The Many Lies
Of Mitch McConnell
When Mitch McConnell last Sunday told this whopper, “Secretary Rumsfeld has done an excellent job,” I decided to get the transcript from “Face the Nation.” I was wondering how many lies that McConnell, the senate Republican whip, told in his short interview -- besides this Rumsfeld whopper. Yes, I know, the word, "lie" is an ugly word and it is one that I seldom use, but, there seems to be no other word that really describes Sen. McConnell's statements on "Face the Nation."
Sen. McCONNELL: Well, I think it is important to remind the American people that if the Dean Democrats were in charge ... the prisoners down at Guantanamo would be treated better than American soldiers in the court system.
Now, I define a lie as saying something that you know not to be true. This statement about the Democrats is an outrageous claim. What makes the statement a lie, it seems to me, is that Sen. McConnell, a very informed man, knows that what he is saying is not true. He is saying something for advantage, he is fronting an opinion that he hopes others will believe. But this statement is just too goofy; it is impossible to believe that McConnell, an informed, thoughtful man, is reporting his true judgment.
Sen. McCONNELL: If you cut and run in Iraq, the terrorists will soon be back here, like they were on 9/11.
The assertion that every Muslim that destroys and kills are a part of the same group, terrorists, is a lie. It is a notion that is simply not true. McConnell knows very well that this view of terrorism is not true, yet this premise, this lie, is at the center of his logic. It seems this lie about the nature of terrorism is a key element in the new story line product that the Republicans are evidently attempting to persuade the public to buy. This story line portrays Iraqi violence in terms of Nazi aggression and criticizes opposition to administration war policies as the same sort of foolish appeasement that emboldened the Nazis.
Sen. McCONNELL: What they'll do (the Democrats) is cut and run in Iraq, they'll raise our taxes, we know that, and they'll try to impeach the president. That's their agenda.
Again, a lie in my book is when you make a statement that you know is not true. McConnell is a smart man and he very well knows that he is not telling the truth about the Democrats’ agenda. Someone might say that McConnell is entitled to his opinion and I agree, he is entitled to make his own judgments, but, the point is that McConnell is not stating his own opinion or his own judgment. McConnell is the Senate Republican Whip. He is delivering the party line and, in so doing, he is deliberately making statements that he knows are not true.
Sen. McCONNELL:`I think Secretary Rumsfeld has done an excellent job. He'll be remembered as one of the great secretaries of defense.''
Can anyone believe that Sen. McConnel is stating about Rumsfeld what he, himself, believes to be true? This statement gives unreserved praise to Rumsfeld that is simply not deserved by any objective standard, and it seems impossible that McConnell is giving a statement of his true opinion. Certainly the Republican leadership must be very frustrated with the conduct of the war and very disappointed in the poor leadership that has created and perpetuated such a fiasco. But they won’t admit their own incompetence. I find it amazing that Sen. McConnell can make such a statement about Rusfeld with a straight face. He is showing amazing party discipline as he steadfastly delivers the party line -- yes, we are competent; yes, we are great -- but, it seems to me that by making such a statement about Rumsfeld he loses credibility. (It was this Rumsfeld statement, after all, that provoked me to write this Blog.)
Sen. McCONNELL: Well, the Democrats had a chance to increase the minimum wage just a month ago. Every Republican, I think maybe with one exception, voted for a package that would have included the Kennedy minimum wage increase. They wouldn't take yes for an answer.
Again, Sen. McConnell knows very well that the Republicans tacked the permanent repeal of the estate tax as part of the minimum wage bill and that this estate tax provision, an extreme giveaway to the extremely wealthy, was why Democrats voted against the bill.
I get the feeling that this McConnell interview is a preview of a coming massive Republican campaign of misinformation and outright lies. There needs to be a truth squad. Wasn't finding and reporting the truth, wasn't holding officials accountable to some standard of truth once the role of the press -- pre Fox News? What is amazing about the McConnell interview is that the moderator had no challenge to the reality that McConnell was promulgating. It was as if McConnell was saying, "The Moon is made of cheese," and the moderator was saying, "Interesting. Tell me what kind."