Swamp Rabbit and I were arguing about lying politicians. I used to think most of them lied only when they thought there was little danger of being found out. Like Richard Nixon, who famously said, “I’m not a crook.”
But expectations have changed, especially among Republicans. Donald Trump has made more than 15,000 false or misleading claims in his three years as president, and he’s proud of it.
Trump is in the vanguard of something new. He lies even when he knows there is recorded evidence that he’s lying. The same is true of Ted Cruz, who has made easily refuted claims about Beto O’Rourke, Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid, Barack Obama and even Trump.
“The worst liar might be Lindsey Graham,” I said. “That boy will look out the window at a blizzard and tell you the sun is shining.”
Swamp Rabbit told me I’m old-fashioned, Republicans are hip to new cultural realities. “They ain’t lying, they’re just changing their stories,” he said. “Ain’t no moving forward if you don’t let go the past. You change your story to change your life.”
He sounded like one of those New Age, posi-vibe guys; like Tony Robbins, the motivational speaker who has helped his acolytes, including Bill Clinton, overcome negative thinking in order to “unleash the power within” while navigating the road to success.
“You can deny the past but you can’t really let it go,” I said. “It comes back to bite you. The truth will out.”
“You’re wrong, Odd Man,” he said. “This here’s the post-truth era. Them fifty-three Republican senators at the impeachment trial know Trump tried to shake down that Ukrainian, but they’d rather walk on hot coals than vote to convict.”
“What if John Bolton testifies?” I said. “He’s a first-hand witness.”
He shrugged. “They’re gonna change their stories if they absolutely got to, but they ain’t never gonna admit to lying.”
Footnote: The New York Times, Washington Post and the rest of the mainstream media know Lindsey Graham is a world-class liar who changes his stories as often as he changes his ties. They sometimes report his individual lies and contradictory statements, but never attack his credibility in a comprehensive way. Where’s that story, except in the Intercept and other alternative publications?