PERRY: Before we can have civility and progress in Congress and the Legislature, the lying has got to stop

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By all means, head back to Congress and the Colorado General Assembly next year with every intention of embracing civil and bi-partisan collegiality and serve constituents better.

But first, the lying has to stop.

In the long time I’ve professionally listened ad nauseatingly to elected officials stretch truth, reality and my patience, I’ve never seen anything like the outright, sinister, deceptions some of our lying-ass electeds now exude on a daily basis.

The scariest part of these prodigious liars is that they don’t care that they get caught and called out, and, for the most part, neither does much of the public.

I’m not talking about the “art of persuasion” that almost every politician soon becomes skilled at when being confronted by the press. You know the drill. They often answer a question with another question, or they give a predictable duck-and -odge by choking up a big wad of word salad or a deflective non-answer.

Naive reporter: “Congressman, would you vote to undermine or overturn Roe v. Wade rights if given the chance in Congress?”

Congressman DeFlectoramus: “I’m pro-life, but Roe v. Wade is settled law.”

That’s not the lying I’m talking about. That’s just lame, and it’s a pathetic stunt many — but not all — politicians from both sides of the aisle frequently employ.

I can tell you first-hand that in all the years I’ve covered and watched Colorado U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, he’s never once pulled the shucking shell game on me. I’ve known him to be guarded about his responses, but he answers the questions, and as honestly as I ever known any politician to do it.

Likewise with former Congressman Tom Tancredo. I may not like a whole helluva lot of what Tancredo has said for a very long time, but Tancredo was always painfully straight with me.

No, the lying I’m talking about is insidious. It starts at the top of the Republican Party these days and works its way down to Colorado and every other state.

The Nation’s Liar in Chief is a pox on the country not only because he regularly and maliciously lies, but also because elected officials in his own party refuse to shun him for continuing to do it.

There are websites and newscasts dedicated to exposing and ratifying Trump’s prolific and dangerous lies, but in just the past few days, this is what our U.S, president lied about:

• “Just out — in Arizona, SIGNATURES DON’T MATCH. Electoral corruption – Call for a new Election? We must protect our Democracy!” Trump tweeted Sunday, claiming that Democrats are trying to steal a senate election in Arizona. Even the respectable members of his own party called out the lie.

• Last week, Trump and White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders were both outed in a lie they contrived insisting that video showing CNN White House reporter Jim Acosta —  a frequent pain in Trump and Sander’s asinine clown act — accosted a White House press aid who was trying to yank a microphone from Acosta’s hands. Not only was their allegation a lie, but they tried to double down on it by releasing a manipulated video clip doctored by a right-wing conspiracy theory website. The move took White House lying to a new level, showing they’re now willing to sink to Soviet propaganda levels, using faked video to push their agenda.

Earlier in the week, Trump lied about the economy, the election, about China, and about veteran benefits. The Sentinel, among hundreds of other newspapers, regularly run fact-check updates for readers, dispelling Trump’s lies and deceptions.

And his fellow Republicans don’t even care. It’s nt longer an issue of how can we run a government and a country when the guy in charge seemingly never, ever tells the truth and often, not even anything close to it. Instead, it’s a rush by equally squalid politicians to join in.

Several elected officials in Colorado and across the country have taken up the lying game, seeing how it’s been a winning strategy for Trump with his own base.

Cory Gardner has long flirted with deflection so underhanded that it bordered on delusion rather than prevarication.

Not this week. Gardner, whose second job in the Senate is working to keep and get Republicans elected to the upper house, became the poster boy for Republican fiction riding.

When asked about the Senate election controversy in Arizona, where the Democrat is slowly eking out a victory among the slowest vote count in the nation, Gardner fanned the flames of a disproved conspiracy theory that even Arizona Republicans say is untrue.

“Yeah, we’re still looking at hundreds of thousands of votes to be counted in Arizona,
Gardner told Chuck Todd Sunday on Meet the Press. “It’s a little bit different than what we’ve seen in Florida whether it’s incompetence or corruption, they’re kind of the same side of the ledger. What we’ve seen in Arizona is a concern that every ballot, every county be treated equally in how they deal with elections and signatures.”

There is no mass corruption in those elections, just corrupt lies like this.

Even at the state level, the level of lying has been off the charts. A bevy of state lawmakers and other state officials went all false alarm during the election. Outright lies about Polis’ confrontation with a employee years ago, where he was the victim, dragged the nasty campaign for governor to a new low in Colorado. Lawmakers repeated and retweeted endless lies about Democrat Jason Crow’s allegiance to veterans, Phil Weiser “defending” a pedophile and a cavalcade of outright fabrications.

This, after Republicans leaders in the Senate unleashed a bevy of lies and distortions over Republican members of the Senate accused of sexual harassment as the scandal enveloped the 2018 Legislature.

It’s clear they’re not going to stop. It’s up to members of the media to right the wrong of allowing politicians, regardless of party, to weasel out of answering questions or just freaking lie. And it’s up to the public to complain to their elected officials when they’re caught lying, and vote them out when they have the chance.

Although Trump and his cronies try to convince the public there is such a thing as “alternative facts,” it’s a lie. The truth is not debatable, and neither is policy if the government doesn’t operate in reality.

Follow @EditorDavePerry on Twitter and Facebook or reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected]