Untruth, Injustice and the American Way

There’s an old rule law schools teach to aspiring lawyers.

When the truth is against you, argue the law.

When the law is against you, argue the truth.

And when both the law and truth are against you, pound the table and call the other side names.

Since lawyers inevitably end up in politics, it explains why truth and law took a hike years ago and all that’s left is a bunch of lunatics pounding the table and calling each other names.

Government in these United States looks and acts like a cable news talk show – all noise and no substance, all shouting and no reason, all hyperbole and no fact.

Former House Majority Leader, and indicted criminal, Tom DeLay screams that his enemies are out to get him. Maybe they are, maybe they’re not. The truth behind DeLay’s rants is that he’s a crook who caught with his hand in the cookie jar. He should be convicted and go to jail. Sadly, given today’s truth-and-law-be-damned environment in Washington, he probably will never see the inside of a cell.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is a high-living doc who used insider information to dump his Hospital Corporation of America stock to avoid a big loss. Martha Stewart did the same thing with another company’s stock and went to the slammer in West Virginia. Frist mouths off to the cameras, claiming he did nothing wrong. In fact, he did a lot wrong and the Securities and Exchange Commission is looking into it but don’t count on seeing the Senator in a prison jump suit anytime soon.

President George W. Bush flat out lied to the American people, Congress and our allies to justify an illegal, immoral and ill-conceived invasion of Iraq. Aide after aide and expert after expert told the President of the United States that his pre-conceived notions were wrong yet he chose to ignore them.

“I know weapons of mass destruction are in Iraq and we will find them after we go in,” Bush told the intelligence pros who said he was wrong. The weapons weren’t there and, of course, we didn’t find any.

“I know Saddam Hussein is in cahoots with Osama bin Laden,” he said. The pros said otherwise but Bush ignored them. Bush went before Congress in his State of the Union speech and said such proof existed. It didn’t.

Polls show American confidence in Bush at an all-time law, lower than even Jimmy Carter after the failed Iran hostage rescue mission, lower than Richard M. Nixon in the throes of Watergate, lower than Lyndon B. Johnson at the height of Vietnam.

Americans don’t trust Bush and they shouldn’t. He lies. He mangled facts to support his distorted view of the world and he ignores reality to pursue a fantasy vision of himself as some vindicating leader destined to save the world. In reality, he’s a hallucinating little man with delusions of grandeur who couldn’t lead a troop of Cub Scouts on a back yard hike.

Unfortunately, Bush is not atypical of government today. He fits right in with the lairs, con men (and women) and crooks who control Congress, the White House and much of the federal bureaucracy. Pentagon planners lie to Congress to justify purchases of weapons that won’t work. The Environmental Protection Agency, with White House backing, lies to the citizens of New York to hide the truth about health hazards in the air after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The now former Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the one victims of Hurricane Katrina depended upon, lied on a resume and didn’t have any real qualifications for the job.

This nation, founded on the premise of truth and justice, now has neither going for it in the halls of power. The people elected to lead this country have neither truth nor the law on their side. So all they can do is pound the table and call each other names.