President Bush said that Senator Kerry is telling the truth about his military record, and in response his supporters redouble their promotion of claims that Kerry is lying. In spite of his statement Bush does not ask them to stop.
What does this mean? I think that Bush’s statement and the “Conservative Movement’s” reaction to it tells an important story about what is happening in America.
“President Bush said Thursday that he did not believe Sen. John Kerry lied about his war record, but he declined to condemn the TV commercial paid for by a veterans group alleging Kerry came by his war medals dishonestly.”
Bush declared that Kerry is telling the truth. Yet the so-called “conservatives” did not take this to mean they are to stop questioning Kerry’s Vietnam record and get back to discussing the important issues facing our country. Instead, they increase their promotion of the story that Kerry lied. If you take a tour of the right-wing news this morning, or listen to talk radio, you see that the Republicans have redoubled their promotion of claims that Kerry is NOT telling the truth. Everywhere you turn Bush’s supporters are doing exactly the opposite of what Bush’s words would have one think he said.
Bush’s supporters have universally done exactly the opposite of what Bush’s WORDS appeared to say they should do! Does this mean that Bush is an ineffective leader who can’t even get those on his own side to do what he says? No, it seems that Bush’s supporters have a different understanding of the meaning of such statements. If you examine the response of the “conservatives” to Bush’s words, it appears there is a universal understanding that Bush meant for them to do something entirely different than what he said! It is clear that when Bush said Kerry is telling the truth his supporters heard instructions to go forth and multiply their attacks.
There appears to be an unspoken understanding between Bush and his supporters that he will say things that are different from what he means, with the supporters universally accepting and approving of this duplicity. This is a “wink and a nod” situation, in which they hear Bush telling them to go right along with what they were doing, in spite of his words. Bush’s supporters understood his statement was only meant to “provide cover” for his role in the smear, while they are to go right on promoting it on their websites, cable TV networks, talk radio, etc.
Think about what this says about “conservatives'” understanding of the “conservative movement” and their role in it.
This is not an open and honest democratic movement we are talking about. This is the behavior of a conspiracy to subvert the democratic process. Bush’s behavior indicates that his agenda is not what is put forward to the public — and the behavior of the members of the movement indicates that they understand and approve.