I used to hear the phrase "hoist by their own petard" and imagine someone dangling from the end of a rope attached to a particularly sensitive appendage. The phrase with that thought in mind is particularly poetic these days, if not entirely accurate. Actually a "petard" is a bomb of the sort that sappers (military engineers) used to set under under walls to attack fortifications (from which we derive the term "undermine"). To be "hoist by one's own petard" is literally to have the bomb or mine, with which you are attempting to attack your enemy, blow up in your face and send you flying. Thus you are "hoist" by your own petard.
The Democrats have long been using undermining as a way to attack their enemies. One of the favorite weapons has been to attack sexist pigs (pretty much all Republicans) by finding people who have been sexually abused. Hillary Clinton famously argued that all such accusations must be given credibility as no one would ever make such an accusation falsely. She said this after destroying the multiple women who accused her hubbie of groping, fondling, raping, or propositioning them for sex. Even after he got caught getting serviced under the Presidential desk during a conversation with a cabinet official and lied bald-faced to the American people about it, Democrats lined up to defend him saying, "It was only sex!"
Of late, the Democrats are discovering how dangerous it is to attack your enemy with sexual petards while smoking long cigars yourself. The carnage has been spectacular taking down Senators, Congressmen, movie moguls, actors and journalists right and left. Women, apparently tired of being groped in the name of sexual liberation, have come out of the woodwork to accuse dozens of famous men (even one notable gay man) of everything from butt-grabbing and casting couch misbehavior to pedophilia and saying naughty words.
The Democrats should check the quality and stability of the sorts of explosives they are using to build their petards. While they've successfully damaged such notables as Roy Moore and Bill O'Reilly, they've also blown up long-time supporter Harvey Weinstein who has a whole bunch of embarrassing photos of himself with his arms around Hillary Clinton, Diane Feinstein and other Democrat women who all seem to be smiling and enjoying the embrace of the old Hollywood lech.
The list is getting embarrassingly long including such notables as Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer, Kevin Spacey, Al Franken, and Louis C.K.* The latest "shocking" accusation has been a complaint filed with Minnesota Public Radio against lovable 75 year-old liberal curmudgeon and humorist Garrison Keillor, who was terminated immediately by MPR. Kellor, ironically, recently defended Democrat Senator and professional comedian (ah, but I repeat myself) Al Franken over his sexual indiscretions saying that the accusations against Franken were "low comedy" and should be forgiven. Keillor went on to say, "A world in which there is no sexual harassment at all is a world in which there will not be any flirtation."
It is the irony of progressive liberalism that the so-called "party of the people" claims that it will usher in an age of liberation in which a utopia of sex, drugs, and rock n' roll will surely follow the worldwide adoption of the principles of socialism. Yet in every case, almost the first thing the new socialist dear leaders do is ban rock n' roll, make drugs unobtainable (even the pharmaceutical ones) and make sex a dangerous proposition. There have never been more grim societies than the ones that first promised to create a worker's paradise. Hitler, Mussolini, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and all the rest of them created grim societies based on repression and shared misery. The sex, drugs, and rock n' roll crowd were inevitably the first ones up against the wall.
Newsweek attempted to blame it all on Republicans claiming the Democrats had borrowed the technique of claiming sexual misconduct against political opponents from Republicans. "They did it first," is the liberal journalist's talking point, as though Bill Clinton boning the interns was the first time any politician was ever called out on sexual misconduct. Even Bill Clinton isn't safe now as both sides have opened fire with all their guns. Clinton, himself, the poster boy for "it's only sex", is currently being fed to the journalistic wood-chipper by fellow Democrats who, as Winston Churchill famously described it, "...are feeding the crocodile hoping it will eat them last."
CS Lewis more than a half century ago pointed out the danger of allowing ourselves to be governed by "omnipotent moral busybodies". The great danger in seizing for yourself the unearned moral high ground is that the morally superior almost inevitably morph into grim, judgmental, iron-pantsed hypocrites and if you've given them any power over you, they will be determined to exercise that power over you. Robber Barons, as Lewis pointed out, may eventually be satisfied and stop robbing you, but those who boss and bully you with the approval of their own conscience never get tired of it and always become progressively more oppressive.
© 2017 by Tom King
* I've begun to think it's all part of a feminist plot to take over the world. Men are getting scarce anymore on news programs and the ones that are left have been very polite to their female colleagues lately. I'm noticing male journalists wear a kind of hunted look lately, sitting there alone, the only source of testosterone on a long talk show couch that reeks of estrogen and anger from one end to the other.