The Problem with Embracing Shameless Lying as Your Superpower


In the material quoted in the immediately preceding post, Paul Waldman argues, in substance, that Republicans have forgotten that they have eaten of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That they have become prelapsarian men. That they believe that shamelessness is their superpower.

And, indeed, that is exactly what they seem to believe.

Let me tell you what I believe. But, first, to be precise, let me say what I mean by “believe.” I can be as sentimental as the next guy, but I speak here not of sentimental beliefs about a wonderful world—

Rather, I speak of the world as I actually understand it to be. And it’s generally not wonderful, at least for a lot of people a lot of the time.

That said, in the world as it actually exists—seen with brutal, cynical honesty—there remains a fundamental problem with incessant, shameless lying.

The problem is that if you are a shameless liar, there will come a time when people stop believing you.

And if no one believes you, that is a problem.