President Bush Delivers A Civics Lesson

Bush the Younger was in Russia recently and managed to drop a few gems worth taking note of at a joint press conference with Putin. These weren’t the usual “Russiastan” or “I’ve got a lot of commititude” bumbles, these were special. In fact, there’s a lesson in government there, if we look closely:

I live in a transparent country. I live in a country where decisions made by government are wide open, and people are able to call people to — me to account, which many out here due on a regular basis. Our laws, and the reasons why we have laws on the books, are perfectly explained to people.

Of course they are, Citizen. Secret laws aren’t things that the United States of America has, no: the President himself has denied that.

America has a perfectly transparent government, and it says so right there on the box.

So I’m perfectly comfortable in telling you, our country is one that safeguards human rights and human dignity, and we resolve our disputes in a peaceful way.

Now this statement doesn’t have to be the outright lie that it appears to be, in fact it’s probably technically true. Note the first part of that sentence: “I’m perfectly comfortable telling you…”. The rest of the sentence doesn’t have to be true for him to be “perfectly comfortable” telling it to us, in fact there are at least two possible explanations, here. First, it could be that he’s simply bought into his own propaganda about the matter. Second and more plausible, he’s “perfectly comfortable” telling bald-faced lies.

And lies they are: any dispute that you have with the government is certainly going to get resolved peacefully. Or else. And of course all of those kids that this government set fire to in Texas, back a decade ago, had their human dignity respected, didn’t they? And the Weavers – they had their rights safeguarded as well. Let’s not forget what happens to blacks that get out of hand – they get their dignity respected, too. On and on and on it goes: this list could continue for pages with names like Alberto Sepulveda and obscure historical footnotes like the Bonus Army or the Whiskey Rebellion and still not scratch the surface of the vast record of crimes perpetrated by the American government.

And so we come to President Bush’s lesson: if you contrast his rhetoric with reality, it serves as a pointed reminder of what supports this government, and all governments:

Force, and lies.

Above: The American government safeguarding human dignity

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