I used to be in a relationship with a guy who was a serial-philanderer. He wasn't all that good at hiding his tracks. Didn't much matter, though. I lived in a state of heightened denial for a long, long time. But once I acknowledged his deceitful nature to myself, I got a little flinchy. Lost my capacity for trusting, and what had been my pretty optimistic nature until then totally tanked. One day, whilst in the midst of his most malodorous dalliance, he sat me down for a little chat and said this to me: "You know, I'm getting a strong message that you don't trust me. And I want to know what your problem is."
I raise this because it's what came immediately to mind when I read Dan Froomkin's piece in the Washington Post today, courtesy of Christy Hardin Smith. It seems that George W. Bush is having a little problem understanding why people seem to believe that pretty much everything that tumbles out of his smirky mouth is a lie.
Here's what Froomkin had to say:
President Bush yesterday sounded perplexed that anyone would think he is preparing to attack Iran -- going so far as to make a sour face and lower his voice in a mocking imitation of his critics.
"I guess my reaction to all the noise about, you know, 'He wants to go to war' is, first of all, I don't understand the tactics, and I guess I would say it's political," Bush told C-SPAN's Steve Scully yesterday.
"On the other hand, I hope that the members of Congress, particularly in the opposition party, understand the grave danger of Iran having a nuclear weapon. Therefore, we all need to work together to solve the problem."
Back in 2002, the First Language-Mangler told us this: "There's an old saying in Tennessee '" I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee '" that says, fool me once, shame on '" shame on you. Fool me '" you can't get fooled again."
Well there you have it. He is a visionary. He knew even then that there would come a day when Americans would say, "George, you are so not telling the truth!" That he would stare us down and say, "How come you don't trust me? What's your problem, America?"
What indeed. I used to tell my kids that the one thing I cannot and will not tolerate is lying. That repeaters squander all the good will in their (fill in the blank: family, community, political party, international alliances) because there comes a time when no one '" repeat, NO ONE but sycophants '" believes a word that comes out of the liar's mouth. Which is probably why methinks that George doth protest too much on this Iran thing.
Even the most unsophisticated political observer (I am one) can see the Bush administration ginning up a platform for an Iran Plan, which is the sequel to the Iraq Plan, which is the sequel to the Afghanistan Plan, all of which is the prequel to the (fill in the blank: Syria, North Korea, Palestine, Mexico, New Orleans) Plan. The Bushies are warmongers. And if you don't believe that by now, stand by. There's plenty more coming down the pike.
But be aware that if you and I stand by, if we continue to tolerate the Republicon in relative silence, we are complicit in what happens. Point of fact, we are to some extent complicit in what is happening right now. Except for a hardy few who've gotten off their duffs to stump for peace and an end to this theocratic, imperial presidency. Some political candidates. A few long-term incumbent legislators. The people I myself have called the Kumbayahoos. Raging Grannies. Molly Ivins, Keith Olbermann, Dan Froomkin and Paul Krugman.
Part of the problem is that we're in a totally reactive mode. We sit around and wait for the next lie, the next egregious move. Then we suck our lips halfway down our throats in shock and awe, and by the time we overcome our immobility, they're on to the next lie, the next outrage.
It's been this way for six long years. Fool us once, twice, eight times, seventeen, twenty-nine and one and on and on.
At what point is it as much our fault as George's? Just asking.