ChrisWeigant.com

Stunning Depth Of GOP Hypocrisy Never Ceases To Amaze

[ Posted Tuesday, April 6th, 2021 – 15:57 UTC ]

The irony in Washington is so thick on the ground right now, you could slice it up and sell it to the tourists as souvenirs. Seriously -- the hypocrisy currently emanating from the Republican Party is just stunning, since to believe any of it you would have to erase your mind of pretty much everything the party has ever said on the subject previously. And even then it would still be hypocritical and ironic.

I speak of the Republican reaction to Major League Baseball's decision to pull the All-Star Game from Georgia after they passed a law to suppress voting. The reaction has been ironic on so many levels it's tough to even identify them all.

First, Republicans fell back on their new favorite: decrying "cancel culture." They castigated M.L.B. for somehow "cancelling" Georgia and instead choosing Colorado to host their midsummer showpiece game. This, from the party that previously argued for bakers to have the right to refuse to make gay wedding cakes on moral grounds, I hasten to remind everyone. So what was Republicans' first reaction to this supposed outrage? To call for a boycott of baseball. To try to cancel baseball, in other words.

Of course, "cancel culture" complaints from Republicans have always been completely bogus to begin with. Properly defined (by Republicans) fighting cancel culture means letting anyone say anything they want -- no matter how offensive -- without suffering the slightest consequence for doing so. Except, of course, "anyone" in that really means "any conservative," since Republicans have never shied away from coming down on Democrats like a ton of bricks for saying things offensive to conservative ears. The hypocrisy in their definition is blatant, in fact. In the first place, at the time the term came into fashion among them, the GOP was led by the absolute king of the cancellers, Donald Trump. Trump certainly was never shy -- even before he got into politics -- about trying to convince all his followers to destroy any and all of his perceived enemies, by whatever means necessary. He continued having these hissy fits throughout his time in office. He tried to erase all kinds of people from the political debate, or just people that annoyed him for some other reason (Hollywood actors, sports figures, intelligent and powerful women, etc.). Which included a major push to cancel professional football, for the sin of allowing football players to exercise their free speech rights at the start of the game (by kneeling for the National Anthem). This isn't even the first attempted Republican boycott of an entire sport, in other words.

As always with Republicans, whatever they're currently complaining about the loudest, you just know they're already guiltier of it than any of their opponents. This is a general rule of thumb that almost never proves to be false, in fact.

Then things got even more complicated, as big corporations started weighing in. Corporations both in Georgia (Coca-Cola and Delta, most prominently) and also in other states considering similar laws (Texas, most notably) started issuing statements strongly in favor of making voting easier for all instead of harder -- especially for certain demographics the Republicans don't want to see vote.

Republicans answered with an even more breathtaking bit of hypocrisy. They not only scolded the corporations who spoke out, they actually started threatening them and trying to use their governmental power to punish them. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell took the lead, issuing a statement that ended:

It's jaw-dropping to see powerful American institutions not just permit themselves to be bullied, but join in the bullying themselves....

Our private sector must stop taking cues from the Outrage-Industrial Complex. Americans do not need or want big business to amplify disinformation or react to every manufactured controversy with frantic left-wing signaling.

From election law to environmentalism to radical social agendas to the Second Amendment, parts of the private sector keep dabbling in behaving like a woke parallel government. Corporations will invite serious consequences if they become a vehicle for far-left mobs to hijack our country from outside the constitutional order. Businesses must not use economic blackmail to spread disinformation and push bad ideas that citizens reject at the ballot box.

Got all of that? Corporations are "bullying" and trying to "react to every manufactured controversy with frantic left-wing signaling," and "behaving like a woke parallel government." They are in danger of becoming "a vehicle for far-left mobs to hijack our country from outside the constitutional order." They should not be using "economic blackmail to spread disinformation and push bad ideas the citizens reject at the ballot box." And if they keep this up, Mitch darkly warns, they will "invite serious consequences."

And I'm not even going to point out the irony of today's Republican Party denouncing some supposed "Outrage-Industrial Complex." That one is so easy, I leave it as an exercise for the reader (to properly ridicule).

All of this wouldn't be so downright laughable if the Republican Party hadn't been completely in bed with Big Business for approximately the past half-century, and if Republicans hadn't been the ones who have championed -- over and over again -- the concept of corporate "free speech." It was Republicans who celebrated the Citizens United decision, after all. Republicans have been piously speaking of the sanctity of corporate free speech, whether that meant (to them) the ability of corporations to fund PACs or run their own political ads, the ability of corporations to directly influence lawmaking, or the ability of corporations to donate as much money as they wished to politicians. Because, Republicans kept informing us all, "money is free speech." And corporations are people, too, so they have the same free speech rights as anyone else.

Republicans have been quite adamant on all of these points, for decades. But in all that time, corporate interests almost always aligned neatly with Republican Party interests, so there was no conflict.

Now that corporate America is realizing that their bottom lines will suffer if they aren't good corporate citizens on civil rights issues, they have directly entered politics in a way nobody really ever expected to see (I didn't, at any rate). They are supporting Democratic positions on questions of equality and voting rights. Which is why Mitch McConnell's head is exploding, obviously.

What before was sacred corporate free speech (including money, which is also free speech, according to Republican dogma) is now "bullying" and "economic blackmail." Whereas before Republicans would have argued that it's every corporation's right to conduct their business however they saw fit without government interference, the GOP now is actively seeking ways to severely punish these corporations. Georgia legislators almost passed a bill to strip Delta of a cushy tax break. Some Republicans are now pushing to strip Major League Baseball of its antitrust exemption. Mitch McConnell won't say exactly what his "serious consequences" would be, at least so far, but it's obviously meant to be a threat to the corporations' bottom lines. It's impossible to read it otherwise, in fact. You might even call it "bullying."

Obviously, Republicans have a simple rule, when it comes to the question of corporate free speech. If corporations use their free speech to support Republican causes, donate to Republican politicians, and fund Republican political infrastructure (lobbying groups, PACs, think tanks, etc.), then all is fine and good. Corporations are free to advocate things that Republicans agree with, like lowering taxes and eliminating regulations, and they should be encouraged to do so by directly supporting all the Republican politicians who will make such legal changes happen. Again, when any or all of that happens, then all is right with the world.

But if corporations ever dare to support Democratic (or, even in this case, democratic) issues, then the full wrath of Republicans will fall on them. The GOP will use every lever of power available to them to do so, too -- boycotts/cancellation, punishing individual corporations by eliminating tax breaks (that Republicans voted into existence in the first place), or even just trying to destroy the corporation entirely (which Trump always would have dearly loved to have had the power to do). It's all fair game, because corporate free speech is only allowed (and downright celebrated) when Republicans reap the political benefit. When the opposite is true, then Republicans become the biggest advocates of cancel culture imaginable. This includes not just using boycotts and economic threats, but also using the government to actively punish such corporate free speech.

The worst hypocrisy in all of this (and that is indeed saying something) is that the government even attempting to punish free speech for its political content in any way, shape, or form was precisely the reason why the First Amendment was written in the first place. That sort of thing was to be forever banned. Which brings up the final hypocrisy, since Republicans have made so much political hay over the issue for so long -- because what they're threatening and attempting would be seen as an absolute outrage by the framers of the Constitution. Not exactly their "original intent," to put it another way.

"Getcher slices o' irony here, folks! Freshly harvested and packaged for your trip home! Show your neighbors and friends what authentic Washington-style hypocrisy really looks like, up close! We have slices for every budget, so step right up!"

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

19 Comments on “Stunning Depth Of GOP Hypocrisy Never Ceases To Amaze”

  1. [1] 
    John M from Ct. wrote:

    As much as I agree that the Republican Party is hypocritical and all that, and as much as I approved the ripe language of this heartfelt screed, I did notice one weakness that commonly comes up in this kind of piece. (Not just by Chris - by many liberals.)

    That is the calling-out of conservatives for not being consistent about their positions, when the liberal critic actually doesn't like the original position and wishes conservatives didn't advocate it.

    For instance: "You said you were all for letting cake shops deny service to gay couples, but now you're against letting corporations express their political opinions with actions like relocating an event?? How hypocritical!"

    But wait, friendly fellow traveller, I mean liberal: We were against those bakers and their bigoted ways. Does this mean we're for them now, because Major League Baseball is just like them and MLB is right on this issue of protesting against voter rights restrictions? I don't get it - isn't there some kind of distinction we can make (and try to force the Republicans to make too, so we come out on top of this argument), between discriminating against LGBTQ people and advocating for more liberal voting rights for minority populations? Like the first is bad, and companies shouldn't do it, and the second is good, and companies should do it?

    Well, what is that distinction? And if there is one, any attempt to shame the GOP for hypocrisy had best not use this type of example, because we've just shown it's not hypocrisy at all, but more of an apples and oranges comparison that ignores reason in favor of overheated and self-righteous rhetoric, almost as overheated and self-righteous as McConnell's latest blather cited above.

    The same goes for Citizens United, also used here to defend companies' right to 'free speech' in the face of Republican attacks. Um, wait, I thought Citizens United was a BAD thing from a liberal point of view. But now we're for it, because free speech is free speech, dammit? Or is there, again, some distinction to be made here - and is that distinction the thing that gets the GOP off the hook for hypocrisy and puts them where they belong, on the much bigger hook for just plain awfulness?

  2. [2] 
    andygaus wrote:

    You can just see the boycott taking shape. Conscientious consumers all over the country will be saying to each other, "Dear, let's not fly Delta. They're a little too much in favor of voting rights."

  3. [3] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [1]

    You make an excellent (if inconvenient) point. One suspects that hypocrisy (and the subsequent denouncing of said hypocrisy) is a substitute for reasoned debate. In other words, it's a distraction.

    One minor complaint: You wrote,

    But wait, friendly fellow traveller, I mean liberal:

    I talked this over with my Comrades at the local Democratic Club. In fact, I interrupted our conversation about forced sex-change operations for recalcitrant Republicans!

    And the resulting consensus was, y'all outta capitalize both "Fellow Traveler" and "Liberal."

    Please accept this feedback in the loving spirit in which it is offered, Comrade. Don't wanna see you end up in a Reeducation Camp or nothing.

  4. [4] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    One has to wonder if this is something the Dems could use to own the "Conserves" into supporting actually increasing taxes on corporations, thus making it easier to pay for some of things we want to see done?

  5. [5] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    As to [1].

    We were against those bakers and their bigoted ways. Does this mean we're for them now, because Major League Baseball is just like them and MLB is right on this issue of protesting against voter rights restrictions?

    Perhaps I am over simplifying things here... BUT, the bakers cases resulted in the bakers wanting to enjoy the benefits of the free market while being able to discriminate against a SPECIFIC segment of society with no penalty, while MLB has to some extent realized profits could be reduced if they allow discrimination against a LARGE segment of society to stand.
    The same goes for Citizens United, also used here to defend companies' right to 'free speech' in the face of Republican attacks

    Again at the risk of over-simplification, the CU argument boils down to the GOP claiming that "money = free speech from corporations", the Dems (rightfully) claimed it was not the same and could drown out the voices from the public square.

    What both sides missed is that companies have a fiduciary duty to make profits and they are run by humans. At times the duality can align to benefit society and at others to benefit the corporation.

    Make no mistake I am totally against the ability of business to funnel unlimited amounts of dark money into the system under the guise of free speech (after all I cannot drive down the road in the carpool lane with LLC paperwork in the passenger seat and get out of paying the carpool fine, evidently corporations are not totally people for us plebes).

    I would argue that your question requires the buy into the whole "money = free speech argument" at the expense of people running corporations getting to use their bully pulpit for good (not that there are other motives at play here).

    I would argue that CU was never about limiting companies ability to utilize their bully pulpit but more about how they spend the money to utilize said pulpit.

    In THIS case I would argue that the dualities have aligned and corporations have realized that on the public face it is good to use the bully pulpit to come out against this type of wide ranging disenfranchisement, that does not mean that they won't go back to the GOP feeding trough and fill it with dark money if it means they get to increase the bottom line.

    TLDR, take the win when you can, if it doesn't make you feel dirty, but keep your wits about you for a new norm has not been born.

  6. [6] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    This article wouldn't be so downright laughable if the Deathocrats had not been in bed with corporations for the past half-century.

    Talk about hypocrisy.

    Cancel culture is in the eye of the beholder. It is terrible if you don't agree with the "reason" and wonderful if you do.

    Thank goodness no one here tries to harass, threaten or cancel anyone here they disagree with.

  7. [7] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    "...including money, which is also free speech, according to Republican dogma..."

    NO.

    Money is free speech according to a Supreme Court ruling.

    It is an important protection for SMALL DONORS as well as big money donors.

    There is no specific right in the Constitution to make political contributions. Without money classified as free speech which is a specific right then there would be no right to make political contributions leaving Congress free to make any laws not just limiting but cancelling anyone's ability to make political contributions.

    Without this valuable protection what is there to stop the big money hypocrites in both parties from making laws that benefit the big money interests?

    They have spent the last half-century attempting to do that even with the protection. Getting rid of that protection will only make their job easier.

  8. [8] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    It's a shame there is no MLB team in Nevada where a Deathocrat is sponsoring voter suppression legislation to make it more difficult for third parties to get on the ballot.

    How much do you want to bet if there was that MLB would have moved the game there?

    It would have perfectly fit the consistency of the inconsistency that seems to be the norm lately.

  9. [9] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Mtn caddy-
    FPC 26
    Your response to both parties playing politics with covid was that Hillary or any Deathocrat or Republikiller president besides Trump would not have botched the covid response.

    That has nothing to do with what Pelosi, Schumer or any other Deathocrats did or didn't do.

    I am not ignoring your "fact", just putting it in proper perspective.

    You are ignoring the real facts of what the Deathocrats did and didn't do.

    It is not my credibility that is destroyed.

    As for agreeing that big money is a problem but not that One Demand can be a solution, why not?

    It is basic democracy. If the politicians don't do what we want we don't vote for them.

    Do you not think that citizens that want action taken in the War on Habitat forming an organization to fight climate change and saying they will only vote for candidates that support the Green New Deal is a valid strategy?

    If so, why can't that same strategy be applied to getting the big money out of politics?

  10. [10] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Don Q.

    Isn't the money windmill you tilt at the single most important thing that politics is all about? 'Politics' and 'Money' are damn near synonymous, are they not?

    Isn't "getting money out of politics" kinda like getting 'selfishness' out of 'greed'?

  11. [11] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Well, there's money and then there's big money, so ...

  12. [12] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    CRS-
    The windmill comparison doesn't work. Big money in politics is a real problem.

    Politics and big money being synonymous is the problem.

    So getting big money out of politics is exactly , not kinda, like getting selfishness and greed out of politics where they do not belong.

  13. [13] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Oh look! On Planet Dore, "party" suppression = "voter" suppression. Planet Dore and Planet Orange are twins that orbit one another and need each other.

  14. [14] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    JFC-
    Party suppression is not voter suppression?

    How do you suppress a party without suppressing the citizens that want to vote for that party's candidates or even have it's candidates on the ballot in the primaries and/or general election?

    How does Jimmy Dore pointing out Deathocrat voter suppression while not using it as an excuse for Republikiller voter suppression equate/relate Dore with Trump in any way?

    It seems that it is without a doubt the Deathocrats and Republikillers that are really twins (fraternal in that they both take big money, but not identical) that orbit one another and need each other to be the only alternative to the other bad choice.

    You know, CW's unnatural law.

  15. [15] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    good luck with that. i prefer pie.

  16. [16] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    ... which CW gave you in this column!


    "Getcher slices o' irony here, folks! Freshly harvested and packaged for your trip home!"

  17. [17] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [15]
    [16]

    I'm a little surprised you haven't addressed this coded message to your, er, Pie cause.

    Dude, unlike poor Don Harris and One Demand CW is telling you that he backs your play! And he's telling you to just keep trusting the plan.

  18. [18] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris
    6

    Cancel culture is in the eye of the beholder. It is terrible if you don't agree with the "reason" and wonderful if you do.

    Thank goodness no one here tries to harass, threaten or cancel anyone here they disagree with.

    Ever the whiney victim possessing zero self-awareness, you are... as per your usual... seriously confused. You have indeed practiced that very behavior on another man's blog -- this blog -- where you referred to another poster in an extremely derogatory manner and suggested that the poster commit suicide and tossed around the name of Dr. Kervorkian... but not before claiming how concerned you were with the deaths of Americans *laughs* and not before suggesting in no uncertain terms that the politicians with which you disagree -- all of them since none of them practices your Utopian fantasyland purity bullshit -- should be tortured and killed:

    Even though the big money politicians DESERVE to be carried off by a mob, tortured and killed we can't get together now to form a mob.

    ~ Don Harris

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2020/04/01/april-is-the-cruelest-month/#comment-156893

    *

    And you again blamed the blog's author for the deaths of Americans for his not shilling your own personal political agenda.

    You were yellow carded for violating the blog's rules, you ignorant fool, not for your short-sided intellectually challenged purity bullshit and repetitive rhetoric outlining your abject failure and pathetic attempts at political activism.

    There are none so blind as those who cannot see because their head is jammed firmly up inside their own ass!

  19. [19] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris

    "...including money, which is also free speech, according to Republican dogma..."

    ~ CW

    NO.

    Why are you correcting CW here when he is totally accurate?

    Money is free speech according to a Supreme Court ruling.

    The two statements are not mutually exclusive.

    It is an important protection for SMALL DONORS as well as big money donors.

    Um... no! Small donors in the form of individuals are definitely limited to how much they can contribute via campaign finance laws in United States statute, and if it was up to your fantasyland purity bullshit, they'd be even further limited to even less money/free speech than they're already limited. Duh.

    There is no specific right in the Constitution to make political contributions. Without money classified as free speech which is a specific right then there would be no right to make political contributions leaving Congress free to make any laws not just limiting but cancelling anyone's ability to make political contributions.

    You cannot seriously be this obtuse! CW is specifically talking Citizens United while you're singing the praises of the Supreme Court as a vehicle to protect small donors! *can't breathe from laughing*

    Without this valuable protection what is there to stop the big money hypocrites in both parties from making laws that benefit the big money interests?

    Oh, I know! *laughs* Don Harris and his bullshit would limit them all to $200 dollars or less! *still can't stop laughing*

    Of, FFS, please educate yourself regarding Citizens United... you're embarrassing yourself and everyone else here with your clueless moronic dipshittery!

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