Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Silence of the lambs

Commentary by Pat Murphy


Pat Murphy

Voters should've smelled an elaborate con when Dick Cheney accepted the Republican vice presidential nomination with promises of a reign of virtue.

Read Cheney's words from the 2000 Republican convention.

"He (George W. Bush) will restore decency and integrity in the Oval Office," Cheney vowed.

Then: "There will be no more spreading of fear and panic. Let us go forth from this hall in confidence and courage, committed to restoring decency and honor to our republic."

"Decency"? "Integrity"? "Honor"? "No more spreading of fear and panic"?

What deceit. And what lies. But it works with naïve lambs -- the Bush "base" -- who've been convinced by White House ecclesiastical agents that the nation's most compelling issues are abortion, school prayer and Ten Commandments displays, and, by the way, disregard all that "liberal" tripe about corrupt officials, about fraudulent grounds for attacking Iraq, about plunging the nation into historic debt and deficits, about giving industry a free pass to pollute air and water.

Behold the bleats of the same politicians who rushed to spend $60 million investigating and impeaching Bill Clinton: They're whining about being persecuted.

The president's "good friend," House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, is indicted for money laundering even as he demands Washington lobbyists give Republicans their money and hire "our" people if they want friendly treatment in GOP-controlled Congress. In Al Capone's hoodlum days, that was known as the "protection racket."

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, ambitious to be president, is under investigation for insider stock sale profiteering.

The president had the gall to try installing as Justice's No. 2 man the in-house lawyer for Tyco, whose CEO, Dennis Kozlowski, was just sent to prison.

The White House's top procurement officer has been arrested for lying about his connection to lobbyist Jack Abramoff, an indicted close friend of DeLay's whose tentacles have touched Republican congressmen and even Ralph Reed, the baby-faced brains behind the Christian Coalition.

As for "no more spreading of fear and panic," please. The Bush strategy involves regular fright messages about terrorists.

Lastly, the president's brain, Karl Rove, and Cheney chief of staff, "Scooter" Libby, face possible indictments for the mean-spirited revenge outing of a CIA agent.

The final insult to promises of White House "honor and integrity" is President Bush's nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court, a suck-up, hanger-on spinster famously known for sending Bush flattering mash notes -- she calls him the "most brilliant man" she's met -- but not known at all for jurisprudential fitness.

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