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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Jonah Goldberg: Tell Me Lies, Great Big Lies...

The latest from Jonah Goldberg provides another glimpse into the alternative reality that is modern Republicanism:

The real scandal is that this administration thinks crises are opportunities for governmental power-grabs...

...the White House tactic isn't funny at all. It's scary. Its amorality is outweighed only by the grotesque and astoundingly naked cynicism of it all.

Apparently, it's the last part - "the naked cynicism" that really irks Jonah. He compares Republican opposition to Obama's aggressive agenda to progressive criticism of the neocon's use of 9/11 to terrorize a traumatized nation into launching the invasion of Iraq.

Recall that not long ago, the first item on the bill of indictment against the Bush administration was that it was "exploiting" 9/11 to enact its agenda. Al Gore shrieked that President Bush "played on our fears" to get his way. In response to nearly every Bush policy proposal, from the Patriot Act to the toppling of Saddam Hussein, critics would caterwaul that Bush was taking advantage of the country's fear of terrorism.

The Bush administration always denied this, and rightly so. If the president admitted that he was using a national calamity for narrow partisan or ideological advantage, it would be outrageous.

Get that? It would be outrageous if the president admitted he was manipulating people's fear to advance a partisan agenda. Lying about terror threats, weapons of mass destruction and about Nigerian yellow cake is righteous and noble as long as you tell the people your motives are pure.

In contrast, look at how blatant the Obama administration has been during the first six weeks in office!

Well, now we have the president, along with his chief aides, admitting -- boasting! -- that they want to exploit a national emergency for their preexisting agenda, and there's no scandal. No one even calls it a gaffe. No, they call it leadership.

It's not leadership. It's fear-mongering.

Beyond the jaw-dropping hypocrisy and repugnant revisionist history in this article, let's just say this: Bush's terror-manipulating lies resulted in thousands of American and Iraqi dead, a bankrupt global economy and the collapse of America's moral authority. Obama's honest assessment of the dangerous economic crisis (created by his predecessor's lies) offers the promise of healthcare access for millions, a greener planet, a better educated workforce and the hope of economic growth for generations to come.

I'll take Obama's honesty any day.

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