On the first day of the new year, Nancy Pelosi made a number of promises to the nation as she once again assumed the gavel of speaker of the House.
"We believe that we will not become them," the Democrat from California said in a phone interview, referring to Republicans. "It's really important for us not to become them and certainly not to become like the president of the United States in terms of how he speaks without any basis of fact, evidence, data or truth. We will respect each other's opinions, and respect the truth."
Well, it's been only a few short days since Pelosi made that promise on behalf of her party and her chamber, and already it's proving a tough one to keep.
In fact if anything, Democrats are behaving more like Trump, not less.
Using the same coarse language he's been rightly chastised for, making bombastic threats as he's wont to do and dismissing the integrity of basic facts isn't a good look on anyone. But it's definitely a bad look on the very people who've been most critical of the president's bad behavior.
First, of course, there was newly elected Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib's profane outburst at a bar, in which she told the crowd to raucous applause, "We're going to impeach the mother———."
In addition to being unbefitting an elected official from any party, it's the same kind of cheap and lazy invective to which Trump often stoops. We scold him for failing to make policy arguments, or to disagree with his opponents on substance instead of name-calling. In this regard, Tlaib is no better than he is.
Newly elected Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez attempted in her inimitable way to defend Tlaib, calling it "Republican hypocrisy at its finest" to take issue with her words. Of course, the hypocrisy is pointing the finger at Trump for coarsening our discourse while doing something similar and defending it simply because "he does it too."
Democrats have been ratcheting up the profanity since Trump took office. A 2017 article in Politico examined "Why Democrats Are Dropping More F-Bombs Than Ever." From New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand to DNC Chairman Tom Perez to former Maryland gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous to Rep. Ted Lieu of California, the curse words have flown liberally whilst we condemn the president for being a crass name-caller.
Some have also taken up his penchant for disturbing Twitter threats. Ocasio-Cortez threatened Donald Trump Jr. last year with a subpoena, even before she was sworn in.
Then there's the Trumpian shrug over accuracy. After years of rightly condemning this president for a broad spectrum of offenses — from simply not knowing the facts to deliberately lying about them — suddenly facts are less important.
When pressed by CNN's Anderson Cooper about her economic plan's "fuzzy math," Ocasio-Cortez said that people are overly consumed with accuracy and instead should focus more on what's morally right.
"I think there's a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually and semantically correct than about being morally right." (She went on to add that being factually correct "is absolutely important. And whenever I make a mistake. I say, 'OK, this was clumsy.' and then I restate what my point was. But it's — it's not the same thing as … the president lying about immigrants. It's not the same thing, at all.")
Of course, one of the reasons facts have primacy over morality is that the latter is subjective. That anyone would defend being wrong this way is troubling. That a member of Congress would is deeply disturbing. That a Trump critic would is downright laughable.
But who cares about facts when you have righteousness on your side?12 comments on this story
The Dick Cheney movie "Vice," much feted at the Golden Globes, is full of falsehoods and outright lies (there is zero evidence, for example, that Cheney's father-in-law murdered his mother-in-law) about the vice president, his family, and the Bush administration. But it feels good to liken Cheney to Satan, as actor Christian Bale did Sunday, so why not?
Those of us on the right who have disavowed this president and our own party for protecting him have been told by many on the left that we must switch parties.
Why, so we can act like him, but this time with the Democrats' impunity and imprimatur? No thanks.