Tuesday, September 02, 2008


On the Nature of Hypocrisy

Many of the real trolls on the internet have embraced the idiot conspiracy theory that Trig is not Sarah Palin's son but her grandson. Even the once readable Andrew Sullivan is diving into this moral swamp. This disgusting smear/rumor is gladly repeated on CNN and in the NYT, both of which shrank for many months from even investigating the truth about John Edwards' cheating on his cancer stricken wife. But some of the sites use the word hypocrite. They don't bother to explain why Governor Palin is a hypocrite and I'm hard pressed to see it.

So let's use this one: She is a hypocrite for supporting good family values but has a daughter pregnant out of wedlock.


So if someone urges us to be good but that person (or someone in that person's family) is bad, that less than perfect urger of good must therefore be a hypocrite. Hmmm. So if Charles Manson urges people to be bad and then they are bad, he's deserving of praise for not being a hypocrite? This is tweedledum logic, with an emphasis on the dum.

That we don't live up to what we aspire to is not hypocrisy, it is the very essence of the human condition--we can imagine a good life, even if we are unable to live it. Anyone who believes that supporting good behavior, while being merely a weak willed, imperfect human, is hypocrisy should really consider taking a beginner's logic course at the local learning annex. You are in desperate need of it.

I'm happy to state that Dinesh D'Sousa looks at this the same way and even takes it to Senator Obama for his recent statement that his favorite bible verse was: Whatever you do to the least of my brethren, that you do unto me. D'Sousa also notes that Obama has actually used biblical language to make the point that we are indeed our brothers' keeper. However, Obama does nothing to help his real half brother, George Hussein Onyango Obama, who lives in utter poverty in Kenya. What indeed is the real hypocrisy here?
The photo is of the 'fair game' for the left.


OK, so leaving the idea that Barack Obama should "rescue" a man who is related by a father that abandoned him early in his life, George Hussein Onyango Obama has hardy been ignored.


A quote from the article (conveniently shortened by D'Souza):

"We have only met twice, once when I was five or six, and again in 2006," he said. " I cannot say that we are close, he probably does not even think about me. I am not going to start pestering him, I don't want to look to him for help, I want to achieve things for myself.

"I don't even tell people that I am related to Barack Obama, I don't want people here to be harassing me because they think I have money or influence. I have nothing like that, I am a person who likes to live quietly."

Nice try.

Let's just agree that family's are off limits in this campaign, like Senator Obama said.
Palin has left herself open to sticking charges of hypocrisy not because her daughter got pregnant while in high school. Where palin has shown hereself to profess one thing and do the exact opposite is in claiming to be pro-family but not putting her family's needs above her professional responsibilities.

She took no days off after delivering her 7-year-old daughter.

She took a mere three days off work after delivering her 5-month-old severely disabbled son.

She seriously endangered her own life and the life of her son by flying from Texas to Anchorage after starting to experience labor.

Her husband is an oil-field worker and commercial fisherman, so when she is putting in 24-hour days as governor of alaska/vice presidential candidate and her husband is away from home working, who is parenting the children?
Andy, am I not my brother's keeper?
Ed, you're right she should be barefoot and pregnant and not venture into the areas where men with families go without comment. That's the proper non hypocritical way women should act. Thanks for opening my eyes. Oh, and thanks for the OBGyn details. I'm sure they're sound.
Oh yeah, and the "brother" is figurative. It kinda means all mankind ;)

And here are Obama's words on his half-brother.
Isn't George part of all mankind?
I agree that how Obama treats his half siblings half a world away has not very much predictive value about how Obama will be President. But it tells me a lot about him personally. It's not a plus.
My favorite lefty throw-away line was that Palin preaches abstinence, yet her daughter still got pregnant. Abstinence works just fine against unwanted pregnancies if one actually, you know, abstains. If Palin were to preach condom distribution in the classroom instead and her daughter opted not to use them, the end result would likely still be the same.

I very specifically called out Palin's husband for not being a full-time parent. With five children in the home, and one of the children having a severe dissability, there needs to be a full-time parent. It doesn't have to be Sarah; it has to be someone.

Being pro-family means putting family above career. Where is the evidence that the Palins are doing that.

Pro-family would also mean that a parent wouldn't subject his or her daughter to the kind of national moralizing that palin has subjected her daughter to. What kind of parent would agree to run for national office on a pro-family platform, all the time knowing that critics would use her daughter's situation against her candidacy?

That's cruel to the child.

I'm also very troubled by the report that Sarah palin didn't tell her children that she had accepted the vice presidential nomination until after she had flown to them dayton last week. Wouldn't a good parent at least consider what his or her kids would think about such a thing?
How is Obama treating his half-brother? What is your suggestion for how he should treat him? What part of "if he ever came to me I would be there for him" is treating him badly? And where did this humanitarian side come from? I thought the Republicans were the party of supply your own bootstraps. And it does sound like George wants to do it for himself. You've got tough standards.
For Ed L...

To paraphrase what many pundits have already said: Would you even consider asking such a question if the candidate were a man with the same family situation, or if Palin were a Democrat? I seriously doubt it.

Time for me to weigh in. First, I am against naming children after cities or subdivisions of cties. This disapproval includes Chelsea Clinton, Brooklyn Beckham, and noe Bristol Palin. This does not include names that are cities which were named after people. So you are OK if your name is Austin or Victoria.

To digress for a moment, when I become Tsar, celebrities will not be allowed to name their children so no kid will have to grow up burdened w/ the name "Apple" or such.

Now onto Sarah Palin. Roger, my hat is off to you. You raised two daughters and a son, almost entirely by yourself. Neither daughter had a baby while still in HS.

Neither of my daughters had a baby while still in HS. If one had, I would have considered it to be a collective failure of my daughter, my wife, and me to avoid an unwanted preganancy that would close many more doors than it would open.

The ball was dropped here. Apparently, the father is going to "do the right thing" and marry Bristol. Statistically, I believe that such marriages have a much higher failure rate that other marriages.

In some cultures, having a baby at 17 or earlier is normal. Culturally in the U.S. it is not the norm and I believe, based on my own experience and my vicarious experience that girls in our culture mature somewhat later than 17.

So as Ed Lamb has pointed out, the Palins may not be the best parents in the world. I will go on record and state that one's personal conduct may not have any affect on one's ability to be an effective political leader. I was never concerned w/ Bill Clinton's dalliance while in office although prevaricating about it was a mistake.

Sarah Palin may or may not be an effective political leader but two things are off the board at this point.

I do not want to hear one peep about abstinence as an effective method of birth control or sex education. Not one peep. In fact, it would be refreshing to hear an admission by Sarah Palin to the effect of "I thought it was a good idea then but maybe I need to reconsider."

I also do not wish to hear one peep about family values. Family values involve effective parenting and the Palins jointly seemed to have flunked the course here.



Yes. I was particularly glad when the governor of my state, Tim Kaine, was not named as the Democratic VP candidate because he has kids. Governing and child-rearing are tough, but it's nothing like presidenting or national campaigning.

I was a little put off by the Obamas keeping their daughters up till all hours at the DNC.

And how many f'ing times do I have to write that Sarah Palin's husband has parental responsibility that will be tough to meet until someone actually sees that I wrote it.

There doesn't appear to be a full-time parent in the palin household. There needs to be. That is not family values.
Ed, I enjoyed the few music reviews I read but I can't stand your moralistic anti-feminist strawman argument. It is not necessarily a family value to forego career advancement to stay at home for the children. Your insistence that it is seems trapped in a 50s time warp and even anti-historical. People have used servants to raise their children since before people wrote down things. It's sometimes a good thing. Some people are better at spending long time with children than others. Turning the children for long periods of time to a good nanny is not a violation of family values. Not even close. The Vikings for a time, especially in Iceland a millennia ago, would have a rich child raised by modest means step parents and vice versa. For the rich kid it was to stop him or her from being spoiled. Good practice in my book, although, as T revealed, I didn't do it really. I couldn't find a rich couple to take any of mine. Just kidding. Thanks for the comments but try to join us in the 21st Century if you write again.
T, some of the kids I prosecuted were bright and from good families who seemed really to love them and want the best for them. The kids did awful things anyway. Not that sex at 17 is awful, but the crimes some of the kids from good families committed in no way reflected poorly on the parents. The acts of the children are sometimes a reflection on the upbringing but not always, so I won't say that our daughters' lack of chastity, if any, is a result of bad parenting or in any way a reflection on the parents. Ditto the Palins. With you on some of the names though.
Andy, I'm aware that you can wire money to someone in a foreign country. If Obama sent his half brother George $40, it would more than triple George's yearly income, as reported, and would represent .0001% of the Obama's reported income last tax year, again as reported. If George didn't want it, he could frame and not cash the money order, or whatever. Isn't this an obvious suggestion for destitute family? He visited Geroge in 2004. Surely the guy's situation didn't evade Obama's notice.
Eric, when you get the fever, like Spock when he went into heat, you want to have sex. I remember it well, starting about 14. Tough to fight against the prime hormonal directive (sorry to go all Star Trek on you) so I don't know what any class work would accomplish. And yes, despite ed's worry about the father figure's presence, his complaint about Palin carry an overwhelming whiff of sexism. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

This is your blog, so I'll give the last words on everything except for me being a benighted sexist.

I never wrote or implied that Sarah Palin should get out of politics or not work. I never even implied it.

All I wrote was that the Palin kids need a full-time parent. I mentioned directly in each of my comments that Mr. Palin could fill that role. I realize that a person can be a full-time parent and have a career, but neither of the Palins' careers lend themselves to that.

How is saying that kids need parenting -- an absolute bedrock tenet of the modern American family values agenda -- a sexist or misogynist statement?

I was being very specific and I do not think your respnse gainsays my remark.

17 year olds make decisions. The decision to have sex may have been a bad one, in most cases for most girls in our culture, at age 17, it probably is. Having unprotected sex at age 17 is just a very bad decision.

I am not letting Bristol and her BF off the hook. Nor am I letting the parents off the hook.

Many doors closed, few doors opened.

T, you no more know whether Bristol and BF went bareback or had the birth control fail than you know the solutiion/proof to Fermat's Last Theorem. Sorry, no sale. I still like you though.
Yeah, I was a teen once, myself. I remember well the power of Pon Far. As I recall, it hit me from time to time long after my teens, as well.
Yes, but less and less lately, more's the pity.

Okay. Mom advocates abstinence. 17 year old daughter gets pregnant.

You say; "We'll never know if the birth conrol method failed or whether they had unprotected sex."

Do we need proof beyond a reasonable doubt or just a 17 year old pregnant girl and her 18 year old BF likely headed for a lot of roads not taken?

When you find the smashed body of dreams at the foot of a cliff, you can debate whether the body was pushed or fell or jumped. Dead is dead and if the body in th eform of BF, parents, or pregnant girl had beeen paying attention, there would have been no body.

As a parent, this amounts to a massive dropping of the ball. Don't try and spin it Roger. Just call it a massive screw up that could happen to any of use but didn't happen to us b/c we paid attention, instilled the right thing in our daughters or children, or b/c we got lucky.

I worry about you developing a god complex, T, what with your claims of omniscience about the Palin family. Is it better to wait for a good marriage for sex?--of course. Do most people do it?--of course not. A baby, even by mistake, is a blessing, and the 20% of couples who cannot conceive would do nearly anything for one such blessing. Your candidate calls a baby out of wedlock like this a punishment. We on the right, generally see it as just the opposite. A gulf that will never be bridged, I suppose. I'm not spinning you, man. This is how we feel.
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