Juan Williams: Hypocrisy runs riot in GOP

Senators Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz and Tom Cotton
Greg Nash

We all know about the big lie.

Now we face the big hypocrisy.

Let’s begin with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) incredible announcement last week that if former President Trump is the GOP nominee for president in 2024, he will endorse him.

{mosads}Talk about hypocrisy. Less than a month ago McConnell said Trump was “practically and morally responsible for provoking” the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.

“The people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president,” McConnell said on the Senate floor for all to hear.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is in the same river of hypocrisy. After the ransacking of Congress, Graham announced he was done with Trump: “Oh my God, I hate it…but today all I can say is count me out. Enough is enough.”

Graham now says Trump is going to “dominate the party for years to come…There is no way we can achieve our goals without Trump.”

Please note that Graham once voted to impeach then-President Clinton for lying about sex. But today he is willing to look away from a Republican president who fomented a violent insurrection that left five people dead.

And the hypocrisy keeps coming. ‘Law-and-order’ Republicans in Congress accused Democrats of disrespecting the police during protests for racial justice in the summer of 2020. The marches took place after several black people died at the hands of police.

Somehow those police-loving Republicans did not chant “Blue Lives Matter,” after Trump supporters left 15 police officers hospitalized and about 150 injured.

One Capitol Police officer and one District of Columbia police officer subsequently died by suicide. Another Capitol Police officer, Brian Sicknick, died after trying to ward off rioters, though the exact circumstances of his death remain unclear.

Now, let’s go beyond hypocrisy.

Last week, Sen. Ron Johnson (R- Wis.) blamed “fake Trump protesters,” for the violence at the Capitol, citing a right-wing blog.

Johnson is making hypocrisy into a minor offense by promoting a lie.

The fact is that the rioters were Trump supporters.

Among the more than 200 people charged in the riot are “many who have self-identified as Tump supporters and who have documented ties to far-right extremist groups,” according to The Washington Post.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) called Johnson’s comment pure “disinformation.”

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R- Ill.) called Johnson’s remarks a “disservice to the people he serves to continue lying to them like this — It’s dangerous and it must stop.”

Now back to ordinary hypocrisy.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) announced he can’t vote to confirm Neera Tanden to head the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) because she sent out mean Tweets about politicians.

“I believe her overtly partisan statements will have a toxic and detrimental impact on the important working relationship between members of Congress and the next director of [OMB],” he said.

But Manchin had little to say about Trump’s insulting tweets for almost his entire presidency — though he did belatedly call for Trump to be suspended from Twitter in the wake of the insurrection. Still, Manchin joined Republicans to confirm Trump appointees with far worse histories of insulting tweets than Tanden.

For example, Manchin voted to confirm Richard Grenell as an ambassador despite Grenell’s past tweets denigrating women.

Grenell insulted Rachel Maddow, the MSNBC anchor, by comparing her looks to a man, musician Justin Bieber. He even went after Callista Gingrich, wife of Newt Gingrich, by asking if she “snaps on” her hair.

How did Grenell’s tweets advance any working relationships, Sen. Manchin?

Here is the most glaring hypocrisy at the moment: Republican opposition to President Biden’s $1.9 trillion proposed spending plan to deal with the damage done by the COVID pandemic.

The principal objection from GOP senators is that the bill will drive up the deficit.

{mossecondads}Yet almost all of these same Republicans agreed to explode the deficit when they voted for Trump’s polices. A combination of tax cuts and spending added twice as much, $3.9 trillion, to the deficit, according to The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonpartisan group.

This kind of hypocrisy is contagious.

Look at how badly it is infecting young Senate Republicans.

Republican Sens. Josh Hawley (Mo.), Ted Cruz (Texas) and Tom Cotton (Ark.) delight in demonizing liberal, coastal elites — but each of them holds not one but two degrees from elite, coastal universities.

They don’t bother to apologize for the hypocrisy.

They know their political ambition will not be rewarded by truthfulness, or by working across the aisle to better the lives of their constituents.

Their political role model is Trump.

They don’t see a role model in a man like former Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kan.), now ailing with cancer, who worked with Democrats to pass Social Security reform and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

They can’t remember a time when Washington worked.

A December national survey of voters from the conservative Ripon Society and The Tarrance Group found that 95 percent of voters say they want Biden and Congress to work together more closely to solve important national problems. This includes 86 percent of voters who “strongly” support this goal.

But as long as GOP politicians see their path to power in saying whatever excites the right-wing echo chamber, the hypocrisy factor in Congress will continue to grow. 

Juan Williams is an author, and a political analyst for Fox News Channel.

Tags Adam Kinzinger Amy Klobuchar Bipartisanship Conservatism Donald Trump Joe Biden Joe Manchin Josh Hawley Lindsey Graham Mitch McConnell Neera Tanden Newt Gingrich Polarization Rachel Maddow Republican Party Richard Grenell Ron Johnson Ted Cruz Tom Cotton trumpism

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