With all apologies to the creators of “Hair,” not to mention the Fifth Dimension, I have a habit of humming “It is the dawning of the Age of Hypocrisy” as I watch the news. I’m writing this obituary in advance because it appears that Shame is on life support.
The news and contradictions come like an AR-15 with a bump stock and several banana clips. Attorney General Barr just jailed whistleblower, and part-time traitor to some, Chelsea Manning for refusing to honor a subpoena. Yes, this is the same Barr that is refusing to honor his own congressional subpoena to testify about his false framing of the Mueller Report as a full exoneration of his boss. And, no, I’m not talking about Lady Justice.
Like “Hair,” I need to go back a few years for my next point. Ten years ago a pro-life supporter named Scott Roeder assassinated Dr. George Tiller for his perceived crime of performing abortions. Such is our current climate that the image of a middle-aged white male, Christian, open-carry, pro-life man who kills someone for killing someone doesn’t even faze half this country. That this ideology forces children to be born so the government can forget about them is mind-numbing ignorance.
Planned Parenthood’s facilitation of abortions has put it square in the evangelical right’s crosshairs, but this organization also promotes contraception. Colorado’s ex-governor Hickenlooper, one of several presidential hopefuls, left some amazing numbers in the wake of his administration’s stance on reducing abortion and teen pregnancies via its funding of IUDs for women who couldn’t afford the expensive devices. The New York Times reported that between 2009 and 2013, Colorado’s abortions fell by 42%. A group of old white men – for the most part – legislating reproductive rights for women is just obscene. It is, of course, about control and not about life.
I watched a clip of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell saying his proudest legacy moment in politics was when “I looked Barrack Obama in the eye and said ‘You will not fill this position.’” The position was, of course, an open seat on the Supreme Court. McConnell alone deemed it improper for a president to select a justice in an election year. Later in the same speech, when asked what the Senate would do if a SCOTUS opening came up in 2020, an election year, Mitch said, “We’d fill it,” and then gave a shameless chuckle.
No less blatant is the administration’s attempt to add a question about citizenship on the upcoming Census. The prevailing logic is that the question is critical to upholding the Voter’s Rights Act of the 1960s. When the creator of this question died, his estranged daughter took possession of his stash of computer storage devices and found evidence that her father’s goal was not to uphold a fairness law but to accomplish the exact opposite. Documents found in a trove of thousands of files clearly showed that the question was designed to disenfranchise groups critical to the liberal hopes to win back some of the gerrymandered state losses.
Notice, I haven’t even touched upon the Christian Right’s adoration of one of the most morally corrupt individuals to ever sit in the Oval Office.
But that’s politics, some readers will say. California Democrats redrew the voting boundaries and called it redistricting. Funny, but the examples of bald-faced hypocrisy above all seem designed to slime their ways up the chain of judicial command until it is resolved at … wait for it … the Supreme Court. This makes McConnell’s SCOTUS ploy even more hideous. Is it all a big “Nothing Burger” as the White House (I call it the “Red House” now) press corps likes to say?
It is hardly a “nothing” anything. I see it as a concerted attack on women, people of color and those groups that the sanctimonious right like to call “fringe groups.” Black women are a huge influential voting bloc. The Democrats ignore them at their own peril, and this “assault” is a well-planned attempt to keep them quiet and away from the voting booth.
Ah, the ballot box. It is smaller than Shame’s casket, which won’t be open because there’s not much left to see. I was taught to revere the melting pot that is America. What I see now is a bubbling caldron of clear, flavorless broth, and the GOP wants to keep it that way at all costs. Are their followers moronic, vicious or just in denial? At this point the answer seems to be “all of the above.”
Hypocrisy is nothing new; it is a euphemism for politics. When I hear “No collusion, no obstruction,” or climate change denials, I think of history. The people managing these contradictions are not stupid.
Neither were the citizens of the Hitler’s 1930s Germany.