THE BARE MINIMUM


Notes Craig Crawford,

“Bush and his team don�t have to be malfeasant to be held accountable or subjected to vigorous debate for possibly attempting to manipulate federal prosecutors to do their political bidding � even if they had every right to do so. It would set a dramatically low standard for performance to argue that presidents can do whatever they want, so long as they do not break the law.”

We see with this latest scandal yet another instance of the G.W. Bush two-step: 1) trying to claim nothing wrong was done, while 2) lying about what was done at the same time. If nothing wrong was done – nothing illegal, nothing sleazy, nothing immoral – was done, why lie about it? Answer: so you can (hopefully) retain the “moral high ground” over a public for which you have nothing but contempt. (After all, if you’re not convinced that you are superior to the unwashed masses, it becomes more difficult to treat them like garbage). And/or, because you can.

Goebbels’ famous remark about “The Big Lie” revealed more about the lied-to (or lie-ee) than the lie-or: only the biggest lies will work (implying that the li-ee is not completely brainless), and the public will brainwashedly appreciate your cutting to the chase, by the way. After all, who wants to be told a lie whose telling constitutes a waste of time for both lie-or and lie-ee?

While his strategy certainly showed contempt for the lie-ees of the world, so does the Bush strategy: lie about all of the little stuff as well as the big stuff because it DOES NOT MATTER whether the public is stupid; the public does not matter at all when the matter is one that cannot be used to scare it to death, make it hate the Democrats, or be exploited for political advantege. This attitude prizes the act of lying qua lying – as opposed prizing what lying accomplishes -brainwashing the lie-ees. One might almost describe the attitude as cynical – but then again, cynicism requires a level of thinking that would naturally cause one not to embark upon such a campaign of equal-weight lying in the first place.


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