Secrets and Lies

Liars” Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive”

Sir Walter Scott. Scott was a Scottish novelist and poet. He was also a historian and biographer. He lived from 1771-1832.

During the Clinton presidency I renounced my identity as a Democrat. I am not a Republican either. My personal politics are irrelevant. The reason I made the gesture was that it had become clear to me that if you join either side of a partisan conflict you generally give up the ability to point an accusing finger at your own sides hypocrisies and corruptions. Partisanship is a great enemy of honesty. It was difficult to see President Clinton mesmerizing his team into believing he was doing good things when it was clear that he was not addressing things I cared about. I really wanted Clinton to stop “feeling my pain” and “get me some” health care. At the time I was writing a column for a local newspaper and it just was part of my thinking that honesty and truth were not the domain of any one side and I was not going to silence myself and abide lies by people claimed to represent my views and who assumed they could kiss up to me and get my vote just for the asking.

Which brings me to President Obama, whose words I often like and whose Presidential persona is often very comforting. It’s just his policies that drive me crazy. He says he wants to end wars and then agrees to send arms to Syrian Rebels and he lies about chemical weapons (Hello W) and characterizes death totals in that civil war to justify the foolishness. He wants to give arms to fundamentalist Islamists opposing Assad in Syria who will install a heinous Taliban like regime vastly more restrictive than anything Assad ever has done if they get power. Here we go again. Not to mention he kills people with drone aircraft, wants to hike the cost of student loans, and pretends there isn’t a vast system of domestic surveillance of American Citizens. You see if I was a Democrat, I’d have to shut up and trust that he’s got good reasons for all he;s doing, just like all those annoying Republicans believed about George W’s ongoing disaster in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sorry Charlie, but just like his vilified predecessor, he is treading carelessly upon the very Constitution he swore to uphold. It just gets to be too damn much.

I don’t dislike Obama for the reasons most of his Republican critics do. I dislike him because I don’t like to be mislead. If you believe a surveillance system is necessary come before the American people and state your case. Honor our creed of by the people, for the people, and more importantly, with the consent of the people. But that’s not what our president’s do, not what Dubya, Bill, George the Elder, the Gipper, Jimmy, Gerald, Tricky Dicky, LBJ, JFK, Ike and now Obama do. They all lie to us because they think we are too stupid to understand what is in our own interest. They all lie to protect us.

And that is just a crock!

I had a friend who was a little nuts. she published a little rag newspaper called The Salmon Wrapper, and she said to me that all Presidents are clones of each other. I told her I thought that was a clever way to express how they all become similar. She corrected me. She said “No, I mean they are biological clones of each other on the cellular level. For real.”

Maybe she was right.

One thought on “Secrets and Lies

  1. I interned at the White House for a month and a half in 1993-94: the two weeks before Christmas through the end of January. While watching then-President Clinton talking with members of the press on Air Force One (I wasn’t with him, but watching it on a television with other interns and staffers), I turned to one of the true believers sitting next to me and said “damn, he’s good.” To which the staffer, eyes fully moist with unquestioned adoration for Bill and his shtick, said: “he’s not good, he’s genuine,” or words to that effect. I wanted to laugh, only it would not have been appropriate, given the Oval Office was the next building over and the First Lady’s office just down the hall. It was surreal.

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