Tuesday, April 03, 2007

I truly don’t understand the current conservative mindset that lying is now an acceptable approach to politics.

I don’t get the conservative particular brand of politics, which seems to be “every man for himself, as long as I am taken care of and get everything I have ever wanted.” But that is not what I am talking about. I am talking about this infuriating characteristic (it’s no longer just a “trend”, it is now a full blown epidemic) of conservatives, when arguing whatever it is they are trying to promote or tear down, just make shit up. They feel they don’t need any factual backups or documentation. They just flat make it up, and they expect everyone else to just accept their assertions without question. When they do get questioned, which didn’t happen much in the last six years but is now starting to happen with increasing frequency, they either get very blustery and self-righteous or else pretend you never said anything.

Here are some very recent examples.

Last month, some organization calling itself “A Gathering of Eagles” formulated a plan to protect the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C. for what they termed as some sort of immediate threat of being defaced by anti-war activists. They drummed up some non-existent threat to the memorial, which no current rational anti-Iraq war protestor would ever think of even touching much less defacing, and then declared victory when they declared that over 30,000 had shown up at their march and saved the day. They are in the process of “taking back the country”. What an overwhelming defeat for all scum-sucking, terrorist loving liberals everywhere!

The problems with the scenario, of course, aren’t too hard to find. I already mentioned that the initial “threat” was drummed up in the first place. No one ever threatened to deface the Vietnam War Memorial. The second is with the “30,000” number that was constantly being trumpeted around to confirm their huge success. To give this number the proper sheen of validity, it was quoted as coming from “the National Park Service”. This flush of victory didn’t have much of a chance to last, however, as the National Parks Service came out and said, without any equivocation, that they do not give out crowd estimates and certainly hadn’t in this case. In addition to the rug of validity being pulled out from under these fine Eagle Gatherers in regard to their quoted number, no one could produce any photos of this event that showed any more than several hundred people. To repeat, there is absolutely no evidence that there was anywhere near the 30,000 that they were trumpeting.

They make shit up, and expect everyone to buy it.

Another recent example; a report from Matt Drudge (conservative hack extraordinaire) claimed (via an “anonymous source” that CNN reporter Michael Ware openly mocked and laughed at John McCain at a recent press conference, and then insinuated Ware had some sort of drinking problem. Drudge went on to inflate his moral indignation, where he called the entire episode one of the most unprofessional spectacles he had ever seen, and I believe called on Ware to be fired. (I can’t find the exact words Drudge used, as this whole story has been scrubbed from his web site.)

The problem, as you may have guess, is that this never happened. Ware vehemently denies it happened. Then video from the press conference surfaced, which showed that, not only did Ware not heckle McCain, he never even asked a question. This entire episode was fabricated. I don’t know if Drudge had a hand in the fabrication or not. At the very least, he took an unsubstantiated story from some source and just ran with it because he could use it to bash the “liberal press” over the head. And then, when the video showed, without a doubt, this event did not happen, Drudge just removes the report from his web site, and pretended it never happened. No apology, no explanation, nothing.

They make shit up, and expect everyone to buy it.

Another fine recent example is the “shopping trip” that John McCain and Lindsey Graham made in Baghdad, in an effort to show how “safe” the city is and how the press is not showing “the real story”. Yes, it is true that those two actually did go shopping. (Graham later bragged that he got five rugs for five bucks.) What ol’ “Straight Talk Express” McCain didn’t explain that he went shopping three blocks from the heavily fortified Green Zone, he was wearing body armor, was accompanied by over 100 troops and several helicopter gunships and the next day, the very market he was shopping in was struck by bombs. Yet, this little jaunt out into downtown Baghdad was supposed to prove how wrong the “liberal press” is about how dangerous Iraq is.

This story was immediately debunked by some major television news outlets, which is refreshing.

They make shit up, and expect everyone to buy it.

There are many more examples that appear every week. Just recently, Michelle Malkin charged that the UPI news organization is feeding us false information based on her unsupported/insane theory that a person quoted in a story that talked about some Sunnis being burned alive did not exist. Once this story proved to be false, that the person is question actually did exist, she just shut up and pretended the entire thing never happened. Over and over, this happens. Scooter Libby lies in front of a Grand Jury about his role in outing an undercover CIA agent. Bush lies when he said, right before the 2006 election, that Donald Rumsfeld’s job was safe and then, right after the election, Rumsfeld was gone. Bush knew he wasn’t telling the truth, and later admitted it without any shame whatsoever. There appears to be no end to the lies being generated in the current scandals regarding the firing of the U.S. Attorneys, the deplorable conditions at Walter Reed hospital and the death by fratricide of Pat Tillman.

I just do not understand this madness. I can understand people not seeing the world in the same way. I can understand different points of view. I can understand not getting along. However, how did this new approach come about that apparently says that you can make shit up and use it against your “enemies”, and then ignore the entire controversy when your lies blow up in your face? Do these people not have any honor or self-respect? How can they live with themselves? This is, according to them, the party of “family value”, of “patriotism”, of “the Christian religion”.

How can they live with themselves?

UPDATE (before it was even posted): Ah, Bush just lied again in public. He said that his military commanders came up with the idea of “the surge”, and he was just following their recommendations. In fact, it is very easy to see, if you have any computer skills at all (e.g., “the Google”), most of his military commanders were dead set against the idea. Bush fired some, and put people in place who would follow his every order. And yet, here he comes out and says this crap. Liar.

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