When departing Senator Jeff Flake indicated, the other day, that he would vote to place President Trump’s nominee Brett Kavanaugh onto the Supreme Court — despite the ugly accusations of Kavanaugh’s youthful sexual misconduct — much re-tweeted actress Alyssa Milano called him a “coward.”
We understand what she means. Because Flake “caved” to pressure from his party* — the GOP — he proved himself “spineless,” in another Twitterer’s terminology.
But the thing is, calling your opponent a coward because he does not do what you want is at least a bit odd. One does not approach a knight defending his castle and call him a coward for not surrendering.
Weird world, eh? Where our enemies are cowards for opposing us!
This is not new. Remember George W. Bush calling the terrorists of 9/11 “faceless cowards”? Bill Maher lost his comedy newschat show at the time because he made the obvious point that people who give their lives to a cause, even if terrible, are anything but cowards.
Human beings are a mixed bag — of virtues and vices. This should be treated as a given . . . for folks on all sides.
In one sense, however, Ms. Milano and many others in the Twitter brigades are not wrong. In politics, today, our biggest challenge is often resisting the besetting sins of our respective tribes.
But the fact that she and her friends “call out” the Senator for his partisan moral failings while rigorously maintaining their partisan ranks does not exactly indicate a moral heroism transcending partisanship.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
* Some Republicans likely regard Flake as “caving” to pressure from the left, by calling for an FBI investigation before a Senate floor vote on the Kavanaugh nomination. Flake did this after a confrontation with two women who were victims of sexual assault.