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do as i say not as i do

24 September 2004 _ 15h00m38 EDT
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~ during a round table discussion in which we were recently engaged, it was mentioned that the daughter of the head of the Christian coalition in georgia is a lesbian. this was deemed remarkable as it was emblematic of hypocrisy. the question was about how a mother could simultaneously promote family values whilst condemning her own daughter as a hedonist.
it was mentioned that the excuse used by people like this mother is that she promotes the ideal rather than the reality. this dovetails with the ‘do as i say not as i do’ homily, which parents have made more famous every time their kids drink and curse.

this interests us because it helps make clear how the right – evangelicals, republicans, conservatives – can make unflinchingly a statement that contradicts factual evidence and/or previous statements – for example, bush referring to iraq and afghanistan, which have not had elections since we toppled their governments, as ‘democracies’ while he berates the united nations. it seems to us that the right has found a loophole in which they are absolved of responsibility.

it is one thing for bush to refrain from holding press conferences and to refuse to answer questions at his rallies, as it keeps from being ‘under the spot’, but the very excuse that he should not be expected to think on his feet is frightening considering the responsibilities of a commander-in-chief in a nuclear armed world. if you always hold an ideal and a plan, then you should never be afraid of a question as it means you will always have an answer. some answers might make you unpopular, but then you at least should know what those answers would be and how to avoid them. by offering no answers, you reveal that not only do you not know what is going on; you don’t have an idea about what should be going on.

the republicans have made some amazing statements over the past couple of weeks, such as g.norquist saying the Americans who fought in World War 2 ‘defended anti-American policies’ or d.hastert asserting that g.soros has gotten his billions from ‘drug groups’ or d.cheney telling us that kerry’s criticism of the mistakes in iraq ‘encourages more violence’ or that bibles will be banned if kerry becomes president. if anyone ever bothers to ask them how they can say such nonsensical things, they are able to confidently shrug or snort and convert the listener into the one who is making a mistake.

this would be a quaintly amusing trait, if it were not leading to needless violence and deaths. bush is telling us that the cia is ‘just guessing’ that there are problems in iraq, despite senators from his own party warning us of the danger of the current strategy – or lack thereof – while the u.n. is repeating that there can not be elections in january if the current situation persists. as long as the administration is grinning on tv and saying that everything is going great while we ‘march towards’ …something, the problem is not so much that americans are tricked into thinking that everything is going well as much as it is that bush and company think that tricking americans is the only job at hand. rather than address the cause of the danger, they will merely cover the symptoms. as long as they tout the ideal as reality, they will avoid looking at the situation of soldiers being shredded and dismembered by roadside bombs while they drive around waiting for…something. looking at the original excuse, it might not be a loophole at all; it could be what they truly believe.

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