Cheney's Blatant LiesYesterday, Al Franken got so angry about American troops dying over Cheney's lies, that he started to cry. That got me choked up, and I don't get choked up much. But I do get angry. That's one of my problems. So today, I'm going to try to focus my anger.
After 9-11 only 1 or 2 percent of Americans believed that Saddam had something to do with 9-11. By the time we went to war in Iraq, 69% of Americans believed it. To this day, as Al pointed out this morning, 62% of Republicans believe it. Why? Bush has said Saddam had nothing to do with it. Powell has said it. Rice has said it. Even Rumsfeld has said it. So why do Republicans believe this? Are 62% of them just plain stupid?
Cheney said in the debate with Edwards: "The senator has got his facts wrong. I have not suggested there's a connection between Iraq and 9/11..." In September 2003 Cheney said "[Iraq is] the geographical base of the terrorists who had us under assault for many years, but most especially on 9-11." But that's not all. Cheney spent months spreading that lie. In fact he said it was "pretty much confirmed" that Mohammed Atta had met with Iraqi intelligence people in Prague. This has be debunked so many ways it's not funny, but Cheney kept saying it. Then, he denied that he said it, even though there is tape of him actually saying it. So, he even lies about his lies, and no one seems to catch him on it except Jon Stewart, Keith Oberman, and Al Franken.
Here's a great chart of all the Cheney lies in the debate from The Washington Monthly. Of course one of the biggest problems is that Republicans won't read it. Perhaps that's why 62% of them still believe Saddam had something to do with 9-11. Maybe that's why another despicable chicken hawk, Tom DeLay, is considered an ethical guy by most Republicans. I think what my anger has led me to is the realization that Republicans like to hide their heads in the sand. They think they've got it all figured out idealogically, and they really don't give a shit about the day to day reality that gets in the way of it.
Tax cuts create deficits? No, government programs to feed the children of lazy welfare queens do. No WMD in Iraq? Well, they must have moved them to Syria, let's go there next! Bush giveaways to drug companies running up the cost of the Medicare bill? No, it's all the sick people who are too lazy to get rich and pay for their drugs themselves. Too much mercury in the water to eat the fish is Bush's fault for letting the coal powered polluters pollute more? No, it's the people who eat fishes fault. Just stop eating fish!
One of the debates on the liberal side is whether we should demonize the people who believe all this shit. Or, should we demonize the people who perpetuate the lies that make them believe it. Or, maybe we shouldn't demonize anyone. Well, I think the question is, do we want to win an election or not? Who's been winning elections? C'mon, liberals are generally nice people, and by nature don't want to demonize people. So, let's talk issues. If, in the process of talking issues, we point out facts like how many more people will get asthma and cancer and other great, deadly diseases because of increases in pollution directly attributable to Bush policies, then those FACTS do the demonizing for us. We don't have to demonize Bush like he demonizes Kerry. We don't have to lie about republican policies. We have the facts on our side. We just have to make sure that these facts, these ISSUE arguments get out there. We have to be ready to spin hard and fast with the truth the way Karen Hughes, Karl Rove, and Marly Matlin do with lies.
This means doing something that many liberals find distasteful. We have to confront Republicans. We have to be willing to argue issues with them to the point that they realize they can't win so they start screaming FUCK YOU right in your face.
Or, if you're not the confrontational type, then be the subversive. Find a breakdown of Republican lies, like the one about Cheney's, print a bunch of them, go shop in a Republican neighborhood, and leave a bunch of them behind the soup cans in the grocery store. I've hidden small pieces of paper with facts on them all over grocery stores, the post office, and just about anywhere else I can. Get out there and make a difference. Please. My son and I have asthma. Over a thousand troops have died while Osama's been forgotten. Millions of Americans have moved into poverty and lost health insurance during Bush's term. The air and water are more polluted than they were three years ago and the framework for making it worse is still being drawn up in secret Cheney energy meetings. How much worse will it be four years from now, when Jeb runs?
And besides, Al Franken has done USO tours, and is very close to the troops. I can't stand to hear him cry. But most of all, if I could make Republicans listen to one group, it would be Military Families Speak Out. Ask them how they feel about Bush goading the enemy with his "Bring it on" comment.