Never get caught out in a lie, my Dad taught. Never get caught out in a draft, my Mom taught. Poor Bill Richardson forgot those parental lessons, and now he has been caught lying about the draft.
Richardson, Governor of New Mexico, has been including in every bio and resume for the last 40 years the fact that as a young pitching prospect, he had been drafted by the Kansas City (now Oakland) Athletics. With his name being bandied as a potential Democratic Presidential candidate, the Albuquerque Journal investigated and found the baseball claim baseless. Confronted, Bill announced that he “came to the conclusion that I was not drafted by the A’s.”
Nor would anyone presume to doubt his veracity. Readers of this publication will recall that Mr. Richardson, then Ambassador to the United Nations, was accused by Monica Lewinsky of offering her a job without a real interview for the purpose of purging her from Ken Starr’s purlieu. Richardson denied, denied and denied, despite phone records showing two calls to his office precisely when Monica said they were made.
Okay, let’s be honest. You and I know that Richardson is lying through his teeth now as then. He lied about being drafted like his former boss, Bill Clinton, lied about not being drafted. But if he loses the nomination over this, we may be plunged into an insufferable new era of indiscriminate truth-telling. Folks, truth is turning into an epidemic and we had better watch our backs.
Every day on the radio we are bombarded by ads for 1-800-DNA-TEST. All this scoping of nucleic acid is corroding the nuclear family. Better not to look backwards and find that the true Dad was a pal in their home. (Yes, I know that at three letters “Dad” is not much of a palindrome. Try this one: “Did Dad? Dad did.” Or perhaps he didn’t.)
Then we learn that an MRI can identify lying by tracking brain activity, and talk has begun about solving crimes by getting inside people’s heads. “If the brain clicked, you must convict.” We may be antebellum of the cerebellum upping the ante for detection.
On top of this, folks were nitpicking Mike Brown’s pre-FEMA resume by saying that his job in Oklahoma from 1975-78 described by him as “overseeing emergency services divisions” really meant making coffee for firemen and polishing that pole they slide down. This gripe violates the longstanding social compact that if you’re willing to be in charge of paper clips for two years you get to write that you were “director of intra-corporate logistics.”
Imagine that we declare National Truth Day. Every husband will tell his secretary that his wife does understand him. In fact, having nursed him through various ailments and depressions, she understands him much better than you ever could sitting behind your desk with a People magazine.
Employees will turn to their bosses to explain that the big file they’re always carrying across the office to the copy room is actually a dummy filled with blank paper, and that under the copy machine is a small shelf which a group of ten workers stock with donuts on a rotating basis.
Students will turn to professors to admit that the term paper about lowering crime by aborting black babies which was graded “chillingly racist but refreshingly irreverent” was bought for 100 dollars on the Internet and originally written by Bill Bennett as an undergraduate. (Just kidding, Bill.)
Melania Trump will say to her husband: “Donald, your comb-over may be marginally better than Ted Koppel’s, but I married you for money.” And he will respond: “When I said that I married you for your IQ, that was true; as a man of the people, I love the fact that you are at the exact national average of 96. And I thought it was kind of clever how you figured that out by adding 36 and 24 and 36.”
All of America, liberals and conservatives both, will finally tell David Brock and Arianna Huffington: “We find you totally despicable.”
And I will explain to my editors that when I said that I had a doctorate in Economics from University of Chicago, I neglected to mention that for reasons of security I did my course work under an alias: Milton Friedman.
Scary stuff. It’s enough to make one yearn for the days of Bill Clinton, a President who could always manufacture a good lie — except on the golf course. A big lie could get you sent to the big house but white lies often landed a fellow in the White House.
My advice to Bill Richardson is to accept responsibility and announce that he will not actively seek the Presidential nomination of the Democratic Party. He will, however, accept a draft.