“The difference between a Republican and a Democrat,” according to Will Rogers, “is the Democrat is a cannibal. They have to live off each other, while the Republicans, why, they live off the Democrats.”
Here’s the great irony of our political age: fundamentalist conservatives are willing to overlook almost any moral transgression in the interest of advancing their agenda, while we in the opposition gleefully kill our darlings for the slightest whiff of incorrectness. The Right may be hypocritical, but the Left is downright prudish, conflating the most minor peccadillos and verbal gaffes with Trump/Epstein scale abomination. How on earth did this happen?
It happened because we, the left and leftish, have poured disdain on the right for the sin of hypocrisy. We have, in fact, made hypocrisy our favored attack, second only to accusations of moral transgression, and, since we’ve been harping on this ad nauseum instead of arguing the merits of our positions, we can hardly ignore transgressions among ourselves. This is especially true since a favorite tactic of the Trumpist variant of the right is to accuse its enemies of its own failings. In effect, we’ve created a moral standard, burnished it with a zero-tolerance ethic, and handed it to the right to use as a primary weapon against us. Lost in all of this tu quoque badinage is any discussion of the real world merits of our policy differences.