Is there anyone in the world of politics and entertainment who isn’t actually a scumbag in disguise? We’ve watched celebrity after celebrity fall from grace over the last couple of years. The latest is, of course, Subway’s longtime pitchman, Jared Fogle. After years of building a pop culture image based around healthy eating, Fogle has pleaded guilty to a string of disturbing charges relating to sexual encounters with minors and child pornography.
So, yeah, another one bites the dust.
Now, let’s watch as conservative news sites embarrass themselves doing the very thing they claim to despise. Only days after the Jared scandal erupted, The Daily Caller – among many others – posted a photo of Jared Fogle posing with then-Senator Barack Obama in 2007. This is apparently meant to make us link the two. Oh, of course Obama was a friend of Jared’s. God knows what those two pervs got up to on Capitol Hill. It’s absurd. We can be just a little bit better than this.
You don’t have to have an iron memory to remember liberals playing this game with Josh Duggar. The Republican Party has a Josh Duggar Problem, screamed one Daily Beast headline, complete with a photo of Duggar arm in arm with Mike Huckabee. For a solid week, Republican candidates were asked relentlessly about their relationship with Duggar and where they stood on the allegations against him. None of this had anything to do with anything. And to be frank, these questions were still more politically relevant than the Obama/Jared insinuation. Duggar really was a potent political force, and he really did have some powerful allies in the GOP.
The extent of the Obama/Fogle connection? As DC puts it themselves: “Fogle was on Capitol Hill back in ’07 to lobby on behalf of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. He also met with President Bush during the same trip.”
At best, this photo was a lame attempt at clickbait. At worst, it’s that most-dreadful of political approaches: team loyalty. Hurr durr, when Obama does it, it’s bad. When a Republican does it, it’s not bad. That makes sense. That’s a hell of an ideology to build your house upon.
Conservatism at its best is not hypocritical. It isn’t “gosh, let’s defend Bill Cosby long after it’s blindingly obvious that he was a terrible human being.” It takes a little backbone to admit when one of your guys isn’t what you thought. It takes a little restraint to stay out of the bottom-of-the-barrel tit-for-tat game. It takes a little more thought and a little less emotion.
Let’s leave the finger-pointing idiocy to the left. Let’s raise our game.