It takes two to lie. One to lie and one to listen. ~ Homer Simpson
Dad had a lot of inconsistencies as a parent. What would get him angry one day would be overlooked on another. It was his nature and we had his number pretty early on. Another thing we learned very early: Dad did not tolerate lies or liars. Ever. He was very fond of the lyric from the old Baretta theme song series, “If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime” and that held especially if you were caught lying.
I got caught lying to Dad once when I was 15. It was enough. The details aren’t important but let me tell you, whenever I feel the need to embellish something too much, Dad is there wagging his finger and giving me his disappointed face and two weeks of being grounded WITHOUT a phone. Dad usually caved on punishments pretty quickly but not that time. He was serious. No lying.
He used to tell me, “You have one thing in this world Blondie that is truly yours and that’s your word. You lose that, you have nothing.” Now I’m not saying I never stretch the truth (Irish here) but I don’t flat out lie and I have no use for those that do it. Nor do I have any use for those who tolerate and encourage lying.
Hold on to your hats because now I’m going to get all political.
There is one side this election cycle that is actively and knowingly flat out lying. I’ll let you guess which side that is but here’s a clue: it’s the Romney/Ryan ticket. Sure I expect to get put on blast here but prove me wrong. Steve Benen of Washington Monthly catalogued, over the course of a 30 week period, 533 of Mr. Romney lies. I ran across Mr. Benen’s columns through the blog Slactivist and would encourage folks to go over and just look through the lies, large and small. Then decide if that’s the kind of person we want representing America.
I’ve never hidden the fact that I’m a liberal. In fact, I want President Obama to be more progressive but I also understand that governing is about building coalitions and support and I’m not going to get everything I want tied up in a neat liberal bow. I’m ok with that. For as much as I am a liberal, I’m also a grown-up and a strong believer in the two-party system and the checks and balances it brings. But guess what? The two-party system is broken and it wasn't the President who broke it.
The Republican’s broke it when Mitch McConnell said, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” Not get American’s back to work. Not stop the hemorrhaging of the economy. To stop the President at any cost. They broke it when they decided obstructing was more important than governing.
Before ya go all “but they Democrats had the majority…” Here are some facts. Yes, the Democrats held a majority in both houses and Nancy Pelosi had an incredibly busy and productive tenure as Speaker of the House writing some amazingly progressive legislation. None of that mattered though because of the gridlock in the Senate.
Even though the Democrats held the majority in the Senate they couldn't move legislation forward. If you’ve been paying attention, you will have noticed that having a simple majority doesn’t matter. Nope, you need a super-majority and that means 60 Senators instead of 51. We can thank Rule 22 for that. Basically, it gives 41 Senators the ability to block any legislation.
How democratic does that sound?
I don’t care if you like the President or not. I don’t even care if you think he was born on Mars to a three-headed Rick James look-a-like. What I do care about is lying.
Seriously, if you think that your way forward is the best way. Say it. Honestly. Well a little exaggeration is OK; it is campaign season after all. If you have to resort to outright lying to win, you don’t deserve to win. Lying demeans you, demeans the process, and demeans the country.
We deserve better. We deserve the truth.
Believe me we can handle it.
This was cross-posted to my weekly column, "Are You Kidding Me?" at Plymouth Patch.