Hypocrisy democracy.

When a blogger posts outright lies, it stirs a little wave of annoyance and criticism in blogdom — as it should.
When our American president lies outright, it should stir up a whole lot more.
…It is no exaggeration to say that lying has become Bush’s signature as president./…. The pattern is now well established. Soothing rhetoric — about compassionate conservatism, about how much money the “average” American worker will get through the White House tax program, about prescription-drug benefits — is simply at odds with what Bush’s policies actually do. Last month Bush promised to enhance Medicaid; his actual policy would effectively end it as a federal entitlement program.
So, why isn’t there revolution stirring among the American people? Or at least impeachment?
More distressing even than the president’s lies, though, is the public’s apparent passivity. Bush just seems to get away with it. The post-September 11 effect and the Iraq war distract attention, but there’s more to it. Are we finally paying the price for three decades of steadily eroding democracy? Is Bush benefiting from the echo chamber of a right-wing press that repeats the White House line until it starts sounding like the truth? Or does the complicity of the press help to lull the public and reinforce the president’s lies?
Go here to read documentation of only some of the little man’s lies.
Hypocrisy has been defined as the tribute that vice pays to virtue. George W. Bush lied about all these policies because the programs he pretends to favor are far more popular than the ones he puts into effect. But unless the voters and the press start paying attention, all the president’s lies will have little political consequence — except to certify that we have become something less than a democracy.

8 thoughts on “Hypocrisy democracy.

  1. Passivity. Apathy. Complicity.
    Dangerous words for a democracy.
    But, considering how many millions of Americans are on drugs of one sort or another–and I’m not saying they aren’t needed or necessary–just that they are mostly soothing (Valuim), anxiety disorder mood-altering (Atavan), cerebreally-chemical-balancing (Prozac), (I don’t really know the names or actions of these drugs, just bear with me here) all the drugs that are helping everyone cope with disorders of one sort or another–is it any wonder that we have become so complacent? We sit, transfixed, being mesmerized en masse by the media/white house spin, on a daily basis, till all the lies and rhetoric become TRUTH. What the Hell?!
    Can anyone snap their fingers, loudly, to wake America up out of its stupor, to take their seats back in the audience of the living? (Does this make any sense? I hope I’m not insulting anyone, I don’t mean to be–insensitive.)

  2. This is nowhere near the first time you speak of impeachment. One problem though… which is the answer to your question too: There is no grounds for such an action.
    Like it or not, impeachment is not a political process. It is a legal one. There is nothing illegal about a president who lies to the American public. Bush may have done it about tax reform. Clinton likely did about having “sex with that woman”. Neither could have impeachment proceding brought against him for this.
    What IS illegal, and why Clinton WAS impeached, is lying under oath. The differences between lying under oath (“swear to tell the truth….”) versus lying under oath of office (“swear to uphold the Constitution…”) is very explicit.
    Again, like it or not, lying to Congress under certain circumstances is grounds for impeachment. Lying to the public is not.
    Is there more apathy today then there was 10 years ago? 30 years ago? Hard to say. Is the main culprit drugs? A stifling 2 party system? I would certainly reserve a few seats for the mainstream media in this blame game too. Just as I would never confuse voter apathy on a federal level with voter apathy on a local level.

  3. I guess I was rambling to much to be clear. I wasn’t implying that we should impeach Bush because he’s lying. We should impeach him because
    The U.S. Constitution provides the means for preventing George W. Bush from engaging in a war of aggression against Iraq, and from advancing a first strike potentially nuclear preemptive war. It’s called impeachment.
    High Crimes and Misdemeanors
    Impeachment is the direct constitutional means for removing a President, Vice President or other civil officers of the United States who has acted or threatened acts that are serious offenses against the Constitution, its system of government, or the rule of law, or that are conventional crimes of such a serious nature that they would injure the Presidency if there was no removal. (click on my “Impeach Bush” image in my sidebar to read the rest of the charges.)
    While I think that Clinton was an idiot to let his overload of testosterone prevent him from resisting Monica’s advances, that’s no big crime against the Constitution. Yes, he did lie under oath, which was even more stupid, and, as you say, that’s the punishable crime. There seems to me to be a connection between high levels of confidence, arrogance, and assertiveness and levels of testosterone (and yes, we women have various levels of that hormone as well). I think it’s much, much worse/evil/stupid to find release for those high levels in waging an unconstitutional war than in having illicit sex. But that could be just me.

  4. Kate — I think that those of us who take “brain organizing” drugs do so not so that we can space out or drop out. I think we take them just to be able to cope with the stress and powerlessness of doing our best to turn our society into be the democratic and humane environment that it’s supposed to be and realizing that, vote or protest as we might, our voices don’t count. And then there are some of us who might commit matricide without a little help from our “friends.” :-0

  5. Well, now you really get into blurred lines. At least lies and oaths are tough to refute or have different interpretations about, which helps keep the politics out of it.
    Did Congress vote to give Bush the power to wage war? IMHO yes they did. More importantly, they are on record with a unanimous vote of which the majority are Republicans who would probably never vote for impeachment. (Yes, opinions and politics begin to creep into things. But that is… um, reality. SOrry to keep mentioning that word. THIS time though it really is a critical word.)
    Did the Senate vote to support this war? Yes they did – unanimously. Sure, it was after March 19, but when you factor this in you see how difficult it is to convince even enough about High Crimes and Misdemeanors to even get an investigation much less a vote.
    If you have any chance, it also needs to include one more thing. Since there are no hard, indisputable facts (unlike lying under oath) you have to still make a legal case and not a political one. Objectivity is a necessity, which mean the supporters for such a cause really only hurt themselves if they start talking impeach Bush at all costs.
    I’m not naive…. the GOP tried time and again for 7 years to impeach Clinton. But notice how badly they failed until they found the, um, ‘smoking gun’ of his lies under oath. Before that it was easy for the Democrats to say the GOP was running a smear campaign. After the lies it was not.
    Bush has a 70% approval rating, with 55% among Democrats. THis is a steep hill to climb. Maybe I missed the details on the link you have, but all I could find were words on what impeachment is and the history behind it. NO exactly specific charges much less a smoking gun of any sort.

  6. Hey, one last thing. A comment here a few days back said I come across as dominating and that I make others feel reluctant to comment.
    Well, first off I apologize if that is how I’m taken. In this discussion I definitely have a stance and I wish to defend it, but not at the expense of shutting out others. DO I agree that Bush should be impeached? No. But I defend the right for Congress to do it. And every voter’s right to ask for it and vote him out in 2004.
    I appreciate hearing various viewpoints. Truth is, I never expected the hard rhetoric being lobbed in Syria’s direction and it scares the hell out of me. I want to see the US agressively tackle one more thing ONLY in the Near/Middle East…. some sort of solution on Palestine. I also feel it needs to involve MANY concession from Israel, and we are the likely motivators for this to happen. So you see, I do try to keep an open mind – it’s places like this that help me form my own opinions.
    Finally, I’m taking a 1.5 day business writing course at work next month that is supposed to help me write more concisely. Now…. if only they can get me to spellcheck too! 😛

  7. Well, see, I do agree with you about the Palestine-Israel thing.
    I’ve spent my life dealing with men who try to dominate — work, conversation, decision making, you name it. I’ve learned at lot about when to hold ’em when to fold ’em and when to fight(and also when to find a way around if I can’t get through). I expect political discussions to be somewhat volatile, especially when I don’t defer. As long as you don’t resort to name calling and personal attacks, you have a right to have whatever opinion you have. It’s all a learning process for all of us.
    And I have one piece of advice about business writing (actually it holds true with most writing, but I find it’s a bigger problems in the business world). Learn and understand what the passive voice is and NEVER use it. Here’s a good explanation: http://webster.commnet.edu/grammar/passive.htm

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