More Integrity Test Results: The Bad, The Cynical, The Desperate, The Ugly And The Mind-Blowingly Stupid

denial1The last couple of days have added more embarrassing examples of desperate supporters of the Democrats, President Obama and/or the Affordable Care Act thoroughly disgracing themselves by adopting rationalizations, distortions, denial, tortured reasoning and worse to avoid holding President Obama accountable for intentionally misleading the American people for more than three years regarding whether they could keep their healths plan if they liked them, “period.”

Two aspects of this disgusting spectacle are remarkable. One is that there is such a wide and creative variation among the integrity-defying tactics taken by this distinguished assortment of pols, elected officials, hacks, flacks, pundits and journalists. The other is that after this is all over, nearly half the American public will still loyally insist on trusting the promises and pronouncements of this very same group, though they proved themselves, in this episode, untrustworthy beyond a reasonable doubt. The first of these developments is surprising. The second extinguishes all hope.

Now the latest additions to the list of shame:

  •  David Axelrod, Obama political advisor. Today on “Meet the Press, ” Axelrod chose as his truthbuster the rationalization that since the President wasn’t lying to all of the Americans he was addressing, he wasn’t lying at all. When host David Gregory asked if it wouldn’t have been more acceptable if the President had said that some Americans would have their “sub-standard” health care plans replaced by enhanced plans required by the new law, and that those might cost more, Axelrod, incredibly, answered, “Hindsight is 20-20.” Amazing: Gregory asked if, since they knew at the time that everyone wouldn’t be able to keep their plan, it was wrong to say so, and Axelrod’s answer was an admission of the pure “ends justify the means” motive behind Obama’s lie. He said, in essence, “If we knew then that the lie would backfire now, then we would have done it differently.” The President intentionally and explicitly directed his statement at all Americans—“you.” Since he knew it wouldn’t be true for all Americans, the easy, honest and responsible way to phrase it was “For most of you, if you like your plan…” He did not because he wanted to deceive those who would lose the plans they liked.

Axelrod, not surprisingly for a political hit man, doesn’t comprehend the concept of truth. If a commander tells his troops before battle, “you have nothing to fear: If you follow my orders, you will come back from this battle alive—you have my word on it,” knowing that there will be significant deaths among the soldiers, he cannot claim that he was telling the truth because his promise was accurate for some of his men. Should we trust leaders advised by people like Axelrod, who have such a false concept of honesty? Is it reasonable to trust leaders who appoint advisors like Axelrod?

  •  Bill Maher, HBO’s tedious conservative-bashing comic. You know that the progressives are humiliating themselves when Bill Maher’s spin is one of the least objectionable attempts to excuse Obama’s lie, and it’s still not respectable. Here’s Maher:

“Come on. Let’s be honest. Obamacare says basically if you have a really crappy plan, you can’t keep it. That’s the truth. Now I would say to some people, “Why do you want a crappy plan?” But some people want crap. What can I say? And because of Obamacare they are not able to keep it. To me, that is a lie.”

No, that IS a lie, and not just to Bill. See Bill, it’s dangerous to talk like this, because someone is bound to answer that you have your truth and Obama has his. But Maher also thinks that lying is justified “for something that’s good” (that is, for something the liar thinks is good, and happens to agree with Maher):

“I think it’s more like George Bush the father’s “Read my lips, no new taxes.” A campaign pledge which did not hold up to the realities of governing. And that’s a moral complexity I’m okay with ’cause I’m not twelve.”

Poor Bill thinks he’s smart, as he has said many times—Cornell grad and all. But he’s an intellectually lazy dolt. Bush Sr.’s  pledge was a promise, not a lie. It was an irresponsible promise, to be sure, but one he had every intention of keeping at the time he made it. When conditions changed, and he knew that it would be irresponsible to hold to a promise that no longer made sense, Bush broke it, as any good leader would. Obama’s statement was not made in good faith: he knew that he couldn’t keep that pledge when he made it. Maher’s sneering cynicism notwithstanding, deceiving the public to get laws passed under false pretenses is not “a moral complexity.” It is a betrayal of democracy.

  • Democratic Party Chair Debby Wasserman Schultz was the guest that led Maher to say “Come on. Let’s be honest.” Wasserman Schultz is almost never honest: if it were not for former GOP Chair Michael Steele, she would be the most inherently unbelievable party chair of all time, and that’s only because Steele’s credibility is zero, and you can’t go lower than zero. Wasserman, true to form for a parody of a lying pol who would deny that the sun is in the heavens if it was necessary to defend a fellow Democrat, simply told Maher that Obama didn’t lie, and made no coherent argument to justify her claim:

“It was not a lie. Let’s just be very clear, so let me knock that down right away. When the president and myself and every other Democrat that talked about that if you like your health care you can keep it, that was referring to the overwhelming majority of Americans who had health care — 85% of Americans had health care coverage to begin with — and in fact, what the reality of Obamacare is, is that not only are they able to keep their health care, but it is very likely going to cost less and have better benefits.”

Uh-huh. How does Wasserman’s Schultz’s statement rebut the fact that the President said, for three and a half years, that those with health care plans they liked (obviously these were the Americans who had healthcare, Congresswoman, but thanks for that pointless clarification) could keep it–“period!”—and millions can’t, and he knew they wouldn’t be able to when he said it? It doesn’t. Wasserman Schultz’s method of advocacy is to just blather on and fill air time with denials and hope the idiots in the audience are somehow convinced by her gibberish. Does she think this is a real argument? I wouldn’t be surprised.

  • The New York Times, former great American newspaper. This is ugly. This is the self-debasement of a once great journalistic institution. You know what the New York Times’s excuse for the President is? Are you ready?

“Mr. Obama clearly misspoke when he said that.”

Yes, its editorial really said this He just made a mistake! Twenty times or more! For three and a half years! Oopsie!  Over and over again, as it was repeated and debated in the media. That isn’t what he intended to say at all! That “period’ stuff? Just a random, mistaken rhetorical flourish!

I don’t care how liberal you are or how much you want to defend the President: if you place any trust in a news source this hopelessly biased and lacking in integrity, you are a fool.

  • Bill Press, talk show host and former “From the Left” warrior on CNN’s “Crossfire. Press is an MSNBC host without a show on MSNBC; he is so biased and unable to apply objectivity when Democrats are in the wrong that he can almost make you feel sorry for him…almost. But not when he stoops to the worst rationalization of all, as he did this time: at least Obama didn’t kill anybody. Here’s Press, an Ethics Dunce to the core of his soul:

“What about President Obama, did he, uh, tell the exact truth? I’d have to say no. Should he have conditioned it? Yeah! He should have said, and Congressman John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) said this yesterday on our show, the president probably should have said 99 percent, he would have been absolutely right on. Or he should have said, by far most Americans, and he would have been absolutely right on. Uh, he didn’t, but I just have to say, uh, for the Republicans to make a big deal of that, I remember another president saying Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and we had to invade that country and we did. What did that cost in lives and in dollars? I remember another president saying Iraq had nuclear weapons and a vice president, the capacity, they either already had nuclear weapons or they could have one, like, within a year. I remember another president saying Iraq was a direct threat to the United States and we had no choice but to send our military in unilaterally in an illegal war and invade Iraq. So don’t talk to me about a president telling the 100 percent truth. President Obama was selling a good plan, uh, and now we see there’s one little wrinkle in the plan. You know what my reaction to the whole thing is? So what, it’s no big deal.”

I have to take a deep breath; Press is so awful. 1) His 99% is a lie. About 15% of those with current plans are being forced out of them, and this figure was known when the President made his misrepresentation.  2) What any other President may have said in no way changes the seriousness of this President lying, or mitigates the lie. Like “Everybody does it!,” using the “They’re just as bad” excuse is a marker for an unethical mind.  The unethical conduct of another never alters the seriousness of an unethical act, and ethically astute people—that is, people who are not like Bill Press—understand this. 3) Bush, as has been thoroughly demonstrated, believed that Iraq had WMDs, as did the CIA, John Kerry, most of Europe, and just about everyone else. He was wrong. He also overstated the certainty of the intelligence on which he based that belief. That is not lying, and in any case, it has absolutely nothing to do with Obama’s health care deception. Then Press uses the always corrupt and idiotic “at least his lie didn’t get anyone killed,” or the Comparative Virtue excuse.

Awful.

And it is never “no big deal” when the President repeatedly lies to the American people, whatever the topic.

  • Melissa Harris-Perry, the on-her-own-planet MSNBC host. Saving the most absurd for last, we have the creatively dishonest theory of this left of left ultra-ideologue, recognizing that there is nothing inherent in being an ideologue that precludes honesty. Somebody should tell Harris -Perry that. Here’s Melissa:

“I feel sort of like part of what happened when the president said if you like your plan you can keep it, is there was an assumption in the administration that people wouldn’t like that plan, like the plan that still forces them to pay thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs, that was so sort of bare-bones and people in fact wouldn’t like it and would be wanting new plans. And now suddenly, at least you see on this concern-trolling that people did like those plans and wanted to keep them.”

Yes, Harris-Perry’s argument is that Obama wasn’t lying because he honestly didn’t believe that his statement that we could keep health plans we liked was directed at anybody, since nobody would like their plans! Which is scarier, that a major cable news network pays and gives broadcast time to a woman capable of uttering such nonsense, or that there are viewers who think she makes sense?

As the impressive “No integrity, never trust again” list grows, I am trying to think of a parallel example of conservatives engaging in similar contortions to excuse obviously wrongful conduct. The various defenses of the Bush Administration’s torture policy came the closest, I think. Liberals have a close match in their desperate (and successful) efforts to close ranks around Clinton after he lied in court, lied to the grand jury, lied to the press and lied to the public during the Paula Jones-Lewinsky scandal.

I think this is a new low, however.

______________________________________

Facts: Meet the Press, Mediaite, Newsbusters 1, 2, 3; Politico, New York Times

Graphic: Grip on Climate

52 thoughts on “More Integrity Test Results: The Bad, The Cynical, The Desperate, The Ugly And The Mind-Blowingly Stupid

  1. Bush, as has been thoroughly demonstrated, believed that Iraq had WMDs, as did the CIA, John Kerry, most of Europe, and just about everyone else.

    No, not “most of Europe, and just about everyone else”. I well remember the doubts expressed at the time; the most you can say is that the governments of most of Europe and of just about everyone else claimed to believe it, though we have and had little reason to accept that they really did.

    • Except for all their intelligence agencies saying Iraq had them.

      FFS, Saddam was trying make us think he had them.

      And has no one wondered where exactly Syria got these massive piles of chemical weapons we need to secure and dispose of?

    • I remember very well that there was controversy over whether the US had sufficient proof to legally justify an attack, but no genuine doubts that Saddam had the weapons…after all, he had used them on the Kurds. I also remember that governments like those of France and Russia were making money off of Saddam’s corruption, and assuring him that the US was bluffing as he played his game of appearing to have WMDs while swearing otherwise. And, of course, the US and the corrupt UN had plenty of justification to go in without evidence of WMDs, since Saddam was unequivocally in breach of the conditions of a cease fire. In any event,there was no “lie.”

      • Not to mention Mr. Lawrence plays a ridiculous word game. He has inserted “claims to believe” in lieu of “believes”. It doesn’t fly however, a government that ‘claims to believe’ something, legally IS believing something.

  2. You know what, just list all the swear words you people know, assign them numbers, then roll dice to randomly string them together.

    I have tried for a very long time to not hate those who differ significantly in ideology. I might dislike them, I might have no respect or regard for them, I might even be entirely apathetic to life-threatening plight, but I really have tried to not hate them.

    At this point, however, I’m done making that effort. If they are going to be so feckless, so arrogant, and so fucking stupid, then all I have is hate for them.

    They are either the dumbest people on the planet, or they actively want the entire system to fall apart. At this point, the difference is purely academic.

    If you support Obamacare, you’re a dolt.

    Dale says it much better than I…

    • Well said, AM. Both Dale and you have summed this up elegantly. Like both of you, I have very little hope for this country. Primarily because so many people have failed to notice that their guy has no clue what honesty is, nor does he have any clue what he is doing. Sad.

  3. Here is one I haven’t heard yet.

    The president said “If you like your plan, you can keep it”. Lets deconstruct that sentence – in the 1st half of the sentence he says . “if you LIKE your plan”, essentially setting a requirement, or condition, for the 2nd half – “you can keep it”. This would be similar to a landlord telling a tenant, “If you keep up the rent, you can stay”. So, the 2nd half of the sentence is dependent on the 1st.

    Therefore, the spin is easy. Everyone who lost their coverage simply did not like their plan enough. If they had liked it a WHOLE LOT, I mean if they had REALLY REALLY liked it, they would have kept it. Right??? I’m sure NSA has phone recordings of many of these people saying something like “You know, Frank, I like my health insurance but I’m not crazy about it”, therefore giving the Obamites their “gotcha” moment – “HA! I KNEW you didn’t like your health plan enough!”

    Do you think I have what it takes to make it as a leftist pundit, or what?

    • IF your syllogism is false, THEN you have what it takes to be a leftist.

      But that’s clearly false. It would only be true if you had included the context, “If your syllogism is FALSE AND THAT WERE THE ONLY FACTOR AFFECTING BEING A LEFTIST, THEN you would have what it takes to be a leftist.

      IF you like your plan, THEN you can keep it is equally false, unless you had included the context, which would have read,
      “IF you like your plan AND ALL ELSE IS EQUAL, THEN you can keep it.”

      Now, that last sentence is not only logically true, it also makes total common sense. Unfortunately not all of us habitually include the clause “all else being equal” in our daily conversations. Not even politicians.

      In context it was patently clear he wasn’t guaranteeing a future state of insuredness which was up to companies – he was simply stating clearly that the law had no provision which forced people out of plans into other plans.

      • Dear Charles,
        In what possible world, real or imagined, could Obama’s statement that “you can keep your health care plan under the law” POSSIBLY be interpreted by ANYONE as “this law only indirectly will cause you to lose your plan, but not directly?”

        This is embarrassing. Just let this one go. Your guy lied. He knew he was lying, we even have record of his debate-preppers debating whether to have him tell the truth at the TIME HE WAS LYING, and determining that the truth wouldn’t be a good sell because “you will keep your plan” was more convincing during the election than “you will probably keep your plan.” Just stop it. There’s no secret interpretation to be had here.

        • “In context it was patently clear”…no it wasn’t, not even to you. Now you’re lying too. It wasn’t clear to you when the lying was going on. If it was, show us the record of you, or anyone else besides the conservatives, warning us that ACA was going to cause millions of people to actually lose their plans. You didn’t know that was the case then, because Obama fooled you too. You can’t retroactively pretend that you “knew it all along.”

  4. Version 1.
    “Obamacare is socialism, forcing us to choose government-mandated health plans.”
    “No, it doesn’t – there’s nothing in there that forces you to do that; if you like your existing plans, there’s nothing that says you can’t keep them. Period.”

    Version 2.
    “Obamacare is socialism, forcing us to choose government-mandated health plans.”
    “No, it doesn’t. If you like your existing plans, you can keep them. Period.”

    Version 2 is what you are calling a lie. In context, it is the same as version 1. And it was ALWAYS in context, let’s be clear, except when people choose to extract it.

    What you’re claiming is a lie would logically then mean that the following are lies as well:

    “You can keep on drinking a quart of vodka a day, period.”
    –Does that seriously mean the speaker is guaranteeing health of the alcoholic?

    “You can keep your 18th birthday card, period.”
    –Does that mean the speaker is guaranteeing eternal youth?

    “You can tell your wife she’s an idiot for as long as you want, period.”
    –Does that mean the speaker is guaranteeing no divorce?

    I can’t support the idiotic apologies of those you list above, then again I never said they were smart or spoke for me. Idiocy is freely available. It doesn’t mean that the opposite of what they say is right. It just means they missed the point.

    The point is, it’s very clear in context what the President meant – that the law did not force people to leave existing plans. There’s no way in hell anyone ever could conceivably have understood him to be guaranteeing the future financial actions of insurance companies.

    Yes, he should have been more complete. But this hardly comes to the level of “read my lips, no new taxes.” That was, as you point out, a promise, stupidly and fully intended at the time. That was not a mis-speak, that was a lie. What Obama did was every politicians’ bette noir, speaking in sound bites that allowed others to take it out of context.

    • This was Beth’s line of reasoning and is just as wrong coming from you.

      Obama says “you can keep your plan”

      Obamacare forces conditions on the market that compels canceling plans for providers to remain economically viable.

      Obamacare is the cause of the loss of those plans.

      Obama lied.

        • charlesgreen: “There’s no way in hell anyone ever could conceivably have understood him to be guaranteeing the future financial actions of insurance companies.”
          Except that one of his versions of the lie said, “And no one can take that away from you” (or words of similar import).
          So, he must have meant that the insurance companies would not be allowed to change your plans.
          Except, he lied.
          -Jut

            • Not interested in your bridge.
              I am interested in your attempt to spin Obama out of that one.
              Looking at all the ways he said you could keep your plan, what did you think he meant when he said no one would take that away from you.
              -Jut

              • “what did you think he meant when he said no one would take that away from you.”
                I think he meant there was nothing in the legislation that forced people to move away from a plan if they didn’t want to.
                I never took it to mean that he was grandfathering every plan and indemnifying every US citizen against a price increase by insurance firms. Surely you didn’t believe that, did you? And if so, again, about that bridge…

                • But Charles, that’s just not what the words mean. And the “take that away from you” is more narrow than the more frequently asserted…“If you’re one of the more than 250 million Americans who already have health insurance, you will keep your health insurance. This law will only make it more secure and more affordable.” Your rationalized parsing just does fly with that statement, does it? Then you are back to the David Manning excuse: “Come on! Nobody believes that!”

                • Still not interested in your bridge.
                  “Surely you didn’t believe that, did you?” No, but, as an employer who re-evaluates insurance plans every year, I did not think that keeping my plan, while adjusting the deductible, adding and subtracting employees, while maintaining the same coverage, would result in a loss of grandfathering. Did you believe those plans would not be grandfathered?
                  -Jut

                  • Well, I guess I should not exaggerate. They did not cancel our plan; the premiums are just going up by 14% next month (and another 15%-25% next year).
                    Yay! I liked my plan and I get to keep it!
                    -Jut

        • I knew he was lying, yes. I’ve known a lot of Obama’s statements were lies. An obvious lie is still a lie, and it’s also an insult. And proof that the one making the dishonest statement sees nothing wrong with lying. This was the premise behind the “David Manning Liar of the Month” on Ethics Scoreboard. The problem is that many, many, indeed a pivotal number of people just believe what they are told. They don’t bother to think it through. They Love Big Brother. They trust him even when many of us know he’s just spouting manipulative lies.

          This is not a defense.

  5. “I think this is a new low, however.”

    Oh it is a new low for this past month… Is it a new low in the history of new lows?

    Since there is such rancor and bitterness on both sides, you will find ridiculous rationalism for whatever side is shilling their cause.

    You can take the bait and hyperventilate or enjoy the entertainment.. Either way ACA is going forward.

    My plan and my buddy’s family plan under ACA are excellent and reasonable, especilly if you had a p.e.c. How do i know this.. I’M IN THE MARKETPLACE!

    • And as how this fact relates to the strategy of lying to the public to pass unpopular and risky legislation that many feel that a nation deeply in debt and getting deeper without the political will or responsible leadership to address it, the answer is: so what? “Hey, I don’t care about you other suckers, I got mine, so eat me!” is essentially the Otter excuse–“Hey, Flounder, so you fucked up! You trusted us!” And what is implied is “Get over it.” If we get over the strategy of lying to pass laws that can’t be repealed, then we have no democracy, but a dictatorship of deceit.

      Those who can’t figure that out are unworthy custodians of the freedom we have had to fight so hard for.

  6. Bush, as has been thoroughly demonstrated, believed that Iraq had WMDs, as did the CIA, John Kerry, most of Europe, and just about everyone else.

    I read now-retired General Tommy Franks’s book, and he wrote that King Abdullah of Jordan personally told Franks that Saddam had the WMD’s.

  7. Nope, Feinstein topped it.

    “Well, as I understand it, you can keep it up to the time — and I hope this is correct, but this is what I’ve been told — up to the time the bill was enacted, and after that, it’s a different story. That part of it, if true, was never made clear. It is really very unclear, right now, exactly what the situation is. …and yes, that’s a problem.”

    He didn’t lie, because what he meant was that you could keep your plan until Obamacare was enacted.

  8. Jack:

    All your points well taken — but not surprising. Honestly, what did we all expect, after five years of Obama and his minions and the sickening parsing of words and consistent lying?

    I know your post was about other aspects of this debacle, but one fact that I think deserves its own post, I think, and that people don’t seem to know (or care about?) is this: the $600 million Obamacare website was designed by a CANADIAN firm, so that $600 million went OUT OF THIS COUNTRY for (1) a website that won’t work, and (2) could have provided jobs for Americans.

    Why CANADA — that hotbed of cyber-invention? Well, I don’t know, but I do know that the head of said Canadian company just happened to be a pal of Michelle Obama at Princeton. Hmmm. Would love to see how the government put it out for bids. I’ve had small government consulting contracts, and anything over $3,000 a shot has to be put out for bids.

    But THIS one? Maybe CANADIANS need the work more than our people do, and maybe if you know Michelle you can get a contract — out of country — botch it, and still… no one seems to know or care. This should be a major outrage, but NOTHING in the press.

    But back to one of your points: I have great health insurance and have already heard that in February they’ll be giving me “some new and different options” that they’re sure I’ll like! Bullshit. It’s all bullshit. But I’m really cranked about the CANADA contract, and even if the connection with Michelle had nothing to do with it, why go out of this country to create a website for US citizens? No one can convince me that CANADA is a better place than Silicon Valley to address a challenge of this magnitude. Liars, morons, and unthinking hacks running the country. I am SO proud.

    • And now I know why so many Canadians got peeved at me regarding the wonderful health care plan the good ol USofA was shoving down my throat. They all were on my (tax dollars) payroll. I know tons of Americans that could have put that website/system in place with no “glitches”. And like you I have just heard about my great health care plan…it is all just hilarious at this point. I have to laugh because once again I have the feeling that I have been taken hostage but evil thinking humans. And my health care provider is keeping my group in the loop but releasing hundreds of thousands of other hard working tax paying Americans due to the new ACA verbiage. I expect within 5 years that no insurance company will exist and the government will be in total charge. That’s the plan…

  9. A few observations. First, don’t read too much into Maher’s “to me” qualifier. Given that the panel was disagreeing over whether or not it was a lie, Maher using the language to me is just politeness. He has gone out of his way over the last week saying that this was a lie and what the President says matters. Second, Schultz’s backpedaling re Cuba was even more disingenuous. I have little respect for that Congresswoman. Even as a leftie, I was looking for a barf bag during that segment. Third, I completely agree re your Bush Sr. analysis – a promise is different than a lie. And – although I agree with you – you have to admit it wouldn’t be too hard to argue that speeches given before the Act was passed amount to promises, not lies. After the Act passed, any statements either were lies or were based on his misunderstanding of the Act. Fourth, I have to cry foul a little bit about the Bush Jr. comments. I don’t want to debate here whether or not he lied, but you do seem to have a bit of a double standard here. Every freakin’ single time that a politician claims that his private life has nothing to do with his ability to be a leader (e.g., icky Weiner in NY), you say, “and we can all thank Bill Clinton for that.” Well, if the media, other politicians, and the public are going to tolerate a President lying, can’t we thank prior Presidents who successfully lied for creating this environment of tolerance?

    • I think the public mostly knows Bush didn’t lie, but was just wrong, despite the repeated Democratic slurs to the contrary. I think, with the exception of Clinton and Obama, (both because of media spin), presidential lies have not been tolerated by the public. Nixon? Johnson? Neither have major broken promises gone over well—it cost Bush Sr. the election.

      Obama has been given a pass more often than any four other Presidents combined.

      • Yes, most of the public knows he broke a promise, but apparently few understand how it was broken…

        The Democrat-controlled Congress offered a deal – some new taxes and tax increases in exchange for spending cuts.

        Bush the Elder, in a spectacular bit of foreshadowing as to what the relationship would be like between Democrats and Republicans over the coming decades, believed them when they said that, allowed the taxes, and then sat there wondering where thebfuck his spending cuts were.

        The cuts never materialized, and the left got to say he broke a promise while ignoring the why and their even worse act of misleading…

      • That is a bold statement Jack — so I will give you points for that, but come on! As for Bush Jr., I believe — and I think this way about Obama too so no bias on my part — that a President’s “beliefs” are immaterial. They are presenting facts or lies. Perhaps this is an impossible standard for all statements, but for important things, like health care or wars, I think you have to be completely upfront about whether your statement is a “belief” or a known “fact.” And if the President does not make that distinction and it turns out your belief was not true, then it is a lie.

        • Huh? That’s just not what lie means. If you believe something is true, it can’t be a lie when you say it’s true. A lie is a knowing falsehood stated to deceive. That fits Obama’s healthcare statement to a T—not Bush’s assertion about Iraq, no matter how wrong it was, or how gullible anyone may believe it was.

          • It does make sense. I remember Bush’s speeches — Axis of Evil, weapons of mass destruction, etc. — never did he say, “you know, we don’t have conclusive proof of this, but this is what we believe.” He told us that these were facts, and used all the patriotism coming off of 9/11 to bolster his cause.

              • You’re beyond hope or reason. Of course there are bad countries out there, but Axis of Evil? What on earth could North Korea do to us? Invade us with its awesome Navy? Launch nuclear weapons that could reach us? Please. Pandering and nothing more. Plus, if you were going to be honest about “evil” countries, lots of countries should be on that , including some of our allies.

                • North Korea is the epitome of an evil country. How could anyone deny that? Calling it evil is diplomatically foolish, perhaps, but not inaccurate. Bush didn’t say that it posed an immediate threat to the US—it does, however, pose a threat to US Allies. You remember that Korean War thing, right? And that it technically isn’t over, just like the Iraq War wasn’t officially over when Bush made his comment. Designating two totalitarian, oppressive nations with which the US and/or its allies were still at war with as evil is hardly unreasonable. It still has nothing whatsoever to do with the WMD issue.

                  • Please stop giving me history lessons. As you know perfectly well, our “real” threat in the Korean War was the Chinese, who ironically now is our major trading partner. Not to mention other former warmongers who are now treated as friends, like the Japanese and the Germans. And of course there is our complicated relationship with Russia. My point is that there are a lot of evil countries (many in Africa and Asia come to mind) and North Korea certainly gets an “11” on the evil scale, but the Axis of Evil was part of a larger agenda of drumming up support for a war with Iraq where there was little evidence. It was not just a stupid off-hand remark.

                    As for the comment below about terrorists in Iraq, we all know that the terrorists went there to fight us (easier to get there than here), not to mention new and improved terrorists that were created there because of our interventionist actions. If we were invaded tomorrow by another country, I bet hundreds of thousands of American “terrorists” would suddenly appear to fight them, not just our military.

                    • Beth, if you don’t want history lessons, stop re-writing history. “Axis of Evil” was originally used to describe the need for the War on Terror, not an attack on Iraq. In January of 2002, Iraq could have complied with UN demands regarding inspectors and the terms of the cease fire as well as WMD concerns, and when Bush made those comments, there was no reason to assume it would not. Saying three nations active in terrorist activities form an axis of evil does not exclude any other nation from the evil category, and nobody took it that way…nor did any non-left wing nut cakes serious question the diagnosis, unlike when Reagan, accurately, called the Soviet Union and “Evil Empire.”

                      There was not “little evidence” to invade Itaq—since it was in defiance of the terms of the cease fire, there was all the evidence necessary without even raising WMDs. And Iraqi citizens were dying of starvation due to the idiotic :sanctions,” while Saddam made millions trading with Russia and others under the table. Bush now says that he wouldn’t have pushed for war without the WMDs intelligence—I think the war was defensible as policy without them, but a bad gamble, and after the fact, badly managed.

                      None of which changes the main issue, which is that Bush’s statement to the US public that Saddam had WMDs WAS a statement he believed was true, and consistent with what the CIA and his intelligence sources were telling him. It was not a lie. Obama’s statement was NOT consistent with what he knew to be true, and WAS a lie. You are welcome to keep denying it, put your fingers in your ears and hum, but its not debatable.

                • Well, what could Al-Quaeda do to us? Turns out quite a lot, and they don’t even have a country. Not to go too far off topic, but there’s a good reason why we are able to perceive insane and dangerous enemies as “not able to do anything to us.” It’s because we spend kabillions of dollars and invest seriously in our security, which liberals generally decry, while then wondering why we consider enemies dangerous since we’re so safe and secure and powerful, because we invest seriously in our security, which liberals generally decry…yeah, it doesn’t make a lot of sense.

            • Bush had the support of the entire nation….after 9/11 everyone wanted to whip someone’s ass..and the public’s cry was just that…per.the weapons of mass destruction..they were moved to Syria….that’s all I can say as NSA is back reading this.

  10. I’ve called Obama’s statements lies, so no humming required. Bush’s statements were not based on facts – they were based on beliefs, yet were presented as facts to the American public. You can call it a mistake or a lie, I don’t really care if it makes you feel better. But Bush Jr. had the responsibility to be absolutely right before sending our soldiers to die, putting billions on the US credit card, and killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis – especially when there was no immediate threat to the US. That was the ultimate failure of executive leadership – just like you complain about Obama’s handling of IRS and DOJ scandals. Absolutely no difference. A president either is held accountable for the failures of his agencies, or he is not. And talk about rewriting history! There is no way that Congress or the American people would have gotten behind Bush about this War without the “evidence” presented and all the fear lingering from 9/11.

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