Thursday, July 10, 2003

Invasion of the Truth Snatchers

Rumors that Cheney and Rumsfield have taken Colin Powell’s soul, leaving him as a mere automaton run by microchips picked up steam today when the Secretary of State shilled for the administration:

"There was no effort or attempt on the part of the president or anyone else in the administration to mislead or to deceive the American people," he told reporters traveling with Bush in Africa. "The president was presenting what seemed to be a reasonable statement at that time."

"But to think that somehow we went out of our way to insert this single sentence into the State of the Union Address for the purpose of deceiving and misleading the American people is an overdrawn, overblown, overwrought conclusion."

Reasonable to someone without any reasoning ability, perhaps. The “single sentence” claim is being heard from Republicans everywhere these days, both in and out of the administration. I heard Susan Molinari, fresh from diction lessons, make the point a few times on CNBC tonight. The meaningfulness of a statement is now apparently determined by the number of sentences used. One sentence is akin to saying nothing at all. Hell, it is only a single sentence. How can one single sentence possibly mean anything? Here are a few examples of meaningless utterances, which for all practical purposes, never occurred under the new rules:

“A government of laws, and not of men.”
John Adams

“Governments arise either out of the people or over the people.”
Tom Paine

“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.”
John F. Kennedy

“The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure it is right.”
Learned Hand

“We do not profess to be the champions of liberty, and then consent to see liberty destroyed.”
Woodrow Wilson

“The truth is found when men are free to pursue it.”
Franklin D. Rooselvelt

“I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Monica Lewinsky.”
William Jefferson Clinton

As a result of the new rules, Clinton’s impeachment is being rescinded immediately.

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