Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Just Don't Lie to Me

That's probably a statement we've all heard from our parents or a lover at one time or another. It's pretty basic. Don't lie. Of course we all "shade" the truth. Telling your best friend that her new dress makes her look like a giant tomato is not a kind thing to do. Telling your boss you think he's a mental midget is a CLM (career limiting move). On the flip side, there are times when honesty has to come through no matter then consequences. I'm at about 50-50 on those. I've butted heads with hospital management about the care of women in labor, but held my tongue in other situations that I now regret not taking on. I'm sure most people have the same track record.

Then comes the politicians. Back in the "good old days" I felt the media would take these bozos to task if they outright lied to the public. My gut tells me that a lot of b.s. got shoved past us back in those good old days, but not as much as today. When you add in the pressure of a presidential race, the pols really go to town.

Hopefully there will be more places like this one: FactCheck.org

An example from the site:

Giuliani's wrong when he claims to have added 12,000 new NYC cops while he was mayor.

On his Web site, Rudy Giuliani claims that he grew New York City's police force by 12,000 officers between his inauguration as mayor in January 1994 and mid-2000. That's just not true. Most of the cops he's counting 7,100 to be exact were already housing or transit police who were simply folded into the New York Police Department. The merger of the departments didn't increase the number of police in the city at all.

The actual increase in the size of the force was about 3,660, or about 10 percent, during the period Giuliani pinpoints. And Giuliani doesn't mention that the cost of hiring about 3,500 of the officers was partially covered by the federal government under President Bill Clinton.

Giuliani is particularly inclined to lie. Yes, I used that word. The media speaks of mendacity (the tendency to lie) rather than just saying, "Rudy. You couldn't tell the truth if you tried." He has an ego problem, a habit of going out of his way to punish enemies and the tact of a razor blade. And I'll go on record -- he will be a worse president that Mr. Bush. Bush may lie, but in his heart he believes what he's saying. Giuliani just doesn't care. He believes were all chumps and so far, he might be right.

Why? That's the question we Americans should be asking. If he (or any of the candidates) lie to us now, they'll do it later. (Remember those WMD in Iraq?) The consequences are far more grave than a "well, he did get those health care numbers wrong." A lying president sets the tone for the entire administration. A lying president covers his ass and in the process, people get hurt.

If Mr. G can't be bothered to tell the truth (and he has the staff to do the research so there is no reason he shouldn't know the numbers, details, etc.) then why do we need him? Why can't the American people say "No way. You lie. We want as honest an individual as we can get, and you are not it."

All politicians shade the truth. The ones that lie to your face and expect you to kiss their ring are the last thing this country needs. So do a little fact checking of your own. Don't believe a word they tell you. In the end, you will be the one to pay the penalty, not the Pinocchio in the White House.

Late addition: Here's another set of beauties at TPM Election Central The guy just won't quit.


steve said...

You're right about Bush--he doesn't lie outright--he believes anything his handlers tell him. And that's the problem. I've never seen a more accomplished liar than Dick Cheney. I'd be more comfortable with Giuliani's lies than Bush repeating Cheney's.

To his credit, Giuliani hasn't done a 180-degree turn on abortion and gun control, the way Mitt Romney has. I wouldn't vote for him, but Giuliani has more credibility than most of the other Republicans (except McCain, who's so rabildly pro-war that he's scarier than the dishonest Republicans.)

Personally, I think Chris Dodd may be the most credible of all the candidates, but he has the proverbial snowball's chance in hell. If there's still a contest by the time of the Indana primary in May, I'll probably vote for Obama over Clinton.

Jana Oliver said...

I haven't checked out Dodd yet. I'm still working through the pile, one by one. My neighbors have a Ron Paul sign in their front yard. I figure I'll wander over one of these days and ask why they decided to support him.