Shia Altman
Shia Altman

Foolishness and hypocrisy

Sean Spicer is cringe-inducing, to say the very least. That has been evident from the very beginning of the Trump administration.

Every administration’s press secretary is always under a lot of pressure, and that is why it’s best to have a level-headed talking head who can best explain away the inevitable controversies rather than cause them. Obama’s press secretary, Josh Earnest comes to mind. Tony Snow under George W. Bush, another. You might not have agreed with them, but they were professional and they kept their noses clean.

Spicer from the start, has been as careless with words as his boss has been, and has become a cartoon caricature rather than a thoughtful spokesperson. It is not just the standard pressure of the job, an extremely difficult one, which is the reason.

Adding President Trump into the equation, and well, the weekday briefings become as anticipated by a both hungry and vengeful mostly left-wing biased press, along with comedy writers, as a dog jumping to get at its food even before the bowl is placed on the floor.

By now, everyone knows about Spicer’s April 11 morning briefing comments comparing or not comparing (whichever) Syrian president Bashar al-Assad to Adolph Hitler, even intimating Assad – evil for sure – was worse than Hitler. Spicer: “You had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.”

Although with the help of a reporter he attempted to correct himself, Spicer inartfully dug the hole deeper and then spent the rest of the day apologizing and trying to clarify. Foolish press secretary speaking instructions: 1) take foot in hand, 2) insert foot in mouth, 3) repeat over and over.

Now there was a time when I believed, long ago, that the “fringers” on either side were just playing politics to the hilt when a gaffe or scandal occurred, and they pounced as anyone would have. And hey, that’s OK. “Politics ain’t beanbag,” as they say. Everyone pounces. I pounce. You pounce. We all pounce. And so many times, the recipient of the attack deserves it.

For example, Barack Obama, after retreating from his “red line” about Assad’s chemical weapons sent his equally gullible, but no less inept, secretary of state, John Kerry to negotiate the removal of chemical weapons from Assad’s clutches.

Obama, Kerry, then National Security advisor Susan Rice (of a-video-caused-the-deaths-of-four-Americans-in-Benghazi-including-a-US-ambassador fame), and a host of other follow-the-leader sycophants, all echoed the wonderful news – Assad had no more chemical weapons! Hallelujah! Those negotiations worked out great! On to the Iranians!

See, in that case, it’s OK to pounce. It’s OK to say, the Obama administration, as it had been before and after, was fooled. But it’s not OK to say Obama’s hand-wringing wimpiness meant he wanted children to be gassed by sarin. I am not saying anyone said that, but it would be ridiculous if anyone did

In the same vein, it’s OK to pounce on Sean Spicer for his self-inflicted foolishness, this time about Assad and Hitler and “Holocaust centers” (I’m still cringing), but it is not OK to say he is a Holocaust denier as fringers on the left have done. Bigots are generally nitwits, but not all nitwits are bigots.

Once I became politically astute many years back, I learned that the fringers actually believed the looniest of claims. Fake news and more. And the hypocrisy of the left and the right is so thick sometimes – case in point, US Supreme Court nominations, you could cut it with a rhetorical knife.

But when it comes to genocide or the Holocaust, leftists and the Jewish left have disgracefully outdone themselves. And I have bemoaned them hastily describing those with whom they disagree as “Hitlers” and “Nazis,” and so, cheapening the Holocaust solely for political purposes.

Yes, Spicer stepped in it, but he misspoke without malice, and he has “mea culpa’d” more than once. No matter. The Democrats – and it’s very hard today to differentiate between the left and the “fringy” far left – along with their social media mill, went to work.

Nancy Pelosi, who I didn’t hear bash Obama for six years for pretty much allowing Assad to butcher his people, half a million, not just with conventional weaponry, but with gas, and with barrel bombs filled with chlorine and shrapnel, has called for Spicer to be fired for “downplaying the horror of the Holocaust.”

Jewish Democrat, Rhode Island congressional representative David Cicilline huffed, “Donald Trump’s White House does not get the benefit of the doubt when it comes to anti-Semitism.” But it’s OK for Cicilline to defend then Democratic National Committee chairperson candidate, former Farrakhan associate, Congressman Keith Ellison (D) MN, who has a record of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish statements with a voting record to match. (Ellison almost won! He is now the deputy chair. Great.)

At least the congressional hypocrites on the left didn’t stoop as low as the run-by-leftists, so-called, Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, “a progressive voice,” and an organization not affiliated with the Anne Frank House/Museum in Amsterdam.

These agitators put out a press release as phony as they are, claiming Spicer denied the Holocaust. And because the organization is named as it is, after one of the most famous Holocaust victims, those looking to exploit were only too willing to lap it up. Nice.

As with most scandals, this one will fade. More will be coming of course, but till then and onward, the compassionate and caring leftists who demand the worst crime in history be respected for what it is, and who sermonize about not belittling the Holocaust, will continue to call the president, Hitler, and members of his cabinet, Nazis.

Aren’t we lucky the unhinged ones are here to teach us values? I don’t know about you, but I am very touched.

About the Author
Shia Altman who hails from Baltimore, MD, now lives in Los Angeles. His Jewish studies, aerospace, and business and marketing background includes a BA from the University of Maryland and an MBA from the University of Baltimore. When not dabbling in Internet Marketing, Shia tutors Bar and Bat Mitzvah, and Judaic and Biblical Studies to both young and old.
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