Pants on Fire: The Liars of the Bush Administration
will take the world down in flames if we let them
January 14, 2006
By Daniel Patrick Welch
Alito is merely the latest liar on the block for Bush's full spectrum
dominance agenda. But the show-trial hearings on whether this proto-fascist
ideologue should be allowed to shape US social and political development
for a generation provide some nuggets of insight into how the corrupt
junta's pathological liars actually work.
The first order of amazement is that the process can actually take
place. Shouldn't precedence be given to hearings on impeaching and
imprisoning the corporate cronies who lied us into war? Business
As Usual, is, as usual, the most effective weapon in the arsenal
of the criminal cabal that has seized control of the US. If it looks
like a government, stands behind a podium with a government seal,
wears a suit and speaks in an authoritative voice, then everything
must be okay. Ask any successful thief or terrorist what the key
to the grift is: try to blend in. When I traveled in Europe in the
'80s, my friends and I were occasionally hasseled at borders because
we "looked the part": sort-of-scruffy, beat up car, long
hair, etc. My German friend scoffed: "Guys with bombs in the
trunk are certainly wearing suits and driving Mercedes."
No cover works forever, and though many of us warned that the veneer
was never very convincing to begin with, the paint seems to be chipping
more and more on the right wing's menagerie of talking dolls that
is the Bush administration. Of course, Alito's presence alone is
evidence of the mask falling away. When Baby Doc Bush tried to appoint
his own lawyer, his christofascist paymasters seethed with rage
and responded with one voice: "You shut up, and remember why
we put you in office in the first place." The swaggering phony
cowboy obediently caved, and Harriet Myers made way for Sam Alito.
So here he sits, the klieg lights melting the carefully crafted
Rovian image of a real honest-to-goodness judge. First line of defense
is always the blatant lie, of course; and to their barely deserved
credit, the Democrats on the panel let loose with a much deserved
chorus--to paraphrase--of "Liar, liar, pants on fire!"
Why was Alito so proud of his membership in the racist Concerned
Alumni of Princeton, whose original goal was to keep blacks and
women out of the Ivy League school? He had "no specific recollection."
Thank you, Mr. Haldman-North-Dean-McNamara. Why did he agree with
a case where a farm family was evicted at gunpoint? They may have
had weapons. What about his well documented statements that there
is no constitutional protection for abortion? That was then, this
is now. His unabashed adulation of Robert Bork, whom he called the
most qualified Supreme Court nominee in this century? Out of context.
For all their impotence, the Democratic minority managed to hone
in on the real dangers that tipping the court might hasten: the
final nail in the coffin of reproductive freedom, and an uberpresidency
resting on unrestrained executive power. Not entirely to their credit,
of course. Anyone who wasn't awakened by the scandal of the NSA
wiretapping is comatose. And those who hide behind "protecting
Roe v. Wade" as the benchmark of protecting women's rights
are a few years too late. Casey is not the super-precedent that
enshrines the 1972 Roe decision as untouchable: on the contrary,
it is the open door that has invited states to impose restrictions
on abortion, so that, at this date, 87% of the counties in the US
have no health care providers who will perform abortion. Alito is
merely the icing on the cake--the real fight is all but over, and
the right wing has won. Anyone who doubts this should see the alarming
Frontline documentary "The Last Abortion Clinic."
And the Democrats, by playing their scripted part, are slowly but
surely sowing the seeds of their own demise. Since the parties largely
eschew any activity outside the electoral arena--strikes, mass rallies,
mobilizations--there is little for them to do "between cycles"
but play the role. The peculiarities of the Senate do allow them
to filibuster; but their complicity in the war and their addiction
to propriety will probably prevent them from doing so. And their
predicament can be summed up in the simple phrase "No filibuster--no
Simply sending Alito home sobbing (the meme currently being shopped
by Fox News) isn't enough. And as for that, Sammy, I'll save my
tears for some real victims, starting with the maimed and murdered
children around the globe who are subject to the unrestrained authority
of US presidents, past and present. Just beneath the mask, the ugliness
of the agenda of these wackos is revealed by their own statements,
in moments of clarity, and those of their heroes. Robert Bork, rightfully
rejected as a radical nutbag, once said, in his dissent from a major
case on the legality of contraception, that there is no explicit
or implicit right to reproduction in the constitution. Yikes. This
fits nicely with the theocracy Bush's base would like to establish;
but it's a far cry from the mainstream.
That's why it has to be covered by lies and hypocrisy so deep and
so twisted that it blows our brains apart. The country that drenched
southeast Asia in a warm bath of dioxin has the balls to talk about
chemical weapons--Saddams most egregious crime, remember,
was that he "gassed his own people," while the generations
of deformed Agent Orange babies in Vietnam deserve no parallel treatment.
"Useable" nukes will somehow help us prevent nuclear proliferation,
even as other countries scared to death are scrambling to get nukes
to avoid become the US' next victim. Meanwhile, nuclear war is already
here: the Persian Gulf has been saturated with depleted uranium
munitions not once, but twice, with all the vigor of elites whose
kids are not sent to war. More than half of the soldiers of the
first Gulf War are on some form of disability, and the coming DU
crisis will engulf US society as it has already done to Iraq. Widespread
torture will keep us safe, and somehow quell the rage of those who
oppose our policies. Spying on nonviolent peace groups will preserve
our civi liberties. Quakers, for God's sake! I thought everyone
pretty much knew that Nixon was the only dangerous Quaker. No wonder
a recent internet sendup claimed that George Orwell's estate was
suing the Bush Administration for stealing his ideas.
But lies, of course, can't hurt without a complicit audience. Democrats
don't help themselves or the country by abetting the pretense that
this band of corrupt thugs clinging to power is Business as Usual.
The timid debate over the horrors of the Iraq war won't ring true
to the rest of the world until they include a war crimes tribunal,
reparations to the invaded, and restructuring of the process that
made the war hysteria possible. Instead, the drumbeat toward war
on Iran is already ramping up--sound familiar?--without the visceral
response one might expect from such a truly insane proposition,
and one from which the US and the world will not recover. And the
press, who would love the ratings, can be counted on to continue
the Orwellian spin: Pope John Paul is mourned as a reformer and
a man of progress; the Abramoff corruption scandal is a bipartisan
affair; and Ariel Sharon is recast as a Man of Peace. Meanwhile,
the march toward the abyss can't be overstated, and is being eased
into fast forward. Bush may be an ignorant puppet, but The League
of Shadows around him is neither stupid nor benign. And with control
over the bloated military, they have the very real power to accelerate
the world toward nuclear war and environmental devastation. Resistance
begins with calling them on their lies; otherwise we risk being
drawn into the flames.
© 2006 Daniel Patrick Welch. Reprint permission granted with
credit and link to http://danielpwelch.com.
Writer, singer, linguist and activist Daniel Patrick Welch lives
and writes in Salem, Massachusetts, with his wife, Julia Nambalirwa-Lugudde.
Together they run The
Greenhouse School. Translations of articles are available in
up to 20 languages. Links to the website are appreciated at danielpwelch.com.