Americans are far from strangers to presidential lying. Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon excelled at it. Both, however, were liars of what we could call self-defense. They were guys that got caught — Clinton with his serial infidelities and Nixon covering up a break-in for an election he had already won by a landslide.

Both men too were cowards. They took the easy, and probably most self-destructive, way out — lying.

Barack Obama is another matter. His lies are not mainly for self-defense (although Benghazi has elements of that). They are lies of ideological volition. He lies to get his way. And he does it so well, with so much seeming earnestness — as in his umpteen (and continuing!) pronouncements that no one would lose their health insurance or personal physician from Obamacare, when, it’s now clear, he knew all the while this was utterly false — that his behavior appears almost sociopathic.

In other words, to Obama these are not really lies, because he has no values, religious or otherwise, that make them so. This is more than just the prototypical Marxist ends justifying the means, but I will come back to it in a moment. First, it’s worth noting that sociopathic lies — or lies that even tend toward the sociopathic — can be immensely destructive to humanity. In the not-so-distant past, and in the present as well, they have created situations of extraordinary violence and mayhem.