INDIANAPOLIS  — Perhaps we should make Feb. 27 a new U.S. holiday: Liars Day. It would be the perfect holiday here in the post-truth era. One could use it to golf or fish, do our taxes, or hit a strip club while the wife goes shopping, lying all the way.

Convicted liar Michael Cohen appeared before the House Oversight Committee. He’s already lied under oath before Congress. He was President Trump’s long-time fixer/attorney and, according to the Washington Post, Trump had lied or told half truths 8,158 times as of Jan. 21. President Trump surrounded himself with an array of people who have lied. Michael Flynn was axed because he lied to Vice President Pence. And Pence, playing the dutiful veep, repeats the Trumpian lies, like that faux “national emergency” on the southern border that most of our U.S. House delegation has taken hook, line and political sinker.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings acknowledged Cohen’s problem with the truth. “I will be the first one to refer those untruthful statements to DOJ,” the chairman warned. “He has a lot to lose if he lies.”  Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan lashed out before Cohen testified, telling Cummings, “The first announced witness of the 116th Congress is Michael Cohen, who lied to Congress. Certainly it’s the first time a convicted perjurer has been brought back to be a star witness. You have stacked the deck against the truth. Mr. Chairman, we are better than this.” 

Cummings then swore Cohen in, asking if he would say “nothing but the truth, the whole truth?” Cohen answered in the affirmative. 

So help us, God. I mean, really, God, we could use some help down here in Washington.

Rep. Jordan has his own truth obstacles, emanating from sexual abuse allegations in the Ohio State wrestling program where he was an assistant coach. He hired a PR firm, with his campaign famously saying, “When somebody is lying about you, you hire the best.” 

There are occasional white lies out here in flyover country, usually couched when political reality wanders into the rhetoric pit. But as I’ve noted so many times before, Gov. Eric Holcomb doesn’t lie. Speaker Bosma doesn’t lie. Mayors Winnecke, Daniel, McDermott, Meers and Bennett are not liars. We wouldn’t tolerate it in Indy or Terre Haute, Columbia City or Jasper.

Cohen, who heads to federal prison for three years in May, used the hearing as a kind of confessional (and someone, somewhere, recently made the case the Senate is not a confessional). Republican partisans pounced on his duplicity, attacking the messenger, not the message with the whole world watching.

But Cohen isn’t seeking a pardon from President Trump. He expressed remorse. He called himself a “fool” for doing Donald Trump’s bidding. He painted our president as acting criminally while in office along with being an overt racist. He supplied a damning prop, a signed $35,000 check as part of Trump’s payoff to porn star Stormy Daniels. There wasn’t a single follow up question.

Cohen said, “I have lied, but I am not a liar. I am ashamed that I chose to take part in concealing Mr. Trump’s illicit acts rather than listening to my own conscience. I am ashamed because I know what Mr. Trump is.” Cohen added of Trump, “He is a racist. He is a conman. He is a cheat. He was a presidential candidate who knew that Roger Stone was talking with Julian Assange about a WikiLeaks drop of Democratic National Committee emails.” He warned the panel of following Trump blindly like he had.

Cohen said that President Trump told him to lie to the public about hush payments to the porn star. He presented life in “Trump world” as in what the New York Times called a “Faustian bargain” in which he and others sacrificed their integrity for the “intoxicating” whiff of power. He acknowledged that he lied under oath to Congress about a Trump Tower project in Moscow, adding, “I am not protecting Mr. Trump anymore.” 

Whew, whew and whew. Get the law firm Dewey Cheatem & Howe on the line.

Beyond Cohen’s attempt at redemption before a live TV audience, the other intriguing aspect of all of this was the almost complete lack of Republican curiosity over the web woven by serial deception with all of the alleged porn star payments, the sexual harassment and assaults, the Trump Tower meeting with the Russians, Moscow investments, and the fact that Trump was attempting to do a real estate development with the Kremlin during the 2016 presidential campaign, something he (and Cohen) repeatedly denied in 2016 and 2017. While they took aim at Cohen, Republicans mounted no attempts to discredit facts of the Trump schemes. 

The White House responded: “Michael Cohen is a felon, a disbarred lawyer, and a convicted perjurer, who lied to both Congress and the Special Counsel in a ‘deliberate and premeditated’ fashion according to the Special Counsel’s Office,” the spokeswoman, Kayleigh McEnany, wrote. “Now he offers what he says is evidence, but the only support for that is his own testimony, which has proven before to be worthless. This is the same Michael Cohen who has admitted that he lied to Congress previously. Why did they even bother to swear him in this time?”

What’s that old phrase, you know, the pot calling the kettle black? Happy Liars Day! 

Howey is publisher of Howey Politics Indiana.