I know what you're thinking – all politicians are full of horse manure, so how is President Bush and his Republican administration's hogwash any different? The answer is simple, but sadly, very few people see it. The things Bush and his shortsighted administration tell us regarding national security, the War on Terror, the economy, or anything else for that matter, are more often the exact opposite of what's actually going on. In other words, it is grade A horse excretion.
However, it shouldn't come as a complete shock that politicians are dishonest (to put it nicely). After all, ever since the American Revolution our politicians have been feeding us bologna. As George Carlin points out, the framers of our Constitution insisted that every man must be treated equally, even though they excluded blacks, women and all other minorities.
Today, more than two centuries later, we still aren't treated equally. So when President Bush or any other politician gets caught up in a web of lies, people tend to look the other way because they understand that throughout history politicians lie. This is one of the very few things the American people do know about politicians. But curiously, they don't question many of the stories they are told by the Bush Republicans. So now that we can accept that politicians lie, I will begin explaining how Bush's Stories (BS) are in fact crap and different from other politicians' dishonesty.
One great example is a comparison between President Bush and former President Clinton. Obviously Clinton cheated on his wife and lied about it, both bad and regrettable things. However, I cannot fathom any similarities between Clinton's lie about Lewinsky and Bush's lies for war in Iraq.
Granted, Clinton is probably more embarrassed, but he doesn't have to go to bed every night with a dozen more deaths on his conscience. The bumper sticker "nobody died when Clinton lied" therefore holds true. And for those of you who are still stubbornly ignorant about Iraq and the reasons for war, I urge you to research "The Downing Street Memo" where British intelligence reported that Bush had determined to "fix" the evidence of WMDs and ties to 9/11 in order to "fit the policy" of war (freepress.org).
But enough about the Iraq War and our inconsistent rationale for the invasion because all this is well documented. What I want to focus on are some of the less talked about issues in which the BS is getting out of hand.
Some more BS from the current administration includes the Clear Skies Initiative, Healthy Forests Initiative and the Deficit Reduction Act. Just last week, Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada brought the BS to the forefront by accusing Republicans of using doublespeak to sell their policies:
"When they wanted to let energy companies release more pollution into the air, they called it the Clear Skies Initiative. When they wanted to let loggers cut down more trees and weaken environmental laws, they called it the Healthy Forests Initiative" (cnn.com).
Sen. Reid brings up a great point here, and one that stinks of political dishonesty within the Bush administration. Reid also pointed out that when the Bush Republicans gave a tax cut to their special interest friends (rich people, in other words), they had the audacity to call it the "Deficit Reduction Act" even though it added another $50 billion to our deficit. This BS was just too much.
I have no idea how the Bush administration continues to get away with such obvious rubbish, but you have got to give them credit. They have used their BS to convince the American people that John Kerry is a weak man and President Bush is a strong leader when it was Kerry who volunteered for war in Vietnam while Bush went AWOL at the Texas Air National Guard. They have used their BS to manipulate an entire nation to believe that Iraq was an imminent threat when in fact they never even had any WMD. They have used their BS to pass policies such as the ones Senator Reid talked about above. They have used their BS to help us forget that Bin Laden is still alive. And they have used their BS to convince the American people that it is the Republican Party who is strongest against terrorism when they were in office on 9/11. And finally, they turned the worst catastrophe in the history of our country into the greatest moment for President Bush.
The Bush administration has proven over and over again that they cannot run this country successfully or effectively, but somehow they convince people they can. They find a way to turn bad things into good things and mislead the public by using language well, as Sen. Reid pointed out.
Until the American people can see past the BS and do something about it, we will continue to be bombarded with loads and loads of crap. Clearly Bush's Stories (BS) stands for something else.
Tim Waddingham is a senior, double-majoring in Political Science and Speech Communication. His column runs every Wednesday.