October 22, 2012
In the 1967 film “A Guide for the Married Man,” a husband, played by a peerless Walter Matthau, is given lessons in ways to cheat on his wife safely. The most essential rule: “Deny! Deny! Deny!”—no matter what. In an instructive scene, he’s shown a wife undone by shock, and screaming, with reason: She has just walked in on her husband making love to a glamorous stranger.
“What are you doing,” she wails, “who is that woman?”
“What woman, where?” the husband serenely counters, as he and the tart in question get out of bed and calmly dress.
So the scene proceeds, with the distraught wife pointing to the woman she clearly sees before her, while her husband, unruffled, continues to look blankly at her, asking, “What woman?” Confused by her spouse’s unblinking assurance, she gives up. Two minutes later she’s asking him what he’d like for dinner.
For much of the past four years, the Obama administration’s propensity for asserting views of reality wildly at odds with those evident to most rational citizens has looked increasingly like a page from that film script.
All administrations conceal, falsify and tell lies—this is understood—but there’s no missing the distinctive quality of the prevaricating issuing from the White House in these four years.