Friday, February 04, 2005

Fear and Manipulation

Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show" last night had it exactly right: El Presidente is using the same campaign tactics of fear, by means of outrageous lies, to convince people that Social Security needs "saving" (i.e., phasing out) ... just as he convinced the majority a couple of years ago that we had to invade Iraq to save ourselves from nuclear holocaust.

In his state of the union address, he reportedly said, "Fixing Social Security permanently will require an open, candid review of the options." And then promptly went on the road to campaign-style events where the only people allowed in the room were avid supporters. Fargo, N.D., residents suspected of being liberals were blacklisted from the event. So much for "open" and "candid."

And he just plain lied about Social Security being "bankrupt" by 2042. Well, let's get his exact language: "By the year 2042, the entire system would be exhausted and bankrupt." Maybe he was equivocating with that conditional verb 'would.' You know what equivocation is, don't you?

As E.J. Dionne said today, El Presidente "has decided to exaggerate and mislead by way of frightening the American people, especially the young. It's bad politics, worse policy and a terrible shame."

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