The atheist Christopher Hitchens used to argue that religion was useful for getting good and conscientious people to do wicked things. Politics can be used in the same way. Those two candidates could only have advanced so far because American politics is so tightly wired to our fears and hatreds. Why would anyone decent support either of them — unless on some level you feared and hated the other side?
.. Asked if he could unequivocally state that he never dated a teenager when he was in his thirties, Moore replied: “It would be out of my customary behavior.”
.. I’d like to advance the political case against letting fear and hatred lead us to consistently lower our standards and lend our support to the ambitions of less and less worthy people.
.. First, there is is the argument from credibility. Every social conservative who supports Moore is increasing the cynicism of American society and justifying widespread skepticism about the sincerity of Christian belief among conservatives. People are reminded frequently that Christian conservatives once demanded that Bill Clinton resign in shame for carrying on an affair with a White House intern. Now some of those supposedly godly men, or their sons, defend Moore’s predation of teenaged girls on the grounds that even a child predator is better than a Democrat. This instrumentalism will eventually make it impossible for social conservatives to defend any of their preferred policies.
.. The country won’t give consent to pro-life laws if they have good reason to suspect their advocates are insincere. And the public will shrug at the abrogation of religious liberties if it thinks these amount to privileges for hypocrites.
.. You cannot be a good citizen of your country if your immediate political interests outrank every other good in the commonweal. And You cannot be a good citizen of your country if your immediate political interests outrank every other good in the commonweal. And citizenship requires some self-abnegnation, even some risk. Advancing a man of Roy Moore’s character to the Senate worsens public life in obvious ways.
- He’s unethical.
- He flouts the law.
- And he is peculiarly holier than thou.
Telling yourself that “this is war, and in war you have to make less than ideal choices” is a great way to excuse the destruction of your charity and the lifting of restraint, with collateral damage to your integrity.
.. Choosing the lesser of two evils is a fantastic way to prepare yourself to do worse and worse evils. And following it to the end is a bitter fate indeed. The worst tragedies of recent history were driven by masses of people giving in to existential fear and hatred. There are many alive today in Central and Eastern Europe who made themselves into Fascists or Communists in order to resist or avenge the Communists and the Fascists. But the names we remember and revere are often those who carefully and bravely stood apart.
Bill Cosby and the Year of the Hypocrite
Mr. Cosby’s lawyers made the argument their client was not a public person; Judge Robreno argued that he was — and not “by virtue of the exercise of his trade as televised or comedic personality” but because he had “donned the mantle of public morality and mounted the proverbial electronic or print soap box.”
The Yasser Arafat of the Democratic Party
The late terrorist Yasser Arafat (1929-2004) was famous for saying one thing to American media and the opposite to Palestinian audiences.
.. To U.S. presidents and chief diplomatic correspondents he would profess his desire for peace and for a two-state solution, while to Arabs and Muslims he would impugn Jews, hint at Israel’s abolition, and incite and pay for anti-Semitic violence.
.. By the time of Arafat’s death, it was clear that any practical improvement in the Israeli-Palestinian relationship would have to bypass the Palestinian autocrat. He just couldn’t be trusted.
.. Schumer is so practiced at saying one thing to Democratic elites and another to the Democratic base that it is easy to fall for his charade.
.. a judge who was approved to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals with Democratic support — including Schumer’s — and whose fans include President Obama’s former solicitor general and legal scholar Cass Sunstein is somehow a jurisprudential freak who should be prevented from joining the Supreme Court by extraordinary means.
.. But what is Schumer telling his caucus behind closed doors?
.. Especially if the Democrats are aware that McConnell probably has the votes to go nuclear, which would not only leave them with Gorsuch on the Court but also free Trump to nominate Bill Pryor or Mike Lee or Kid Rock the next time around? Having the nomination squeak through would allow Schumer to have it both ways: animating his base with a meaningless pose while preserving his leverage. There’s a reason he smirks so much.
.. This is the self-proclaimed “guardian of Israel” who said he opposed the Iran deal — but then did absolutely nothing to stop it.
.. leading the opposition to the Iran deal wasn’t in his self-interest. Taking a stand against President Obama would have sunk his chances for career advancement. Besides, he must have thought, the deal was going to happen anyway.
.. Ellison is on the far left of the Democratic party, has a history with the anti-Semitic Nation of Islam, and supports Bernie Sanders in his war against the Wall Street bankers that Schumer represents
What was Schumer doing? Here’s what he was doing: He knew Ellison had no chance, that the White House would oppose Ellison, that the opposition research would bring Ellison down, but he supported Ellison anyway just to shore up his left flank. He was telling the base he was with them, while telegraphing to the Democratic elites alarmed at Ellison’s rise that he was with them too.