Andrew Sullivan posted a reader's email today expressing some wise commentary on what it means to possess integrity--with regard to our fearless leader.
"On Friday, you posted a fellow reader's comments on Bush as a man of integrity. I felt compelled to say something about this issue. A man of integrity is a man who is consistent in his values and actions, and those values in turn are grounded in reason and truth. The word "integrity", however, has been hijacked by everyone, especially politicians who no longer understand what it means, but who know that it is a word that people associate with respectability.
A man who hires somebody like Karl Rove to obfuscate and spin the truth and to vicitimize minorities for political purposes is no man of integrity. A man who has so ineptly planned for the security of this nation (and Iraq) as was vividly revealed by Katrina when he has stood in front of millions of his citizens saying otherwise is no man of integrity. A man whose government is filled with incompetent cronies, and who values loyalty above merit is no man of integrity. A man who spends so irresponsibly the money of generations to come and who does not think of the economic and social consequences for this nation's future is no man of integrity. A man who courts the views of extremists and fundamentalists whose own views are grounded in hate and fear and who would choose to scapegoat homosexuals to win votes is no man of integrity. A man who would ignore scientific evidence and instead professes support for the dodgy theory of intelligence design is no man of integrity.
The word integrity actually needs to mean something. It should not be a platitudinous word that is used by men so flippantly. Your reader is wrong in this regard. George Bush is no man of integrity."
I only wish the Christian Right could see through W's facade of compassionate conservatism to the conniving imbecile that he is. Or maybe they really don't care about all that. If we compare the Right's reactions to Bush to their reaction to Clinton (it doesn't matter how good a leader he is or how effective his policies are; he's not a moral person or a man of integrity) we can begin to see what it is that the Right means when they refer to integrity. They want someone to further their fundamentalist agenda of hatrid and bigotry. As long as you can invoke God in doing it, that's integrity? I don't think so.