License To Lie

Years and years ago, I read an article that was titled, I believe, “Congress’ License To Lie.” It described one of the little benefits members of Congress grants itself — the right to “revise and extend” their remarks on the floor in the Congressional Record.

One might think that something called the “Congressional Record” would be just that — a record of what is said and done in Congress. It bears about as much resemblance to that as a Picasso has to a passport photo.

Members of Congress use that privilege to rewrite history to their own purposes. It’s become second nature to them.

Which is why I don’t share the outrage of Charles Schumer’s rewriting his own words — both in the Record and on his official web site — when he disparaged the troops fighting in Iraq.

In the old days, this would have gone unnoticed. But in the days of C-SPAN and Youtube and blogging, the Congress can no longer blithely recast events to put them in a more favorable light.

If Majority Leader Reid and Speaker Pelosi really are interested in “the most ethical Congress in history,” they can start by giving up their ability to lie and rewrite history at their whim.

But I ain’t holding my breath.

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