It used to be a big deal when a president was perceived to have lied.
Examples are easy enough to recall. “Read my lips, no new taxes.” George H.W. Bush did go on to sign a bill passed by Congress that increased taxes, though he was right to do so. The spiraling Reagan debt from the “Trickle-Down Spending Spree” of the 80s, and an expensive war forced his hand. One can almost look at George H.W. Bush’s action as brave. He knew it would cost him, he felt he needed to do the right thing for the country, almost a profile in courage in comparison.
“It depends on what the meaning of ‘is,’ is.” Bill Clinton was asked at a deposition “is there a sexual relationship” between him and Monica Lewinsky. He answered “no,” because they had actually “broken up” (at least physically) months prior to the deposition. The question actually was phrased in the present tense. Why they didn’t ask “Have you ever had a …” is beyond me. Still, slick Bill knew damn well he was skating on thin ice with that question. He paid for it, a censure, lost his law license for 5 years, and a House impeachment that ended up hurting the Republicans, fittingly. Since at the exact same time, Newt was, oh never mind.
Let me skip ahead a bit, “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” Well, under Obama’s plan at the time, and the plan he wanted all along, that remained true. But, Obama ended-up attempting to gather Republican support by going to the mandatory insurance alternative which was always in the Republican plan – until Obama adopted it. Anytime you’re dealing with insurance, well, good luck.
So, even “lies” that could be somewhat explained used to hurt presidents, bigly.
That remains true as ever …with Trump opponents. Each Trump lie, hourly ones, cause his opponents to reach for the bottle.
But not so with his supporters, who galvanize their individual and team strength – dedication and unity. They decry the audaciousness of the media for reporting “what happened” when “what happened” made the president they support look bad. Rawstory had some “outtakes” from a New York Times article that demonstrate what we all pretty well know. Most (by far) Trump supporters, will support Trump, through whatever it is they need support him. Trump lies are a clarion call to hit the fire brigade.
“He’s not a perfect guy; he does some stupid stuff,” said Minnesota man Tony Schrantz, 50. “But when they’re hounding him all the time it just gets old. Give the guy a little.”
A couple questions for Tony. Give the guy a little, what? Patience? Understanding? Tony is from Minnesota and so we assume he’s as nice and polite as required by state law, so he must be familiar with the old axiom; “You’ve got to give a little to get a little.” Well, Tony doesn’t seem to mind that Trump “hounds” the media (any non-Fox variety) with little things like “they are the enemy of the people,” which is a tad strong by Minnesota standards, and always decrying reporters as “the most dishonest people.” And, Tony, if the man ever, and I mean ever, came out and said; “You know, I said something pretty dumb and mean, and not entirely true, at all, actually, and I feel bad about that,” he would likely “get a little.”
Oh, Tony, while we have you here, no one is expecting him to be perfect (though Repubs expected Obama to be perfectly evil), what kind of “stupid stuff” is it, that is both stupid, and should get a pass? President’s move markets with one tweet, they implement policy that is going to impact the price of grain for every farmer in the U.S., they try to deter immigration from Central America by ripping kids out of the arms of people seeking refugee status, and they get involved with things that can compromise their “conflicts of interest” by doing everything from tagging a porn star in Tahoe, to getting thick with the Russian mob – which is particularly stupid because pretty well everyone knows there’s no way out of that relationship except in a box. So, Tony, those imperfections are going to be called out, questioned, litigated and researched for the next 300 years.
I do admit, that yes, even the left can be a little over the top with Trump derangement, but come on, Tony, give a little, you know?
“It bothers me that he doesn’t tell the truth,” said Julie Knight of Washington. “But I guess I kind of expect that, and I expect that from the media, too — not to always tell the truth or to slant it one way.”
Okay, well, we certainly appreciate Julie’s honesty in admitting she just expects it now. But, she then basically concludes that she won’t hold it against him, since “the media” (the ones that don’t praise everything) don’t always tell the truth. For Julie, the two wrongs make Trump right, or something. Julie is right in that the media occasionally lies, except what Julie doesn’t say is that with real news organizations, there is hell to pay if they lie. Ask Brian Williams, or Ross from ABC. I can’t think of a Fox example, which is strange because …never mind.
“Those cages and those families — that was actually filmed during the Obama administration, not the Trump administration,” said Illinois man Clayton Smith.
We have less patience with Clayton because that happens to be 100% wrong, provably wrong, willfully wrong, because he needs to say something is not true about kids in cages because that’s bad. Clayton knows that everything “bad” happened under Obama, so clearly the caged kids had to have been an under-covered Obama policy.
As we gaze in awe of the elegance in reasoning – “Trump is MAGA man and I am fking supporting him even if he orders every Democrat killed! In fact, especially if he orders every democrat killed!” The article’s takeaway is essentially that we’re divided in teams now, and just like in hockey, if the guy on your team is in a fight, you jump on the guy nearest you from the other team. That’s us, now, the United States, country founded by the greatest thinkers ever assembled. Two gangs, Bloods and Crips, damn, we even have the colors. We’ve gone from Jefferson, Madison, Washington, to Tupac and Biggie.
It’s a product of the real problem in America now, and there is a wee-bit of “both sides” to this one. Right now, with no real “enemy” except terrorists (and no one supports terrorists, Repubs just say Democrats do because we vehemently insist that among the world’s 1.3 billion Muslims, there are non-terrorists, a lot of them, and they should be treated like non-terrorists, and as soon as they are, I will be criticizing their treatment of women, and all that just like I do with some conservatives.), with no real enemy, and an anonymous internet to really tell the others how you feel about them, too many Americans see “the other side” as “the enemy” and not your fellow citizens.
It wasn’t always this way. But, when you are in a foxhole, or a factory, fighting for your country against Nazis and the Japanese, you are likely going to have much more tolerance for the guy that wants a bigger tax cut for the wealthy. He’s still going to drag you off the battlefield. In the Cold War, Democrats were every bit as dead as Republicans if it turned hot, which had a unifying effect.
We don’t have that now, and some damnably smart Republican strategists saw this day coming and strategized long ago that their own network, and a cry that all other media (and people) were biased against conservatives, would light a match that started a fire Bill Joel didn’t know was even smoking yet.
I say this from experience. I now live among almost nothing but Trump supporters, at least the white people I live around seem unanimous in their support. But, you know what? When I actually meet them, a lot of them are pretty nice, and a lot like me in many ways. I do think that the Republican right has been vastly more manipulated by the media because you have to really gin up some hate if you’re going to ask a white guy making 30K a year for “the man,” to vote for “the man’s” candidate. Or, you can simply sprinkle everything with race issues, and they’ll vote for the guy who tends to speak for their race, or at least is perceived that way.
But, but, even on race issues, my experience in the deep south has taught me that race issues are “group issues,” because if you’ve ever attended a high school football game down here, you will see – individual to individual – white people and black people gleefully giving fist bumps when the guy on their team (of whatever color) just knocked the shipping out of the other teams quarterback.
We finish where we started. It’s not about lies, it’s about teams. There doesn’t seem to be a team America anymore, on anything. I think maybe we should make a promise that we’ll do something each day to promote a greater team, team America (superheroes) all while working very hard to stop Trump’s policies, just not necessarily all his voters.