In a post called Is There A Pattern Here? If So, Is There A Name For It?, John Rosenberg at the Discriminations blog writes that Barack Obama:
- opposes school vouchers for poor families but sends his own children to a private school;
- supports “campaign finance reform” but opts out of public financing since he can raise more money privately under the old, presumably corrupt system;
- attests to the centrality of his religious experience in shaping his identity but regards others, who are less privileged and culturally and politically different, as “clinging” to religion;
- promises an end to bitter partisanship even though his own record (what there is of it) is one of the most partisan in the Senate and his opponent’s is one of the most bi-partisan;[More]
Of course, what John Rosenberg is hinting at is "hypocrite." He writes:.
"I know there’s a word for a pattern of saying one thing and doing the opposite, but I can’t call it to mind right now. Let’s see, it’s not “Messiah” (despite caring for the sick for the first time, halting the rise of the oceans, and healing the planet) ... it’s not “New Politician.” Oh well, I’m sure I’ll think of it in a while."
But hypocrisy is not necessarily a bad thing—the "homage vice pays to virtue," said La Rochefoucauld. In this case, it's the principles that are wrong.
The problem with Obama's leftism is what he plans to do if he's elected, not that he's sending his kids to private school. And McCain's "bipartisanship" is a bug, not a feature. He's called a maverick, because as, I wrote before, he's
- totally without party loyalty
- unconcerned with the wishes of his constituents, or Americans in general
- extremely friendly with members of the conventional media–he panders to them, they pander to him, and that’s why they call him a “maverick” rather than, say, a hatemonger.