Random commentary and senseless acts of blogging.
The first Republican president once said, "While the people retain their virtue and their vigilance, no administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can seriously injure the government in the short space of four years." If Mr. Lincoln could see what's happened in these last three-and-a-half years, he might hedge a little on that statement.
Prisoners of Azkaban
Wednesday, August 27, 2003
This "Mendacity Index" published by the Wahington Monthly doesn't mean much - the scores used to rate the lies are thoroughly arbitrary. But it's still worth noting that , not only are Clinton's scores the lowest, they should be even lower because one of his 'lies' is a pure myth:
During a weekly Oval Office radio address on June 8th, 1996, Clinton told his audience that "I have vivid and painful memories of black churches being burned in my own state when I was a child." The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported the following day that there was no evidence available of a black church ever being burned down in Arkansas.
True Enough. But, as Likely Story points out, the Democrat-Gazette retracted that story a few days later, admitting that not only had there been a suspicious burning of a black church when Clinton was in High School, but it had taken place in Hot Springs - the very town the he lived in.
Some other statemnts listed also are not lies in the strict sense - they're examples of verbal trickery or unusually intense spinning, but not strictly false. And in Reagan's case, he probably believed most of the whoppers he told - even after he was corrected. (And how did Reagan's claim that subs could launch, then recall nuclear missiles - and his subsequent claim that he had never said it - fail to make the list?) Clinton's however, is the only one in the set that is genuinely true - neither false nor deceptive.
The other thing that is striking is that Bush has needed only 2/3s of a single term to pile up a record of falsehoods that, at the very least, matches up well with those of Clinton and Reagan, both noted for their flexible ways with the truth, over two full terms. If this country is unfortunate enough to suffer 5 more years of Dubya, he is likely to be all alone in the record books - the Jerry Rice of presidential liars.