Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Last week there was a great hue and cry over supposedly controversial comments made by Howard Dean, the new chairman of the Democratic National Committee. The outrage was mostly from members of his own party, of course. If the GOP is like a pack of rabid dogs, the Democrats, with their constant in-fighting and back-biting, are a bunch of conniving cats.

The controversy? Dr. Dean had had the outright audacity to go on live TV and call House majority leader Tom DeLay a crook, which he is; the GOP a “white, Christian party,” which it is; and the Republicans a bunch of bums who “had never made an honest living in their lives,” which they are. Yawn. Is this what passes for news these days?

Of course, what’s really offensive to those in Dr. Dean’s pretty much equally crooked, white, Christian, deadbeat party is that he had the gall to utter the obvious. In this faith-based age of the emperor’s dazzling new clothes, we don’t like it when someone comes along and points to the emperor’s bare butt. It offends our delicate sensibilities, you see.

That Democrats are worried about how actually uttering obvious truths will hurt their chances shows just how deep the rot is. Propriety apparently trumps trivialities like the suspension of the Geneva Conventions. I mean, here we are dealing with the lyingest administration in memory. That yet more new documents have shown knowingly twisted intelligence to whip up a very costly quagmire in Iraq. That has consciously employed fake journalists like Jeff Gannon for White House press conferences, and has admitted to paying real ones like Armstrong Williams with taxpayers’ money to spread lies about its failed education policies. Last week a pattern of deception by White House Council on Environmental Quality Philip A. Cooney, a former oil industry lobbyist, came to light. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Obviously—and that is the key word here—this parade of lies in every arena of public policy is not an unlikely series of coincidences, but a full-blown modus operandi.

Where’s the outrage, you ask? Well, outrage is usually reserved for things that somehow shock us. But when you’re living in a culture of lies, you become inured to lying—it’s telling the truth that causes outrage. And you know the truth must be pretty bad if people are willing to believe—actually insist on believing the utter malarkey politicians of all stripes and the media—liberal, conservative, whatever—have been serving up for the past five years.

Why are so many in the Democratic leadership more vocal in criticizing Dr. Dean for telling the truth than in criticizing the administration for its relentless campaign of lies? I may be risking stating the obvious myself here: because they, too, are part of the culture of lies.

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