The end of shame

“I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them not ashamed,” Jonathan Swift observed

.. it feels, more and more, that we are experiencing the end of shame.

.. two oddly connected stories: Alabama Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore and the tax bill.

.. For some, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and most of his colleagues, the answer has been a welcome yes.

..  To conclude that electing an accused child molester to the Senate is preferable to seating a Democrat is the epitome of shamelessness.

.. The White House line on Moore has descended from “if/then” to “let the voters of Alabama decide” to “we need the seat.”

..  Kellyanne Conway, who had once touted the no-Senate-seat-more-important line, found something even more important than defeating an accused child molester: “I’m telling you that we want the votes in the Senate to get this tax bill through.”

.. Mick Mulvaney .. once styled himself a deficit hawk and now is pushing a measure projected to add at least $1.5 trillion to the debt over 10 years.

.. the bill is so studded with gimmicks that the real cost is more like $2.2 trillion.

.. Mulvaney’s brazen willingness to admit that the price tag is phony — specifically the notion that individual tax cuts will expire. Mulvaney, making the rounds of the Sunday shows, felt no need to dissemble. “One of the ways to game the system is to make things expire . . . a lot of this is a gimmick,” he told NBC. And, on CNN, “It’s simply trying to essentially manipulate the numbers and game the system.” In other words, we’re lying to you to ram this through, and we’re not even going to bother to hide it.

.. If hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue, what does it say, exactly, when our most senior public officials feel no such compunction?