Letting politicians lie

Outside the Beltway

Politicians lie…we all do, show me someone who says they don’t lie and i’ll show you a liar. Sometimes the lies are little…”yes dear, that was really good”, and then there are the whoppers…”no Dad, it wasn’t me that put that massive scratch down the side of your car by driving along the pillar”.

But somehow we allow politicians to lie to us…all the time. One of the best ever lies was the superannuation lie…that if you all put 1 and 6 aside then in your retirement the government will look after you…followed up with another lie that superannuation will be universal for all for ever.

Doug Mataconis examines political lying:

Lying in order to cover-up a potential crime, for example, is still political suicide, as are the kind of lies that John Edwards told about his personal life. Fourteen years ago, Bill Clinton learned that lying under oath could lead to an Impeachment proceeding, though most Americans came to believe that his particular form of lying should not be punished by removal from office. But when it comes to telling a “lie” about a piece of legislation, or misrepresenting the facts for political purposes, which we have come over the last two decades or so to refer to as “spin,” though, the American people do indeed seem to have just decided to accept the fact that politicians lie and there isn’t a whole lot they can do about it.

I am sure we all believe that Phillip Field and Clayton Cosgrove are guilty of nothing more than being helpful to their constituents…I eman Helen Clark and Grant Robertson have told us so.

And Winston Peters really did mean NO, when asked about receiving donations. But perhaps the movie line is right…we can;t handle the truth:

There’s another side to this, though, and I noted it above. Sometimes, Americans want their politicians to lie to them about certain things. Do voters really want to hear the truth about how painful its going to be to fix our fiscal and entitlements crises? Do they want to hear that there are some problems in the world that America can’t, or shouldn’t fix, or that the economy isn’t going to return to the boom days of the 90s any time soon? I’d argue that they most definitely don’t want to hear the truth about these and many other subjects, so we let our politicians lie to us about them all the time.

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