My young niece and nephew are becoming liars. They don't do it mean spiritedly, most of the time they are just trying to make a story better, or win an argument they otherwise would lose. For instance, the other day the two of them were talking about places they had been. My niece Amaya said she had been to Mexico. My nephew, Luke, not to be outdone, said he had been to Australia.
Now, granted, I do not spend every minute of the day with Luke, but I spend enough time that I would have noticed if he had gone to Australia. I made him admit he was telling a lie, and we had a short exchange about telling the truth. He said he understood, and said he was just being "silly." I wish I could have a similar conversation with George W. Bush.
This morning the President held his final (woo hoo) press conference. He admitted that putting up a banner saying "Mission Accomplished" just one hundred days into the Iraq war probably sent the "wrong message." He talked about how disappointed he was there weren't any actual weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. He joked with the White House press corps about how they "misunderestimated" him. And then he pissed me off by trying to rewrite history one last time.
You see, Mr. Bush couldn't avoid questions about the economy, it being in the crapper and all, so he tried to use the old "it was broken when I got here" line to avoid accepting any blame. He claimed that while he may be leaving President-elect Obama with a country in a recession, he inherited a country in a recession from President Clinton, and just did the best he could. At that point I screamed at my television "just because you say it doesn't mean it's true!"
I don't think I have to explain to you that there was no recession when Clinton left office. If you were alive, over the age of eight and not in a coma in the year 2000, you already know that. In fact, things were going so well that one of President Bush's first acts was to cut taxes, and give a refund. I remember getting my check -- I called it my "booby prize." But now President Bush wants to pretend that never happened, and that the checks were actually some kind of early economic stimulus. But they weren't, and we all know it.
I really wanted someone in the press corps to stand up and call the President on this last bit of revisionism he was trying to spread. They didn't though, and all afternoon that sound bite has been played again and again, with no commentary on its lack of truth. That's probably why the President thinks, and has thought, he could get away with it. He says it, no one calls him on it, and so it must be true.
I'm just happy Luke will come of age after President Bush is out of office. Otherwise we would never hear the end of stories about his Australian adventures.