Truth takes a holiday

For 20 years now, whoever has occupied the Oval Office has been a degenerate liar.

I know some would argue every president has been, that it goes with the territory of being the top politician. But for argument's sake, let's focus on the past two decades.

Start with the first President Bush and, "Read my lips, no new taxes."

And then he raised taxes anyway, which made everyone mad enough to either vote for Bill Clinton or Ross Perot, thus diluting the Republican vote enough that Clinton was able to move into 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. with his waterbed and Barry White albums.

And if Satan is the Father of Lies, Bill Clinton is certainly Lies' older brother. He gave us such gems as: "When I was in England, I experimented with marijuana a time or two, and I didn't like it. I didn't inhale and never tried it again."

Then there was this: "I did not have sex with that woman."

And of course, the granddaddy of you've-got-to-be-kidding double talk, "It depends on what the meaning of the words 'is' is."

After eight years of that kind of nonsense, if Clinton gave me a $20 bill, I would have to run one of those markers over it to see if it was real.

Then enter George W. I voted for that man twice. I wish I had at least one of those back.

In January, the Center for Public Integrity, an investigative journalism organization, reported the actual number of lies the White House told in the two years after Sept. 11. The number? 935. Bush told 259 of those himself.

If you'll forgive the pun, the numbers don't lie.

So after 20 years of the same two families spewing the same horse hockey, you'd think we'd be anxious to have someone who might at least consider telling the truth to us once in a while. And yet, a large portion of the country wants to put Clinton's wife in office.

I can only scratch my head at that. What are people thinking?

We already know she can lie with the best of them. I refer, of course, to her story about landing in Bosnia under sniper fire. Never having been under sniper fire, I can't say what it's like, but I'll wager you don't smile a lot and walk around calmly shaking hands and hugging kids, which is what video from the event showed.

In explanation, Hillary said she "misspoke."

Oh, OK. Well, then I "misanswered" in the 11th grade when I got a 20 on a math test. I must've "misstudied." Just like I "misswung" when I struck out against Lithonia High School with the bases loaded. I wonder if North Carolina will give me back my $125 if I call them up and tell them I "misdrove" when I got a speeding ticket in Mars Hill back in 1997.

C'mon. It was a completely made-up load of you-know-what designed to make her look tougher than she is. She didn't misspeak. She lied.

And what about Barack Obama? I watched the speech distancing himself from his pastor's vitriolic nonsense. If I hadn't been an amateur magician at one point in my life, I might have fallen for his misdirection of pointing out the obvious, that all white people and black people still don't get along.

So that leaves John McCain. I'm not aware of any overt lies he's told, but he has done a little "misspeaking" of his own, and I know his staff has been accused of telling some doozies. And at any rate, he seems to be Bush 2.0, and God knows we don't need any more of that.

So what's a poor idealist to do? Continue to believe that someone, somewhere will one day rise to the challenge of being straight with the American people? Or should I just do as a buddy of mine said he was going to do - write in a vote for my dad?

After all, I may not know Daddy's record on foreign policy or fixing the economy, but I do know one thing beyond a shadow of a doubt: He never lied to me. They say George Washington never told a lie, either, and he was the father of our country.

So there, I've convinced myself. James McCullough in 2008.

We could do a whole lot worse.

And we probably will.

E-mail Nate McCullough at nate.mccullough@gwinnettdailypost.com. His column appears on Fridays.