Vul­gar ar­gu­ments

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - EDITORIAL PAGE - S.E. Cupp is the host of S.E. Cupp Un­fil­tered on CNN. S.E. Cupp

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.”

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.

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, 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. 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 mis­rep­re­sent­ing 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.”)

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?

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, 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.

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