October 27, 2003

Bush Lies Laid Bare

David Corn has authored a book "
The Lies of George W. Bush: Mastering the Politics of Deception." I think this book is going to be a huge resource for Democrats and simply anyone who wants a sane government for which they can have a shred of respect.

John Dean reviews the book in a FindLaw article "Has George W. Bush Met His Own Ken Starr?" I find Dean's review interesting because he reaches into other resources to look at presidential lies in general, accepting that all presidents lie. Taking this realistic approach, the lies can be analyzed for their severity or whether or not some of them were justified. The review is a decent read, and it recommends the book well.

If you want more of a taste of the book, the author (Corn) has his own website where he plans to add value to the book by continuing the chronicle of Bush lies. One of the pages I found most interesting is this list of Bush's top ten lies. That would be, top ten worst, I suppose. It's not only easy to digest, it may remind you of older lies you might have forgotten. As Bush seems uncontent to rest on the laurels of previous misleading statements and outright prevarications, you start ot forget that the lies are a pattern.

While we're on the subject, I want to address the idea I keep seeing float by that "Bush never said X" where X happens to be something that everybody pretty much assumed he meant from his speeches or the statements of his administration officials. Yes, on the face of it I agree that an individual is not accountable for things that people merely think he said.

However, it is an infantile evasion to say that people are unfairly characterizing your statements when your statements are so misleading that so many people consistently interpret them to mean the same thing.

Look at advertising for an example of this. Many companies make misleading claims in their ads (free checking, mobile phone plans, stuff like that). People catch on to the misleading hucksterism eventually. Usually some company will put in their ads that "our free checking is really free checking" or "we roll over your minutes, so no misleading charging for minutes you haven't used." People regard hucksterism very dimly. But the companies who made the misleading claims can nearly always claim that if you read the fine print, their buts were covered. It's bull, and consumers know it. They put it in such a way as to squeeze cash out of you.

In some cases, Bush's words were clearly counter to the truth. In other cases, he applied more art to his dodging.

When we look to Bush's implications that Saddam was an imminent threat to this country (thus justifying a preemptive war) we might not see him use the word "imminent." Is that really the point? Of course not -- it's not the use of one word that launched public opinion of the war here. It's the consistent portrayal of the threat as significant, bearing down on us, and linked to Al Qaida. Saddam was a major league asshole, and the world is better off without him. There is little need to argue that. What we do need to argue is the distortions necessary to justify a preemptive war, how the administration justifies its manipulation of public opinion, and whether we can trust this administration as far as we can throw it.

Frankly, right now I'd rather see how far we can throw them.

(tip of the hat to Lies.com for the links)

Posted by James at October 27, 2003 12:18 AM
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Ooops, I double-pinged ya...

Posted by: Steve at October 27, 2003 6:20 PM

No biggie.

Posted by: James at October 28, 2003 2:13 PM

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