Back in 2011 or so, WC ran a monthly nominee for the annual Hypocrisy Hall of Fame Award.1 But the hassle of picking the biggest hypocrite in any given month was too great, and WC’s notorious Magpie Sensibilities sent him off chasing other shiny blog subjects.
But the Trump Era has brought political hypocrisy to new, record heights, so at least provisionally, WC is reviving the monthly posts with the aim of having readers pick the Year’s Biggest Hypocrite.2
The third candidate for Hypocrite of the Year is America’s very own Vice President, Mike Pence.
The nomination is triggered by Mr. Pence’s recent speech in Singapore, where he said, that the Trump administration has “stood strong for a free and independent press. This administration has stood strong for a free and independent press and defended the freedom of the press on a world stage.” The Vice President made this surprising announcement to reporters on November 15, according to ABC News. Mr. Pence was in Singapore at the time for an international summit.
The Trump Administration – or at least Donald Trump – has famously attacked the free press at every opportunity over the last two years. Mr. Pence made his surprising claim the same week that his boss had summarily revoked CNN’s James Acosta’s press credentials because he asked hard questions. This would be the same Trump Administration that sucked up to Saudi Arabia after its de facto ruler ordered the murder of an inconvenient journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.
Of course, Mr. Pence’s hypocrisy isn’t limited to free speech.
As a congressman, Pence once wrote that global warming was a “myth” and that “greenhouse gases … are real but are mostly the result of volcanoes, hurricanes and underwater geologic displacements”. He backed the war in Iraq and opposed George W. Bush’s expansion of Medicare to cover some prescription drugs.
Still not convinced? Mike Pence, according to New Republic:
But Pence also argued that presidents should be held to higher moral standards than average citizens, and that Clinton should also be impeached because had committed moral wrongs while in office. “In a day when reckless extramarital sexual activity is manifesting itself in our staggering rates of illegitimacy and divorce, now more than ever, America needs to be able to look to her First Family as role models of all that we have been and can be again,” he wrote.
Was it “reckless extramarital sexual activity” for Trump to conduct affairs with two different women? Sure looks like Pence would think so. How about having his fixer pay them to stay quiet? Can you imagine if Bill Clinton had paid hush money to Monica Lewinsky? How bout lying to voters about it? How about a President who has lied to American thousands of times? Is that the kind of “role model” Mike Pence was writing about?
WC could go on for a long time about Mike Pence’s innumerable instances of hypocrisy. There was when Pence addressed the first “Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom” in Washington D.C. Pence opened his remarks by asserting that “religious freedom is a top priority of this administration,” that this “most fundamental of freedoms . . . is in the interest of the peace and security of the world.” He then listed countries which abused religious freedom. But left out Russia, Saudi Arabia and Israel, all of whom persecute religious minorities but are lucky(?) enough to be allies of the Trump Administration.
All of which is why Mike Pence is your third candidate for Hypocrite of the Year.