We are all familiar with President Obama rolling out the “L” word the other night, and the rude heckling response. It is a word that has been taboo in politics throughout my lifetime, and in scoring a short term point the President has further shredded the wall of decency and decorum in political discussion that he has often claimed he wants to rebuild.
No, not “Liberal”…
Not even “Lesbian”…
The (Password voice) is “Lying”, and by extension liar and lies.
Politicians and public speakers have long stayed away from this word, choosing terms like “prevarication” and “playing fast and loose with the truth”.
They know this term is applied to a person, the act, and the claims of someone who has is not telling the truth. However, it is a harsh term. It is a term used with vehemence, even with malice. It is a word used shortly before bickering breaks into brawls of some kind everywhere from the playground to the barroom to the boardroom. They are quite literally “fighting words”. For in lying you damn someone’s integrity and their name…and nothing is worth more than your name.
President Obama did not have to take this road…and in doing so I predict the body political will suddenly find itself surrounded by liars…and completely willing to call them out by that term.
That is all well and good. But in his desperation to pass a quickly and poorly constructed health bill, the President has further knocked down the wall on productive discourse-and I predict he will regret he chose to sink to this oratorical level.