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The House Appropriations Committee documents Bush's lies and proken promises.
February 27, 2003 11:18 AM   Subscribe

The House Appropriations Committee documents Bush's lies and broken promises. Are we starting to see an opposition party here?
posted by skallas (46 comments total)

 
They forgot Bush's broken promise to expand national service through Americorps. Seems he's actually doing the oppposite.
posted by boltman at 11:28 AM on February 27, 2003


Please don't post these types of political editorials. (A Democratic caucus criticizing Bush isn't particularly groundbreaking.)

Thanks.
posted by oissubke at 11:49 AM on February 27, 2003


Documentation is OK.
posted by y2karl at 11:55 AM on February 27, 2003


Gracias oissubke
posted by Witty at 11:55 AM on February 27, 2003


Isn't this, for all intents and purposes, an op-ed piece? (Not that I didn't find it entertaining, mind you.)
posted by RylandDotNet at 11:57 AM on February 27, 2003


Regardless of the accuracy or inaccuracy of the Democrats' number massaging and selective quoting, it is unquestionable that this is not a sign of a serious opposition emerging. It's just more of the same failed strategy from last year's campaign: Bash Bush, Bash Bush, Bash Bush. It plays well to the base, but they've already got the base. They have to start presenting an alternative to Bush's policies.

Having this buried deep within the House Appropriations Committee web site doesn't help, either.
posted by aaron at 11:59 AM on February 27, 2003


broken link?
posted by das_2099 at 12:02 PM on February 27, 2003


oissubke : hello, cowboy. not that i disapprove of the posse's interest in this matter, but i think that skallas is seeing this as noteworthy in light of the fact that the dems have been EXTREMELY pro-bush since 9/11. in fact, he basically said as much:
"Are we starting to see an opposition party here?"

i, for one, would love the answer to be yes. the key issue as i see it is if any one candidate latching onto real opposition ideas can survive the primaries., especially in light of the dems' recent success coming as a result of being moderate as hell (clinton).

on preview: i like what aaron said better. yeah, that.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 12:04 PM on February 27, 2003


This is small news, vanishing news once the Bush War begins this spring.
posted by four panels at 12:06 PM on February 27, 2003


Is anyone else concerned that this is hosted on a .gov address? I'm not sure it's entirely appropriate for the Democrats to be putting this screed on a page which should be, in my opinion, more squarely in the public interest.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 12:06 PM on February 27, 2003


Man, if this link is such a problem then start a metalk thread. Lots of op-ed stuff ends up on metafilter, and some of it isn't that bad. Oh well, thanks for the quick derailment.
posted by skallas at 12:07 PM on February 27, 2003


i guess he pretty much promised a war on the environment from the start.
posted by specialk420 at 12:10 PM on February 27, 2003


Lots of op-ed stuff ends up on metafilter, and some of it isn't that bad.

Yes, it does. But posting this only feeds the trend. Someone is going to ALWAYS find a "good reason" to qualify the post. But that's not the point.
posted by Witty at 12:11 PM on February 27, 2003


I'm delighted that this page is hosted on a .gov address. The fact is, exposing Bush's lies IS in the public interest.

I'm just sorry they are using a poorly-trained monkey for their web designer.
posted by UrbanFigaro at 12:14 PM on February 27, 2003


Regarding the derailment "posse":

Sure, we could take it to Metafilter. Or just ignore the thread. OR, we could voice our opinions and "protest" the dissolution of a place we care about which has turned into something lame. Dissent is good, no? Surely some of you protesters would have to agree? ~wink~
posted by dhoyt at 12:15 PM on February 27, 2003


What is interesting is that the Democratic stance to this point has been "let's not make waves against public opinion". The thing the Democrats may be learning is that the opinion polls do not reward an opposition party that just "gets along" (paging Tommy Daschle) regardless of public opinion polls.

But I've seen this in fits and starts over the last two years and it amounts to nada, and I'm not expecting anything real until a 2004 candidate is chosen.
posted by owillis at 12:17 PM on February 27, 2003


skallas: you're right. Takin' it to meta.
posted by RylandDotNet at 12:19 PM on February 27, 2003


Is anyone else concerned that this is hosted on a .gov address?

While I agree with you that .gov addresses are no place for partisanship, it happens on the Web sites of both parties.

That being said, this is discussion worthy despite what oissubke and his/her self-appointed Posse thinks. For the most part, the Dems have rolled over and played dead over the last year-and-a-half. Some may say it was out of respect for the president (wanting to give him support while he hunted Osama--unsuccessfully), or because they were afraid to criticise him while he was at his most popular. But the fact is they have now woken up and are going to tell the American people about the lengths this administration will go to lie and mislead them.
posted by terrapin at 12:24 PM on February 27, 2003


I'd vote for the creation of a House design department. Egads those images are awful!
posted by botono9 at 12:26 PM on February 27, 2003


Is anyone else concerned that this is hosted on a .gov address?

Nah. They all do it, and the rules allow it. Every Representative's and Senator's site is half public service, half self service, and so are many committee sites. I don't, however, approve of the way they studiously avoided any mention of the fact that this is a Democratic Party web page, and not an official Appropriations Committee document. If you don't pay attention to the second level of the URL, you'd never know. (Universal "you", of course.)
posted by aaron at 12:38 PM on February 27, 2003


I appreciate the post. They could sure use some help with design, though...
posted by sparky at 12:57 PM on February 27, 2003


oissubke, try not to spasm into hysterics when something jettisons you into rabid denial, such as this post. Thanks.
posted by four panels at 1:01 PM on February 27, 2003


(A Democratic caucus criticizing Bush isn't particularly groundbreaking.)

PoliticsFilter is hardly the best part of this site, I agree. But what about a savage Republican Congress waging a media/poltical/judicial war against a Democratic president _for eight years_ instead? Would that be "groundbreaking" for you? Or, as I suspect, somebody here only dislikes the opposition tactics and partisans he/she doesn't agree with?

A President accused of shamelessly breaking important promises is a good topic of discussion -- we can analyze the charges and criticize them of course. but Presidents should NEVER lie, as Republicans have screamed since 1992, right? So, let's consider the report's charges...

I can't see how a House committee report could somehow be a worse discussion topic than unsubstantiated screeds by various shady activists and talk radio hosts (If MeFi was up and running with thousands of members during the Vince Foster/Paula Jones/Stained dress imbroglio are you sure that you would have attacked all the inevitable "Clinton killed Vince Foster/raped Juanita Broddick/molested Buddy the Dog" posts?)

partisanship can be annoying, yes. and the politcal climate is pretty unpleasant nowadays

on a sidenote, we can just send a thank-you note to the Gingrich/RNC Boys from the Nineties -- they all but killed the concept of bipartisanship and a certain civility in the political debate as they were chasing Slick Willie out of the White House
posted by matteo at 1:09 PM on February 27, 2003


When Congress tells the executive branch that it is being lied to, that in itself is news worthy. Add that the House is controlled by republicans, and it pains a bad picture of W's hold on his party....
posted by Birichini at 1:11 PM on February 27, 2003


killed the concept of bipartisanship and a certain civility in the political debate
thank you matteo. q ♥ you.
posted by quonsar at 1:12 PM on February 27, 2003


oissubke, try not to spasm into hysterics when something jettisons you into rabid denial
Post Of The Day.
[giggles]
posted by quonsar at 1:15 PM on February 27, 2003


Can someone please explain how the "Boys & Girls Clubs" section is a broken promise? Praising a group and then cutting funding isn't the same as breaking a promise. Same with the "Veterans" section. In fact, most of these aren't broken promises.
posted by fried at 1:36 PM on February 27, 2003


Wow, a politician lied. Now that's something you don't hear every day. What are you going to tell me next? Lawyers aren't evil?
posted by mkelley at 1:48 PM on February 27, 2003


Thank you, skallas. In my distaste for Bush and the Republicans, I had almost forgotten how much I dislike Democrats as well. I didn't see a single broken promise among the first four "rhetoric/reality" pairs listed, and I didn't waste my time reading any further.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:48 PM on February 27, 2003


Wow, a politician lied. Now that's something you don't hear every day. What are you going to tell me next? Lawyers aren't evil?

You can't be serious, mkelley. "Everyone does it," so somehow it's inappropriate to point out when it happens?
posted by quarantine at 2:00 PM on February 27, 2003


There's a PDF version of this document here that looks a lot better and also includes a detailed breakdown of Bush's budget cuts; the original posting is clearly a badly HTML-ised version of part of this document. And the general partisan tone of "The Bush Credibility Gap" seems quite consistent with the other documents hosted on the site, such as "State of the Union Promises, All Hat and No Cattle" and "How the Bush Stole Christmas"; seems like there's no immediate cause for alarm over unusual partisanship on a .gov site...
posted by Bletch at 2:08 PM on February 27, 2003


In fact, most of these aren't broken promises.

I agree, if you want to delve into the semantics of truth. However, as the rather garish title says, we're talking about "The Bush Credibility Gap". Failing to support what you claim you support, or robbing essential services that undermine what you claim you support (as in the first responders claims) leaves just such a gap in credibility as is pointed to here. Not lies perse, but certainly reason to not trust the man, yes? I would argue that truth lies in what a person does, not in what they claim they've done, or what they'll do.

What surprises me the most is how rarely Bush actually said what he would do in support of these issues, and how few Bush supporters actually bothered to notice that. You can't be caught in a lie, if you never say anything of substance. Didn't any of the Bushies wonder exactly how he would support the Boys and Girls Clubs? Or what he would offer to sustain and grow any of these organizations and initiatives? They seem to have noticed the tax cut, but it never dawned that you can't spend more with less money to spend, did it. Bush has no credibility, save that given to him by those who keep their eyes and minds shut.
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:12 PM on February 27, 2003


Well, the "broken promises" part is skallas' summation. The site itself sez "credibility gap," which I think the site documents fairly well (assuming quotes are not out of context, "reality" fairly presented, etc.). The "Bush lies" motif seems to be catching hold.
The site doesn't mention the failure to appropriate any money for the reconstruction of Afghanistan (NY Times link, reg required).
I do wish the site relied less on "rhetoric" = "untruth." That's not always the case. Rhetoric is communication meant to persuade about the proper course and to move to action, and in that sense this site is of course very much rhetorical. As is MeFi.
posted by palancik at 2:25 PM on February 27, 2003


oissubke, try not to spasm into hysterics when something jettisons you into rabid denial, such as this post. Thanks.

You call that spasming into hysterics and rabid denial?
posted by oissubke at 2:44 PM on February 27, 2003


lawyers aren't evil
posted by mrgrimm at 4:52 PM on February 27, 2003


Interesting story, in the sense that democratic opposition might be news. Other than changing the names would make this a document used against almost any president.

Isn't this what was expected though? I thought there was an article on MeFi earlier talking about how the new strategy was to attack Bush on domestic policy and stay away from the War on Terror.

Also, the title really should have included the fact that it was the democrats on the committee that were doing the criticizing.

"The House Appropriations Committee documents Bush's lies and broken promises."

is substantially different than

"House Appropriations Committee Democrats document Bush's lies and broken promises."
posted by rudyfink at 5:31 PM on February 27, 2003


"The House Appropriations Committee documents Bush's lies and broken promises."

is substantially different than

"House Appropriations Committee Democrats document Bush's lies and broken promises."


Uhhmm, no, it isn't. What you're saying is that Democrats in the HAC should identify that this is a partisan attack (ignore me, please). If the truth is spoken, then why is it significant to devide a committee when its presented on the committee website? Are the facts less true because they come from Democrats?
posted by Wulfgar! at 5:44 PM on February 27, 2003


Well Wulfgar!, is the full committee documenting it or is it a specific sub group of the committee?

It is different and you come to the heart of but one example why. In this case we have an article that is by definition from a partisan source, which is one reason I felt that should be mentioned. A full committee dem/repub "documenting Bush's lies and broken promises", would be stronger news and a different thing indeed.

Sigh, yes, clearly facts are facts. However, who is doing the presentation or saying them is of consequence, because, unfortunately, some people are only interested in their particular part or side of the story. They wish to arrange facts to their own ends, usually by picking and choosing.

I am only asking for more accuracy in reporting. I would think--with what I take to be a stated support of "truth" that--you would find accuracy important.
posted by rudyfink at 6:06 PM on February 27, 2003


Sigh, yes, clearly facts are facts. However, who is doing the presentation or saying them is of consequence, because, unfortunately, some people are only interested in their particular part or side of the story.

You do realize that you have just posited two contradictory planks, don't you? If "facts are facts" then who is presenting them is irrelevant.
posted by Wulfgar! at 6:30 PM on February 27, 2003


I attempted to address the point about the significance of presenters in the remainder of the paragraph you quoted.

It is not contradictory to say that "facts are facts", and people presenting a set of facts to you may pick and choose what information they give you. I cannot imagine it is news to you that presenters can be selective about the facts they present.

I still argue that source is critically relevant.
posted by rudyfink at 7:26 PM on February 27, 2003


While I entirely agree with what the link says, I object to characterizing it as something coming from the House Appropriations Committee. This wasn't official. It says so in the URL and that should be enough for anyone who can read. Those who require a bit more of a hands-on approach can check out the index of the next directory up and see that clearly, this is just coming from the House Appropriations Committee Democratic Caucus. In fact, I swear I read in The Note the other day that they had it in television-ad form too.
posted by jbrjake at 7:30 PM on February 27, 2003


Wow, with all those cuts, some of those government employees might actually have to work! Frightening!
posted by Slash_fan at 7:52 PM on February 27, 2003


It is not contradictory to say that "facts are facts", and people presenting a set of facts to you may pick and choose what information they give you.

Agreed, those are not contradictory claims. But, if a fact is, indeed, a fact, than it stands as a plank of an argument to follow. Any attempt to discredit that fact by claiming that other facts haven't been presented is vacuous, hollow. It has no relevance. If I claim as fact that I have only seen white swans, therefore only white swans exist, then you have a claim of authorship skewing the facts, which are in truth assumptions. If I claim that 2 is equal to 2, then claiming that I didn't mention that 3 is equal to 3 because I'm biased against odd numbers is fallacious and irrelevant. So I ask, yet again, can anyone here, and it hasn't been done through 40 comments, show the fallacies in what this website has presented?

The obvious answer is "No". Bush says that he supports Port security, and then stands in the way of funding for such. Bush claims that we need fiscal responsibility and then submits a budget proposal that asks for the deepest national deficit spending to date. How, exactly, does the source of these facts mitigate their truth? It doesn't.
posted by Wulfgar! at 8:36 PM on February 27, 2003


Whether or not there are fallices in the information the website is presenting has nothing to do (imo) with accurately declaring its source/creators. Personally I trust that all of the presented information is accurate in that the quotes, pictures, and facts are not falsifications. That does little to change the stamen that I feel it should declare its authorship.

This document misrepresents its authorship, something I clearly feel should be condoned. To say that this document is the released production of an official body (the HAC) is an out and out lie regardless of ones opinion of the content. The HAC did not produce it; the office of the Democratic Party members serving on the HAC produced it.

Again, I argue source is important for the purposes of determining credibility, checking validity, and ensuring accuracy. It allows the listener to access for themselves.
posted by rudyfink at 9:27 PM on February 27, 2003


No, what i said shouldn't have been interpreted as "everyone does it", so it's good. But it was said because somehow some of you think that the politician you oppose is evil and the one you like is good. Politics isn't black and white. Bad things are being done on both sides.

Yet somehow this topic was setup like it was a shock that a president lied. *gasp* gore lied, clinton lied, reagan lied, I would even bet that George Washington lied about something other than a cherry tree. politicians lie and if you disagree with them, vote them out.
posted by mkelley at 6:40 AM on February 28, 2003


No where on the site can I find specific numeric details.

When the site claims that funding for X was cut Y%, does that mean X will get Y% less money than it currently gets, or that next year's funding of X will increase, but the increase will be Y% less than what was expected?

It is not uncommon (though certainly deceptive) for a lowering of a proposed increase (e.g., you will only get a 3% raise instead of a 5% raise) to be described as a "cut", even if the actual amount increases (but you now claim your salary was cut by 2%)
posted by Ayn Marx at 8:41 AM on February 28, 2003


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