The Inescapable Choice: Useful Idiot or Manipulative Liar

Duh-byaBetween preparations for a big, in-house meeting and play rehearsals, I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t been able to spend time with my family, let alone make snide comments on recent news events. To be honest, though, I suppose there’s not much new I’d have to offer that I haven’t said before: The Bush regime routinely distorted or ignored both intelligence information and threat assessments that didn’t support the case for war, Duh-bya’s proceeding to bankrupt the country to favor his billionaire buds, the right-wingers are trying to turn the District into an abbatoir, and the Republican party is determined to cement its power (apparently, in the most insipidly childish manner possible) in a police state. Business as usual.

Richard Cohen does have an interesting piece in today’s Post, though. In it, he speculates that Bush isn’t a liar after all, but is rather what Lenin termed a “useful idiot,” one who believes what he’s told wholeheartedly, without bothering to think for himself. While I’ve no doubt that on the whole, Bush does fall into that category — being manipulated ruthlessly by the likes of Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz — I can’t quite support the notion that he’s not a liar, particularly after (as noted in an amusingly accurate letter to the editor) his patently false assertions of July 14 (after a meeting with U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan), in which he claimed that the war began only after he gave Saddam “a chance to let the inspectors in, and he wouldn’t let them in.” Call it “revisionist history” if you will, but a lie’s a lie.

Still, just for the sake of argument, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. Even so, the neofascists are going to have to make a choice: Either he’s a deliberate liar, or he’s an idiot. They can’t have it both ways.

Hang on, that’s not too clear: I mean they can’t claim he’s neither a liar nor an idiot. I’m perfectly willing to entertain the notion that he’s both.


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