Richard Carnes: Hypocrisy crosses party lines |

Richard Carnes: Hypocrisy crosses party lines

See if you remember this phrase:

If you attack President George Bush’s policies, are you attacking America? According to today’s right, the answer is yes: George Bush is America. And opposition to George Bush or any of his policies is therefore, by definition, anti-American.

I am sure it sounds familiar to most, especially those of the donkey persuasion.

For almost a decade, such Democrat indignation was palatably measureable, from comics like Bill Maher to overreaching blowhards like Michael Moore and self-righteous buffoons like the Rev. Al Sharpton. They all made similar claims of cultural injustice.

“It’s not fair!” they shouted loudly in unison to anyone who would listen, and even louder to those who did not wish to hear.

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Liberal columnists and talking heads nationwide went nuts, as well, demanding respect as American citizens and self-righteously pointing out that the essence of a democracy is the “ability to freely criticize its leaders without fear of persecution, blah, blah, blah …”


Republicans, meanwhile, pretended to bow their heads and snicker, enjoying every minute of liberal squirming while making the best of each opportunity to manipulate the media to further their agenda.

Now read this:

“If you attack President Barack Obama’s policies, are you attacking America? According to today’s left, the answer is yes: Barack Obama is America. And opposition to Barack Obama or any of his policies is therefore, by definition, anti-American.”

The differences should be obvious to even the most jaded. By replacing “George Bush” with “Barack Obama” and “today’s right” with “today’s left,” you now have read what was actually published just last week by syndicated columnist Ben Shapiro.

Mr. Shapiro is read nationally and has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including conservative stalwarts like O’Reilly, Hannity, Beck, and of course that bastion of scientific logic, the 700 Club. His latest column raced through the Internet faster than prunes through Pelosi.

A 25-year-old with the cynical bitterness of a Republican twice his age, Shapiro’s selective memory bias apparently knows no bounds. But the really sad part is that he — along with Gingrich, Rove, Cheney and the rest of the bitter gang — whines today exactly like the Democrats did yesterday.

The hypocrisy is painfully obvious. Whichever party not currently in control is all but guaranteed to accuse the controlling party of anti-patriotism by having the audacity to question those who question them.

It’s little more than the classic childhood game of “King of the Hill,” in which whoever’s not on top fights their way to get there, the most recent victor always the main objective for the other to defeat.

I’d like to say it’s getting old, but that would be as original as announcing I am tired of snow during the third week of May.

If it were not for the fact that both sides have a direct impact in just about every way imaginable upon me, my family, my friends, and every living being I have ever met, their constant hypocrisy would not bother me in the least.

Richard Carnes of Edwards writes a column for the Daily. He can be reached at

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