Monday, July 24, 2017

Don't Cry for Sean Spicer

Last week Sean Spicer resigned as the press secretary for Der Trumpenführer.  Some have congratulated him for finally saying he would no longer prostitute himself for Trump.  Others have, in my view, rightly condemned him for every taking the position in the first place and put himself in the position of having to repeated Trump's lies and untruths on virtually a daily basis.  To me, Spicer embodies the larger problem with countless Republicans today: they are amoral - if not outright immoral - and will do anything to further themselves and/or hang onto power.   Each of us has to make decisions daily as to whether we put morality first or perceived self-advantage.  Perhaps I can't let go of my Catholic upbringing where somethings were simply wrong and immoral, but when in doubt I side on the side of morality.  Would that more Republicans, especially those in Congress did so.  A piece in Politico lays out what Spicer deserves no sympathy.  Read the piece and apply it to Trump supporting Republicans in general.  Here are highlights:
The White House attracts all manner of toadies, suckups and flatterers seeking the president's favor, but never did any staffer demean, degrade and humble himself to the chief executive the way outgoing press secretary Sean Spicer did. Abandoning the arts of both persuasion and elision that have served previous prevaricating press secretaries so well, Spicer flung barb-tongued lies in the service of President Donald Trump.
Starting with Trump’s inauguration weekend, which Spicer declared “was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period,” through last week, when he lied that Donald Trump Jr.’s Russian meeting was about “adoptions,” Spicer never failed to fib when a fib would serve the president. Had Spicer’s White House Briefing Room comments been sworn testimony, he would face so many years in prison for perjury that a dozen Trump pardons couldn’t secure his freedom. Had his nose grown with every Pinocchio he uttered, it would have reached the moon.
What thanks did Spicer earn for his months of debasement in service to Trump? The early and steady drumbeat from the Oval Office that the president was “disappointed” in his performance, as CNN’s Jim Acosta reported in early February, and never-ending whispers that he would soon be sacked, which finally came true today. He gave Trump the red blood of his undying loyalty. Trump gave him the pink slip.
Reviewing Spicer’s tenure as press secretary, we find no Trump transgression so foul that Spicer would not grovel before it.
When Trump made the baseless allegation that millions voted illegally in the presidential election, Spicer defended him. He slammed the media in general for a “default narrative“ that was “always negative” . . . The one thing that kept Spicer from lying for Trump full-time was poor access to the Oval Office. The Washington Examiner and others have tallied the times Spicer couldn’t answer a reporter’s press briefing question because he hadn’t talked to Trump about the subject.
Professing ignorance became the safest of safe harbors for Press Secretary Know Nothing. It was probably the only time he wasn’t lying.
Spicer wasn’t born a liar. In an oddly predictive utterance, he volunteered in January as he boarded the Trump White House that he never lied because, among other things, lying destroyed credibility and rendered a spokesman useless. If he was being honest about not being a liar, his streak ended with that first press briefing, . . . And he lied so, so willingly.
By the end of his active tenure as press secretary—which we can date to June when the administration started platooning in Sarah Huckabee Sanders for on-camera briefings—Spicer had become the Lord Haw-Haw of the Trump administration. That’s a mighty harsh appraisal. Lord Haw-Haw was, after all, a British citizen who broadcast German propaganda into the UK from Hamburg during World War II.
Lord Haw Haw’s willingness to say everything and anything that would serve his masters finds its parallel, albeit cleansed of the unspeakable Nazi taint, in Spicer’s peacetime opportunism. Nobody took Lord Haw-Haw seriously. Like Spicer, he was just noise on the margins of the signal, a continuing joke that wasn’t very funny considering the stakes involved.

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