Thursday, April 11, 2024

The True Ideology of Washington Is Hypocrisy

South Carolina’s Democratic presidential primary is in the books. As expected, Joe Biden received overwhelming support from the Palmetto State’s rank-and-file Democrats. Leaders of the state’s Democratic Party hope to be as consequential in the 2024 race as they were in 2020 when they delivered a decisive victory to a beleaguered and uninspired Biden campaign, spring-boarding him to the nomination.

This time around, their vehicle for relevance isn’t a full-throated endorsement from a Democratic icon like Rep. Jim Clyburn. Rather, it’s a demand by party leaders that their voters in South Carolina not support Nikki Haley in the upcoming Republican primary. South Carolina’s GOP primary is open to any voter of the state, not just registered Republicans. Theoretically, Democrats and independents could show up and support Haley. While this likely wouldn’t lead to a Haley victory, it might close the gap with Trump enough to add momentum to the Haley campaign. South Carolina’s Democratic leaders have a different goal in mind – to stop the Haley campaign in her home state, thereby ensuring the rematch with Donald Trump that the Biden campaign so desperately craves.

The unwillingness to support Haley in South Carolina is yet another in a long string of hypocritical actions by Democratic Party leaders since declaring Donald Trump to be an existential threat to our democracy. Consider that when making the pitch to Republican-leaning voters to support Biden, Democrats tell them that the fate of our democracy is more important than any policy disagreements those Republicans might have with the administration.

In South Carolina, however, they’re citing historic policy differences with Haley as a basis for undermining potential support from Democrats and independents. So apparently, the only people who need to set aside policy differences in an attempt to stop Trump from being reelected are Republicans. Either Trump is an existential threat to democracy, or he’s not. Democrats can’t have it both ways. If he is a threat, they should use every means at their disposal to stop him, including supporting Nikki Haley. It shouldn’t matter that Haley is likely to be a stronger general election candidate.

Of course, Democratic hypocrisy about the threats to American democracy didn’t start with their attempts to sabotage support for his primary opponents. In 2022, as Democrats on Capitol Hill were prosecuting the case against Trump on the Jan. 6 committee, their operatives in the field were funneling tens of millions of dollars to election deniers in Republican primaries around the country. The most egregious example might have been the Democrats’ targeting of Michigan Congressman Peter Meijer by supporting his Republican primary opponent, a former Trump administration official and vocal supporter of the former president.

Meijer was one of 35 House Republicans who voted to establish the Jan. 6 commission, one of the nine to vote to hold Steve Bannon in contempt, and one of 10 who voted to impeach Trump over the insurrection. No matter. Democrats were all too happy to support Meijer’s MAGA opponent because they figured, correctly, as it turned out, that he would be easier to beat in a general election. The Democrats’ support for “democracy” apparently only extends to times when they use it as a cudgel to win elections.

Are there Republican hypocrites in politics? Of course. Hypocrisy has become a second language for many Republican leaders. The difference is that the legacy media does a spirited job of exposing it and calling Republicans out. But when it comes to Democrats’ hypocrisy, the press wears blinders.

If hypocrisy is the true ideology of Washington, common sense is the true ideology of the American people. One of the reasons so many commonsense Americans are alienated from politics is because of all the hypocrisy. They see it. They get it.

Hypocrisy is accepted in the circles of power in Washington, D.C., because in their minds it serves a higher purpose. But don’t be fooled. The real purpose is low, not laudable: It’s staying in power. Sadly, I believe Democratic leaders actually do think of Trump as an existential threat. They are simply willing to risk a future Trump presidency because they care more about winning elections than they care about democracy itself. This Saturday, South Carolina’s Democratic voters have to ask themselves if they agree with the leaders of their party or if they are going to think for themselves and do their part to bolster democracy.

This article was originally published by RealClearPolitics and made available via RealClearWire.