Monday, January 29, 2007

Joe Lieberman: "Before this is over the truth must be told." Right. And meanwhile, people are dying.

Sometimes there's nothing like going back and revisiting an old classic of Washington Post reportage.
Certainly [name deleted] is not the first president to lie. But the scope and circumstances of his lying enrage Establishment Washington.

"His behavior," says Lieberman, "is so over the edge. What is troubling is the deceit, the failure to own up to it. Before this is over the truth must be told."
At first glance, you might think Joe was describing President Bush and his outrageous lying and over-the-top track record of malfeasance in office, ranging from Iraq to Katrina, but of course, you would be wrong. He was talking about President Clinton. His attitude toward over the edge presidential behavior, troubling deceit and failure to own up certainly seems to have changed. Today it seems to be, "Bring it on!"

The occasion for the article was the famous charity fund-raiser that Sally Quinn used as a forum to query the Washington Establishment about Bill Clinton just before the congressional election in 1998. It makes for bizarre reading now. Take a look. It's the same piece with the famous quote about Clinton that Matt Yglesias referenced today:
"He came in here and he trashed the place," says Washington Post columnist David Broder, "and it's not his place."
You almost have to be nostalgic for those long-ago days, when sex, lies and videotape were all it took to drive official Washington to paroxysms of self-righteous indignation.

Today, presidential lies that killed more than 3,000 American soldiers, maimed many times that number and killed more Iraqis than we know how to count hardly have the power to ripple the placid somnolence of many of the same kinds of people, some of them -- like Joe Lieberman -- literally the same people. Does anything shock them these days? I wonder if Harvey Waxman's hearings next week will start to wake them up?

Let the truth telling begin.

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