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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Maureen Dowd, "My Man Newt": Republicans Have Greater Talent for Hypocrisy Than Democrats

After a brief absence from the op-ed page of The New York Times, Maureen Dowd is back with "My Man Newt" (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/30/opinion/my-man-newt.html?hp), in which she savages Romney and Gingrich:

"Mitt Romney is a phony with gobs of hair gel. Newt Gingrich is a phony with gobs of historical grandiosity.

. . . .

Romney is a mundane opportunist who reverses himself on core issues. Gingrich is a megalomaniacal opportunist who brazenly indulges in the same sins that he rails about to tear down political rivals.

Republicans have a far greater talent for hypocrisy than easily cowed Democrats do — and no doubt appreciate that in a leader."

Let's get this straight: I think the current field of Republican candidates for president is an embarrassment, and I cannot begin to fathom how Newt Gingrich has become a frontrunner for the nomination. On the other hand, the Republicans do not have a monopoly on hypocrisy.

Consider how Obama has reversed himself over the past three years:

• He promised to close Guantanamo.
• Although he has been a primary beneficiary of donations from financial institutions over the years, he now understands the underpinnings of OWS.
• Although he condemned Bush administration "extra-legal" behavior, he has actively engaged in targeted killings using drones and has come out in favor of "prolonged detention."
• He deviated from his timetable for withdrawing troops from Iraq.
• No one would have ever imagined that he would escalate US ground involvement in Afghanistan.
• He promised to recognize the Armenian genocide, but now avoids the topic in order to pacify Turkey.
• With the economy in a tailspin, he has not kept his promise to create a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
• Although he signed an executive order restricting former lobbyists from working in his administration for at least two years, William Lynn, a former Raytheon lobbyist, was appointed Deputy Secretary of Defense.

Hypocrisy or the exigencies of office, i.e. a slap in the face from reality? Whichever you choose, Obama has been anything but honest.

A more recent example of Obama's tartuffery? Observe what New Jersey Governor Chris Christie had to say about Obama's reluctance to become involved with the deliberations of the supercommittee encharged with debt reduction (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1111/69280.html):

"I was angry this weekend, listening to the spin coming out of the administration, about the failure of the supercommittee, and that the president knew it was doomed for failure, so he didn’t get involved. Well then what the hell are we paying you for? It’s doomed for failure so I’m not getting involved? Well, what have you been doing, exactly?”

Now if only Christie were to become angry enough to backtrack and announce his candidacy for the Republican nomination . . .

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