Like most adult Americans, I am not surprised when my government lies to me. It is what they do. I expect it. There are times when, in the words of the poet Col Nathan Jessup, “I can’t handle the truth.” I expect my government to lie to me about things that I am unable to process. Sometimes it is because the government’s business is so messy and complicated that we can’t understand why this industry needs a tax incentive, but that one doesn’t. Sometimes it is because we all need our government to do things that, as individuals, we can’t do. As the Texas Ranger once said, “some men just need killin’,” and we have given that job to the folks in uniform. If you tell me that Bin Laden is living with some folks on a nice farm, that is good enough for me.
But, when my government lies to me, I expect them to be professional about it. I expect them to go to a little effort. If you are going to lie to me, make the lie plausible. Make the lie compelling. Make sure that it is internally consistent. Don’t tell me a lie that is demonstrably false based on proof easily located in a YouTube video. I need to be able to repeat your lie without being hooted out of the room. If you show me so little respect as to give me a story I can’t repeat, you are telling me you don’t like me. If that’s the way you feel about it, I will go get someone who will give me more plausible lies.
Our current President, and those who support him, care so little about us as citizens that they refuse to spend the effort to come up with believable lies. You don’t have to be a rocket surgeon to believe that the Islamist absolutists hate us and would use 9-11 as a perfect time to stage a hootenanny. No one believes that an obscure, poorly produced video which had been slowly getting views on YouTube would suddenly create a spontaneous, but well planned and organized, series of attacks on US embassies around the arab world. No one except for US Ambassador Rice and the servile court jesters of the major media. All the rest of us, including the President of Libya, know this is horse hockey.
Some of us remember when Richard Nixon was the leaseholder at 1600. He became famous for lying to the public. But he only became known as a liar because a group of very aggressive and resourceful journalists made it their passion and goal to prove that he was a liar. They worked hard and at some risk to make their point. Today, all we need do is compare today’s video to yesterday’s. Don’t we deserve a president that makes it a little harder to prove that he is lying to us? I think so.