A certain type of friend believes that it is always right to lie, if your friend needs you to lie. To such friends, a friend who won’t lie for a friend is no better than a fucking rat. And a judgmental fucking hypocrite rat, at that.
Back a decade or two, an elected official being caught in a lie was a shameful thing that often damaged or even ended a political career. Today public lying is interpreted transactionally, how much damage will this particular lie do to the liar in the polls, how much trouble will it make with the powers that be? One former president, pressed by an all-powerful Independent Counsel and sweated by ambitious partisans like young Boof Kavanaugh, was even impeached for lying under oath trying to cover up personal sexual misdeeds. “The US can’t have a president who is a liar!” was the pious sentiment of the elected moralists who drew up articles of impeachment against him.
Being caught in a lie was a fairly serious impediment to political ambition at one time. There was, at the very least, a steep price to pay for being caught in a lie. Clinton was publicly humiliated, graphic details of his sexual kinks were put on the internet by the Independent Counsel, he lost his law license, paid some big fines. Until a new ethic took hold in our national politics: there is nothing wrong with lying if you are a good person only lying to protect friends and to fight evil! It is the logical extension of the old Libertarian battle cry of 1964 “extremism in defense of liberty is no vice”.
The extreme moral relativism of this transactional defense of the right to lie to protect friends, or profits, or a higher truth, or whatever the lie is intended to do, is in some ways like the oath of Omerta that made men in the Mafia must take. No matter what, I will not rat on anyone in my family. I prefer death to the dishonor of incriminating an associate. The current over-the-top cast of quid pro quo/transactional liars and obstructionists, clearly prefer a pardon from their co-conspirator to death, and as for dishonor, that’s a game for chumps and losers only. Anyone stupid enough to admit anything, no matter how strong the proof of the case against them, well, fuck them.
With unlimited lies now being permissible, to defend decency, to cover up embarrassing or incriminating evidence or, sometimes, even to glorify Jesus Christ Himself, there is no reason not to lie. What you don’t admit can rarely be used against you in court. Dubya Bush’s Attorney General, Antonio Gonzalez, when pressed by a subcommittee on suspicious details of the sudden mass firing of DOJ officials, claimed over and over not to recall anything about the purge he had supervised. As Jon Stewart pointed out at the time, Gonzalez preferred being seen as a pinhead who could not remember anything at all to saying anything that might be politically impolitic, or used to get to the sordid truth of the politically motivated firings at DOJ.
Within twenty years politically motivated purges of public officials seen as insufficiently loyal to the president, and the routine firing of agency investigators, or any other appointed public official who spoke words offensive to the thin-skinned Unitary Executive, became the norm in one party. Today it is smart to lie, until the authorities are actually able to lock you up after proving to a jury that you lied to conceal crimes.
Democrats and Republicans both lie, of course. Only one party has made belief in an outlandish lie, in a series of aggravating fictions, articles of faith. Expressing loyalty to this ridiculous lie (down ticket Republicans all won fair and square, only Trump, at the top of that same ballot, was cheated, nationwide) is a prerequisite for receiving Republican campaign money and a party endorsement. If the leader constantly lies, and his lackeys all have to indignantly back him up with lies of their own or get publicly fired and humiliated, here’s what you get (this is from an excellent March 2021 podcast):
Notice that Trump’s post-election lie about massive mail-in voting fraud in 2020 goes back to his paranoid fantasy about how he was fraudulently denied the full measure of his historic landslide victory in his 2016 election and then spent four years in hell over it. In hell! SO UNFAIR! It was so unfair that even Bill Barr, America’s Hermann Goering, felt obliged to investigate, breaking 150 years of DOJ precedent, so he could tell the president that the massive mail-in voting fraud they had both publicly predicted in the lead up to the election was bullshit, that there was no evidence for it, that the infinitesimal amount of fraud found would not change any result anywhere.
Fuck Barr. On to Plan B, Sidney Powell, My Pillow Guy, Flynn, Rudy, DOJ stooge Jeff Clarke, Cruz, Hawley, Brooks, Jordan, Biggs, Gaetz, Gohmert, Gosar and company, bring on Bannon and Kerick, let Cruz start John Eastman’s Green Bay Sweep, baby! We got the troops ready to activate, inside and outside the Capitol, with tactical support from FOX, Newsmax and OANN, to snatch victory from the jaws of massive organized bipartisan pedophile fraud! Jews will not replace us, yo!