Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The ABC's of Hypocrisy

"Pogo" by Walt Kelly
Redundancy Alert:
This post ran last Friday when you were on the way to the beach.
Now that you're back, I'm gonna run it again. Just for you.

As we head away from Memorial Day weekend and slouch toward July 4th, what better way to celebrate America than to dwell for a moment on what even a dinky marsupial like Pogo knows is the greatest weapon in the national arsenal -- hypocrisy.

I haven't the time nor the brain cells to do an entire Hypocrisy Alphabet, so herewith an abbreviated version:

A is for American Civil Liberties Union
What better way to begin our alphabet than with those smacked ass defenders of liberty?

A special ACLU committee has recommended new standards for board members that would discourage them from publicly speaking out against other members or the policies of an organization that ostensibly advocates free speech.

B is for Boehner
The House majority leader from Ohio had no problem with constitutionally suspect initiatives like the NSA domestic spying program and secret CIA-run prisons, let alone giving away the congressional candy store to a power hungry president who thinks that the balance of powers is parity among pro football teams and not a foundation of government.

But Boehner is shocked just shocked! that the FBI would raid a congressman's inner sanctum and has declared it to be nothing less than a constitutional crisis.

C is for Cheney
This one is like shooting (pardon the term) fish in a barrel. While the secrecy obsessed Dick Cheney crows about upholding American values, the veep has been the chief architect of the steady erosion of them over the past six-plus years.

And you know what you say about civil liberties: Once you loose 'em you never get 'em back.

* * * * *
L is for Lay
Seven years after giving $1.1 million to his alma matter, the University of Missouri, to endow a chair in economics, the freshly convicted Enron founder wants a refund, something that the millions of little old ladies that he and fellow frog walker Ken Skilling ripped off will never get.

Ken Lay wants to reinvest the dough in the Houston area in an effort to garner sympathy and has threatened to sue Mizzou to get it back.

M is for Medical Malpractice
The American Medical Association continues to play Chicken Little by asserting that doctors are being driven from the profession because of out of control jury awards in medical malpractice cases. It wants Congress to clamp down on them forthwith.

The reality is very different: As study after study has shown, only a small minority of doctors are sued for malpractice, typically the butchers that state medical boards and the AMA itself go easy on.

N is for Neoconservativism
Cry not, America. It is sunset for the neocon movement and its interventionist foreign policy canon, which prescribes the use of force to cure virtually anything beyond our shores that is viewed as a threat.

It was neocons like Frances Fukayama and William Kristol who lit the interventionist fire under the Cheneys, Rumsfelds and Wolfowitzes who committed the U.S. to the bloody fool's mission without end in Iraq. Franny and Billy have now jumped ship with the pathetically lame excuse that they never intended for their policies to be implemented in the manner that the Bush cabal has.

* * * * *
X Marks the Spot
And the spot is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Ground Zero for a man whose horridly hubristic presidency (try saying that three times fast) has made him the poster boy for hypocrisy.

Dubya has broken virtually every campaign promise he made. He says he believes in family values, but his policies rape the middle class and poor. He condemns special interests but accepts millions in political contributions from them. He says he supports AIDS programs but undercuts them. He says he values personal freedom but secretly authorizes spying on Americans. He says he wants to control spending but has presided over runaway budget deficits. He says he believes in clean government but has supported a dizzying number of crooks. He says he takes responsibility for his policies but blames everyone but himself when they go awry, too often because he has filled important jobs with political hacks.

Y is for Yellow Bellies
Which is what a majority of Americans are because they support exclusionary immigration policies which, if in effect when their forebears tried to come to America, would have left them standing at the quay in Spotsylvania.

The U.S. has a regrettable habit of dealing with difficult issues by criminalizing the behavior of the core groups involved. Exhibit A is the so-called War on Drugs. Now come the yellow bellies in Congress who want to lock up illegal aliens and their employers, social workers and even priests instead of dealing with the underlying causes of a problem that they seem determined to make worse.

Z is for Zeitgeist
Zeitgeist is the spirit which characterizes the feeling of an age. What then is the zeitgeist of 2006 America?

Shop 'til you drop. Get breast implants. Don't trust people who aren't the same color as you. Act rudely at your daughter's soccer game when the volunteer dad referee makes a bad call. Hide inappropriate items in your curbside recycling bin. Attend church on Sunday and sin the other six days of the week. Belt out "The Star Spangled Banner" at sporting events but fail to vote at election time. Watch "Queer Eye" on TV but diss gays to your friends. . . .

. . . I could go on and on, but the cat is rattling his food dish at me.

* * * * *
Got any suggestions for filling out the other letters of the alphabet? An Anonymoose reader responding to my initial post offered:

F is for Foreign Policy
Because acting like the biggest bully on the international playground really only works when you have the strategy to back it up. . . . Bush & Co. can rattle on about protecting the homeland as much as they want, but all they've managed to do is make people all over the world hate America while dragging us into a war that they don't know how to win.

Send us your alphabetical suggestions along with a few well chosen words.

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