DATE: 1/16/2004 08:03:00 AM
Lying Liars vs. George W. Bush - The Bush-hating left's most irritating and oft-repeated meme is "Bush Lied." It's so pervasive that we'll probably see it 20 years from now on a fading, flaked bumper sticker attached to an aging Volvo driven by a college professor. The line is based largely on the failure of coalition troops to find any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. As Jonah Goldberg says in his syndicated column, acting in good faith on bad information is not a lie, it's a mistake. The best intelligence we had said Saddam Hussein had WMD and was developing more. Given Hussein's previous history and our newfound sense of vulnerability after September 11, a decision was made to preempt any strike the Iraqi leader may have been planning.
Goldberg's best point is that in order to believe Bush is a liar, those who throw the accusation also have to believe all of these people are liars: Dick Gephardt, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, Wesley Clark, Joe Lieberman, Tony Blair, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Hillary Clinton, Jacques Chirac, Gerhard Schroeder. When conservatives raise this point, however, liberals stick their fingers in their ears and shout 'neener neener neener.' They don't want to hear the truth - they prefer the soundbite. This is why, no matter who they nominate (my money's still on Dean), they will likely lose the election.
The left has constructed a straw man and named him George W. Bush. All of their time and energy is spent gleefully whacking the straw Bush with sticks. Unfortunately for them, Bush has proven to be cannier and more politically able than the caricature, and most Americans look at the real Bush and approve of the job he's doing. They don't recognize the Bush portrayed by the extreme left, and most of them will dismiss the picture Howard Dean, John Kerry and Wesley Clark are trying to paint.