Tuesday Talk*: At Least It’s Honestly Unprincipled

The patron saint of the woke, Senator Elizabeth Warren, has proffered a new rule worthy of consideration.

Elizabeth Warren on the Hill today said Joe Biden gave a “credible and convincing” denial to the Tara Reade allegations, and says she’s proud to have endorsed him.

It’s not that I take issue with her reasoning, per se, as an accused’s denial is tantamount to pleading not guilty. That pretty much covers the accused’s side of the equation until the accuser proves her claim. Some might argue that Warren is being just a wee bit disingenuous, saying this only for the sake of Biden and with utterly no sincerity toward any other man. Oh, you cynical wags.

But the New York Times contains a letter from Martin Tolchin, a former member of The Times’s Washington bureau and a founder of Politico, that must be admired for its straightforward, no bullshit approach.

To the Editor:

I totally disagree with this editorial. I don’t want an investigation. I want a coronation of Joe Biden. Would he make a great president? Unlikely. Would he make a good president? Good enough. Would he make a better president than the present occupant? Absolutely. I don’t want justice, whatever that may be. I want a win, the removal of Donald Trump from office, and Mr. Biden is our best chance.

Suppose an investigation reveals damaging information concerning his relationship with Tara Reade or something else, and Mr. Biden loses the nomination to Senator Bernie Sanders or someone else with a minimal chance of defeating Mr. Trump. Should we really risk the possibility?

Martin Tolchin
Alexandria, Va.

Rarely does anyone speak out publicly, particularly when their voice is integrally connected with a media outlet that would hold itself out as a modestly credible voice, without trying to wrap up their goals in the sweet words of sophistry and rationalization. Tolchin doesn’t bother. He says it out loud, clear as could be, that Biden is the lesser of two evils and nothing should stand in his way.

While there is a strong argument, made here from time to time, that it would still behoove Biden to come to the realization that some of the policy positions he’s held and promoted, which have now come back to bite him in the butt, should “evolve” in light of his learning that he was wrong, foolish and, dangerous. Of course, the same could be said for a number of efforts to water down constitutional rights to appease the soft pain of the perpetually oppressed, but that might be too much to ask.

Is Tolchin’s argument admirable, for its honesty if not its woeful lack of principle? Is he right, that no matter Biden’s flaws, which are far too many to list, he remains better than the vulgar, amoral ignoramus, Darth Cheeto, whose only motivations are self-aggrandizement and self-enrichment? Is it better to end all the nonsensical noise of trying to rationalize away the hypocrisy of the woke, the untenability of their absurd schemes, their self-serving lies, in order to come to grips with the only hard reason at stake: To end Trump’s presidency?

*Tuesday Talk rules apply.

19 thoughts on “Tuesday Talk*: At Least It’s Honestly Unprincipled

  1. Hunting Guy

    Forget the morals of Biden and Trump.

    Which one is mentally more fit to have the nuclear launch codes?

    1. Black Bellamy

      I think most people wildly overestimate the role the president plays during or before a nuclear exchange, likely due to much Hollywood. You need a whole cabal of closely-working same-minded plus more hyphen words guys. If they’re all on the same insane plane then things are gonna fly, otherwise if the president just goes nuts nothing is going to happen.

      1. Hunting Guy

        Not in my experience.

        It would only take the president and a couple of folks at the football level to send out the codes, and a wacko president would find people that would support the launch or be afraid to oppose him.

        The launch messages go out over multiple channels to the crews. If the message decodes and the PAL values are good, the missiles launch and Hollywood to the contrary, you can’t recall them.

        And from personal experience, I know the crew would turn the keys on the ICBMs. BTDT.

        The bombers will launch and could get a recall message but once the missiles are out of the silo, it’s all over.

        IANAL, but spent most of my military career in nukes. The last tour I did nuke targeting, so please grant me a bit of expertise in this area.

  2. B. McLeod

    “To fight a devil, be a devil.”

    If it takes an alleged rapist to beat an alleged rapist, #MeToo will just have to take one (or however many) for teammates in the Big Tent. The Big, Rapey,Tent.

    After all, who could have ever foreseen that the tactic of launching “rape” claims to tar a political candidate would ever turn on the denizens of the Big, Rapey, Tent?

  3. phv3773

    The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. – F. Scott Fitzgerald

    Leadership is difficult. Folks don’t often change their minds (or evolve). A campaign is no time to pretend otherwise. Cf. Barry Goldwater, Michael Dukakis. A good campaign makes the voter think the candidate is what he wants, not about trying to make the voter changes his/her mind. This sometimes involves misdirection and decite. That’s just the way it is.

    In this particular case, I think it also involves the candidate not changing his mind when he really ought to.

  4. PseudonymousKid

    Can politics here stop being terrible for more than two seconds? I’m so glad the partisan-hack Tolchin had enough time to bash Bernie on his way to admitting he’d sacrifice his first-born to see Trump dethroned. He might be right that almost any alternative is better than Trump, but Biden being the best the Dems have to offer is downright depressing.

    Biden is going down. He doesn’t have the reality distortion field or a bunch of angry white people behind him. Dude’s a rapist because I believe Tara Reade, like I was told to. The time for principle was before, not now, well after the fact and when it’s his ass in the frying pan.

    Knowing it could be even worse only barely keeps me from lighting a torch and learning the fiddle. Where is the party in opposition to all of this? Mr. Debs, are you there? It’s me, PK. Help.

  5. MollyG

    Biden was almost last on my Dem preference list for the reasons that we are discussing now. I am a strong supporter of #metoo, and I do believe Reade, at least partially. We know Biden is gropey. But I will happily hold my nose and vote for him, because everything he is accused of, even if all of it is true, is still not nearly as bad as what we have confirmed Trump has done. So ya, I will put some of my principles on hold to get him out. I like the saying “Perfect is the enemy of good.”

    1. SHG Post author

      Is this a “perfect is the enemy of good” scenario or “terrible is the enemy of slightly less terrible”? Does it matter whether you’re on the good end of the spectrum or the bad?

    2. David Meyer-Lindenberg

      I disagree with Scott: I don’t think there’s anything unprincipled about what Tolchin said. He doesn’t cavil about #MeToo. He’s totally up front about his principle: Do whatever must be done so his tribe wins and the other tribe’s humiliated.

      But you, Molly, do strike me as unprincipled. Or rather, your revealed principles are incompatible with the ones you claim to hold:

      Claimed principle: “Strongly support #MeToo” (from which presumably follows: “Do not support alleged sexual assaulters for high office”)

      Revealed principle: “Do support alleged sexual assaulters for high office, if that support helps beat [another alleged sexual assaulter whom I dislike more/a Republican president/Donald J. Trump]”

      It’s easy to imagine that there’s yet another principle under that revealed one, and that it looks a lot like Tolchin’s. But even so, I’d much rather have a discussion with Tolchin than with you. I may find his principle repugnant, but at least I wouldn’t suspect him of saying one thing and doing another.

      1. MollyG

        It is very rare to have a philosophy which is free of conflicting principles. I do not deny that some of my principles will conflict each other, especially in extreme cases. It is then a matter of priorities, not all principles are equal. I have a principle that I do not want sexual assaulters in high office, I also have a principle that I do not want dangerous narcissist (who is also an admitted sexual assaulter) in high officer. So one principle takes priority over the other.

        Also, it is not the case where is a choice between a sexual assaulter and a non sexual assaulter, so the choice is even easier. When Biden ran against non sexual assaulters I eagerly supported them.

        1. Skink

          MollyG, I’m so glad you wrote this! My life philosophy is nearly the same!

          You see, I like whiskey. I even like whisky. Some people believe there’s a difference, but I don’t. I also like bacon, and believe it’s the best thing to dunk in whiskey or whisky. I also believe in rum. Bacon there, too. I believe bacon should be free. In fact, bacon should grow on trees, and not just some trees: bacon should grow on all trees. But that’s not exactly right, because I believe bacon does grow on all trees. I’m pretty sure I plucked a bunch off a Swamp palm tree this morning. Now if I could only find it.

          But I’m not gonna let the fact that I can’t find the bacon from the tree stop me. Even if there isn’t bacon for my whiskey, there will be bacon for my whisky. That’s the principle from which there can be no deviation: there will be bacon, even if there isn’t.

          Thank you for writing,


      2. DaveL

        Do whatever must be done so his tribe wins and the other tribe’s humiliated.

        I think this counts as a “principle” only in the sense that having bad taste counts as having taste. If this sort of thinking makes him a principled man, then it is no virtue to be principled.

  6. Howl

    I hope I’m not being out of order by bringing this up, but it is Tuesday.

    Fifty years ago yesterday.

  7. Pedantic Grammar Police

    I’m amused by all this “we must choose the lesser of 2 sexual assaulters” rhetoric. It’s not at all clear that Dementia Joe is the most electable candidate. Of course Bernie is too far left for the average Democrat, but it’s extremely common for candidates to pander to the fringes during the primary and then migrate to the center for the general, and I don’t see any evidence that Bernie would have failed to execute this time-tested maneuver. Betting on an actual literal dementia patient who is hiding from debates and interviews in his basement seemed like a huge long shot even before Reade.

    Biden’s recent “transition candidate” comments almost make me think that he is a placeholder whose only function is to deny Bernie the nomination, and that he is extremely likely to be replaced by a candidate with a functioning brain at the convention. I’m betting on Cuomo.

  8. B. McLeod

    A polling report yesterday evening showed Biden leading by a couple percentage points, which was within the margin of error. So, despite all the fevered anti-Trumpism Trump’s detractors could muster, six months out, the election is too close to call. The Democrats might still actually manage to lose to Trump a second time.

Comments are closed.