People who don't need facts
are the luckiest people in the world
It's probably no secret that I'm not a fan of Barbra Streisand's politics. But it's not because of her opposition to the war (my position has always been that it's futile to try to plant democracy in the Middle East), it's because of her loose use of facts. I think those who oppose the war can make a decent case as to why it should be ended immediately. Unfortunately, Barbra seems to be one of those people for whom words have no meaning apart from the outrage they portray.
A sample of her latest manifesto, courtesy of Snoop:
"With the recent controversy surrounding the potential indictments and charges of perjury against senior members of the Bush administration, some have made comparisons to the perjury charge that was brought against President Clinton. Perjury under any circumstance is wrong. However, in President Clinton’s situation, the matter was concerning an issue that only adversely affected himself and his family. But the potential charges filed against Bush’s closest advisors have put everybody’s families and the national security of the United States at risk."
This is a perfect example of the kind of contempt for the truth that keeps liberals like Babs not only ineffective, but counterproductive for Democrats. At least she admits that Clinton was wrong to commit perjury (which puts her head and shoulders above many of his other backers), but when her facts are investigated individually, they fall apart.
Rather than being simply a family matter, Clinton lied and encouraged others to lie under oath in a federal civil rights case in which he was a defendant. It affected everyone who worked with him, including his office staff, whom he attempted to influence through private interviews where he pressured them with such questions as, "Monica and I were never alone, right?" and included for sure the woman who accused him of sexual harassment. It certainly affected his cabinet, to whom he flat-out lied and sent out to lie for him. When one looks at the facts, Bab's light-handed dismissal of Clinton wrongdoing is at least unwise and certainly inaccurate.
But when she compares it favorably to the Scooter Libby indictment, it becomes ludicrous. Libby was not indicted for "putting the national security of the United States at risk." No one was. Libby was indicted for lying to investigators about when he discovered the name of a CIA agent who may have been undercover. A serious charge, but not of the order of magnitude she spins it to be.
A second allegation is even more illustrative:
(Bush) "...has taken our economy from the largest surplus in U.S. history to the largest deficit in U.S. history."
The problem with the statement is that it is just mush.
While national economies have surpluses and deficits, she does not appear to referring to them at all. For example, economies have Trade Deficits, but ours hasn't been in a surplus since the 70s. Economies also have Current Account Deficits: ours touched even once since Carter (in 1991), but zero is hardly the "largest in US History."
She's probably talking about the federal budget deficit, which is not "the economy" at all, and which never existed except as an inaccurate projection from the CBO and the White House. If one looks at actual numbers supplied by the Treasury Department, it's obvious that since the debt has gone up every year since Reagan, so there was never an actual surplus, because by definition that would have made debt go down. At least one time. It never did. Did Bush's prodigality affect the budget deficit? Absolutely, and to his eternal shame. There is legitimate room for criticism, but it must be done accurately and with respect for the meaning of words. The fact that Bush is a big spender who has wrecked the budget does not mean that we can abuse the language in order to indict him. That a man is guilty of something does not mean he is guilty of everything.
Babs is one who plays loose with language and facts, and it's hard to take her assertions that Bush will go down as the worst president ever seriously. This apparent disdain for specifics and the meanings of words make me think she lacks perspective to make that kind of a judgment.
As for me, I'm still thinking Woodrow Wilson was the worst president ever - nothing GWB has done has been nearly as destructive to America as the IRS and the Federal Reserve.
Now, in all fairness, Babs is a singer, not an economist, so maybe she oughtn't be expected to have a grasp on words like 'economy.' The problem for the Dems is that she is speaking out on their behalf. Hollywood is, to a significant extent, driving the liberal agenda. And to the extent that liberals nod their heads and regard Barbra's words the rhetorical equivalent of "fake but accurate," they do a disservice not only to themselves, but to voters who are looking for a reasoned and honest opposition to the President's policies.
Copyright 2005 El Borak, inc. Makers of Lyin' Your Bass Off brand photogenic rubber game fish. When you need a picture of 'the one that got away', try Lyin' Your Bass Off!