We fancy ourselves connoisseurs of political buffoonery, having sat front row to so much of it in the past few years. That is why we are confident in saying, given the political news of the past week and the reactions from all sides to that news, that American political discourse has officially “jumped the shark.”
No one was immune from the political hysteria.
On the right, reaction to the cancelation of Roseanne Barr’s highly-popular revival sitcom as a result of a highly vulgar and insensitive (and allegedly Ambien-influenced) tweet left many conservatives crying foul. “Double Standard!” many exclaimed. “Hypocritical!” said others in their self-created social media echo chambers. After all, this is the same network that keeps "The View’s" Joy Behar gainfully employed despite similarly vulgar and insensitive comment directed toward Vice President Mike Pence and his faith.
How dare a private enterprise dare violate the First Amendment rights of one of its employees.
But enough about the NFL.
Talk about a double standard. In their haste to defend the indefensible (even Barr herself agrees with that assessment), some conservatives decided to spend what precious credibility they have by walking into a bit of hypocrisy themselves.
Wasn’t it conservative voices leading the charge to compel NFL players to stand during the National Anthem by claiming that free speech rights are curtailed in the workplace? Aren’t these the same conservatives who would storm the barricades for the unforgivable sin of insulting Sarah Huckabee Sanders’s eyeliner? Yet now, those same conservatives are seemingly good with a de-humanizing personal attack against Valerie Jarrett, someone they definitely don’t like, by someone who is, at best, marginally conservative, for the sake… a television show?
Meanwhile, on the left, liberal activists fell all over themselves to spread photos of unaccompanied illegal immigrant children in less-than-favorable conditions as an opportunity to take some pot shots at President Donald Trump for his zero-tolerance policy towards illegal crossings by families.
Jon Favreau, a former speechwriter for President Barack Obama, tweeted a photo showing kids in enclosed cages, lamenting that “This is happening right now.” Activist turned pseudo-journalist Shaun King characterized the photos as depicting children held in cages “like dogs,” calling them an “abomination.” Progressive activist Linda Sarsour added a nifty hashtag to the collective hand-wringing called “#WhereAreOurChildren” to raise awareness of these poor children and their plight under the big bad Trump administration.
The narrative was set, except for one teeny weeny inconvenient truth: those abominable photos were originally published in 2014 after the Obama administration had detained over a thousand children who crossed the border illegally.
In their zeal to win the never-ending game of political one-upsmanship waged by partisans, many prominent progressive “influencers” leapt before looking to satisfy their hunger to zing their political adversary and the resultant increase in their social media stats.
Because at the end of the day, that’s all that matters. These and other progressive thinkers hardly batted an eyelash at the blight of these children when President Obama was tearing families apart and detaining children “like dogs.” Where was the outrage for the children then? If our nation’s policy in dealing with illegal immigrant minors is supposedly abhorrent based upon these photos, what does it matter under whose watch they happened?
The abandonment of principles in favor of political point-scoring threatens both sides of the aisle because it has supplanted the “real” scoreboard that should matter to all Americans: the one where we agree that we took actual action to change the problems in the status quo and make America great today and for years to come.
Gene Berardelli is a street-smart trial attorney who, through his time as the Law Chair of the Republican Party in Brooklyn, New York, has developed a solid reputation as an election attorney successfully representing conservative candidates.
Russell Gallo is a security expert and combat veteran who attained the rank of First Sergeant in the New York Army National Guard, earning a Combat Action Badge in Iraq. Together, they host Behind Enemy Lines Radio, a national award-winning radio show and podcast broadcasting out of "The People's Republic of" New York that airs weekly on AM and FM radio stations as part of the Talk America Radio network. To read more of their reports — Click Here Now.
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