These two stories are filed under “If Donald Trump did it, Leftists would lose their shit.” First, Democrat Senator Sheldon Whitehouse got caught at an all-white private beach club. Then, Joy Behar of “The Spew”… I mean “The View” made a questionable, but funny joke after the show reported on the first openly gay active player in the NFL. Behar talked about losing interest after a report mentioned “penetrating the end zone.” Even though Whitehouse and Behar caught some flack for their actions, most Leftists defended them using the same basic defense.
To paraphrase a popular credit card commercial from my youth, “Allyship has its privileges,” and it’s worth exploring in deeper detail to find out how allies obtain a Get Out of Leftist Outrage Free card.
What the Left thinks it means – someone who supports causes and ideas in line with the Left
What it really means – someone who can get away with just about anything until it becomes problematic
At the risk of being accused of “whataboutism”, it’s clear any conservatives or Republicans who said and did what the aforementioned heads of knuckle said and did, the Left wouldn’t be nearly as dismissive. If anything, it would be a talking point for, oh, the next 5 or 6 lifetimes showing how bad the Right is. And that’s not speculation, kids. That’s what the Left always does.
What separates the bad behavior on the Left from the bad behavior on the right is what you could consider a body of work. Both Whitehouse and Behar have been consistent Leftists, so Leftists say we have to put their bad actions in the context of the good they’ve done. And, surprise surprise, all the good they’ve done is based around…being on the same political side! Funny how that works, isn’t it?
Take someone like Strom Thurmond. Yes, he has a history of supporting segregation, but he was also instrumental in desegregating Augusta National, allowing blacks to play on the Masters course. For all of his faults, Thurmond didn’t just pass legislation and pat himself on the back for “doing something positive”; he actually did something positive. But, as Trent Lott can attest, the Left will never forgive Thurmond or put his contributions to the black community into a favorable context.
Compare that to how the Left treats Robert Byrd, a literal member of the Klan. He spent decades sowing hate, but says he’s grown up and things are kosher?
Not to me, but if the Left didn’t have double standards, they wouldn’t have standards at all.
And really that’s what we’re dealing with when the Left tries to add context to a hateful comment or an off-brand message as a means to get people to assume it was just a one-off and we should move on. However, the good someone does cannot and should not be used as a shield when he or she does something reprehensible. At the risk of invoking Poe’s Law, it would be like the Left saying Adolf Hitler wasn’t that bad a guy because he was a vegetarian later in life. The two don’t cancel each other out. A bad act is a bad act. Just ask Carrot Top.
That’s where the Left gets into trouble here. By being lenient with allies, they send the message it’s okay to be an asshole as long as you think a certain way. In Whitehouse’s case, he was promoting Black Lives Matter just a year ago, but his current actions (as well as his unfulfilled promise to quit the club, only to become one of the owners) show he was never truly committed to BLM as a movement. He adopted it as a political move because all the “cool kids” were doing it.
With Behar, it’s a bit different. She has been on record many times as being pro-gay, which is absolutely fine in my book. The joke she made was off the cuff and, although humorous, could be construed as anti-gay. She tried to brush it off as not being suitable for daytime TV, which kinda pours more salt into the wound here. She didn’t apologize for the comment being possibly offensive to gays, only that it wasn’t appropriate for daytime TV. The other hosts of “The View” all enjoyed the joke, except one.
Meghan McCain, a Republican who also supports gay rights.
Guess who got more hate mail.
That should be a big rainbow flag that someone who supports gay rights, but doesn’t have a D on their voter registration card, is still not considered a full ally. Say what you will about McCain’s commitment to the GOP and her stance on the subject, but she has at least been consistent in her condemnation of anti-gay sentiments, even when they come from her fellow cohosts. In a “This Is Why Twitter Is Bizarro World” twist, many gays came to Behar’s defense, saying they didn’t find the joke offensive and we should recognize her as an ally, while others bashed McCain for not laughing at the joke.
Granted, some Leftists will say I’m cherry-picking two examples that make the Left look bad. If only that were true. People like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Louis Farrakhan have been skating on their actions, statements, and behavior. Ditto with Ted Kennedy, Robert Byrd, and Bill and Hillary Clinton. And their numbers keep growing, with the addition of “The Squad” and other duplicitous Democrats. Wow. Seems to be a bit of a pattern forming, don’t ya think?
This should make a lot of Leftists reconsider what being an ally really means. Is it saying and thinking the right things, or is it actually doing something positive outside of the political and ideological realms? Speaking personally, actions speak louder than words, and no matter how you try to spin it, Joy Behar and Sheldon Whitehouse’s actions, it’s clear they’re using their allyship as a shield to protect them from valid criticism. It’s just lip service to the people directly affected by what they say, which makes their commitment to being an ally questionable at best.
The only way to address this behavior is to call it out and hold allies to a higher standard. Remember, these are people who allegedly support your personal causes. Even if there are only a few bad actors, all it takes is some attention to these bad actors to make your cause look like Tammy Faye Bakker: clownish and bad.
And given how Sheldon Whitehouse and Joy Behar look now after their actions, that might actually be an improvement.