Tuesday, June 24, 2003

In last Thursday's post, I implied that Larry Doby spent his retirement days running a liquor store in New Jersey. I did not intend to give that impression, so I do want to point out that Mr. Doby spent his post-playing career in a variety of MLB leadership positions, including Manager of the White Sox in 1978. The last living baseball commissioner, Fay Vincent, reminded me of this here. Just wanted to clear that up.


Hell hath no fury like an "I can't believe I support the war liberal" scorned -- or lied to. Timothy Noah has a fine "Chatterbox" today in which he posits the theory that of those who believe Bush lied and those who believe Bush was too dumb to lie, both have it half right. The last graf is poignant:

"In fact, it has yet to be proved that the two mobile labs [which Bush referred to when he said on Polish TV that 'we found the weapons of mass destruction'] were used (or even designed to be used) to build biological weapons. It isn't possible that Bush fails to grasp that. So, why did he say something so obviously untrue? Chatterbox posed the question to The Nation's David Corn, who has written extensively on the question of Bush's veracity. In Corn's view, the key to Bush's lies isn't necessarily that he doesn't know any better, but that he doesn't care. 'He mischaracterizes situations to fit his pattern of thinking,' Corn explained. 'Does he believe he's lying? I don't know.' But 'he still should be held accountable, whether he made a mistake of this nature in good faith or in bad faith.' Amen."

The implication is that Bush's lies are the result of laziness and a lack of intellectual curiosity. I believe that's partly true, but more disturbing to me is that it is also a result of the cynicism of the Bush/Cheney/Rove troika. They believe -- and the evidence has supported that belief time after time -- that they can lie at will. The press won't report extensively on it. During the 2000 election, the press was more attuned to Gore's alleged lies and exaggerations, than in really looking into the "fuzzy math" behind Bush's claims about who would gain from his proposed tax cut. And now, of course, the press is reticent when it comes to criticizing the Commander-in-Chief. And, as Michelle Goldberg wrote in Salon last week, many in the public simply don't want to believe that what Bush and Powell said about Iraq's WMD and connections to al Qaeda was bull. Striking Iraq gave many a sense of revenge and made them feel more secure. Misguided, but an impression the Bush administration -- and a Republican Congress -- are unlikey to remedy any time soon.

Paul Krugman is even more despairing.


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