INDEPENDENT NEWS

US Elections: A Lie of Omission Is Still a Lie

Published: Mon 6 Nov 2000 02:23 PM
A Lie of Omission Is Still a Lie
"But I haven't had a drink in 14 years," the most telling quote in the last week of Campaign 2000.
by Scott Harris Between The Lines
The guy running for the White House correctly calling into question the moral fitness of the Clinton administration and the conduct of his opponent -- the vice president -- over the last eight years should focus a little more attention on his own rank hypocrisy.
It's not the crime of driving drunk that should be of concern to voters so much as George W.'s lack of personal integrity and honesty in owning up to a misdemeanor conviction that he had to know would one day catch up with him. That is, unless he thought his family's power and influence could bury forever this little piece of dirty linen.
When a candidate for the nation's highest office knows that the national press corps are rummaging through garbage cans looking for every molecule of dirt they can find and you just sit on this bombshell thinking they'll never find out, you're either incredibly stupid or, well just plain stupid. Did I say stupid?
When Bush and his spokespeople ask about the odd timing of this embarrassing revelation, they infer that the GOP's enemies had something to do with the candidate's lack of competency and honesty in not getting this scandal out in the open years earlier, thereby diffusing it.
It's a further indicator of "Bush Jr.'s" lack of character that he justifies his dishonesty about this DUI arrest by stating that he was "only protecting his children," and "didn't want to set a bad example." How noble, and what a great role model he is for his daughters! The Bush family moral code must read: "when the facts are embarrassing, take personal responsibility and don't tell a soul."
On election day, those who go to the polls will have to make the judgment whether Mr. Bush's cover-up and lack of honesty with the American people had anything to do with protecting his political career and ambition for power.
George W. Bush was once described by former Texas agricultural commissioner and progressive commentator Jim Hightower as "a man who was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple." This 24 year-old drinking while driving incident exposes Mr. Bush Jr. as a man who knew he was born on third base but buried the crib somewhere on the infield to hide the evidence.
Some relevant history: Sen. Thomas Eagleton, was George McGovern's running mate in the 1972 Democratic presidential campaign ... that is, until it was revealed in press reports that Eagleton was treated for emotional exhaustion and depression years earlier. Eagleton quickly stepped down and was replaced by Kennedy in-law R. Sargent Shriver. McGovern lost the election with 38% of the vote, carrying only Massachusetts and the District of Columbia against incumbent President Richard M. Nixon, who was doomed to resign for covering up a"two-bit burglary" at the Watergate Hotel.
All those professional GOP Clinton haters take heart: as we saw during the impeachment docudrama, the American people are a very forgiving bunch. But as recent history tells us, they're much less forgiving to the purveyors of the politics of personal destruction when the chickens (or beer cans rolling around under the front seat) come home to roost.
ENDS

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