This from Jonah Goldberg, a self-righteous bag of gas from the National Review's Dept. of Calling the Kettle Black, cited gleefully by Charlie Sykes:

But the Left has another solution. Under its system, you can still be a moralizer. You can still tell people what to do and how to live. And, best of all, you can still fall short of your ideals personally while guiltlessly trying to use government to impose your moral vision on others. All you have to do is become a liberal moralizer.

Once you become a liberal, you can wax eloquent on the glories of the public schools while sending your kids to private school. You can wax prolix about the greedy rich while making a fortune on the side. You can even use the government to impose your values willy-nilly, from racial quotas and confiscatory tax rates to draconian environmental policies and sex-ed for grade-schoolers — all of which will paid for in part by people who disagree with you...

The point is simply this: Hypocrisy is bad, sure. But it’s a human failing that should fall upon the individual in question. What the left wants to do is use hypocrisy as a cudgel to declare that conservative ideals are categorically illegitimate because some conservatives fail to live up to them.

Excuse me, but isn't that exactly what Goldberg just did in his rant about "the left," whoever that is?

There's hypocrisy and there's moralizing, although the two often cross paths.

I learned long ago, before officially becoming a lapsed Catholic in my youth, that the way to avoid committing a mortal sin was to develop what was called "a lax conscience."

To commit a mortal sin, you had to know something was seriously wrong and decide to to it anyway. If your conscience was lax, or elastic enough, you could eliminate a lot of those sins -- especially the ones involving sex. All you needed to do was decide they weren't seriously wrong.

No more problems with "impure thoughts" or a lot of other hangups. Having discovered that major loophole, life certainly involved a lot less guilt.

Of course, once you cross that line you are in no position to offer moral advice to others, let alone condemn them.

Which brings us to the thrice-married Mr. Sykes, who has moved seamlessly -- with perhaps a little overlap -- from one partner to the next.

Does that make him a hypocrite?

In my book, it makes him a hypocrite only if he is talking about the sancity of marriage or condemning extra-marital sex.

But in a more general sense it disqualifies him from moralizing or judging anyone else's moral standards.

Making such pronouncements and judgments, of course, is what he does every day.

Submitted by xoff on