Listen, I realize the adage that you know when a politician is lying is when their kips are moving is mostly true, I really do get that and the latest crop of Republicans, led by Speaker of the House John Boehner, elevated lying to new heights, but before I get specific, let me caution you that the lying we are being fed now is sprinkled with generalized truth and just enough of it to make you stop listening to the entire lie being told. It's an art form and Boehner is a master artist.
The Republican Lie Machine (RLM) deserves a little historical telling. Politics is and has always been about abandoning the truth as a method of fighting for your point of view. It happens at all levels of government from your local school board to your President, that is nothing new, of course. But under George Bush the First Karl Rove rose to prominence and then was actually fired by the first George for his "tactics" before sonny boy decided that Rove was his kind of guy.
Karl Rove, very much a genius, was, I remind you, the man behind the slandering of John McCain during the President Gore victory of 2000 and effectively lied their way to winning the national Primary season and hand delivered the worst President this country has ever known, so lying does have a cost, especially in politics.
Rove was also deeply involved in the outing of former CIA agent Valerie Plame putting her and the life of her family at great rick and incredible danger. Rove learned in college that the art of lying was both profitable and powerful when done properly and with clear intent. Lying for lying sake was never his goal and the better he got at it the better he personally did. It just so happened that the better he did the more of his friends were elected to public office and well, we know the rest of the story.
John Boehner is and was a student of Karl Rove, his top student. Many of us who have been reporting on politics for many years now have watched John Boehner embrace the politics of the second Bush era and thrive in that political system. The horrific events of 9/11 created strange bedfellows even within the Republican Party and most political observers will tell you that at the beginning of the George W. Bush era many Republicans were very uncertain of him and most did not trust him. When 9/11 happened somewhat understandably there was a rush to support him and the RLM was born and called into full time service.
I won't recall all of the examples of the eight disastrous years of lies that fractured the country and handed us the current political system we have today, but you do need to understand its origin to fully appreciate how rampant it is because many of us have slowly and consistently come to accept what we have as a political system and actually appreciate it.
The RLM is in full force now that the SOTU is behind us and John Boehner in an extended interview with CNN yesterday was full blown drowning in lies wrapped in truth.
Although it is true, as he stated, that we are broke as a country, he lied about how we got here. He and Rep. Paul Ryan who gave the Republican Response to the SOTU took great pains to lie about our debt and how we got there, I must remind you that the most compelling lie and the most damaging one is that the Stimulus and TARP funds have failed to make a positive difference. It is a lie of the highest order and all economists have surprisingly greeted the remarkable effect of these programs and the return on investments as much more than anyone would have predicted, and much sooner. Although it is true that the Stimulus did not slash unemployment to 7% it did end up saving 2.5 million American jobs. Someone want to tell me why that's a failed attempt?
Although Boehner truthfully said that the Stimulus funds did put us further in debt, clearly the truth, he and the RLM fail to mention that without that finding many industries would no longer be viable and we would be suffering greater failures than Greece and Ireland currently are combined.
The lie wrapped in truth is bothersome is so many ways, but the one singular strategy that eats way at my patriotic soul is the slow and steady and simple idea that if you repeat something enough times people will begin to believe it, and it is true whether you will accept that or not, it is true.
The RLM is fueled by that simple action. Keep saying it and people will believe it. If you get more people to say it then more people will believe it and even when I point out facts to support my rebuttal to their lies I am met with anger and vitriol and I am accused of defending my liberal point of view instead of defending the truth. Yeah, it gets old but I will not quit!
Another truism that Boehner embraced in his CNN interview is that we need to make hard cuts to our budget, but what he failed to mention is that the Bush Tax cuts that angered so many Democrats at the end of the last lame duck session when the country was held hostage by Boehner who was happy to punish the unemployed, forced and won an extension of those tax cuts that would have immediately sent $1.5 TRILLION back into the treasury. You can buy lots of stuff for that kind of cash, including retiring lots of debt. By the way, just to be clear, that is called a lie of omission.
The RLM takes on many forms, Rep.'s Paul Ryan and Michelle Bachmann being two of those forms. Fact checking their claims made during their respective responses clearly points out their inclusion in the RLM club.
Listen, everything I am writing here is checkable with a simple search engine trip. If you don't believe me just spend 30 minutes finding the truth out for yourself, as I did and you'll be surprised how correct I am.
Let me caution you that the only way things change is if we force change and read that any way you want. Until we say enough is enough it will continue to go on and the further we get in the worse the mess gets. Yeah, politicians tell the truth but never the whole truth and maybe you don't want the whole truth but if that's the case then you just have to live with what you are given to live with. Do we have options? Sure we do and it's a simple as doing some quick fact checking and then making a real decision based on that information after reading BOTH sides of the story. That's a start. Are you willing?