pass the Affordable Health Care Act, you could see the glee (and
    contempt) in Maddow’s eyes as Republican duplicity is exposed while she
    quietly sits there as example after example of Republicans using
    reconciliation when they were in charge scrolls endlessly across the
    screen.

    I watch Maddow’s surgical dissection of Republicans and
    think they’ve got to be devastated. But then I listen afterward,
    dumbfounded, as their only takeaway from this embarrassing unmasking is
    that Maddow is a partisan hack.

    But after all, why should a
    right wing conservative care if he’s ridiculed for applying one set of
    standards to one group and a different set of standards to his? Why
    should he care if he is called a hypocrite considering that his ultimate
    objective is to guarantee the supremacy of white, Christian, affluent
    males?

    Or take a charlatan preacher like Franklin Graham,
    whose sole objective isn’t saving souls but electing other Republicans.
    Why should Graham care if his duplicity is called out on national TV
    when he insists it’s impossible for him to vouch for the authenticity of
    President Obama’s Christian devotion while Graham eagerly does just
    that for Rick Santorum or even the three-timing Newt Gingrich?

    Man
    is moral but society is not, the liberal theologian Reinhold Niebuhr
    reminds us. Telling the truth and being true to our stated principles
    may be sovereign in our personal lives but can easily give way to the
    demands of our political commitments, as right wing conservatives know
    all too well.

    Hypocrisy matters to liberals because the
    principles of equality and fair-dealing upon which our liberal way of
    life depends matter to liberals — and when those principles are
    impartially applied bridge our differences to create a society greater
    than the sum of its parts.

    Right wing conservatives do not share
    this vision of the Great Society and so are untroubled by hypocrisy
    because their first and only commitment is to their group.

    We
    are a nation not of blood and soil but of ideas, President George W.
    Bush told us in his second inaugural. Liberals accept that belief
    implicitly. Right wing conservatives do not. To this new generation of
    radical conservatives, societies are still based on soil and blood. With
    the emphasis on blood.

    • B)o( claims to be a Bible-thumper because Georgie Porgie corrected his muslim faith to Christian faith. . .talk about self-righteous. . .it doesn’t get any better than me, myself, and I. . .he holds his uptipped pointy nose so high because even the nose knows all three of them reek.

    • You are pretty silly and very clueless aren’t you. Most scandal fall on democrats as this is the party with the low morals. But go on and keep drinking that Obama-cool-aid. Do not believe in great things like a the conservative founding father gave us…. yes there was no liberal founding fathers. Liberals back then were called Loyalist. Let the liberal thinking lead us right back into the dark ages, while thinking we are progressive.

      • Loyalist were conservatives, interested in the status qua.
        Franklin was a very liberal man. He was a deist. Jefferson was also.
        Have you heard of Citizen United?
        The right wing Supreme Court gave corporation “person-hood”, meaning that these mega-corporations can put unheard of funds behind any politician they may want to buy. THAT IS CALLED INSTITUTIONAL CORRUPTION AND THAT IS DIRECTLY CONTRIBUTED TO YOUR RIGHT-WING-NUT FRIENDS…

        • The biggest donations come from liberals to support the democratic party… Conservatives are lucky if they get half the amount. So, you should look in the mirror before making such statements. That is why so many democrats are being review for illegal campaign fund use… example Jessie Jackson Jr. is now in jail over is subject.

          Franklin was the furthest left. However, he would be right of center in today’s world. He charged his son for raising him…. Handed him a bill when his son was moving out, and expected to be paid. This is not the type of attitude that is going to be for paying out wealth fare, government insurance, and again he sign to get away from big government not to create a big government… You liberals are so poorly educated.

          • Our founding fathers would be ashamed to see what happened to their wonderful republic under the auspices of the Republicans who dominate the Supreme Court, have, through the Citizen United group, given corporation “person-hood”. CORPORATION ARE NOT PEOPLE! We are becoming a corporate plutocracy instead of a democratic republic. Now they, the corporate conglomerates, can spend nearly unlimited funds to control elections. Your side has Teddy (doody pants) Nugent as a spokesperson. How could he be seen as a worth anything? Your side got us into the two longest wars in American history then you also gave us a rancid banking system and almost our second Depression. .An honorable and famous Republican, Dwight Eisenhower once said; “Beware of the military/industrial complex.” The ones you should look out for are the ones who benefit from wars. Washington, Jefferson, the Adam’s and Franklin would not agree at all with the direction the corporatists are taking us. As for welfare, the ones who deserve it least are those who already are on top, the mega-corps. Why would the uber-wealthy oil industry, etc. need subsidies and those who lost their job to out-sourcing over seas, by some of these companies, be left to fend for themselves.
            Another thing we have more people in prison then any other country in the world. We have private prisons. Money making entities that benefit from unfair laws created to feed them prisoners…

          • You are right they would be sick… but your on the wrong side. It’s liberal thinking that they would be discussed with, it is what they fought like hell to get away from.

            You are probably one of the lower educated people regarding USA history, but act like you know it. If you are referring to our current war as being one of the longest. Then you have to give credit to this war to the Democrats that controlled the majority of Senate when it was voted on to go to war. The President does not vote on going to war… There was only 1 vote against going to war, so do not try to pass the buck to aanother party when your party was equally involved. Through out the US history, the major of times we have gone to war, congress has been controlled by the liberal Democrats. Sorry to bust your bubble there, but you need to look up facts before you just repeat what your liberal brain washing media is teaching you to puke out your mouth without doing your own researching. — And that would be another thing our founding fathers would be sad about, people like you who have the opportunities to learn, grow and do great things, but want to be under the control of their government.

            Again, most fund donated to an elections are from Democrats given to liberal minded candidates. Almost all illegal fund raising issues have been with Democrats. Research your facts, for real…. that means stop reading your liberal media sources as your only place for information.

            Ted Nugent is a great example of an American to be proud of… You might not like his style, his singing or many other things. However, he does what he likes with great passion. He’s an example that anyone can make a dollar if they work hard. He an example anyone can run for government office to try an “improve” the village, town, county, state, or country they live in. I quoted improve, because we all have different opinions on what improving means. He a great example of someone that truly loves his country and is will to stand up for the rights of himself and others. He has done NO HARM to his country, unlike Obama who has done great harm to this country and has attack the US Constitution more then all other US President combined. If you can not see quality in Ted, then you really do not know what it is to be a great US citizen…. The last liberal Democrat (national level), I can think of that had a great love for this country is Jimmy Carter. He loves this country of ours. Now, I do not believe he was a good President or that his ideas are correct in politics, but I do believe he actually loves the land/county he lives in. Same with Ted. Bil Clinton has self love, playboy, frat boy, good old boy let us have a good time attitude, which is fine, but he does not have a great love for this country.

      • Paul, you must have been home schooled because you know nothing about history. The conservatives were against the revolution

        • You must have had no schooling at all…. There was no Liberals in those
          meeting. The founding fathers were pushing to get away from BIG, Centralize, not
          represented style of government. Liberals are about big central
          controlled government. If you had any education in history of economics
          you know this as fact. But we talked about this before, you need to
          pick up a book or take some classes on Economics and understanding
          history… As Ive posted to you before your economic knowledge is beyond
          horrible low.

  3. Liberals are VILE individuals controlled by EVIL doers. They are so VILE they are doing all they can to destroy Freedom and Libertyl

  4. Never, ever compromise! To compromise even one time it to capitulate. Forever.
    On the other hand, if you always lie. People know where you stand.
    I give you Barry Soetoro.

  5. Who has to accuse. . .it’s a known fact what demonrats are. . .all one has to do it look at their tactics to know they are nothing but a bunch of bullies and their base are too wimpy to face the heat. . .the sheeple demonrats are un-American sell outs to this nation and their faux god is also a lie. America is still waiting for a real Black man to become president. After all, one mustn’t forget about B)o(‘s commie white mama and grandparents.

  6. It’s really quite simple “hypocrisy” in a liberal or democrat socialist however you want to term them is a resume enhancement. A trait that is adored by their constituency because the end always justifies the means. Hypocrisy in a conservative is not a resume enhancer. It is a trait that is detested among the conservative base to the point of abandonment of our candidates even though we ourselves are no less and often times bigger hypocrites then our candidates. So in order to feel better about ourselves and our own hypocrisies we jettison our candidates at the drop of a hat as a public display to the left that we are without blemish. What we should do is look in the mirror and decide if we are righteous enough in our own behavior to judge our candidates harsher than ourselves. I’m not suggesting that hypocrisy should be adopted as resume enhancer as the left does. I’m suggesting that we should not expect our candidates to be the second coming of Christ.

Leave a Reply