The Hypocrisy Game

When Bill Clinton won his first presidential election, in 1992, it was an Electoral College landslide — 370 votes to Poppy Bush’s 168. He also won the three-way popular vote by almost 6 million.

But, alas, Bubba lacked a “mandate” — his 44 million votes only amounted to 43 percent. Short of 50, the reasoning went, no sale.

Whose reasoning? Conservatives, of course.

It was bullshit, but they were loud about it, even lacking Fox News to amplify their message. They were so loud, so repetitively loud, that we can still hear them a quarter-century later.

We could also hear their echoes in 2000, when Shrub lost the popular vote, the first such loss in more than a century, but not the last. We could only hear echoes, however, because after eight years of Mandate Talk — Clinton also slipped a hair below 50 percent in 1996 — suddenly the popular vote didn’t matter. Now only the Electoral College counted.

Well, that and the Supreme Court.

Here’s where we’re supposed to play that enduring passtime, calling out conservative hypocrisy, known as IOKIYAR in milder times. Which, we’ll admit, we have enjoyed on numerous occasions over the years. It’s always good for a cheap laugh, the cynical inconsistency of the Party of Principles. They said this then, and they’re saying this now! Hahahahaha!

After which they’ll say that tomorrow, and it doesn’t make a fucking difference, because the stenographers who populate our national media duly distribute it, maybe saving the callout for a carefully worded and buried Analysis, or on better days getting an Opponents Say to do their work for them.

The thing about The Hypocrisy Game is that conservatives know it works, which is why they’ve been playing it for more than a generation. All Trump did was perfect it, adding a flamboyant shamelessness to the practice. All you need to do is repeat the same lie until you find a better one, then repeat that as long as needed. Make it loud, make it stick, drop it the moment it’s no longer useful.

What’s magic about The Hypocrisy Game is that it never ends. It lasts forever. You just throw some shit at the wall, and while opponents whine about the smell, you throw some more shit at another wall. In civil terms, you Control the Narrative, another reason why civility is bullshit. It lends cover to liars.

So what should liberals and progressives do?

Simple. Stop playing the fucking game.

We saw an example of this in the days following Anthony Kennedy’s copout. While everyone — everyone with a conscience, anyway — was grieving about the fate of justice with another ideologue perverting the Supreme Court, some clever folks were chatting up using Mitch McConnell’s previous logic against him: How dare the Senate consider a nominee in an election year! Surely what was good enough for Merrick Garland is good enough for [insert Federalist Society stooge here]!

Yeah, right. Like anyone’s gonna shame Mitch Fucking McConnell. Like anyone’s gonna rally behind a bullshit procedural response to a bullshit procedural argument. Like Senatorial practice has any meaning, compared to, say, Roe v. Wade being overturned in eighteen months.

The trick to The Hypocrisy Game is that conservatives will say anything they need to get anything they want. They’ll jam the system with bullshit, knowing that everyone else will feel obligated to take them seriously, to respond to their bullshit with objections that clog the system even more. The only thing worse for conservatives than being talked about is not being talked about, because they know all that useless chatter runs out the clock until the next round of bullshit.

Stop playing the game, and stop being polite about it. Stop fretting about civility when children are being kidnapped without return, when citizens are being denied their rights, when our democracy is being attacked from without and within. Civility is just a cudgel for liars and hypocrites to keep the bullshit flowing.

In other words, stop feeding the trolls. They’re really fouling up the joint.


8:47 am • Saturday • July 7, 2018

I hate this administration so much, everything about it is hot garbage. But the worst part is the dummies that keep happily eating the shit sandwiches that Drumpf, et al are serving up. The GOP has perfected the art of putting useful idiots out in front of their bullshit.

7:36 am • Sunday • July 8, 2018

If you’re not eating rancid clams and taking explosive, green runny shits on TRUMPLIGULA!’s face, you’re not paying attention.

IMPALE! TRUMPLIGULA!, exactly as the Founding Fathers commanded!

1:31 pm • Sunday • July 8, 2018

@HillRat: Racism is a helluva drug.

5:47 pm • Monday • July 9, 2018

I’m currently reading A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. It’s dense and intensely nerdy, however it includes this absolutely beautiful, inspirational passage about the law and society:

“You’re One Ls,” Harold said. “And congratulations, all of you. As One Ls, you’ll be taking a pretty typical course load: contracts; torts; property; civil procedure; and, next year, constitutional and criminal law. But you know all this.

What you may not know is that this course load reflects—beautifully, simply—the very structure of our society, the very mechanics of what a society, our particular society, needs to make it work. To have a society, you first need an institutional framework: that’s constitutional law. You need a system of punishment: that’s criminal. You need to know that you have a system in place that will make those other systems work: that’s civil procedure. You need a way to govern matters of domain and ownership: that’s property. You need to know that someone will be financially accountable for injuries caused you by others: that’s torts. And finally, you need to know that people will keep their agreements, that they will honor their promises: and that is contracts.

Contracts are not just sheets of paper promising you a job, or a house, or an inheritance: in its purest, truest, broadest sense, contracts govern every realm of law. When we choose to live in a society, we choose to live under a contract, and to abide by the rules that a contract dictates for us—the Constitution itself is a contract, albeit a malleable contract, and the question of just how malleable it is, exactly, is where law intersects with politics—and it is under the rules, explicit or otherwise, of this contract that we promise not to kill, and to pay our taxes, and not to steal. But in this case, we are both the creators of and bound by this contract: as citizens of this country, we have assumed, from birth, an obligation to respect and follow its terms, and we do so daily.

Contracts are not fair, not always. But sometimes they are necessary, these unfairnesses, be cause they are necessary for the proper functioning of society. In this class you will learn the difference between what is fair and what is just, and, as important, between what is fair and what is necessary. You will learn about the obligations we have to one another as members of society, and how far society should go in enforcing those obligations. You will learn to see your life—all of our lives—as a series of agreements, and it will make you rethink not only the law but this country itself, and your place in it.”

7:11 pm • Monday • July 9, 2018

@¡Andrew!: Very elegant, but I’m not sure when I chose to live in a society. Near as I can figure, I was born into one.

7:18 pm • Monday • July 9, 2018

@nojo: I think that’s what they call negative consent.

A larger question is how a country filled with some of the world’s smartest people and beautifully designed legal structures wound up with such a deeply stupid, destructive political “system,” such as.

8:40 pm • Monday • July 9, 2018

Nojo! I need your help, please! I’ve been dying for wifi speakers, especially now that my kid has me hooked on Spotify.


I think I have to buy extra gear so they’ll play my iTunes music. I don’t simply want to stream. I WANT TO JAM!

So, shit? Do I have to buy this AirPlay thing even if I’m not going to buy Apple speakers?

I am so confused.

And I’m still kinda off the news, but I’ll be back in a week if my hypomania is under controlish.

12:45 am • Tuesday • July 10, 2018

@¡Andrew!: Power. Power, power, power. Power.

12:47 am • Tuesday • July 10, 2018

@JNOV: Totally clueless on that one. My music remains on vinyl and plastic, because I just can’t bear to involve my laptop.

10:25 am • Tuesday • July 10, 2018

@nojo: You and your fancy pants fancy things. XD

10:26 am • Tuesday • July 10, 2018

@FlyingChainSaw: Hey! Help a sistah out. How do I get iTunes to play on wifi speakers without buying some air hub nonsense?

11:43 am • Tuesday • July 10, 2018

@nojo: Speaking of power disguised as justice, let’s pardon some naughty ranchers!

1:50 pm • Tuesday • July 10, 2018

@nojo: Ugh. The Mormon Bundys?

2:23 pm • Tuesday • July 10, 2018

@JNOV: The Hammonds, whose cause was taken up by Bundy.

10:43 am • Thursday • July 12, 2018

At least that Papa John’s Shitter sleazebag has finally been held accountable for his racism, Tdumbpism, and Crimes Against Pizza.

12:02 pm • Thursday • July 12, 2018

And you’d think that the British, the Canadians, and the French would know by now that appeasement never works.

7:55 pm • Thursday • July 12, 2018

BTW, that FBI agent Stork or whatever handed Trey “Microwaved Face” Gowdy hiz zAzz at that hearing today. A real bedlam by US standards.

9:05 pm • Thursday • July 12, 2018

@¡Andrew!: Strzok smash!

11:55 am • Friday • July 13, 2018

Prezinazi AntiChrist finally has the crowds he’s always lied about—hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of protestors have flooded the streets in possibly the largest mass protest in England’s history. The photos are incredible—just wait til he grabs Queen Elizabeth by the royal pu$$y.

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