June 5, 2003
I'm From the "Show Me State," And I Don't Like Liars
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
Missouri, as most Americans know, is nicknamed the "Show Me State," as in "show me the goods or you're just a liar." As in, "I'm no fool." As in, "You talk up a good meal, but whereĎs the bacon?"
Some of our readers have criticized our almost daily chastisement of Tom Daschle and Nancy Pelosi for their chronic inability to convincingly denounce the serial lying and radical, 19th Century agenda of the White House. Here's our response: We won't stop taking them to task until they either start standing up for the truth or step down from their leadership positions.
Americans are a people of basic decency and common sense. If they knew the truth about the dishonesty of the Bush administration, the chemistry of the current politics in this country would be radically altered. Bush couldn't get away with one quarter of the extremist surgery he is performing on this nation, if only the Democrats would out him as a liar.
Most Americans don't agree with the Luddite Bush Cartel on almost any domestic policy issue or on foreign policy, based on the facts. What they end up supporting is policy sold to them on the basis of lies, deception and the strategic character assassination of opponents.
Unfortunately, neither the Democratic leadership nor the pro-Bush media is interested in standing up for a government based on honesty and truth. We think Tom Daschle or Nancy Pelosi would make decent honest presidents, but they make lousy leaders of the opposition party. They are, indeed, nothing more than token opposition to an administration that is dismantling our constitutional democracy, day by day, through slash and burn legislation and regulatory bonfires. Pelosi and Daschle act is if nothing special is going on here, as if the lying and deception don't matter. If they don't show outrage at the dishonesty and extremism of the Bush White House, why should the average American?
But the lying and deception of the Bush administration would matter to the vast majority of Americans, if only someone would tell them the truth.
The Bush administration can only survive as long as the Grand Canyon gap between its phony "compassionate conservative" and "anti-terrorism" image and the reality of its Darwinian notions of government and a partisan "show" war on terror is not exposed by the media and Democratic leaders.
During the build up to the war in Iraq, extremely large percentages of Americans were led to believe that Iraqis hijacked the 9/11 airplanes, that Iraqis were an active partner with Al Qaeda, and that Iraq had WMD that posed an imminent threat to the United States. It was on that basis that they supported the war (although the majority of support was contingent upon U.N. approval). Because most Americans supported the Iraq war according to the polls, Democratic leaders reasoned that they had to back Bush without qualification. (This was despite the accounts by most Democratic Senate offices that the phone calls, faxes and letters to the offices were running overwhelmingly AGAINST a war with Iraq.)
This is what happens when the Democratic leadership allows this administration to build domestic and foreign policy on a pyramid of lies that go virtually unchallenged.
Polling last week indicated that more than 70% of Americans thought that the post-war occupation of Iraq was going just fine -- and that more than 40% thought that Weapons of Mass Destruction had been found in Iraq (and this was before Bush brazenly declared that two pre-fabricated trailers used for dry cleaning uniforms or something like that were WMD, a mind boggling whopper that he once again got away with.)
What's clear here is that if the Democrats don't expose the Bush administration's "lying with abandonment," they will never win the presidency or congress in 2004, because no one is telling the American people the truth. Therefore, voters believe the "branded product" of Bush that Karl Rove is selling on television is an "honest" product. Why shouldn't they? No one is telling them otherwise.
We believe that most Americans have the Missouri "show me" spirit of common sense. But the Karl Rove spin machine is masterful at putting out stories that are lies or misleading and never clarifying them, or dropping a correction on a late Friday afternoon when the press won't make anything of it (which they probably wouldn't anyway).
It is true that the Democratic leadership faces the daunting challenge of taking on both the Bush lies and the fawning media that burnishes his public image while ignoring the hypocrisy that undermines it like cockroaches swarming under a dazzling Persian rug. But when Democrats like Robert Byrd and Bob Graham have exposed the Bush administration, there has been media coverage. The media thrives on conflict, but in the absence of a Democratic effort to criticize the lies of this administration, the corporate media is not inclined to pursue the story on its own.
The problem for Daschle and Pelosi is that they are too timid, too strategically inept, too driven by consultants, and too concerned about the polls. They react to the polls instead of creating communications strategies that will change the polls. And the communication strategy that Americans are starving for is to find someone who will tell them the truth. Polls are subject to change. They are just a photograph of opinion captured for a moment in time. Perceptions and opinions reflected in polls CAN be changed, but it requires leaders who lead, not leaders who follow.
People write us and say, "You must stand up for Daschle, he is under attack by the Republicans." Since the beginning of BuzzFlash.com, we stood up for Daschle again and again. But there comes a point when we can't continue to stand up for him if he won't stand up for the truth. And to stand up for the truth, you have to expose the lies of the opposition. Otherwise, he is enabling their web of lies to cast a spell over this great nation.
If Daschle can't fight for the truth, how can he fight for himself?
In a recent interview, Sidney Blumenthal said: "I believe that no attack should go unanswered. You have to correct the record. There are two reasons for that: If you don't, people won't understand you, and two, if you don't fight for yourself, why should people believe that you'll fight for them." (from Salon.Com)
We would add, if you don't point out lies and denounce them to the highest mountain top, how do you expect people to know what the truth is?
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
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BuzzFlash Note: We have warned before that there is an outside chance that Karl Rove is letting the doubts about WMD build up in order to plant WMD's at a later time. This would then cut the wind out of the sails of any Bush WMD detractors -- and make Bush impervious to criticism about lying in the future. Watch out for this one; it could be a Karl Rove blue plate special.
Even should that happen -- and the Democrats would never get it together enough to prove that the WMD's were planted -- just remember that Bush lied his way into office, and has been lying ever since. Because he was enabled from the beginning, including the 2000 campaign when his National Guard duty was not made an issue, his lies have grown to the point that they are so brazen that they have become almost banal.
otherwise noted, all original