In the past week Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) stated that Pres. Barack Obama is holding border security hostage to immigration reform, and a middle-age Portland masseuse accused former Vice-President Al Gore of demanding sexual favors and attempting to force himself on her when she declined.
President Obama denied Kyl’s accusations, using his press secretary to accuse Kyl of lying. And while Gore has remained silent his minions in the mainstream press have accused the masseuse of lying. In both instances only the accused and the accuser were in the room and we are left to determine whom to believe.
Neither instance will lead to a trial. The statute of limitations has already run on any civil action by the masseuse and Portland’s power structure has already turned its back on any criminal charges against Gore. The exchange between the president and Sen. Kyl does not appear to give rise to either a civil or criminal charge. But regardless of an actual trial, the rules of evidence and trial procedure provide valuable tools in testing the veracity of the parties involved.
Reduced to its simplest equation, one’s veracity can be tested by one’s prior adherence to the truth.
So what do we know about Gore and the masseuse? Well, Gore claimed that his mother sang union ditties as lullabies when he was an infant – didn’t happen. He claimed that he and Tipper were the models upon whom “Love Story” was based – didn’t happen. He claimed that he invented the internet – didn’t happen. Gore’s public career has been replete with exaggerations, contradictions and self-promotion. On the other hand we know that the masseuse has a spotless professional reputation – the state licensing board indicated that there have been no complaints or board actions against her. Despite intimations that she is a prostitute there is no record of arrests, prosecutions or convictions for anything in the sex trade. She has established a sufficient reputation for professionalism such that several of Portland’s high-end hotels recommend her to their own customers. In any contest for veracity, Gore finishes a distant second to the masseuse.
Or, as the Oregonian’s Steve Duin opined:
“But I think we all know this much is true:
“Fading politicians, like most guys, will sacrifice status and dignity for the cheapest no-tell sex.
“And there’s rarely a happy ending for the women who call them on it.”
And with regard to President Obama and Sen. Kyl?
Well, we know that Obama lied about his relationship with convicted-felon and real estate developer Tony Rezko. We know that he lied about his relationship with urban terrorist William Ayers. We know he lied about his meetings with indicted Illinois governor Rob Blagojevich. We know he lied about his knowledge of Rev. Wright’s anti-white, anti-Semitic, anti-American rants. We know he lied to Pope Benedict about trying to minimize abortions in American. And we know he lied about signing healthcare legislation that permitted the use of federal funds to perform abortions. We know that Obama will say pretty much anything to advance his agenda with no commitment to actually do as he says.
On the other hand, despite a significant internet search and the vast resources of the mainstream press rising in defense of Obama, we cannot find any mention of Kyl lying about anything. In fact, in his home state of Arizona and in the halls of Congress, Kyl has a significant reputation as a straight shooter and one who stands by his commitments – something that puts him in stark contrast to his fellow Republican senator, John McCain.
Again in a contest for veracity, Obama finishes a distant second to Kyl.
Quite frankly, it doesn’t make any difference whether Bush lied, or Cheney lied, or Clinton lied, or John Edwards lied, or Neil Goldschmidt lied, or Ted Kulongoski lied, or any of the multitude of politicians on both sides of the aisles. What counts is whether these two men – Gore and Obama – lied in these particular circumstances. In Gore’s case, if the masseuse’s allegations are true, he has brutalized a woman – physically, psychologically, and economically. In Obama’s case, if Kyl’s allegations are true, he has placed his political agenda above the nation’s border security.
I choose to believe the senator and the masseuse.