In Biden’s case, he attempted to take a Sharpie to the entire war and black-out his name.
By Jonathan Turley
The Hill (9/7/19)
Former French President Charles de Gaulle once explained that “since a politician never believes what he says, he is quite surprised to be taken at his word.”
This week, no one is more surprised than President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden. Trump succeeded in turning an innocent mistake about the weather into a giant lie and then, after days of determined effort, into a full-fledged scandal. Biden succeeded in denying his own words in support of the Iraq War. Falsely describing the path of a hurricane can be a serious matter, if not corrected. However, lying about hurricanes does not cause more hurricanes. Lying about wars is one reason we have so many of them.
It should not be a surprise that politicians who vote casually to send others to war would not be particularly troubled about denying their own responsibility. The problem is that undeclared wars often are not just measured by the lies, but also by the lives left behind.
Tragically, American voters are accustomed to politicians avoiding responsibility for their embarrassing or costly errors. Yet, Trump has taken that tendency to a truly pathological level with the debacle over Hurricane Dorian. He incorrectly said Alabama was in the hurricane’s path. Then, instead of simply correcting his mistake, he dug in deeper to avoid admitting it. Ultimately, he produced a hurricane-path map with a juvenile alteration made with a Sharpie to make Dorian appear Alabama-bound. As ridicule mounted, he refused to drop the matter and continued to tweet for days about Alabama being in the path.
Now, the Washington Post reports that White House advisers confirm Trump made the alteration — something he has denied. The controversy grew to the point that the normally apolitical Merriam-Webster Dictionary tweeted out the meaning of “mumpsimus,” or a “stubborn person who insists on making an error in spite of being shown that it is wrong.”
Voters could easily conclude that all politicians are mumpsimuses, or some more so than others. That, however, would ignore the gravity of lying about certain subjects — like war. Both Republicans and Democrats have long lied about wars. The Framers knew politicians would often take the nation into wars for stupid, self-serving or shortsighted reasons. …
(Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2019. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )