This is virgin territory for Democrats – they never before viewed lying as a negative. Their last president was called "an unusually good liar" by a sitting Democratic senator. Their last vice president couldn't say "pass the salt" without claiming to have invented salt. Having only just discovered the intriguing new concept of being offended by lies, the Democrats are having a jolly old time calling Bush a liar. But they can't quite grasp the concept of a lie as connoting something that is – at a minimum – untrue.
Sharing a chummy laugh about Republicans on "Meet the Press" last Sunday, NBC's Tim Russert asked Joe Biden what the Republicans would have done if a Democratic president had uttered 16 mistaken words about national security in a State of the Union speech. Sen. Biden said: "This is going to be counterintuitive for Biden to show his Irish instinct to restrain myself, you know the answer, I know the answer, the whole world knows the answer. They would have ripped his skin off."
At least Bush put it in his own words – if you know what I mean. Perhaps Biden is annoyed that Bush merely cited the head of the British Labor Party rather than plagiarizing him.
Back to Russert's challenge, I shall dispense with Clinton's most renowned lies. (Every Democrat commits adultery and lies about it. Fine, they've convinced me.) Clinton also lied every time he said "God bless America," though he doesn't believe in God or America, and I don't recall any Republican ever ripping his skin off about that.
But how about a lie in a major national speech slandering your own country? In Clinton's acceptance speech at the 1996 Democratic National Convention, he said:
We still have too many Americans who give into their fears of those who are different from them. Not so long ago, swastikas were painted on the doors of some African-American members of our Special Forces at Fort Bragg. Folks, for those of you who don't know what they do, the Special Forces are just what the name says; they are special forces. If I walk off this stage tonight and call them on the telephone and tell them to go halfway around the world and risk their lives for you and be there by tomorrow at noon, they will do it. They do not deserve to have swastikas on their doors.
Clinton was referring to an alleged act of racism in which the prime suspect had already been determined to be one of the victims himself – a black soldier known for filing repeated complaints of racism. The case had been under intense investigation and the fact that the leading suspect was black had been widely reported in the news. But a Democratic president dramatically cited a phony hate crime in order to prove that his own country is racist. (And he used a lot more than 16 words to do it.)
Democrats didn't mind a president using cooked evidence in order to defame his own country. They reserve their outrage for a president who defames the name of an honorable statesman like Saddam Hussein by suggesting he was seeking uranium from Africa on the flimsy evidence of the findings of British intelligence, the findings of our own NIE, the fact that Israel blew up Saddam's last nuclear reactor in 1981, and that we learned about Saddam's reconstitution of his nuke program only in 1996, when his son-in-law briefly defected to Jordan. (The Mr. Magoos from the U.N. Weapons Inspection Team had missed this fact while scouring the country for five years after Gulf War I.)
Apparently the ends do justify the means, but only if the end is to slander America – the country we're supposed to believe liberals love every bit as much as the next guy.