Is There a GOP Gene for Lying?

History will determine Bush's ultimate comeuppance. A man this unaware, an Alfred E.Neuman caricature, is impervious to self-reflection, embarrassment, or introspection. He will vacate the Oval Office with the GOP base in shambles, his reputation tarnished in every quarter save for the delusional salons at Fox News and Weekly Standard.

He will leave Washington with his two terriers, Barney and Miss Beazley, and dutiful wife Laura by his side. Pretty much everyone else will be busy that day.
Those who filled their bellies with Dubya's grape Kool-aid will be feeling queasy and faint for a long time. It's up to the Democrats to prolong their agony and political discomfort.

You just know that if a Democrat moves into the White House --no predictions here on who that will be -- and a timetable for U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq is finally put into place, the Republican party will pounce on this development with rabid ferocity. They will accuse the Democrats of losing the Iraq war, of caving into the enemy, and of being soft on terrorism. What will be glossed over are the arrogance, lies, and gross incompetence of the Bush administration that got us into the war in the first place. Moreover, it is readily apparent to everyone but the blinkered Petraeus gang that it's a war that can't be won.

Pinning defeat on Democrats will be Vietnam 2.0. Blaming a liberal media and Democrats is quite on par with all the other White House fabrications that brought us this war.

One wonders how Republicans are able to lie with such effortless conviction. We have all heard of the God gene. Is there a GOP gene that short-circuits the part of the brain where honesty and the conscience reside?

In terms of evolution, having the GOP lying gene is useful because it enhances one's competitive advantages in the political marketplace. This is what is meant by natural selection. (Intelligent design nitwits would merely claim that God made Republicans smarter and better leaders than Democrats.) Being a good liar gets you elected and reelected. In politics, lying allows you to you win battles against your opponents or fool the public.

Viewed in the context of group dynamics, lying promotes the viability of the entire species. It's much easier to take down an adversary when you can gang up on it. A lone water buffalo, for example, will have difficulty warding off a pack of hyenas. A dissenter like Joseph Wilson was raw meat for a White House keen on punishing its vocal anti-war critic.

The winning-at-all-costs lying gene is easily passed down through generations. Empirical evidence for ruthlessness can be found at college Republican conventions where serious-minded participants walk around with copies of The Art of War and Robert's Rules of Order. Contrast that with the sprawling, anarchic, and deeply fissured YearlyKos.

Nixon was a bad liar. His fibs were all too transparent. When he said, "I am not a crook," he was telling the world the exact opposite.

Since Watergate, the Republican party establishment has carefully chosen presidential candidates who are good liars.

The affable Reagan exuded a Teflon shield that baffled opponents. He believed in his own whoppers like fighting overseas in World War II. Iran-Contra never did stick to him.

Poppy Bush mastered the black art of duplicity as director of the CIA where subterfuge and deceit are institutionalized.

Junior Bush got a hands-on education in lying during his sodden years. Although he ditched the bottle and picked up the Bible, old habits die hard. It's much easier to swap out a different pack of lies.

He's been bingeing on Iraq for several years now. The worse the situation gets over there, the more brazen have become his lies. These days, he's fixated on Al Qaeda in Iraq. His last speech mentioned them 70 times, despite their playing a limited role in the civil war and attacks on U.S. troops. Two years ago, he uttered nary a peep about Al Qaeda.

We can not expect anything close to the truth to come from Bush's mouth. When he drones on about fighting al-Qaida in Iraq so we don't have to fight them in the U.S., you should think instead of the guy at the end of the bar talking about his failed marriage.

When Bill Clinton lied to the American public about having "sexual relations" with Monica, it seemed like an aberration, a dumb private act requiring artful semantic dodging. But with the Bushies, lying is engrained as a way of life. From Abramoff to Gonzales to Libby to DeLay, a steady stream of perjurers and con men have puffed out their chests with shameless dishonesty and sham behavior.

Maybe down the road, in addition to more YouTube debates or even cyber-town hall meetings, we should try something completely different when choosing our next president. Let's hook up all the candidates-- Democrats and Republicans -- to polygraph machines. While there are plenty of ways to beat the machine-- like keeping a tack in your shoe or biting your tongue -- it might help us weed out the truth-tellers from the liars.

Bill Katovsky is also the editor at