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?