It is hard to believe, but it is true: this election is going to be close, at least according to those shining examples of journalistic integrity: cable news media and the major networks. If this turns out to be true, I have to ask: what is it that possesses the American people to willingly support an administration that has run the country like it stole the election?
I am not from around here, so I guess I operate within a different moral and ethical framework than most Americans do, but wasn't it Bush who said that he was going to restore integrity to the White House? The closest he has come in four years to restoring integrity to the Oval Office has been the recent blanket ban on Cuban cigars (Cuban cigars being the embodiment of the worst evils: visions of Castro with visions of Clinton.) For a guy (that's what the president likes to be seen as: a regular guy) who professed to be "a uniter, not a divider," President Bush must be severely disappointed with the way things turned out over the last four years. Perhaps that's why he wants to be re-elected: to finish the uniting job he hasn't even started yet.
The best thing one can say about this president is that he is an accomplished con-man. He lied about the war (first it was a last resort, then it wasn't). He lied about Iraq's nuclear capability (he said the aluminum tubes found in Iraq were for centrifuges used to create atomic weapons; turns out they were cases for conventional missiles.) He lied about Iraq seeking uranium from Nigeria. He lied about the affiliation between the Iraqi government and Al-Qaeda. He lied about the war being over ("Major combat operations blah blah blah.") He lied about tax cuts (the majority of tax cuts went to the middle class? I guess if you count the number of refund checks, instead of the amount of money that went to the middle class, then the majority of the tax cuts went to the middle class.) He lied about the fact that his administration was not going to interfere with the right of states to govern themselves as they see fit (for example, by proposing a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages he is directly meddling with state rights.) I could go on, and on, and on, but you get the point, don't you?
Finally it seems that the lies are starting to catch up with the Bush administration. People seem to be tired of all the nonsense. Over the last few days I have spoken with a number of people who will change their vote. Most of them are utterly unenthusiastic about John Kerry. So am I. But they have also become utterly disgusted with the President. This is truly an extraordinary development, because people have come to expect politicians to lie. We, as mature adults, know that we are being lied to when our elected (?) officials speak. We let politicians get away with many lies. But the lies are usually about things that are hard to prove. Case in point: "I am going to balance the budget without increasing revenues, without cutting expenditures, and without privatizing social security." (I have a similar scheme for my retirement, but I have not won yet.) We are generally too busy, too blasé, or too stupid to care, and politicians and their friends always escape with the loot. But, this time, President Pinocchio might just prove that enough is enough.