Monday, April 17, 2017

The Law of Canceling Hypocrisy

A month or so ago in Democrats Face a Pandora Dilemma I described the wiretapping situation as being one where the left had to decide whether to condemn the actions that took place under Obama or to normalize them at a time when Trump holds the same powers. As predicted, they've opted to accept the activities that occurred under Obama and to even attack Trump for daring to criticize them. Let's look at today's article from Business Insider, Congress is poking holes in a key Trump talking point about Obama-era surveillance. Note the tactics they employ in the headline, because they know in the facebook era most people will 'Like' articles based on the headline alone, and assume that the article supports the headline, and thus the headline can be taken as fact. They're trying to make it look like it's an article about what Congress is saying, and not just a propaganda piece. And yet the sources are, as usual, anonymous US officials. From the first sentence:
Obama administration officials did not act inappropriately in trying to unmask officials on President Donald Trump's transition team whose conversations with foreign officials were incidentally collected during routine intelligence-gathering operations.
When I said they're normalizing it I meant that in the literal sense. The first sentence comes right out and says Trump was monitored in routine intelligence-gathering operations. Totally normal.

Let's look at some more language from the article.
Trump's accusation, for which he offered no evidence...
Well duh, the evidence is classified. We assume that if the case can be made it will be eventually made to the American public. No one expects a secretive kangaroo court like, I dunno, the FISA Court that was used to spy on Trump in the first place.
Nunes reiterated in multiple press conferences that there was still no evidence to suggest that Trump or his team had ever been surveilled illegally.
Yes but the surveillance may have been done in way that obeyed the letter but not the spirit of the law. Just because they got a FISA warrant doesn't mean they should have. And the bigger question here anyway is about the unmasking.. Improper unmasking and dissemination is spying whether or not the initial collection was incidental, and especially if it was "incidental."
that investigation was ultimately fruitless
Are they saying the investigation is over? Then what are they even talking about?
Rice's requests to unmask US persons were neither unusual nor against the law. 
So long, Pandora's lid.

Rice requests were neither unusual nor against the law. That means that Trump's people can do the exact same thing to their political opponents. Not just can, but should. In fact my biggest worry about Trump is not that he'll turn into a neocon (and that's a big concern) but that'll he'll refuse to use his enemies' own tools against them. He should use the foreign intelligence apparatus to spy on political opponents. He should circumvent rules of government transparency in the ways the left excused Hillary Clinton for. He should use the IRS to target opposing political organizations. He should funnel government money to friendly NGOs.

He should do all those things. Because that's what his predecessors did, and no one was ever punished. If he doesn't do those things, then he's just leaving them for the next Democrat to pick up and run with. The worst thing Trump could do would be to worry about being called a hypocrite. They'll make up things to call him a hypocrite anyway, so it doesn't matter. Let me put forth what I shall dub the Law of Canceling Hypocrisy.
Tenet: hypocrisy is not a valid argument against hypocrisy. Perceived hypocrisy is immaterial if the accuser must engage in hypocrisy to make the case.
If Trump set up a secret, private email server the left would scream it was the biggest hypocrisy they had ever encountered. But they must be hypocritical to make the case because they've already excused Clinton's behavior, and she faced no legal repercussions. Because they've declared those actions to be acceptable they cannot reasonably condemn Trump for engaging in what they allowed to become precedented behavior, even if he was previously opposed to it.

Remember, When They Go Low, We Go Low. When the opponent engages in "cheating" behavior, they must be punished and, if they are not punished, the behavior must then be used against them. If your opponent fights with knives, you must fight with knives. And if he brings a gun, well we all know the sage wisdom about not bringing a knife to a gun fight. It is not hypocritical to bring a gun to a gunfight, no matter how much you might have railed against gunfights in the past.

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