Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Spin time 

The Bush Administration damage control machine will be in full operation in the morning. GOP Congressman Doug Bereuter of Nebraska, who served as vice-chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has sent a four-page letter to his constituents admitting the Iraq war was a mistake. Why is he actually being honest? Because he's retiring, of course! But he's still a courageous fellow, because he's going to get slammed by the anti-dissent squad in the White House. The bullshit is starting already, as a Congressman from Illinois said Bereuter is just bitter because he was passed over for plum positions in recent years. These people are just unbelievable. Beyond description.

The Illinois Congressman is probably lying or stretching the truth. But even if there's truth to that idea that Bereuter wished he'd had some other job: so what? This is a huge pet peeve of mine -- the notion that you can't be annoyed at someone and ALSO BE TELLING THE TRUTH. Man, if I left my job as a disgruntled employee, I'd be tempted to write an op-ed piece about the shit I've seen there. I'd be disgruntled, but every word I'd say would be true. Look at Paul O'Neill -- one of the most respected Republican businessmen in the country, smeared because he thinks for himself and looks at both sides of every issue before making a decision. Are things so far gone that this is what it comes to every time someone speaks their mind? How can our democracy survive over time if we no longer believe in the basic concept that smart decisionmaking comes from analysis and not from a fixed, inflexible ideology? I don't believe it can.

Anyway, according to his website, Bereuter is a fifth-generation Nebraskan with an incredible resume. 26 years of public service on Capitol Hill. Two masters degrees from Harvard. Three years in the United States Army as an Infantry & Intelligence Officer. Decades of service as a loyal Republican. But tomorrow he'll be a lying closet liberal.

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