THE BLOG
05/08/2013 06:50 pm ET Updated Jul 08, 2013

Tell Me Lies: A Republican Songbook

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Tell me lies,
Tell me sweet little lies

...goes the refrain from Fleetwood Mac's elegiac love anthem, "Little Lies," never envisioning it would someday become the default anthem for the Republican Party.

The verse, innocent as it seemed at the time, goes on to threaten eventual public exposure...

Oh, no, no you can't disguise
(You can't disguise, no you can't disguise)

Well, the Republicans, bless their little hearts, have resolutely ignored the import of the second two lines of the refrain, as they continue to cling to the first two lines as a strategic response to whatever they find unlikable in our shifting political landscape. In fact, they've been so successful in elevating lies to a status where they've become worthy of discussion, we are often placed in the unenviable position of defending reality or a political position against the onslaught of either (choose one) gross stupidity, willful misrepresentation, or extremist religious ideology.

(If you chose " All of the Above" consider yourself smarter than most people who vote for Republican candidates.)

What songs must echo through your mind when you vote for the party that angrily shouts "Death Panels!" in response to a proposal that seeks to help the elderly prepare for their end of days.

Tell me lies,
Tell me sweet little lies...

And what refrain do you sing to yourself when you deny global warming and minimize it as a liberal conspiracy to hobble industry and waste taxpayer dollars? Even as you're forced to shout, rather than sing, to be heard above the 100-year storms, once-in-a-lifetime floods, and record-breaking droughts and wildfires that are suddenly multiplying on the planet like Pharaoh's plagues?

Tell me, do they really believe God made Adam from dust, and Eve from Adam's rib bone? Or that Darwinism is heresy, evolution an atheist's revenge? Could anyone with higher than a fifth-grade education truly believe that?


Tell me lies,
Tell me sweet little lies...

But the biggest, balls-of-brass lies are the ones they sing about George W. Bush and Barack Hussein Obama (yes, the "Hussein" must be kept silent because lying Republican extremists regard the name as proof positive that Barack Obama is not only a Muslim but an Islamic terrorist out to destroy the American way of life).

And, of course, it's also final proof -- if any is needed -- that our president wasn't even born on American soil!

Oh, no, no you can't disguise
(You can't disguise, no you can't disguise)

Then there's the question of their wholesale ransacking of government programs. Programs critical to the upward mobility of the middle class, programs crucial to the very survival of the social safety net. The Republicans blame it all on Barack Hussein Obama and his policies, as if he were responsible for the size of the national debt, as if he chose to conduct two wars at once, as if the country's financial sector collapsed on his watch instead of his predecessor's, as if his policies somehow led to the recession he inherited!

As Bill Clinton said about the Republicans at the Democratic convention, "They made the mess, then blame him cause he hasn't cleaned it up fast enough."

So, why suddenly do we need to throw out the character and conscience of America, as illustrated in the warp and woof of 80-plus years of humane, socially progressive legislation? Why should financial scarcity brought on by the excesses of a Republican administration -- an administration so unconcerned about the public treasury its prescription drug bill prohibited the U.S. government from bargaining for better prices? Why should Bush's many over-indulgences, managerial incompetencies and financial missteps be allowed to kill off programs that were the work of many administrations and the combined will of the American people in the modern era?

There was no need to defenestrate government programs, no need to tinker with Medicare benefits, no push to reduce the Social Cecurity cost-of-living adjustments before George W. Bush embroiled us in two unwinnable wars and looted the treasury with two rounds of tax cuts. As was often remarked, no previous president had ever called for tax cuts in the midst of a war -- let alone two wars!

That was only one of George W. Bush's many firsts. Like being the first president to initiate a preemptive war, the first to make torture an acceptable means of interrogation, the first to attack a foreign country on trumped-up evidence, the first to cripple his own war effort by starting a second war before finishing the first, and the first ex-president who can't travel to foreign countries for fear of being arrested and tried as a war criminal.

Oh, no, no you can't disguise
(You can't disguise, no you can't disguise)

By the time the Republicans -- following the dictates of their millionaire and billionaire masters -- finish dismantling assistance programs for the poor, eliminating food stamps and Pell grants, crippling Social Security and Medicare, killing off public sector jobs, there won't be an America left to celebrate as the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

We'll think of it instead as the Land of the Rich and the Home of the Poor.

And that's no lie.

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