Observations on the world today.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Which is Worse, The Lie Or Pointing Out the Lie? 

Everybody, and I mean everybody on the left seems to be taking Nicholas Kristof to task for this editorial. So why should I be any different?

Kristoff writes:
I'm against the "liar" label for two reasons. First, it further polarizes the political cesspool, and this polarization is making America increasingly difficult to govern. Second, insults and rage impede understanding.
Well, let's take that second point first. While he is correct that insults and rage for their own sake impede understanding, I feel that justifiable rage can awaken a disinterested electorate. It's why I supported Dean. As for insults, it depends on the insult. Calling Rush Limbaugh (for example) fat serves no purpose, but calling him a hypocrite does. Simarly, calling Bush a former cokehead is meritless (as it was when the title of former pothead was used against Clinton,) but calling Bush a liar (if true) is perfectly reasonable given that the man is POTUS. And as Kristof himself notes, it also has the benefit of being true:
True, Mr. Bush boasted that he doesn't normally read newspaper articles, when his wife said he does. And Mr. Bush wrongly claimed that he was watching on television on the morning of 9/11 as the first airplane hit the World Trade Center.
But then Kristof goes on to excuse these lies:
But considering the odd things the president often says ("I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family"), Mr. Bush always has available a prima facie defense of confusion.
Wrong. He's POTUS, President of the United States. It doesn't matter why he is lying or even if he doesn't know that he is lying. Because even if you accept this explaination, SOMEBODY in the administration knows the truth, And taken as a body, they rely on his getting away with the lies on their behalf.

So now that we have established that Bush does in fact lie, the question becomes do we call him on the lies or hold ourselves to a higher level of civility?

Well, we've been civil in the past. Bush lied about McCain, and we were civil. He lied about Gore, and we were civil. He lied about his tax cuts, and we were civil. He lied about WMD, about the threat from Iraq, about his Medicare numbers, and we were civil. And what has it gotten us?


Kristof opposes the liar label because it polarizes the political cesspool. But our family is being sucked into that cesspool, and unless we are willing to jump in and get ourselves covered in a little of the GOP shit, we are going to watch them drown. The democratic children, the twins (Medicare and SSI,) will fail. The liberal's spouse (strong foreign relations) will die. Even our left-wing mother (the ecology and the environment) will suffocate in a deluge of GOP disinformation.

Bush lies. There is no shame in saying so if it is true, and if it will get us elected into the White House in time to stop the damage before it can get any worse.


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