When Lew first started the blog, I got into a routine: on Friday mornings I would teach, come home after lunch, and expose the lies and fallacies that Charles Krauthammer told in his column that morning.
Well, the school year is getting under way, and Dr. Krauthammer is at it again. So here goes.“History Will Judge” Bush, he says.
This smug, self-congratulatory fallacy assumes that “history” is walking around out there somewhere, waiting to enter the stage and pronounce solemn judgments. It is Hegelian and Marxist to the core. In fact, taking Bush at his word (that he is a Christian), Bush would also have to disagree: we Christians believe that it is Christ who will judge Bush, and all the rest of us. And that happens only when history is over.
This smarmy “vindication by history” line smacks not only of Marx, but of Darwin: future generations, you see, will be smarter than us dimwits, who consider Bush to be the dimmest wit of all. To hell with the electorate, Bush brags, he operates “from his gut.” Of course, the Gospel warns us against the dangers of such an approach, but so what? Those evangelists are all dead white males, and we’ve progressed so much since then! And Dr. K has a crystal ball!
So much for today’s fallacy. Now, for today’s lie, get this:
“Most American war presidents — most notably Lincoln, Wilson, Roosevelt — have entered (or re-entered) office knowing war was looming. Not so George Bush.”
Of course it is now clear to a good 70% (30% still resist reality) of the country that the Cheney-Bush administration was dead-set on invading Iraq long before it took office. Bush lied and people died? Well, maybe: they died, yes, but Bush was repeating only what Cheney had told him. Will the real liar please stand up? Probably not.
What could cause Dr. Krauthammer to perpetuate this perfidious charade? Ah, he lets the cat out of the bag – he fairly boasts about it: like so many other fawning neocons, he has been invited into the inner sanctum. He has spent private hours with the president. In brief, he has drunk the Kool-Aid. E has been bamboozled.
Lies and fallacies! Every Friday morning from Charles Krauthammer. Commentary here on Friday afternoon.2:03 pm on September 19, 2008 Email Christopher Manion