- The Washington Times - Monday, June 19, 2006

Hypocrite Bill

“I found it impossible to write a book about hypocrisy without talking about [former President Bill] Clinton. He’s such a great example of how hypocrisy works and why people hate it so much.

“I was definitely a ‘Clinton hater’ in the ‘90s. I hated how he was so phoney, and I couldn’t believe it when he walked away from Zippergate relatively unmolested.

“But here’s the rub: He wasn’t a horrible president.

“Clinton’s hypocrisy allowed him to pay lip service to a lot of dumb policies, but not really press for or implement them. And when he decided to brazen it out on the issue of sex and perjury, the hypocritical consensus — don’t ask about sex but, if asked, lie about it — saved him.

“It’s standard to bring up Newt Gingrich for balance, but Newt was a piker compared to Bill. He was either too consistent, or clueless, or inconsistent in really uninteresting ways.”

— Jeremy Lott, author of “In Defense of Hypocrisy,” interviewed by Nick Gillespie, Tuesday in Reason Online at www.reason.com

High horse

“The [Episcopal Church’s] Social and Urban Affairs Committee demands the ‘Episcopal Church acknowledge its history and the deep and lasting injury which the institution of slavery and its aftermath have inflicted on society and on the Church … the Episcopal Church lent the institution of slavery its support and justification based on Scripture, and … after slavery was formally abolished, the Episcopal Church continued for at least a century to support de jure and de facto segregation and discrimination. …’

“It’s cheap, easy, and thus ultimately a counterfeit virtue to cast stones at one’s forebears, the very souls, sinners every one, whose hard work and prayers erected the red doors of the Episcopal Church from shore to shore. But, hey, they were racists! And from its high horse, today’s church can express deep regret for benefiting from those haters.”

— R. Andrew Newman, writing on “The Other Is Never Wrong,” in the American Spectator Online at www.spectator.org

Calamity Al

“To his credit, Al Gore sheds the wooden persona of the 2000 presidential campaign in his newly released documentary ‘An Inconvenient Truth.’ In making the case for immediate action to stop global warming, the former vice president is articulate, concise, and even winsome, at times.

“But Mr. Gore’s radical political agenda and tendency for half-truth have undergone no such makeover.

“In what amounts to a filmed slide show, interspersed with indulgent autobiographical footage and voiceovers, Mr. Gore employs stage tricks, straw men, and well-rehearsed rhetoric to contend that opposition views on climate change are rooted in callous profiteering. The dissents of such distinguished climatologists as hurricane expert Bill Gray of Colorado State University and former NASA scientist Roy Spencer of the University of Alabama in Huntsville are provided no airtime.

“Conflating the undisputed fact that the earth is warming with more controversial speculation that such warming is human-induced and will destroy civilization, Mr. Gore claims scientific consensus for his doomsday scenarios. Mr. Gore explains with solemn certainty that the threat of flooding in downtown Manhattan poses greater potential for calamity than the terrorist acts of September 11. Few scientists would endorse such an extreme contention.”

— Mark Bergin, writing on “Convenient spin,” in the June 17 issue of World

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