The Exact Opposite Part II

Brazenly lying and getting away with it

by Baron Dave Romm

The Exact Opposite series:
Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI | Part VII | Part VIII | Back to Political Links

these originally appeared on
Bartcop-E, and all links worked when posted

Lies, damn lies, and faith-based reality

Last week in Part I, I covered some Republican claims that weren't simply wrong, but where the exact opposite was true. Here are a few more issues you won't see discussed under oath. Gullible conservatives only believe in the world that they were told is G_d's promise, but you should look at the world G_d has made.

Tony Snow's flip flop on Executive Privilege

Sometimes, it's too easy. As Jon Stewart says, "don't these people know we have videotape?" This from a commentary by Glenn Greenwald. Requires subscription, so I'll try to untangle the story from other sources and quote relevant parts of the Greenwald piece.

Tony Snow March 22, 2007

White House Spokesman Tony Snow told reporters that the demand for sworn testimony from presidential advisers is "unprecedented" and "highly unusual in any White House."

Consistently, Snow and the White House have insisted that Bush nor his aides have to testify under oath because of Executive Privilege. This is the exact opposite of the conservative news media's stance during the Clinton administration.

Bill Clinton, it's hard to recall with all the noise, was completely exonerated on all the charges that dealt with his duties as president: The Travel Office firings, Whitewater, etc etc. But they finally found that he had consensual sex and didn't want everyone to know about his private life! For this, Tony Snow, then a reporter with Fox "News", said:

One gets the impression that Team Clinton values its survival more than most people want justice and thus will delay without qualm. But as the clock ticks, the public's faith in Mr. Clinton will ebb away for a simple reason: Most of us want no part of a president who is cynical enough to use the majesty of his office to evade the one thing he is sworn to uphold -- the rule of law. (emphasis Greenwald's)

The complete flip-flops -- and outright lies -- spewn by the right wingers are amazing. Don't they know we have videotape?

"Greeted as liberators"

When the Haditha stories broke, the right-wing blogosphere was up in virtual arms. The press was vilified, Mallard Fillmore devoted comic strips to the deniers.

They had forgotten about previous convictions of US soldiers for similar crimes against Iraqi civilians. Vice President Cheney said we would be "greeted as liberators" and the exact opposite is true: We are an occupying force on an unwilling populace. War is Hell and our brave soldiers are in a dire circumstance, but that's no excuse. With power comes responsibility, and if we're The Good Guys we're better than this: Killings, Civilians, Murder and Atrocities.

Meanwhile, quietly, the exact opposite of right wing predictions came to pass: US Marines face Iraq murder trial and more recently, new details of the killings have come to light. Indictments aren't conviction (no matter what the wingnuts say) and this hasn't played out fully, but conservatives were wrong to waive the story away while smearing those who wanted to look for the truth.

Supporting the troops

Bush, Cheney and their minions have beaten the "patriotism" drum to death. They claim that anyone who says anything critical of them are traitors who are undermining our troops and empowering the enemy. And yet, the exact opposite is true. Religious fanatics (Islamic or Christian home-grown) hate the US because we're a free Democracy. The ability to disagree with elected officials our views is a strength. They hate us because our leaders are accountable to the people and not to some archaic set of laws subject to interpretation solely by religious figures. Further, Cheney and company send wounded soldiers to battle with insufficient armor and bring them home to urine-soaked hospitals. Conservative Republicans talk a big game, but they but their actions demonstrate hate for our brave soldiers. Liberal Democrats are the soldiers best friends. It's that simple.

Faith-Based Initiatives, No Child Left Behind underfunded

Bush claims to be born-again Christian who prays for guidance, and taps into the well of faith to garner votes. At first, this sounded sincere, a down-home "aw shucks 'twern't nothin'" hard-won simple wisdom to overcome years of drug abuse and alcoholism. But as he mangles the words when talking, his actions don't match his professed faith.

A Nine-Commandment Christian (at best) who desperately tries to find loopholes in "Thou Shall Not Kill" or "Though Shall Not Bear False Witness", his deeds are the exact opposite of his words.

Faith Based initiatives were launched almost immediately in 2001 to great media fanfare, but underfunded. David Kuo, Deputy Director of the White House Office on Faith-Based and Community Initiatives wrote a book detailing the cynicism and politics behind the initiatives, asserting "that the White House both heavily politicized and woefully underfunded the faith-based push". Rove and Bush claimed $8 billion in new money available to religious groups, but that was a lie. According to Kuo, those groups got "a few million" more than before while the White House was spending time and money to woo voters.

Instead of charity, Faith-Based Initiatives were a naked grab for power among the weak-minded and gullible. The sad part is: It worked. Bush still enjoys popularity among the very evangelicals he betrayed.

Similarly, No child Left Behind was announced to great fanfare yet the exact opposite has happened: Children have been left behind, and the regulations may do more harm than good.

Fox "News"

Fox is to "news" what Soviet-era Pravda was to "truth". Fox is for the weak-minded and gullible, just like any propaganda arm. Just as Fox commentators are getting more hysterical and farther away from the mainstream, the conservative news media is waking up to how badly Fox has tarnished the reputation of journalism. As Mark Mellman of The Hill reported March 20, 2007:

An audience that decides for itself, based on “fair and balanced” coverage, ought not to reach monolithic conclusions. Yet, in our 2004 polling with Media Vote, using Nielsen diaries, we found that Fox News viewers supported George Bush over John Kerry by 88 percent to 7 percent. No demographic segment, other than Republicans, was as united in supporting Bush. Conservatives, white evangelical Christians, gun owners, and supporters of the Iraq war all gave Bush fewer votes than did regular Fox News viewers.

Fox "News" is the exact opposite of "fair and balanced", and should be viewed as a propaganda tool.

Wearing out critics

Normally, I relish diving into the web and other resources to dig out facts and illuminate politics, but the seamy side of the Bush administration is tiring. All these exact opposites have their price in human lives and suffering. It's hard to keep going without feeling some degree of shame for our country. More and more Republicans are feeling buyer's remorse for voting for Bush and right-wing Republicans, but damage has been done.

Perhaps more next week, but wallowing in conservative mud is tiring. Oh, for fair elections to happen soon...

Picture galleries    <>    Podcast    <>    Audio files
Dave Romm's Portal    <>  Shockwave Radio Home Page    <>   e-mail Baron Dave