Original article | International Journal of Progressive Education 2005, Vol. 1(1) 45-49
Norman K. Denzin
pp. 45 - 49 | Manu. Number: ijpe.2005.003
Published online: February 01, 2005 | Number of Views: 128 | Number of Download: 426
Another political story, a narrative about political depression. We are 45 days out and counting from the 2004 election. Bush is leading Kerry in every poll. I despair. Nothing is working. Yesterday the New York Times devoted the entire Op Ed page to advice for the Kerry campaign. "Get a Message" seemed to be the message, and stay on it. Fifty percent of the American public think the country is headed in the wrong direction, and Bush is still leading Kerry by 13 points.
The cracks in the history of this administration have been exposed. The Bush Presidency has trashed the environment, welfare, education, the economy, turned the rest of the world against us, and over 10,000 Iraqi's and 1000 Americans have died in his dirty little Middle Eastern war. There are more than 100 anti-Bush books, and still counting. Bush's lies have been catalogued, documented and analyzed (Corn, 2003; Dowd, 2004; Ivins, 2003; Moore, 2003; Pope, 2003; Powers, 2003). There were no weapons of mass destruction. The Iraqi' do not love us. Bush was warned in advance of 9/11. And yet none of this seems to matter. Bush's handlers have turned fantasy into reality. Sixty percent of the voters still think Saddam supported Al Qaeda.
Critics assert that George Bush is a liar, a "President who knowingly and deliberately twists facts for political gain" (Hersh, 2004, p. 367; Corn, 2003). Turning intelligence estimates and wishful thinking into statements of fact has become an art form in this administration. Even Karl Rove knew, if Bush didn't, that arguments about Saddam's WMD program were based on "estimates full of judgments, not absolute certainties" (Woodward, 2004, p. 219). Indeed, Rove understands the difference between a fact and intelligence Paraphrasing Woodward, "If its a fact, is not called intelligence." (Woodward, 2004, p. 219).
But to call Bush a liar assumes that his lying indicates "an understanding of what is desired, what is possible, and how best to get there. A more plausible explanation is that words have no meaning for this President beyond the immediate moment, and so he believes that his mere utterance of the phrases makes them real. It is a terrifying possibility" (Hersh, 2004, p. 367). Indeed!
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