Vol: 65 Issue: 22 Thursday, February 22, 2007
It appears that a catfight is shaping up between front-runners Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama that, while entertaining, was also very revealing. Uncomfortably so.
A former major Clinton supporter, billionaire Hollywood mogul David Geffen, has thrown his support behind Barack Obama’s candidacy. Geffen made headlines when he offered this assessment of his former friends Bill and Hillary:
“Everybody lies in politics,” he said. “But the Clintons do it with such ease, it’s troubling.”
Geffen, a former Clintonista whose massive campaign contributions and fund-raising efforts once earned him a free stay at America’s Motel 6 (the Lincoln bedroom) was quoted in the New York Times as calling Bill Clinton “a reckless guy” and describing Hillary Clinton as “an incredibly polarizing figure.”
Geffen’s comments prompted all kinds of responses. Those who love the Clintons — no matter what — were scandalized.
Those who despise the Clintons — both Republican and Democrat — were amused.
Democrats bemoaned the “lack of unity” within the party. Writes Martin Lewis in Adriana Huffington’s liberal blog;
“Have we Democrats/progressives/liberals learned NOTHING from the past 30 years?
There is a massive difference between rooting for our preferred cholce for candidate and presenting the enemy with gift-wrapped goodies they may be able to use in 2008.
And that choice does NOT mean sacrificing our principles. It just means remembering who the REAL enemy is. Especially after the last 6 years.”
Note first that the “REAL enemy” isn’t Osama bin Laden. It isn’t the late, unlamented Saddam Hussein. It isn’t Hugo Chavez. It isn’t Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. No, the REAL enemy is the President of the United States.
Republicans were delighted at the prospect of the leaders of the ‘progressive’ (anti-American) wing of the Democratic Party taking aim at Hillary Clinton, hoping to exploit the growing schism.
There were just as many conservative blogs chortling over Geffen’s comments as there were liberals bemoaning it.
So, what was YOUR first thought when you heard Geffen’s quote? Satisfaction that somebody on the Left was saying what the Right had been saying about the Clintons’ since 1992?
Were you thinking, as I was, “Let’s see her blame THIS on a ‘vast, right wing conspiracy’?” Were you basking in the glow of satisfaction that came from having somebody on the Left bringing up Clinton’s pardon of fugitive gun-runner Marc Rich?
Did you miss what I initially did?
What we all missed was the universal acceptance of Geffen’s statement; “In politics, everybody lies.” None of the pundits and commentators, either conservative or liberal, paid any attention whatever to what was said. Just who was saying it.
Not a single politician of either stripe took exception to being labeled a professional liar. None of the 435 members of Congress, not one of America’s senators, none of the thousands of senators and representatives of America’s fifty states, not one of America’s fifty governors, etc, etc, and so on, stepped up to a microphone and said, “Not ALL politicians are liars. I’m not.”
The statement, “All politicians lie” was the ONLY comment made by Geffen that went unchallenged by the very politicians that SHOULD have been offended. (If what Geffen was saying wasn’t so demonstrably true that it was beyond challenge).
None of the media took exception to that statement. While Geffen’s saying it out loud and in conjunction with Hillary Clinton raised some eyebrows, the only notable part of the statement was the part where he said that “the Clintons do it with such ease, its troubling.”
What does that mean? That the rest of the liars are more acceptable because they are more clumsy at it?
In this generation, in this country, lying is not only acceptable, it is expected of our elected leaders. The fact that “all politicians lie” is not the primary concern.
Instead, the concerns, (if there are any) about political liars are broken into two related parts. First, it depends on whether or not the liar in question is ‘your guy’.
When Bill Clinton was caught lying to a grand jury, virtually every single Democrat in the House rallied on the steps of the Capitol Building as an expression of support, claiming he was the victim of a political ‘witch hunt’ by his (and their) political enemies (the Republicans.)
When it was no longer possible to argue that Clinton didn’t lie, the mantra shifted from that of blaming a ‘vast, right wing political conspiracy’ to the mantra that, ‘everybody lies about sex.’
NOBODY on either side of the political aisle, or among the media, or even among the voting public, so much as raised an eyebrow about Geffen’s general statement that, “all politicians lie”. To argue otherwise would be like arguing against the statement that “all fish swim.”
We KNOW they all lie. We EXPECT them to lie. We only object when we don’t like what they are lying about.
Let’s look at that again. If we don’t have a problem with the subject matter, we don’t have a problem with the fact that they are lying to us. We’ve looked at this before, as it relates to the media.
The New York Times has a liberal bias. Their editors ‘slant’ the news to favor the political agenda of the Democrats. The Washington Times has a conservative bias. Their editors slant the news to favor the political agenda of the Republicans.
CNN has a liberal bias, as does NBC, CBS and, (lately) to a lesser degree, ABC. On the other hand, Fox News is generally accepted to be biased towards the conservatives.
Liberals watch CNN because they share CNN’s bias. Conservatives watch Fox because they share Fox’s bias. By definition, both are aware that they are being lied to, or there would be a third alternative choice acceptable to both sides.
“Bias” is defined by the legal dictionary as; “any mental condition that would prevent a judge or juror from being fair and impartial.”
If a lawyer can prove bias by a juror, it is grounds to disqualify that juror as unfit to render an honest and impartial opinion. Jurors render judgments that affect the life of the single individual on trial.
Politicians render judgments that affect the life of an entire nation. But as long as the politician reflects the bias of his constituency, its perfectly acceptable for him to lie.
It doesn’t bother the voters. It doesn’t bother the pundits. It certainly doesn’t bother Barack Obama’s principle campaign fundraiser.
Think about this. Since it was Geffen himself who made the statement that “all politicians lie” what does that say about his own opinion of Barack Obama?
But that fact doesn’t seem to bother anybody, including Geffen, because, as everybody knows, “all politicians lie.” We don’t trust them to tell the truth, or to represent the truth. We trust them to tell ‘acceptable’ lies.
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2nd Timothy 4:3-4)
And if our politicians tell the right fables, we’ll vote for them anyway. Eyes wide open.
According to the Bible, the antichrist cannot come to power until the way has been prepared for him, since the principle weapon in his political arsenal is deception.
“Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not THE LOVE OF THE TRUTH, that they might be saved.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:9-10)
“All politicians lie.” Any questions?