Bill Cosby once said, "If a white man falls off a chair drunk, it's just a drunk. If a Negro does, it's the whole damn Negro race."
As someone who describes himself as a conservative, I know that the perception is that we're all closet hypocrites. We say one thing and do another, we hold others to a higher standard than we do ourselves. But I think there's more to it than that.
It's the idea that there can and should be objective criteria for proper behavior that is so hateful to some people. The idea that some things are just right, and other things are just wrong, no argument, end of story, is impossible for them to accept.
And if they can find someone who calls for such criteria faltering, they've got to jump on him with the "hypocrite" label.
I remember something my late grandfather said about Jim Bakker and his well-publicized fall. I was too young to remember Jim Bakker too well, but I remember what my grandfather said. The people who showed the images of Jim Bakker in manacles were happy because that was Jesus they were sending to prison. I think it's true, symbolically. Bakker, as a preacher, was a representative of Christianity for millions of people. His fall meant that what he claimed to stand for was no good, either, and all the people who stood for it were dupes or fools for believing in it.
There's a similar glee in the fall of Rush Limbaugh. This time it's not Christianity, though, but American conservatism. For years, Rush has been one of the preeminent faces of conservatism, surviving the Clinton years, outlasting Newt Gingrinch and others I can't even remember. The same charges of hypocrisy are leveled against him as they have been against William Bennet, most recently.
I guess what bothers me so much is the joy that people get from seeing a fellow human being suffering. But I guess it's what I should expect.