Tuesday, October 04, 2022


At Roy Edroso Breaks It Down today I wrote a bit about the Herschel Walker revelations (paid for girlfriend’s abortion, son hates him for terrorizing his family) that have been added to the previous Herschel Walker revelations (terrorized his family, left bastards all over the place). 

That it will not necessarily cause Walker to lose the Georgia Senate election is much discussed in the REBID comments section. Some readers suggest this is proof that hypocrisy is a dead letter, at least as far as elections go.

While I agree that Republicans have no compunction about nominating and sometimes electing people who self-evidently do not live by their own professed principles – for example, the myriad GOP officials who, though their party is obsessed with “groomers” and child sex crimes, enjoy statutory rape – that doesn’t mean we should give up, as it were, on hypocrisy as a political issue. 

For one thing, as I wrote back in 2006 during one of several Republican sex scandals that revived the issue, attentiveness to hypocrisy is not merely a campaign strategy – it’s a meaningful feature of civilization:

… human society depends upon at least a rudimentary concept of justice. We can forgive inconsistencies, and even admire trying and failing, but when someone amasses power from us based on his personal superiority, and is proved a fraud, he has broken the basic bargain of leadership. We mock him not out of meanness, but out of a communal survival instinct.

I guess a Republican could argue about relative degrees of hypocrisy and even whatabout the Walker revelations, but frankly they wouldn’t have much of a case. For example, I was at first surprised more Republicans didn’t bring up Bill Clinton, who as you know liked to have sex with women who were not his wife, but Slick Willie didn’t campaign on mandatory fidelity, nor did he hold a gun to Hillary’s head, have a spate of illegitimate children, etc. I expect most people understand this, which is why prominent wingnuts are pulling intellectual feats of derring-duh like this:

Boy, if things were totally the opposite, they’d sure be different, right? Again, as I said this morning, there’s plenty of hypocrisy in politics, but it takes conservative levels of hypocrisy to get us to the point where we’re even wondering whether hypocrisy has become so normalized that it’s no longer a meaningful issue  – which, come to think of it, is similar to the way conservatives have also normalized attempted treasonous insurrection and criminal acts by a president. Which is all the more reason to resist 

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