The Oklahoman opined on July 21 that many Democrats were reassessing Bill Clinton in this Me-Too Era. The paper cited an interview by late celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, “calling the former president ‘entitled, rapey, gropey, grabby, disgusting.’ Bourdain, a prominent liberal, also criticized Bill and Hillary Clinton for the way they ‘efficiently dismantled, destroyed, and shamelessly discredited’ women who accused the former president of sexual harassment and (in one instance) rape.” The paper sneers that this change in Clinton’s standing is “conveniently voiced by liberals only after Clinton is no longer politically useful (and may even be a liability).”
Talk about cherry-picking your topics. Somehow the conservative mouthpiece missed the obvious corollary to this observation. Republicans did not wait until Clinton was out of office to attack his character. They thumped their Bibles and took him all the way to an impeachment trial – and lost. So, instead of worrying about Democrats re-evaluating Clinton, The Oklahoman could have called for some consistency from the self-righteous right regarding the present Slimeball-in-Chief.
Writing for The Week in late July, Bonnie Kristian wondered: ”If you’re doing something hypocritical, does it make things any better to note you’ve been a hypocrite for a long time? I would say no, but Pastor Robert Jeffress, an adviser to President Trump and one of his most rhetorically gymnastic supporters, says yes.”
She cites a July 23 Fox News interview, where the pastor of Dallas First Baptist Church said: “Back in 1980, evangelicals chose to support a twice-married Hollywood actor who was a known womanizer….Ronald Reagan. They chose to support him over Jimmy Carter, a born-again Baptist Sunday school teacher who had been married faithfully to one woman. “The reason we supported President Reagan was not because we supported womanizing or divorce. We supported his policies, and that’s true with Trump, too.”
There you have it. Religion and morals have nothing to do with the irreligious right though it requires some limber reasoning to then claim morality as the cornerstone of such hypocrisy.
Clinton-bashers on the right used his immorality as a weapon. Similar actions by one of their own was inconsequential. And they still are. Porn stars, playmates, payoffs, infidelity, incessant lying, racism and greed are irrelevant.
Last week, the man to my philosophical right on this page observed: “Far too many political types justify the actions of their own, but condemn everything the other side does.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. I wait in vain for the Republicans, who were standing on the moral high ground with me while we were condemning Clinton’s perfidy on ”principles not partisanship,” to even chide their own immoralist.
Way back in August 2016, Michael Brendan Dougherty reported for The Week that “(Calvinist theologian Wayne) Grudem admits that Trump is ‘flawed,’ and says extreme things. Grudem concludes, however, that ‘most of the policies he supports are those that will do the most good for the nation.’ “It’s an interesting argument,” Dougherty notes, “But it seems to militate against the statement he signed in 1998, which said that ‘the moral character of a people is more important than the tenure of a particular politician or the protection of a particular political agenda.’”
Rev. Jeffress claims, “Nobody has sold his soul to support President Trump.” You can agree with that assessment only if you also agree with columnist Gary Wills: “The religious right has long been not a religion, but an ideology.”
(Gary Edmondson is Stephens County Democratic Party Chair.)