“Hypocrisy: Prejudice with a Halo” (Ambrose Bierce)

Now what could possess me to write about hypocrisy in a political blog? (That was a joke.)

And who would be the biggest hypocrite in politics right now? I think the blue ribbon goes to Jim Boehner. This would be the same Jim Boehner who is Speaker of the House since the bloated-budget slashing Republicans now have a majority there. Jim (We Must Cut The Deficit) Boehner is against all forms of waste in the government. He is also death on earmarks—or pork as it used to be called. This is the guy who used to be a little bit moderate in his conservative beliefs until all the the new, ultra-conservative representatives took their place in the House—and since he is their leader, he must get out in front and lead them to ever new heights (or depths) of budget cutting.

And just how does this qualify him for the biggest hypocrite award? Boehner is from the State of Ohio. Ohio is where General Electric and Rolls Royce are building an engine for the new Joint Strike Fighter that is in development. Now, it is true that every jet fighter needs a good jet engine. Without one, it absolutely will not fly. So there’s nothing to fault him for here. But is this engine “the” engine for the JSF? No, it is not! You see, the real engine for the JSF is being built by Pratt and Whitney in Connecticut. So why is a second one being designed and built in Ohio?

“Hypocrisy is a fashionable vice, and all fashionable vices pass for virtue.”

No one seems to know. This engine is the most unwanted orphan of any military project. The president does not want it. (That would be neither President Bush nor President Obama.) The military does not want it. Both have tried multiple times to get funding for it cancelled. Yet it has lived on, seemingly disconnected from anything that would give it life.

Jim Boehner, Republican from Ohio, anti-waste, anti-pork, and budget cutting leader, has kept it in the budget just so he can bring home the bacon to the voters who continue to send him to Washington. And that, my friends, is hypocrisy of the highest order.

“The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity.”
                                                                                        – Andre Gide

Now, just to be fair, I have to say that the house finally—finally—is voting this year to take it out of the budget. That is over the objections of Speaker Boehner. So here’s to you, Speaker Boehner, the coveted Batman Two-Face Award.

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2 Responses to “Hypocrisy: Prejudice with a Halo” (Ambrose Bierce)

  1. Jason says:

    As someone who has followed the development of the JSF program, and who has studied fighter jet engines, let me say that this story has more to it than most people recognize. The General Electric F136 turbofan provides a literal ton more power and (if I recall correctly) is a more efficient engine than the Pratt & Whitney F135. It is a slightly better engine being offered at a comparable price. The motivation to choose the Pratt & Whitney engine is primarily political, and not based on actual performance. (There is, however, a potentially reasonable assumption that the F135 will be cheaper to maintain because the technology is older.)
    Regardless of that potential shortcoming, as someone who knows jet engines, the F136 engine should not be canceled. In my considered opinion, it is in fact a better choice.

  2. garywalmer says:

    I am amazed that one young man knows more about selecting a jet engine than the top brass, engineers, jet engine propulsion specialists, experts in the matching of engines and airframes, purchasing experts and everyone else involved in the JSF project.

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