Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Why I Don't Blog Much About Lying Politicians

A commenter expressed concern over my "denial" of Obama's status as a liar, and despite my windy response there, the fair-and-balanced BS keeps coming in. So I've given my response it's own post, with some additional editing.

What I deny is that the claim that "X is a liar" is worthy of much attention. It is childishly simplistic, as are so many arguments coming from the right these days. This is one of the traits of partisan Republicanism that can be directly attributed to their anti-intellectualism. Never mind the details that matter in the real world: what they lied about, in what context, based on what principles, and the evidence that what was said constituted a lie and not a mere mistake or misstatement or simple change of mind. You know, changing your mind, what you are supposed to do when evidence presents itself contrary to your views? If you rarely change your mind, it's not because you are brilliant, it's because you don't consider evidence objectively.

Pretending reality is binary, and therefore all misstatements are equal, is one way people do so. Those that do so to try to win political arguments are particularly insidious. If you think Obama's "57 states" comment warrants the same level of intellectual/moral condemnation as the 10 dumbest/most dishonest things Sarah Palin ever said, I'm looking at you. When the Nazis show up asking if you have Jews in the basement, you lie. Gee, I guess that makes you a liar.

Grow up. Life is not as simple as you so desperately want it to be. I'd be happy to entertain the notion that Obama lies about things he shouldn't lie about, it's just that:

1) This isn't a political blog. I have zero interest in partisan political "gotcha" whose-the-bigger-hypocrite parse-every-syllable wanking, whether it's "57 states" (Obama) or "Russia and Canada are in Alaska" (paraphrase of Palin). Unless there is some humor or science involved, I'm not that interested in it. I didn't blog a lot about Sarah Palin because it was politics, or that she lied. I did so because the things she said were so comically absurd and frightening coming from someone running for the second highest office in the land. So sorry, I'm not going to blog much about anyone in politics unless they cross the absurd line, liar or not, president included.

2) Too many GOPers trust sources that I consider completely unreliable, and I dismiss their claims on that basis. If you can't back your case with something that isn't from a GOP politician, Drudge, or Fox news, I'm looking at you. It isn't that I don't consider any of the claims. I just can't ever find evidence for the claims I consider blog worthy outside the GOP echo chamber.

3) "Politician Lies" is about as interesting a post title as "Player in Violent Sport Arrested for Violence". So is "Politician's Actions Deviate from His Campaign Promises". There's got to be more to it than that.

4) The fact that a post mentions politics in some fashion does not make any of this birther, deather, paranoid lunacy concerning the president relevant, nor does it make relevant a tit-for-tat attack on him. There are plenty of places on the net where you can go hog wild doing such things. This is not one of them.

So sorry, I'm not in denial about anything. I've just accepted unpleasant facts of life that you haven't. My initial intrigue with Obama had little to do with my opinion of his honesty, and that hasn't changed much. With apologies to the "Sunscreen" composer:

Accept certain unalienable truths. Prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, and politicians were noble

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