• 68°

Hypocrisy in politics

While hypocrisy in politics is normally a bipartisan activity, it appears that Republicans are attempting to corner the market. I’m talking about the Republican response to the impeachment inquiry into President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.

The chief hypocrite here is Sen. Lindsay Graham. It was Graham who took the lead in impeaching President Bill Clinton, ostensibly for lying about consensual sex with an adult female who was not his wife. Back in 1999 Graham said, “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if this body determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role. Impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”

So, what does Graham call Trump’s extortion racket with the Ukraine? He calls it a “nothing burger.” Of course, this is because he is running for re-election in 2020 in South Carolina, aka “Trumpistan.” Former Speaker Newt Gingrich, who oversaw the Clinton impeachment, exhibits his hypocrisy by claiming that the current impeachment inquiry is “unconstitutional.” Apparently, he is taking a page out of the Trump playbook by not reading the Constitution, which clearly describes the impeachment procedures.

Which brings us to the hypocrite in chief, Donald Trump, who has been railing about Hunter Biden, Joe Biden’s son, getting a lucrative job on the board of directors of a Ukrainian gas company apparently without any prior qualifications. While Hunter Biden is probably guilty of leveraging his father’s notoriety to make money, he is a private citizen and his actions are not illegal. What Trump fails to mention is that his entire family is making millions of dollars off the Trump presidency, most notably first daughter Ivanka Trump. As an adviser to the president, she is a Federal employee and is subject to the Office of Governmental Ethics guidelines to prevent conflicts of interest. She received 16 trademarks from China for her fashion line. Did she receive them because of how great her fashion line is or because she is the president’s daughter and has his ear? Maybe she’s the one who should be investigated. Hunter Biden is probably guilty of leveraging Trump’s hypocrisy doesn’t end there. When running for president, Trump complained loudly about President Obama taking too many golf vacations instead of working. Yet Trump has taken, at latest count, 223 days off to go golfing in 2 3/4 years in office, far exceeding Obama’s eight-year count. Each trip costs the taxpayers $3.4M with the total cost so far of $110M. The corrupt part of it is that since Trump golfs only at properties he owns, somewhat over $400,000 of the $3.4M cost goes into his pocket through the Trump Organization. While Trump brags about donating his $200,000 presidential salary he is raking in millions of dollars from the taxpayers. Personally, I don’t look at it too harshly as every day Trump is out of the White House and on the golf course is one day he is not doing anything to mess up the country.

JAMES PECA is a retired U.S. government analyst living in Farmville. He can be reached via email at Jep315@gmail.com.