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Oprah is a hypocrite

November 21, 2009 5 comments

From James Taranto’s “Best of the Web,” a fun Wall Street Journal daily feature:

Deadline Hollywood reports:

She explained to insiders, “Why would anybody stay in Chicago? It’s freezing here, and I have a mansion in Montecito that I haven’t been able to enjoy.”

The report adds that “Oprah and her people have long limited the time she spends in Montecito so she doesn’t exceed the number of days mandating her to pay exorbitant taxes as a California resident.”

Oprah is a liberal, as everyone knows, and was easily President Obama’s most prominent celebrity supporter during the campaign. And I certainly understand why she wouldn’t want to pay California’s exorbitant taxes, but I’m a conservative, so if I were as rich as Oprah I’d be expected to avoid lifestyle and business decisions that would increase my tax liability.

But how do liberals like Oprah get away with this hypocrisy? A progressive who avoids the progressive taxation of her own income?

This kind of tax hypocrisy you see in rich liberals is more egregious than your average adulterous conservative’s hypocrisy … more egregious by a long shot. Here’s why.

When a conservative cheats on his wife — let’s say mere days after opposing a gay-marriage bill, he’s not by any stretch of language a hypocrite. To be a definitional hypocrite, the conservative man would have had to marry another man and voted against gay marriage. Right? If we’re being clear and precise in defining hypocrisy? He most certainly would be an asshole for cheating on his wife after voting against gay marriage, sure, but he’s not a hypocrite for opposing gay marriage while doing so. The left’s definition of their favorite word is far too broad. (And besides, if you define hypocrisy so broadly that our example’s a hypocrite for not maintaining the sanctity of his own marriage while seeking to impose his definition of marriage on the rest of society, what exactly are you saying? That he fell short of his own ideals? Who doesn’t? By that yardstick, all are hypocrites, which either renders the term utterly meaningless or requires us to define it a bit more narrowly, as I’ve done.)

So, when Oprah — a strong Democrat who supports Obama and the Democratic platform plank that the rich exist to finance the lifestyles of the Rest of Us — as an exquisitely rich woman, does what she can to minimize her tax liability, is she not the very embodiment of hypocrisy? Even more so than the Republican who cheats on his wife but opposes gay marriage?

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Categories: Liberalism, Oprah, Society