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Sunday, August 08, 2004

The Son also rises 

Ron Reagan writes The Case Against George W. Bush in September's Esquire magazine.
Politicians will stretch the truth. They'll exaggerate their accomplishments, paper over their gaffes. Spin has long been the lingua franca of the political realm. But George W. Bush and his administration have taken "normal" mendacity to a startling new level far beyond lies of convenience. On top of the usual massaging of public perception, they traffic in big lies, indulge in any number of symptomatic small lies, and, ultimately, have come to embody dishonesty itself. They are a lie. And people, finally, have started catching on.
Reagan is particularly mad about the constant lying:
All administrations will dissemble, distort, or outright lie when their backs are against the wall, when honesty begins to look like political suicide. But this administration seems to lie reflexively, as if it were simply the easiest option for busy folks with a lot on their minds. While the big lies are more damning and of immeasurably greater import to the nation, it is the small, unnecessary prevarications that may be diagnostic. Who lies when they don't have to? When the simple truth, though perhaps embarrassing in the short run, is nevertheless in one's long-term self-interest? Why would a president whose calling card is his alleged rock-solid integrity waste his chief asset for penny-ante stakes? Habit, perhaps. Or an inability to admit even small mistakes.
The article includes what the democrats should be codifying and calling The List: not just Iraq, but also climate change, energy policies, security failures, no child left behind underfunding, medicare bungling -- and Reagan also notes all of the people now against Bush - scientists, diplomats, generals. Its an impressive list.
I wonder whether anyone at the republican convention will dare to mention Reagan's legacy.

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