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Maybe Even True

In some ways, George W. Bush has paid remarkably little price for using deception as his made method of governance. Looked at another way, though, the price is rather high. Take this story, for example, which reflects rather well on the administration, if you believe it. Well, while I'm not saying that I don't believe it -- I have no evidence indicating that it isn't true -- I have no way of knowing the truth about something like this except to take their word for it. And after having been lied to -- over and over again, over a period of years, about every major policy initiative this administration has undertaken -- I'd have to be some kind of idiot to take their word for it. So, it may well be the case that government officials, some fairly low-level and anonymous, some fairly high level, have done an excellent thing over the course of this past week, but if they have, they're not going to get any credit from me for it, because the only basis I have for thinking it happened is the say-so of a gang of liars. It's sort of sad.

August 8, 2004 | Permalink

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Comments

eh. 72 hour rule.

Posted by: praktike | Aug 8, 2004 4:32:49 PM

Before I'd believe much of anything, I'd have to hear from someone who's not a political appointee.

Posted by: Tim H. | Aug 8, 2004 5:17:06 PM

True?

No. Chance. Whatsoever.

Posted by: Cassius Chaerea | Aug 8, 2004 5:28:40 PM

This sounds so, so, so much like Republicans after 4 years of Clinton.

Posted by: Bob McGrew | Aug 8, 2004 6:16:58 PM

Pantsload sent his wife and daughters to the Citicorps Building--a supposed target. I suspect he does hate them, but would he really do this if he believed that such a threat were out there?

Also, he's not hiding out in Crawford for this.

These two facts do tend to make one wonder even if they don't constitute proof.

Posted by: Conrad N. Sawyer | Aug 8, 2004 6:37:56 PM


Kevin Drum has something up to similiar effect. It may be that the most recent alert was legit, but nobody trusts Bush enough to be sure.

To me this is a telling argument against the "It doesn't make any difference any more" school of Bush apologetics. According to them, the lack of WMD, al-Qaeda ties, mass graves, and (apparently, now) democracy-building didn't really make any difference, because we did get rid of Saddam, we did put a fright into our enemies, and we did put down a footprint in the Middle East.

But there is a long-term cost in using deception (and also, BTW, the quite different practice of partisan bullying). You destroy the trust that you might end up needing.

Of course (where's mcmanus?) if you abrogate civili liberties and democratic process, trust is less essential.

Posted by: Zizka | Aug 8, 2004 6:40:18 PM

This sounds so, so, so much like Republicans after 4 years of Clinton.

Right, except for the part where Bush actually did most of the things he's being accused of and Clinton didn't. You are quite right, however, that the Right has irrevocably poisoned the political discourse. I tend to simply assume that a conservative politician is lying, covering for a sinister agenda, on the take, et cetera. It has the virtue of saving time, and I am so very rarely proven wrong.

Posted by: Kimmitt | Aug 8, 2004 6:43:20 PM

The sorry sight of those who believed Bush & Co. in the past about -anything- is a pretty effective deterrent to belief now. We're at the 'regrets only' stage, I'd say.

Posted by: A different Matt | Aug 8, 2004 7:24:58 PM

"where's mcmanus"

mcmanus remains maximal tin-foil paranoid, if this is what zizka asks. I am encouraged by the polls and Kerry's obvious advantage, in that the coup will be harder to disguise. I am also encouraged by what appears to be their obvious incompetence in even using terror to Bushco's political advantage. Is this all they have?

No,it is not. They are not yet frightened at all. You will know it when they believe they will lose. I am resting my outrage glands for after the convention.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Aug 8, 2004 8:38:30 PM

And again:

...using deception as his made method of governance.

Don't you mean "main method of governance"?

You know, I'm not even proofreading this stuff. I'm just reading it and it juts right out and disturbs the flow. Now your other mistake, no for know is somewhat understandable, but this? Are you still high from partying last night? What'd ya take? Or maybe some hot Krugman groupie done rocked your world and you're still wobbly inside 'n shit. C'mon boy. Out with it. We don't need details, we just want to know: Yes or No. Let's out with that nookie report pronto.

Posted by: Barry Freed | Aug 8, 2004 8:49:43 PM

From the article:

"Townsend and Rice said the administration was concerned that terrorists will try to disrupt the Nov. 2 election."

If I hear this line of garbage one more time, I am going to seriously go batshit and join Mr. McManus at the compound. No big loss, I live in Texas, which is like having no statewide election at all anyway.

Posted by: norbizness | Aug 8, 2004 8:53:30 PM

Credibility. Whew. My tipping point was the revelation about the Medicare prescription bill, that they lied to Tom DeLay about the cost. They fucked Tom Delay, and he just bent back up and wiped himself. At that point I knew they just didn't care. Why would DeLay take it? It isn't as if Bush is so overwhelmingly popular that he can intimidate like a FDR or Johnson or Reagan. Just the opposite, deliberately. They are me in high school, 5 foot 4 and the football linemen were scared of me. Because I was fucking crazy.

Bushco deliberately plays at the edge. The campaign is deliberately aimed at the Red States and base, and DeLay knows he is not going to pick up any nice margin from Wisconsin or Michigan. He will have less than a dozen seats to play with in the house. Bushco likes it that way, prefers maximum intimidation and threats to bribes and comfortable margins.

Of course they lie. They revel in putting Tacitus and Reynolds and Volokh and every Republican in the position:"Omigod what am I gonna do?"

"With us or against us, and if you are with us, know we expect your right arm and left nut. We go down, we are taking you with us, all the way to hell. But if you are against us, spend a lot of time praying we don't win."

This administration will be remembered as incompetent, corrupt, and radically evil. But not passive or indecisive.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Aug 8, 2004 9:51:45 PM

Almost as amazing as the continuously "evolving" (slithering? slinking?) storylines put out by the administration are desperate attempts by their apologists to keep up with and defend the almost whiplash inducing shifts in policy AND spin.

Bringing up and article from the NYtimes or a righty blog from 2002 and comparing it to what is being posted now is startling, you actually have a lot of these guys literally arguing with themselves. Of course situations change and being able to change with them is key, but when you go from "there are definitely WMD and nukes" to "at least we liberated the country" to "we cant expect them to have a democracy over there realistically" I wonder that how they have the balls to describe anyone else in the world as a "waffler".

Posted by: JasonDL | Aug 9, 2004 1:53:39 AM

It's almost laughable to think he hasn't paid a price for his deception. If that were true, he'd be cruising towards re-election.
The Problem Bush had isn't that he lied, but rather that his lies have hurt a lot of people. People forgive lies that make life easier for them. But people, who will allow themselves to be decieved, will turn on their deceiver the minute these lies cause them pain or stress. His bottom hasn't dropped out primarily because of the human need to maintain consonance of thought, especially among his followers. (this means that they simply HAVE to believe Bush was always right and would never lie or their perception of reality would become seriously challenged.)
He doesn't just damage his legacy. He's made it a lot more difficult than most in the media have realized for himself to gain re-election. People don't really care about whether someone is "technically" lying or not.

Posted by: Soul | Aug 9, 2004 2:48:02 AM

What Kerry Advisors are thinking...

This is a continuation of my efforts to show my Republican pals what the Democrat intelligentsia is thinking so we can A- incorporate any good ideas they might have and B - defeat them in debate and ultimately, the election.

They admit that kerry is "hilariously mediocre" while they continue to misunderstand and lie about W's policy successes which, I remind you, are;

1 - The "tax cut for the rich" is exactly the right kind of tax cut to goose the economy in the short term and increase the slope of the economic growth curve and job creation in the long term.

2 - President Bush has created two nascent democracies in the middle east where there were terrorist supporting dictatorial regimes. No democrat would ever have the nerve and balls to make such an undertaking although they now say it is a good idea but they would have done better by being more "sensitive."

3 - Bush, Ascroft, Rumsfeld and Ridge should be honored for protecting America so well that there have been no more successful attacks on America since 9/11. Does any thinking individual believe Gore et al could have managed that superhuman feat?...

http://pep.typepad.com/public_enquiry_project/2004/08/what_kerry_advi.html


Posted by: Adrian Spidle | Aug 9, 2004 10:05:16 AM

Crawl back in your hole, Adrian, and shove your fucking spam up your ass. I saw that shit twice already on DeLong.

Posted by: Zizka | Aug 9, 2004 10:49:45 AM

Adrian:

1. yeah, that's working.

2. Kinda like Lord of the Rings

3. And that elephant gun in the corner of the room must be working cause I don't see no elephants.

Posted by: judson | Aug 9, 2004 1:25:52 PM

The "tax cut for the rich" is exactly the right kind of tax cut to goose the economy in the short term and increase the slope of the economic growth curve and job creation in the long term.


Well, except that -- as most economists recognize -- even though some tax cuts might be good for short-term economic stimulation, that Bush's were exactly the wrong kind for that end, and are even less well suited for any long-term purpose.

President Bush has created two nascent democracies in the middle east where there were terrorist supporting dictatorial regimes.

(1) The Allawi regime in Iraq isn't a "nascent democracy", its a externally-imposed military dictatorship that has announced future plans of trying to become a democracy, even though it keeps expanding its "emergency" dictatorial powers.

(2) The Karzai regime in Afghanistan -- also lacking effective control of much of the country -- is similarly not yet fairly labelled any kind of democracy, though its closer for the first test of whether or not it can make that transition. It is also, one most note, not in the Middle East, but rather in Central Asia.

No democrat would ever have the nerve and balls to make such an undertaking although they now say it is a good idea but they would have done better by being more "sensitive."

Well, no Democrat would, I admit, have the nerve to try to create a "nascent democracy" in the "Middle East" by invading a Central Asian country, to be sure.

OTOH, its hardly the case that no Democrat has ever militarily intervened in a foreign country and worked to install democratic rule afterward. Heck, even the most recent Democratic President did that.

Posted by: cmdicely | Aug 9, 2004 5:03:23 PM

Bush, Ascroft, Rumsfeld and Ridge should be honored for protecting America so well that there have been no more successful attacks on America since 9/11.

Ignoring the LAX attacks, and the Anthrax attacks, and numerous terrorist attacks on US personnel and facilities outside of the 'Homeland' since 9/11, sure.

Does any thinking individual believe Gore et al could have managed that superhuman feat?...

No, I don't think Gore could have gotten partisan Republicans to ignore that many attacks to pretend that there were no post-9/11 terrorist attacks on the US.

Posted by: cmdicely | Aug 9, 2004 5:06:30 PM

As it is axiomatic on the left that no one opposed to them really believes anything he says, it is also axiomatic that everything the other side says is automatically a lie. Given this, I suppose I should view a discussion that even posits the smallest possibility that the recent terror warnings are not just more Bushwa as a positive development.

What Howard Dean and his amen corner think is predictable, but uninteresting because it is uninformed. Bush may be lying through his teeth or telling the unvarnished truth, but Mr. Dean, et al, lack access to any means of objectively deciding the point. At the risk of introducing a discordant note about verifiable reality into the proceedings, I pose the following question: Has any Democrat currently serving on the House Intelligence Committee expressed the opinion that the recent terror alerts were constructed of whole cloth? These folks are in a position to see enough of the gears and wheels inside such announcements. What do they have to say?

'This administration will be remembered as incompetent, corrupt, and radically evil.'

And that would differ from how the left remembers every other Republican administration how, Bob?

'According to them, the lack of WMD, al-Qaeda ties, mass graves, and (apparently, now) democracy-building didn't really make any difference, because we did get rid of Saddam, we did put a fright into our enemies, and we did put down a footprint in the Middle East.'

Syntax question, Ziz: By putting 'mass graves' in the preceding list, do I understand you to mean that you do not believe that any mass graves were found in Iraq? From past acquaintance, I know you think none of the other three items specified were found/are findable in Iraq. Or did you just mean to phrase this a bit differently?

Posted by: Dick Eagleson | Aug 10, 2004 11:44:24 AM

"And that would differ from how the left remembers every other Republican administration how, Bob?"

Eisenhower wasn't so bad. And it is not merely a perception. A) Economic performance correlated with which party controls the White House. B) Number of Cabinet-level or near cabinet-level WH officials indicted or pardoned, by party controlling the WH.

"I know you think none of the other three items specified were found/are findable in Iraq."

It is early yet to look for the new mass graves to be found in Iraq. Shoot, Allawi has only been a charge a month or so. I can steer you to a new one in Afghanistan, if you like. Dostum-made.


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