Wednesday, November 09, 2005

It's the Lying, Stupid... 

There's one thing that everyone who's ever been in a relationship knows: after that first big lie, it's very hard to trust again. I'm not talking about the husband swearing he took out the trash when he didn't. It's more along the lines of, say, the wife claiming she was out with her girlfriends when she actually met up with her old high school flame, or the husband insisting there wasn't a stripper at his brother's bachelor party when he was the first one offering up a twenty for a snatch in the nose. And this theory applies to politics as well. Clinton's "lie" was comparatively small, because it really didn't matter to anyone but himself, Hillary and Chelsea, whether he did or didn't have sex with Monica Lewinsky. That is -- it was a big lie in terms of his own relationship, but meant nothing to the country at large.

And then we have W, who lied, lied, lied, lied, lied, big time, about WMD, about intelligence, about why we had to go to war. And most of America has caught on to him, as evinced by this poll (kudos to Eschaton for the tipoff). Fifty-seven percent of Americans believe that he "deliberately misled people to make the case for war". (Sigh. When will pollsters and the media replace the weasel word "misled" with the real word, "lied"?)

But... now we have bombings in Jordan and arrests of missile smugglers and all the booga booga and hoo-hah, and the trouble is, the majority of us can't trust anything W says. If he got on the news tomorrow and said that they had ironclad, irrefutable evidence that X group of terrorists were going to nuke Y city the next morning, that same majority would listen to the news and shrug it off with, "Yeah, right...", wondering which Administration fuck-up the announcement was meant to distract us from.

And that's a sad state for a government to be in. Simply put, we can't believe a damn thing anyone in this Administration tells us anymore. They've squandered our trust the same as a cheating husband who insists that what his wife's private detective photographed didn't really happen. ("This isn't lipstick. It's... um... transmission fluid. Yeah, that's it. I was working on the car at four in the morning, but you didn't hear me in the garage...")

A sane wife would yell, "Bullshit" and file for divorce. A sane electorate is beginning to yell the same. Now it's time for that divorce. It's called impeachment, and it's the duty of every loyal, patriotic American to call on their Congressman to do something about it, to start the process; to save the country from the lying liars in power. And if our elected officials won't do their damn job, it's our duty to vote them out of office and replace them with people who will.

Richard Nixon keeps coming to mind as the benchmark bad Republican by which to measure W, but you know what? As evil as Nixon was, his crimes and misdemeanors don't approach one one-hundredth the venality of BushCo. Nixon only damaged the reputation of the presidency among Americans and, frankly, because we did the right thing back then and began impeachment proceedings, driving Nixon out of office, we repaired that reputation with the world. But, no matter how awful he was domestically, at least Nixon was an international politician, and other than a certain little inherited debacle (coughvietnamcough), dealt rather well with the world at large. Say what you want about the man, he did at least establish relations with China -- or "Red China", as we quaintly called it at the time. W seems to be doing everything he can to make the Chinese decide, "America? Fuck 'em. We will bury you." And, unlike the Soviet Union, China has the population and the economy to do it.

To appropriate a phrase from another evil Republican, it's morning in America -- and the majority is finally, finally waking the hell up. Given recent election results in California, Pennsylvania, and several other states, it looks like the Republicans are in deep deep shit, with no possible way to dig themselves out of it, short of repudiating the clowns in power and going back to their real base. Because, liberal though I am, I at least respect true conservative ideals, which have nothing to do with banning abortion or outlawing gay marriage or forcing religious dogma into the schools. The true conservative agenda is simple: keep government out of my life and out of my wallet. Ironically, all those other trappings of the culture war would be anathema to a true conservative. A real conservative may not like the idea of gay marriage, but a true conservative would be the first person to say that government had no business deciding who could get married and who couldn't.

Those are the people that the Neocons have abandoned -- the socially open/neutral, fiscally conservative Republicans. And those are the people who are going to become odd allies with all us flaming liberals. Any so-called Republican who wants to survive what's going to happen, electorally, in the next year, had better repudiate BushCo, smell the coffee, and start those divorce proceedings pronto.

"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, well..."

We won't be fooled again.

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