Scarborough’s Hypocrisy on Hypocrisy

There are few things more amusing in politics than when someone accuses a political opponent of being a hypocrite on the very same issue on which they are being a hypocrite. Wingnut preacher Rick Scarborough does this over the filibuster issue, accusing President Obama of being hypocritical (and he is) while ignoring the log in his own eye.

When he was a U.S. Senator in 2005, Barack Obama supported the judicial filibuster enthusiastically: “Everyone in this chamber knows that if the majority chooses to end the filibuster, if they choose to change the rules and put an end to democratic debate, then the fighting, the bitterness, and the gridlock will only get worse.”

Scarborough: “Senator Obama was right. President Obama is wrong. You would think the spectacular failure of ObamaCare would have tempered his hubris. Instead, it’s fed his already enormous ego. Truly, this president is out of control.”

Hey Rick, let’s take a look at your opinion in 2005 when you opposed the judicial filibuster and started a whole campaign to get it eliminated.

In his home town of Pearland, Tex., Baptist minister Rick Scarborough was tireless in promoting his conservative Christian way of thinking.

He attacked high school sex education courses, experimental medical treatments and transsexuals trying to change their gender identification. He recruited like-minded candidates to run for the local school board and city council. He crisscrossed the country to protest the ousting of Roy S. Moore, former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, for installing a Ten Commandments tablet at his courthouse. And Scarborough created a network of “Patriot Pastors” to lead evangelicals to the polls in 2004.

Now he has set his sights on bigger stakes: pushing Senate Republicans to change the rules so that Democrats cannot block President Bush’s judicial nominees. The fight over the judgeships was once a largely academic argument over the constitutionality of the filibuster. But now it provides a fiery new front in the culture war. And Scarborough is emblematic of the Christian right leaders who have been drawn to the fray…

Scarborough is part of a constellation of Christian right and socially conservative groups that are spending millions to mobilize their followers to pressure the Senate to try to break a Democratic logjam blocking some of Bush’s most conservative and controversial judicial nominees…

Even some of Scarborough’s adversaries say they were impressed by how swiftly he has ascended in the filibuster debate. His biggest public relations coup was a conference he organized in Washington last month titled “Confronting the Judicial War on Faith.” The event attracted considerable media attention and featured DeLay via video calling for Congress to “reassert our constitutional authority over the courts.”

So now Obama was right in 2005 when you were screaming that he was wrong. How convenient for both of you.

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  • Reginald Selkirk

    He attacked… experimental medical treatments …

    What? One of these is not like the others.

  • colnago80

    Hey, Obama’s thinking on the subject “evolved”, just like his view on same sex marriage “evolved”.

  • Jordan Genso

    President Obama’s statement…:

    Everyone in this chamber knows that if the majority chooses to end the filibuster, if they choose to change the rules and put an end to democratic debate, then the fighting, the bitterness, and the gridlock will only get worse.

    …could absolutely have been true when he said it, and no longer true today. The Republicans have already decided to amplify the fighting/bitterness/gridlock to the point where they can’t really get any worse, and so that means his statement is no longer a reason to not get rid of the filibuster.

    Ed, you’ve not yet shown how the president is hypocritical, rather than making an appropriate adjustment to his position based on the current environment.

  • scienceavenger

    @3 Indeed, false equivalence mega fail. I don’t see how what the GOP is doing with the filibuster now (filibustering judicial appointments simply because they don’t want the courts remaining seats filled) is remotely similar to what the Democrats were doing when Senator Obama made his statements.

  • Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

    I’m with Jordan Genso. The circumstances are quite different now because of the way the Republicans have abused the filibuster in recent years.

    You might as well accuse the government of hypocrisy because it used to allow knives on airplanes and now it doesn’t.

  • Ichthyic

    4thing Genso. context is everything.