Op-ed: The hypocritic oath

  • By Bob Franken
  • Wednesday, November 22, 2017 11:28am
  • Opinion

Primum non nocere. That’s Latin, folks, for “First, do no harm.” It’s actually not in the physician’s traditional Hippocratic Oath, which is Greek anyway. That’s probably a good thing, because lots of doctors do lots of harm. But let’s turn to politics, and the Hypocritic Oath. There’s no such thing, but there should be. Translated from the original Pig Latin, it is: “Be sanctimonious if you want, but don’t get caught doing the very same thing you’re so holier-than-thou about, otherwise it’ll bite you in the butt.” That is a very loose translation.

Among those it has bottom-bitten is Sen. Al Franken. He goes first because we’re related. We’re friends, so anyone who’s not happy with what I say here can rip me a new one. Al has been outspoken about female rights, but don’t you know, he stands accused of physically imposing himself on fellow performer Leeann Tweeden while on a USO tour 11 years ago. Not only that, but he was photographed pretending to grope her chest while she slept. It was tasteless, to say the least, and stupid. Now a second woman has come forward to say that while she posed with Franken at the Minnesota State Fair, he grabbed her rear end. So, is he a hypocrite? Al himself says he is. In his apology to Tweeden, he wrote: “I respect women. I don’t respect men who don’t. And the fact that my own actions have given people a good reason to doubt that makes me feel ashamed.”

Our next stop on our hypocrite parade is TWEETUS, Mr. President. No sooner had Sen. Franken been hoisted by his own petard than President Donald Trump took to Twitter to bang out: “The Al Frankenstien picture is really bad, speaks a thousand words.” First of all, he misspelled “Frankenstein.” Secondly, if there’s anyone who should be avoiding this subject, it is Donald Trump, who is charged with all manner of sexual violation. Fourteen women that we know of have claimed that they were his victims. He’d often brag about such things.

Nevertheless when press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked what’s the difference between Franken and Trump, she responded, “Sen. Franken has admitted wrongdoing, and the president hasn’t.” How absurd is that? First of all, the Trumpster, in point of fact, did confess to wrongdoing. Listen again to the tape from 2005 when he joked about women and how he would simply “Grab them by the p——.”

Trump, of course, is from the never-admit-anything school, much like Roy Moore in Sweet Home Alabama. Moore has been credibly accused of being sweet on just about any teeny-bopper in a skirt back when he was in his 30s, which was nearly 40 years ago. He stands accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old, among others. Moore denies it all. In spite of the fact that nearly every Republican leader in Washington says he should abandon his Senate bid, he’s refusing to. He’s rallying his fellow Christian fanatics who are normally sternly prudish about sex — except when it comes to their boy Roy, and Donald, of course.

But let’s spread the love; hypocrisy is definitely bipartisan. With our sudden interest in purging all piggishness, those leading the charge are the very same ones who ran interference for Bill Clinton back when he was president and faced a drumbeat of credible charges. That’s because he supported their progressive agenda. Monica Lewinsky and Paula Jones were just two of the women they savaged. They have a lot to answer for, and so does Hillary, who was criticized by enemies as being her husband’s perv enabler. Now she’s telling a radio interviewer that “Every situation has to be judged on its own merit,” meaning husband Bill’s situations were somehow different. They were not.

Obviously, there’s a huge difference between politicians, certainly now, but there’s one thing they have in common on all parts of the left-middle-right spectrum: Most of them are card-carrying hypocrites.

Bob Franken is a longtime broadcast journalist, including 20 years at CNN.

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