Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Good ideas do not need lots of lies told about them in order to gain public acceptance.

Paul Krugman referenced this line from Daniel Davies today. It was a key line from one of the great blog posts of this era, and it laid down a key principle I have often thought about when it comes to today's Republican leadership, and many of the so called voices of conservatism.

Good ideas do not need lots of lies told about them in order to gain public acceptance; lies do.

Davies was talking about the selling of the Iraq war, but it applies pretty much to the entire Bush Administration. It was true about the Patriot Act, the Iraq War, Unauthorized surveillance of the American public, Katrina, the list goes on. It should be the rule that we keep in mind as we listen to the debate going on over the Treasurery Bailout.

Paul Krugman points out that this morning Hank Paulson told a whopper:
We gave you a simple, three-page legislative outline and I thought it would have been presumptuous for us on that outline to come up with an oversight mechanism. That’s the role of Congress, that’s something we’re going to work on together. So if any of you felt that I didn’t believe that we needed oversight: I believe we need oversight. We need oversight.

This was a lie by Henry Paulson. If he was telling the truth, then there would have been no reference to oversight, or that it would be worked out with Congress. This is not what Paulson proposed, what his proposal actually did, of course, was explicitly rule out any oversight, plus grant immunity from future review:
Sec. 8. Review.

Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.
Krugman then states that he is not playing gotcha here, buthis is telling: if Paulson can’t be honest about what he himself sent to Congress — if he not only made an incredible power grab, but is now engaged in black-is-white claims that he didn’t — there is no reason to trust him on anything related to his bailout plan.

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