Cliff Schecter, 6/21/2012 [Archive]

Confronted By Hypocrisy

Confronted By Hypocrisy

By Cliff Schecter

We are all hypocrites now and again. It seems to be a key ingredient of human nature, to ignore those who advise us to "judge not lest ye be judged," as we looks towards our friends, neighbors and political leaders with the scowl of Simon Cowell, as if we're "Charles in Charge" and they're Tyler Durden from "Fight Club."

If we weren't hypocrites, we wouldn't get just so darn offended when we find out our favorite athlete went to the team that paid the most money, or senator such-and-such said a bad word. Lord knows neither of these offenses would ever befall any of us.

Yet that group of gray hairs reenacting their very own libertarian Woodstock we call the Tea Party seem to almost delight in their hypocrisy. Often we talk about this in terms of their not-quite-personally-valued family values fetishes. If you added up all those lucky ladies who have, at one time or another, been enjoined in marital bliss to Bob Barr, Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh, you could probably start a small village of home-schooled, Jesus-campers.

But on the economic front, this do-as-I-say-not-as-I'd-ever-think-of-doing is just as pernicious.

On Wednesday, Sam Stein of The Huffington Post made this abundantly clear on that day's edition of Morning Joe. Stein was on the panel with former (and kind of still current) Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, who has compared Social Security to slavery, and had just gone on a long exposition about how it was unconstitutional, abrogated our freedoms and was just a downright terrible idea in general. So Stein asked Paul a simple question. "Are you on Social Security?"

I bet you know the answer! Of course Ron Paul cashes his Social Security checks. Sure, he has the means so he doesn't have to accept them. Not only is he a former doctor, he made bundles of money from those kindly old newsletters he published in the 1990s that helpfully warned us about all those criminally inclined and "fleet of foot" black men among us.

But much like his idol Ayn Rand, who thought Social Security was evil until she accepted it and Medicare under her husband's name, and more recently Congressman Paul Ryan, who utilized Social Security survivor benefits to attend college, Ron Paul is a hypocrite of the highest order.

Social Security is fine for them (not currently for Rand, as she has passed on), but won't do anymore for us common folk if the Pauls and Ryans get their way (yes they are not trying to eliminate it, but they are trying to privatize it, which in light of what happened in 2008, is a swell idea).

Of course this is a widespread trend. Tea Party hero-cum-lunatic Congressman Joe Walsh of Illinois, who screams at constituents about spending like Chris Christie screams at constituents about, well, everything, was found to be delinquent by a judge in paying child support to the tune of $100,000 (personal responsibility!).

Or Michele Bachmann of the "Children Of The Corn" eyes, who happily accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in farm subsidies for the family farm while thinking this kind of government spending for anyone else to be a conspiracy on par with the moon landing! And, of course, all you have to do is look at the members of Congress who repeated Tea Party slogans while killing the public option, only to accept their swanky government-provided health insurance, thank you very much.

Hypocrisy is the worst of human nature. And it is in all of us. It's just in the Tea Party a lot more.


©Copyright 2012 Cliff Schecter, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For more info contact Sales at 800- 696-7561 or email

Cliff Schecter is the President of Libertas, LLC, a progressive public relations firm, and the author of the 2008 bestseller "The Real McCain." Email Cliff at

This column has been edited by the author. Representations of fact and opinions are solely those of the author.

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