Lies, petty and large

Last night, within minutes of the end of the Vice-Presidential debate, diarists on the Daily Kos and many many other bloggers were running down the many inaccuracies and blatant lies spouted off by Dick Cheney.

The lies were of varying degrees of importance--the claim that Cheney had never insinuated that Hussein was involved in the 9/11 attacks was a big one, while the claim that he'd never met John Edwards before that night was a small one, and both were debunked within minutes of the close of the debate. This picture started making the rounds this morning.

Now while the first set of lies--the ones dealing with Hussein and Iraq and al Qaeda, the whole foreign policy part of the debate--were larger and of far greater import to not only the debate, but to the future of the country at large, it's perfectly understandable why Cheney told them. He has to. His credibility and the credibility of Bush are inextricably bound to that segment of the population that somehow hasn't figured out that they're full of shit, and if they admit it now, they'll get about 17 votes nationwide in November. Cheney has to tell those lies.

But the lie about never meeting Edwards, while small, should prove far more damaging, because it was a useless, stupid lie. Cheney had a gutshot when he made a crack about Edwards' recent Senate attendance record--Edwards has missed a lot of Senate votes in the last two years while he ran for President and everyone knows it. It was a solid blow.

But adding in the crack about never having met Edwards before added nothing to the blow, and now that it's been proven to be untrue, undercuts and negates any power that the legitimate shot had, and also shows Cheney to be the kind of man--no surprise here--who will tell a lie even when the truth is better. That's the hallmark of this administration, for that matter. They lie even when it doesn't help, just because they've gotten so ingrained in the habit that they can't do anything else.

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