Glenn Kessler’s The Fact Checker column at The Washington Post awards our President four pinocchios for his statement yesterday that, “The day after it happened, I acknowledged that this was an act of terrorism.” This misrepresented his deliberate refusal to call the Benghazi attack a terrorist attack for several weeks after it, a refusal in which he simultaneously tried to provide himself cover by condemning “acts of terror” in general.
The piece provides a good in-depth study, of one specific instance of Obama’s lying, which as any one lie tends to, spins out into a specific set of lies. We see that at each step, our president employed deception quite carefully, precisely, and for low and ultimately foolish reasons.
I would say this is the regular pattern–that what Kessler reveals here is not at all unusual, but part of the reason for why, as I said once, even while praising his literary proclivities:
Obama has become one of our very worst presidents, particularly in his unprecedented degree of mendacity-employment and his sickening shamelessness about it …
That is, when Representative Joe Wilson cried out “You Lie!” during his Obama’s health-care speech before Congress back in 2009, he had, intentionally or not, done more than protested a specific falsehood, but had captured a basic fact about the man.
Obama lies. That is a key part of who he is, reflected even in his autobiographical self-construction. Obama is a progressive. That is another key part. The two do not necessarily go together.
Sorry to say it, but some employment of mendacity by the office of the presidency, some blurring of the line between rhetoric and deception, is probably inevitable. It is a likelihood nearing a certainty that every president has lied in office, and not only concerning national security secrecy. And that’s before we even get to campaigns! Close students of history know this.
The problem with Obama is that it has been taken to another degree entirely. Proving that here is impossible–one would have to systematically compare Obama’s campaigns and presidency on this question, day by day, with those of previous presidents. (Eventually, some historian will do this.) So I understand that many readers will not be with me here. Bush II was far worse, they will say. Or Clinton. Fair enough: such readers have their broad judgment calls, and I have mine.
But this seems an appropriate week to remind folks of my “It’s Different this Time” cry from the heart, a post-election essay in which I looked my fellow citizens in the eye and basically said, “How can we trust you, feel civic commonality with you, if you so casually vote for a man like this a second time?” Oh, I was accused of melt-down, incoherence, racism, narcissism, un-Christian ire, you name it, for that post. Daniel Larison scolded me, in typical TAC fashion, for not understanding the ongoing consequences for the Unfathomable Awfulness of Bush.
But I think at present we can see why I was within reason to say there, and not so much to the younger Obama voters but really to the experienced ones, that:
You had four long years to take the measure of this man. …for all who have been willing to honestly look, his character has been revealed to be one of arrogance, incompetence, divisiveness, and serial mendacity. …And, you still voted for him… …even in a situation where the Democratic Party did not stand to lose many decisive policy points…
I cannot remember if I ever posted anything to this effect, but one of things I wanted to say to moderates in the run-up to the election was that a man of Obama’s character, particularly when his worst tendencies got so little serious scrutiny from an irresponsible legacy (MSM) media, was probably bound to get entangled in scandals and constitutional-no-no’s that would provoke nation-dividing consideration of impeachment proceedings. A moderate Democrat could honorably vote for Romney as a way to avoid this.
But here we are. I sure hope clear evidence walling Obama off from this IRS persecution-of-conservatives campaign is there, and (of course) is true. But if not…