Who couldn’t see this coming?
When I recently noted on Facebook the fact, and it is a fact, that Biden has intentionally told the public that the Georgia voting reform bill limits the times for voting when in fact it expands them, the Trump Deranged reacted predictably, immediately alluding to President Trump’s alleged lies as a justification for giving Biden a pass. First of all, a basic principle of ethics holds that an unethical act is not mitigated by similar or worse conduct by someone else. More importantly, however, when discussing leadership credibility, both quality and quantity matters. As Ethics Alarms pointed out early in the Trump administration, he had such a well-established proclivity for exaggeration, hyperbole, boasting, eccentric views of reality, selective memory and gibberish that it was difficult to take his assertions seriously. Moreover, the news media and anti-Trump fanatics refused to distinguish between actual lies—falsehoods designed to deceive—and Trump’s opinions they disagreed with or statements they deliberately misinterpreted—or lied about themselves, in some cases for years.
Biden’s current lie, like Obama’s infamous “if you like your healthcare plan” lie, is substantive, consequential and sinister. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of a Trump lie that equaled either of these as deliberate deceptions of the public for substantive gain, and since he had a well-earned reputation as a BS artist, nothing he said could influence gullible members of the public like deceptions from saintly Obama and the AntiTrump Biden.
Nonetheless, fresh from being an objective journalist for a moment in time by calling Biden’s “5 pm polls closing” whopper what it is, Washington Post Factchecker Glenn Kessler felt it necessary to minimize Biden’s dishonesty by pointing readers to how much worse President Trump was in the lying category, at least according the mainstream media narrative.
I began factchecking the Factchecker. It was quickly obvious—again, for these were all familiar—that what the biased news media and the Trump Deranged point to as Trump’s “lies” are usually differences of perspective and opinion. Most of the examples Kessler linked to are not analogous to Biden’s outright falsehood, and cannot fairly be used to show that Biden has only done a few times (in less than four months, though) what Trump did constantly. Here’s one…I’d welcome reader participation by exposing some of the others:
Kessler cites Trump’s repeated assertion that the U.S. economy had never been “stronger” as a lie he repeated “493 times.” Kessler’s statement is deceit, indeed typical fact-checking dishonesty.
What is “the strongest” economy is not an objective fact capable of checking, and what Trump referred to, thought he was referring to or meant to refer to cannot be determined with sufficient precision to claim he was “lying.” Trump may have, for example, been primarily referring to the stock market, or a combination of the stock markets, employment, income, low inflation and other factors weighted the way he chose to weight them. Yet Kessler writes, “By just about any important measure, the economy today is not doing as well as it did under Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson or Bill Clinton — or Ulysses S. Grant.”
Then Kessler begins comparing employment figures with periods in our history when women weren’t part of the workforce. Or If one regards the income levels of black citizens a key measure of a “great” economy, how can Kessler cite Grant’s administration? Can you really call Ike’s economy legitimately strong when the poor had minimal safety nets and we were enmeshed in an arms race? You can’t lie about a characterization that has no universally agreed-upon standards.
Now I would argue that the current economy can’t be in good shape carrying the kind of debt the U.S. now has—but that’s my opinion. (Maybe Andrew Jackson had the “best” economy because he eliminated the National Debt.) Kessler would call me a liar, because he’d find some economist to explain that I’m wrong. I also believe that “The Mikado” is a better musical comedy than any American musical, and I’ll state that position 493 times. (I may have already.) Kessler would find theater professors who state emphatically otherwise, meaning that I’m lying, by fact-checker standards. But my opinion is not a lie. (In fact, I’m correct. So there.)
Now, if I said the “The Mikado” was written by Eugene O’Neill and Irving Berlin, that would be a lie….just like Joe Biden saying the Georgia law cuts off voting at 5 pm. And nothing Donald Trump ever said, no matter how many times he said it, would make it any less of a lie, or more defensible.