Monday, July 10, 2006

Andrew Sullivan sees the light

Congratulations to Andrew Sullivan for coming around to what I would call the light. Or, more precisely, for finally, in mid-2006, echoing the argument that Brendan, Bryan and I formed from 2001 through 2004 on Spinsanity and wrote as a book-length argument in 2004:

In the last few years, I have gone from lionizing this president's courage and fortitude to being dismayed at his incompetence and now to being resigned to mistrusting every word he speaks. I have never hated him. But now I can see, at least, that he is a liar on some of the gravest issues before the country. He doesn't trust us with the truth. Some lies, to be sure, are inevitable - even necessary - in wartime. But when you're lying not to keep the enemy off-balance, but to maximize your own political fortunes at home, you forfeit the respect of people who would otherwise support you - and the important battle you have been tasked to wage.

Incompetence aside, this President has indeed been misleading, deceiving, and dissembling to (or, to put it more bluntly, "lying to") America on most major issues since he took office. Most egregiously, of course, in the case of the Iraq War. That was the argument of All the President's Spin and I think the evidence has only continued to pile up since publication.

And Sulivan is most precisely right when he points out that Bush's dishonesty forfeits him the support of people who would otherwise respect him. As we said endlessly in the book and on the site, this is not a partisan issue. You can substantively support all of President Bush's policies, yet you still should be appalled by his disdain for honest democratic debate.

It's sad that more journalists like Sullivan didn't pick up on this fact years earlier, but I still welcome him to the truth. And I mean that in all honesty. I really do hope he'll continue to analyze the devastating impact that George W. Bush's use of manipulative PR tactics to deceive the nation for his own short-term political gain has wrought.

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