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The Projection Room


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James Carville, back before Mary Matalin succeeded in ruining him as a force for good, once made the following point:

Newt Gingrich, as a young congressman in 1988, was the loudest voice in hounding Jim Wright, the Democratic Speaker of the House during the 1980s, out of office over a $55,000 book deal.  Newt then himself went on to not only take a $4.5 MILLION book deal from HarperCollins, a Rupert Murdoch imprint, but went on when he became Speaker to push for the repeal legislation that kept Murdoch — who was then not yet a US citizen — from owning any US TV networks.  (That's how FOX News came to be, by the way.)  Essentially, if a Republican accuses somebody of doing something, you can be sure that the Republican is doing it at least eighty times worse.

Fast-forward to CoupGate, aka the Clinton Impeachment Insanity of 1998-2000.  Gingrich was but one of a number of Republican horndogs and adulterers — Henry Hyde, Helen Chenoweth, Dan Burton, Dick Armey, to name but a few —  wagging their fingers at Bill Clinton for having got hummers from a female to whom he wasn't married.

And let's not forget my own personal favorite Republican politician and malefactor, Philip Giordano, the former mayor of Waterbury, Connecticut — who if all the votes had been counted in Florida in 2000 would have been appointed by Connecticut's Republican governor at the time, John G. Rowland, to serve out Joe Lieberman's term — just as the cops were about to bust him for raping prepubescent little girls.  He's now in the Federal pen — though I don't know if it's the same one where Governor Rowland would himself spend some time in the years following Giordano's downfall.

It's not just conservative politicians that are hypocrites:  Look at Michelle Malkin, clutching her pearls in front of a fawning Howard Kurtz over a few anonymous comments left on Huffington Post bare weeks after sending her readership out to go after Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan (and around the same time as when she cut loose with some incivility at the CPAC shindig).  Or William Donohue, the anti-Semitic woman-hater who attacks people for being "bigots".   

Oh, and let's check out some of the prominent politically conservative TV preachers of past and present, shall we?  Billy James HargisJim BakkerJimmy SwaggartTed Haggard.

Going back to James Carville:  He wasn't the only one who observed the conservative and Republican tendency for doing the very things they accuse others of doing.  Molly Ivins noted this phenomenon, too.  In fact, she borrowed a term from the psychiatric lexicon to describe it:  "Projection ".

Republicans and conservatives indulge in projection for at least two (2) reasons that I can determine.  One is because they wish to deflect attention from their own shortcomings.  The other is because the press generally doesn't call them on it.  (Contrast the willingness of the US news media to broadcast right-wing media figure Michelle Malkin's accusations of incivility against lefty bloggers — without noting her lead role in promoting incivility among her fan base.)

Let's collect up the various examples of "Do as I say, not as I do" among the cons.  Feel free to drop them off in the comments below.

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