Craven dishonesty, surprisingly enough, can actually be a good thing. No, not as personal practice, mind you. More as a tool of symptomatology. When you’re taking aim at your political opponents and they start to lie wildly it’s a good sign that you’ve really got them on the run.
Which brings us to George W. Bush and Mitch Daniels.
Let’s be clear on what’s in the works in this fast-approaching battle over the budget: The question is whether the Bush White House will be able to use the inherently pliable and slippery modalities of rhetoric to overcome the rather more fixed terms of mathematics.
Can they pull it off?
Let’s look at one example (of which there will surely be many more to come) from Bush’s speech yesterday at Harry S. Truman High School in Independence, Missouri:
Seven out of the last eight budgets submitted by the executive and passed by the Congress have raided the Social Security or used part of the Social Security to fund the budgets. One of the temptations is to use Social Security money for something other than Social Security.
Now the good news is — is that both political parties and both bodies of Congress have declared that we’re not going to do that. But I’m going to watch carefully, to make sure that the old temptations of the past don’t come back to haunt us when it comes to budgeting your money in the year 2001.
How many distortions are wrapped together into these four sentences?
Oh,when will the buck stop?!?!?!?!?!