Thursday, April 1, 2010

Obama's lies

From Matt Welch at Reason...

Here’s how predictable the president’s slippery relationship with the truth has become: Hours before the State of the Union address, Washington Examiner reporter Timothy P. Carney posted a “pre-emptive fact check” that, among other things, prebutted any presidential claim to have “stopped the revolving door between government and corporate lobbying.” As it happened, that night Barack Obama made an even bolder (read: less truthful) claim: that “we’ve excluded lobbyists from policymaking jobs.”

In fact, more than 40 former lobbyists work in the administration, including such policy makers as Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn, Office of the First Lady Director of Policy and Projects Jocelyn Frye, White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Cecilia Muñoz, and Treasury Secretary Chief of Staff Mark Patterson.

When Carney confronted a White House spokeswoman with the falsehood, she conceded nothing. “As the President said,” she wrote, “we have turned away lobbyists for many, many positions.” Just not all of them.

As such defiance suggests, this was no isolated slip of the tongue. The president, who promised in both word and style to usher in a “new era” of Washington “responsibility,” routinely says things that aren’t true and supports initiatives that break campaign promises. When called on it, he mostly keeps digging....

Welch then criticizes his words on health care-- from the procedural handling of the "doc fix" for Medicare to otherwise gaming the system "to produce nice-looking numbers".

The CBO, by its own rules, has to take Congress at its word when a piece of legislation promises unspecified future “cuts” in spending, even though an overwhelming majority of promised future cuts never come to pass...Add to all that chicanery the fact that every major health care entitlement expansion in U.S. history has vastly exceeded initial cost projections, and you have ample reasons for why Americans believed, by a margin of more than 3 to 1, that health care reform would exacerbate rather than improve the deficit.

Even when addressing black-and-white examples of broken promises —such as his vow to televise each and every bit of health care legislative negotiations on C-SPAN—Obama can’t quite resist the temptation to plead gray....

Welch concludes with a comparison between Clinton and Obama:

Voters pretty much knew that Bill Clinton was a slime ball when they sent him to the White House; Barack Obama held out the promise of being more dignified.

It’s easier for a chameleon [like Clinton] to change his spots. Obama’s dishonesty, by contrast, seems to spring from a different place. As a man who has spent most of his career wowing people with his words and very little of it converting those words into deeds, he has an activist’s gap between rhetoric and reality and a radio broadcaster’s promiscuous carelessness with cutting rhetorical corners....


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home