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That Darned Piece of Paper

“That Darned Piece of Paper”

Hello, everyone.

Back in 2005, there was a story making the rounds on liberal blogs that then-President George W. Bush had referred to the Constitution as a “goddamned piece of paper.” For years, I have wondered whether this had actually occurred or if it was a made-up story. I decided to do a google and see what I could find out.

At the very top of my Google search page was a link to a site called Fact Check.org. Here is what they had as regards the subject. I am quoting only what I believe to be essential.

– – – – – – – – – –

Bush: The Constitution a ‘Goddamned Piece of Paper’?

Posted on December 12, 2007 , Updated on Feb. 21, 2011

Q: Did President Bush call the Constitution a “goddamned piece of paper”?

A: Extremely unlikely. The Web site that reported those words has a history of quoting phony sources and retracting bogus stories.

FULL QUESTION

Is it true that President Bush called the Constitution a “goddamned piece of paper?” He has never denied it, and it appears that there were several witnesses.

FULL ANSWER

The report that Bush “screamed” those words at Republican congressional leaders in November 2005 is unsubstantiated, to put it charitably.

We judge that the odds that the report is accurate hover near zero. It comes from Capitol Hill Blue, a Web site that has a history of relying on phony sources, retracting stories and apologizing to its readers.

Update, Feb. 21, 2011: The author of the Capitol Hill Blue story has now withdrawn it. Doug Thompson messaged us to say:

Doug Thompson: This is to let you know that the piece on Bush and the Constitution has been changed and reads:

“This article was based on sources that we thought, at the time, were reliable. We have since discovered reasons to doubt their veracity. For that reason, this article has been removed from our database.”

I no longer stand behind that article or its conclusions and have said so in answers to several recent queries. In addition, I have asked that it be removed from a documentary film.

. . .

There’s no record of Bush ever using these words in public and no other news organization has reported him using them privately. Thompson based his report on three sources whom he didn’t name. He gave the date of the quote as “last month,” which would put it sometime in November 2005.

. . .

But we also note that Thompson described his own reporting habits this way:

Doug Thompson (July 26, 2006): I started taking more chances with stories, jumping on ones with sketchy sources, always trying to outdo the last “big” story. I had people willing to help me and they would send me info that I used often on their word alone.

. . . I wrote stories based on emails from sources I never met. I would meet self-proclaimed “important people” in out-of-the way bars, taking what they told me at face value. Washington is a breeding ground for phonies and wannabes. Too often I printed what they told me because I was so full of myself that I was sure it was true and did not require further verification.

By Thompson’s own account, these were the habits still in place when he reported the “piece of paper” quote in 2005.

We also note that Thompson expresses extreme personal hostility toward Bush, calling him in one recent article a “madman,” a “despot,” and “a man without honor, a leader without conscience and a human being without a shred of decency or humanity.”

– – – – – – – – – –

So what do we have here? Nothing but a bogus story written by a person with an animus against George W. Bush – a story based on hearsay evidence from some unnamed sources – a story on a website with a rattling reputation for posting trash about people and then having to remove the trash when it is learned that there is no factual evidence to support the trash – a story posted by a guy who bases his decisions to post or not to post a story purely on “gut feelings.” Hopefully, indigestion is not a factor in his decisions.

I checked other sites listed in the Google search results, and one thing that I found both interesting and appalling at the same time is this: The liberal blogs jumped on this thing and passed it on without even checking to see if it was true or not. Why they didn’t verify it is anybody’s guess, but I believe that a major reason that it wasn’t checked was nothing more than sheer spite. “Hey! Someone said something despicable about George W. Bush, and we are going to carry the story along! We’re not even going to bother to check and find out if it is true. It’s something nasty about Bush, so it’s got to be true!” Incidentally, I cannot recall any retraction from these liberal sites that posted the “paper” story. I guess that retraction just isn’t their style.

One of the fascinating things about this whole scenario is the fact that no other news site was able to corroborate Doug Thompson’s story. I do not recall it ever being talked about on the national news on television, and I am sure that it was not mentioned on conservative blogs except in order to defend Bush, and there would not need to be any corroboration in order to do that. So the “Paper” story was essentially nothing more than a figment of a wild liberal imagination. One man tells the uncorroborated story on one blog, so it has to be true because I saw it on the Internet.

So that raises a logical question: Who in reality believes that the Constitution is a g– d—– piece of paper – George W. Bush or the liberal blogosphere? As we have seen, there never was any corroboration that Bush ever made that statement, so the answer is obvious.

But to be sure, the liberal blogosphere believes that the Constitution is NOT a g– d—– piece of paper – as long as the Constitution suits their purpose. For example, in the Second Amendment, the LB believes that the “militia” clause is valid; it is the “right to bear” clause that they have questions about. They believe that guns are only valid for the National Guard and the military. Don’t forget; they are the environmentalists who believe that deer, elk, rabbits, and squirrels have their place in the environment and that killing these animals is wrong – if not actually a sin. So there is no legitimate reason for anyone to have a gun, in their opinion.

But what about the FIRST amendment? And the “freedom of speech and press” clauses in that amendment? I’m afraid that that is a different story. Ever since 9/11 occurred, John Amato of the “Crooks & Liars” web site has totally banned any discussion of conspiracy theories about 9/11. Why? In the times I have visited that site, I never saw any constraints placed on Kennedy Assassination conspiracies or “Project Apollo Lies” theories. But then that site is hard to figure out, given the number of Fox News video clips that they have up.

Now for a word of confession: I was a commenter on Crooks & Liars for a period of time. However, I have been banned from there three times. The first time I was banned, I had made a statement that all but declared the fact that I was not fully persuaded that all of the science concerning “global warming” and “climate change” was valid. The second time I was banned, I had made a statement that if the black and hispanic communities wanted my respect, they had to show me that they were capable of doing something besides playing children’s games on an adult level. The third time I was banned, I made a statement indicating that I did not genuflect to the teachers’ union or any union for that matter. I will say that while my bannings might well be legitimate, not once did I see any guidelines indicating that my comments violated any “terms of use.” And for darned sure, my comments did cut the constitutional muster.

But Crooks & Liars isn’t the only blog that has a problem with “that g– d—– piece of paper,” as the liberal blogs put it. Daily Kos does as well. I used to have commenting rights on that page also, but I found that they were taken away without one word of explanation as to why. Of course, I posted comments that did not exactly compliment Harry Reid after he caved in to the Republicans as regards filibuster reform in the Senate. I also posted comments that were not complimentary to Barak Obama as regards his desire to make deep cuts in Social Security. But since other people were commenting along the same lines as I was but did not get their rights taken away, why did it happen to me? I’m afraid that this one is up to Nero Wolfe to sort out.

So who really believes that the Constitution is “a goddamned piece of paper?” Not George W. Bush; that story has been thoroughly debunked. And not the Republicans. Their constitutional arguments for the right to bear arms does have its basis on fact. The Constitution DOES say that “the right to bear arms will not be infringed.” So that leaves the liberal community, and as I have shown above, there is evidence to support the opinion that they do hold the opinions that they tried to foist off on Bush.

As the old saying puts it, “It all depends on whose ox is being gored.” I confess to being unhappy that my First Amendment rights have been gored. But then the conservatives are also unhappy that the Liberals are trying to gore their Second Amendment rights. And I am afraid that the actions of blogs and groups like C&L and Kos bring back to mind the behaviors that the old Soviet Union used to display against dissenters. But luckily C&L and Kos do not have a Siberia to ship people off to.

In closing, I believe that we all are behooved to stand up and defend our Constitution when the need arises. Heaven knows, it isn’t perfect. But it is better than anything else that is functioning in the world today. And it is certainly a heck of a lot better than the kind of country that the Liberals want to give us where they call the tunes that we dance to. So the next time you hear something from the liberal community about “global warming” or “climate change” or “the lack of equality for women and gays” it might be wise to to remember the debacle about George W. Bush and the Constitution and take any liberal conversation involving liberal buzz words with 20 freight trainloads of salt.

You all have a great day today.

Bill

 

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April 28, 2013 - Posted by | Miscellaneous, Politics | , ,

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