The left and the right accuse each other of making excuses for their own scoundrels while attacking every failure by those on the other side.
Democratic Party super donor and Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, for example, was outed last week as a serial abuser of women. But before the story broke in the New York Times, his repeated victimization of women, we are now told, was an open secret in both Hollywood and New York.
In a Sunday article for National Review, Alexandra DeSanctis wrote, “After an explosive New York Times exposé revealed extensive sexual-harassment allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, neither [Jimmy] Kimmel nor any other late-night host said a word about it. This collective amnesia seems to have affected not just our cadre of progressive comedians, but most of the liberals in pop culture and politics, who aren’t quite ready to bare their claws against one of their own.”
This week, perhaps in response to such criticism, more people on the left, including late-night comics, have spoken out. But they were clearly not as enthusiastic as they would have been if attacking a conservative.
And that’s human nature.
Likewise, conservatives were quick to jump on former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner, whose sexting scandal rendered his real last name to be just as snicker inducing as that of his online moniker, Carlos Danger.
But neither Mr. Weinstein, who is accused of causing genuine suffering, nor Mr. Weiner did anything nearly as bad as what self-proclaimed pro-life Republican Rep. Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania at least tried to do, according to text messages exposed last week by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The messages were between the married congressman and a woman with whom he was having an affair.
A Jan. 25 message from the woman said the congressman had “zero issue posting your pro-life stance all over the place when you had no issue asking me to abort our unborn child last week when we thought that was one of the options.”
It turned out that the woman wasn’t pregnant, but that’s beside the point. I’ve looked all over for a statement from Rep. Murphy denying that he asked to have his own child killed, but have not found one.
He did, however, deny sending out antiabortion messages. According to the Pittsburgh newspaper, a text response from Rep. Murphy’s cell phone number that same day said his staff wrote the anti-abortion messages: “I’ve never written them. Staff does them. I read them and winced. I told staff don’t write any more. I will.”
I haven’t read the messages that made the congressman wince, but he is a member of the House Pro-Life Caucus; he even co-sponsored a bill to ban most abortions later than 20 weeks after a child’s conception. So why would he be uncomfortable with statements defending life?
This sounds oh so judgmental, but maybe it’s because his pro-life talk didn’t jive with his pro-life walk.
Fortunately, his political career is over. Last Thursday he announced his resignation from the House, which will be effective Oct. 21.
A congressman is not as visible as a Hollywood producer, so Rep. Murphy’s fall wasn’t covered as extensively as Mr. Weinstein’s. That means it’s hard to tell if conservatives were as quick to criticize their own cad as they would a Democratic cad.
Most likely, at least a little hypocrisy was at play. When it comes to politics, that seems to be human nature.
Contact Bart Adams at (910) 230-2001 or firstname.lastname@example.org.