Sleazy Souls Behind Sanctimonious Shiboleths


You will hear that America has lost its moral compass, that the nation has forsaken the teachings of Christ and is following the primrose path to perdition. You will hear about the erosion of the family, the rise of forbidden sexual behavior and the acceptance of such abhorrent practices as abortion. And you will hear all this from some of the sleaziest souls on earth.

I watch and listen in amazement as folks I know look to the skies for self-righteous approval as they condemn gay marriage and cite Christ in support of their intolerance. And I wonder at their lack of knowledge of the New Testament and their absolute reliance on Old Testament proclamations intended as guidance for a long-lost culture.

Their obdurate rejection of logic is evident in their opposition to abortion while refusing to accept society’s responsibility for children once they are born. They protect the fetus at all costs and abandon the child, however needy, when it emerges from its mother’s womb.

But the thing that astounds me most is the widespread acceptance of the moral authority claimed by Republican leaders.

How can anyone believe that these people represent “the party of family values”?

Surely, by now, everyone knows they are opportunists and hypocrites who are exploiting the beliefs of well-meaning Americans to promote their political ambitions?

Anyone who reads the newspapers, watches TV or listens to the radio must be aware of the myriad transgressions of Republican politicians who have trumpeted morality through the years.

As a recent example of the hypocrisy that drives the Republican Party, consider that fundraiser in which Mitt Romney (photo above, right) inadvertently bared his soul.

The host of the $50,000-a-plate fundraiser was private equity manager Marc J. Leder (photo above, left).  And Mr. Leder is infamous for his saturnalian parties.

While exposing Romney’s candid dismissal of nearly half of the American people as parasitic moochers, Mother Jones Magazine also quoted this description in the New York Post of one of Mr. Leder’s house parties:

It was as if the Playboy Mansion met the East EBond at a wild party at private-equity titan Marc Leder’s Bridgehampton estate, where guests cavorted nude in the pool and performed sex acts, scantily dressed Russians danced on platforms and men twirled lit torches to a booming techno beat.

How’s that for “family values”?

While Mr. Leder’s wild parties are bad, I think his professional behavior is worse. His private equity firm makes millions by acquiring companies and driving them into bankruptcy. In the process, current and retired employees are stripped of their pensions.

You might accuse me of resorting to “guilt by association” for using Mr. Leder’s soulless behavior to criticize Mr. Romney. But  Mr. Leder is not just a zealous Romney fund raiser, he is also the Republican candidate’s friend and business associate.

Here’s an excerpt from a New York Times story quoted in Mother Jones:

Years ago, a visit to Mr. Romney’s investment firm inspired Mr. Leder to get into private equity in the first place. Mr. Romney was an early investor in some of the deals done by Mr. Leder’s investment company, Sun Capital, which today oversees about $8 billion in equity.

You might say that’s just the way of the world, or at least the way of the free market in which Mr. Romney made his fortune and which he promises to provide for Americans if he becomes president. But it certainly is not the way that Jesus advocated.

Click here for the Mother Jonese article.

Click here for another take on Marc Leder.