Search | Saved Search | About the Archive | Search Tips | Pricing | FAQ | My Account | Help | Terms | Login | Home |
The difference between the current administration and its conservative forebears is that facts don't seem to matter at all. They don't even matter enough to reinterpret. [George W. Bush] doesn't read the papers or watch the news, and Condoleezza Rice, his national security adviser, reportedly didn't read the National Intelligence Estimate, which is apparently why she missed the remarks casting doubt on claims that Iraq was trying to acquire uranium from Africa. (She reportedly read the document later.) And although Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld hasn't disavowed reading or watching the news, he has publicly and proudly disavowed paying any attention to it. In this administration, everyone already knows the truth.
Every administration spins the facts to its advantage. As the old adage goes, "Figures don't lie but liars do figure." But this White House isn't just shading the facts. In actively denying or changing them, it is changing the basis on which government has traditionally been conducted: rationality. It is doubt that helps one understand the world and enables one to avoid hubris. A presidency without doubt and resistant to disconcerting facts is a presidency not on the road to Damascus but on the road to disaster.