The Lying Presidency

Bill Clinton got caught lying once. He tried to fudge whether it was a lie, but it was. Under oath, he said that he had not had a sexual relationship with a named young lady when physical evidence showed that he did. And he was impeached over that lie.

Republicans tried to stir up outrage about a president who lied. But the fact was that many Americans thought that Clinton was doing a good job as president and that his lie had nothing to do with his work. The republicans were disappointed.  They had made an enormous effort and spent lots of money that got them nowhere.

Rachel Maddow brought this out the other day.

Flash forward. Donald Trump has been caught lying numerous times. And his lies have been connected to his policy positions. And there is more. His administration also lies. They lie about silly things (like whether Trump wanted military hardware as part of the inauguration parade). And they lie about important stuff.  (like whether they tried to bully Sally Yates to prevent her from testifying before Congress about Russian stuff.

So it is not just the president. It is the presidency. I have not seen such brazen mendacity since the Nixon days. And as with Nixon, the story is whether we will be able to get to the truth.  We know that we will not get to it by listening to what the White House or its surrogates tell us.

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