Tuesday, April 26, 2005

We lie, but we love

No one should be astonished anymore that many of their alleged leaders lie right to their face, even when all available evidence absolutely proves the truth is otherwise. Heck, any cub reporter figures that out after the first week. The recent "nuclear" swerve is just the latest example. Yet I'm always struck by the example of James Baker in Jeffrey Toobin's book on the 2000 election. Day after day, Baker insisted that "The vote in Forida was counted...The vote in Florida has been recounted" when, of course, the exact opposite was true.

Eighteen counties, in fact, have never gone through an automatic recount, as required by Florida state law, even to this day.

Anyway, that's a rather long windup to this post by Digby, who has a good reflection on the practice:

For instance, Matt brings up the fact that the Bush administration has hired convicted congressional liars from the iran Contra era. But, one must also remember that those same convicted liars were all pardoned by George Bush Sr at a time when he was personally under investigation by a special prosecutor, thus effectively ending the probe. Immediately after Senior left office, however, there began a relentless series of demands by Republicans for special prosecutors investigating a list of shockingly trivial charges that eventually led to the impeachment of the president. The Republicans didn't worry that someone would make comparisons that would embarrass them. They are unembarrassable because they have found that they can ignore the prinicples of relevant difference, the universality principle, the golden rule or whatever you want to call it, and there will be no repercussions.

It may be that this is caused by a media that refuses to take a stance on even factual matters, which leaves people with the impression that there are no standards except those which are imposed by the loudest, the most powerful, the most entertaining or whatever. It's a big problem for us in the reality based community, however, because we remain stuck in this rational mode of argumentation while they careen off into a relativist fallacy whenever they choose.

Exactly right. As Toobin notes in his book, the Republicans don't care that they do things that are easily exposed as hypocritical or wrong or dangerous. They don't care that they lost the popular vote in 2000, but they do ram their far-right agenda through as if they'd won by a 20 percent landslide. It is a ruthlessness that is unaccountable, and they know it. That's why they win.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 11:37 AM

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