It’s the lying, Stupid?
“Lie” is a rather harsh word; the noun and its verb form leave little to context or extenuating circumstances. So I use it sparingly.
But I know no other word for President Obama’s long string of “misstatements,” especially the blatant ones about closing Guantanamo within a year of his inauguration or serially declaring that he would insist on health care debate airing live on C-SPAN.
How odd that the liberal block is quiet that once coined “Bush lied, thousands died” (even when the CIA and Defense intelligence was accepted by both parties and in sync with what the Arab world and Europe were insisting upon [recall the charge of a supposed naïve Bush taking us to war against a nut who would gas our troops marshalling in Kuwait.]). In any case, not telling the truth has a lot to do with sinking polls
So I don’t quite buy the liberal lament that the people will support Obama when the economy improves.
It was roaring in 2005-6, and still Bush was unpopular — given the violence in Iraq and the administration’s inability to articulate our objectives there. And even when Iraq was winding down in 2008, polls still showed persistent American anger at the media narrative of a botched Katrina, the insurgency in Iraq, and a “jobless recovery.”
No, the American people are losing confidence in Team Obama because quite simply they are tiring of being lied to, and treated like children in need of Ivy-League Platonic guardians.
Yes, they intrinsically liked Obama and put away for a time their suspicions that he had not come clean on his real ideological intentions, his radical leftist past, his intimate association with the creepy Rev. Wright, and his partisanship that had made him the most liberal senator in the Congress.
Let us count the ways
But almost immediately, Obama, again, in Platonic fashion, began to say things that could not be possibly true. Remember the categories.
1) The bait and switch lies. Here, we, the eager voters, were told that there are no more bad blue/red state dichotomies. We are a purple America. Instead, we immediately witnessed the demonization of the supposed “rich” (I say supposed, because the Buffet/Gates/Turner plutocrat is exempt), who are not “patriotic,” do not wish to “spread the wealth,” and must “pay their fair share.” Almost immediately Obama’s Bush became America’s Emanuel Goldstein — an Orwellian figure constructed to unify the people around an evil predecessor incapable of a single positive act — whether keeping us safe for over seven years from another 9/11-like attack, freeing 50 million from the Taliban and Saddam, or generating enormous national wealth from 2002-08.
Some deluded voters in November, 2008, went for Obama on promises of a new kinder, gentler politics. They got instead the most partisan, nasty Chicago politicking in memory.
2) The “noble” lies. These are untruths aimed at the common good. In Cairo, we were told Muslims did all sorts of wonderful things in the past like invented printing and sparked the Renaissance and Enlightenment. Why not fabricate and exaggerate when the intentions are global ecumenicalism?
Remember the new tactic of assessing job losses by “jobs saved”? And why not, since we wish to bolster our spirits and believe that our borrowing was not wasted on pork-barrel insanities, rather than “investments” that created “millions of green jobs” that otherwise would not have existed?
And we must believe that health care reform as envisioned by the Obama massive state assumption of private insured care will save “trillions in waste and fraud.” Believe that, and at last the dream of “universal health care” is obtainable.
Remember the phrase “using all our resources” during the high energy prices of the 2008 campaign? Obama then was a centrist who would drill, develop nuclear, look for more gas, burn coal — all to tide us over as we waited for the dream of Van Jones. That too was a noble lie, necessary for we fools to cling to, while the anointed fashioned a “green” cap and trade future for us, whose efficacy we could not quite yet fathom.
3) Tactical lies. Then there are the tactical lies to achieve the desired ends in “that was then/this is now” fashion. Turn to Orwell’s Animal Farm for the right landscape. Health-care debate on C-SPAN/health care debate behind congressional doors. Taxes on Cadillac health plans were an inane McCain idea/taxes on Cadillac health plans are a way to eliminate waste and fraud; stupid, clueless Bush was pushing unpopular social security reform that 65% of the people didn’t want/wise, hip Obama is pushing noble health care reform that 65% of the people don’t want. The list is endless and started in 2007 with public campaign financing as good for dark horse candidates/public campaign financing as bad for front-runner cash cows.
Apparently two or three “let me be perfectly clear”s and 3-4 “make no mistake about it”s — when prefaced to something like “no more lobbyists in government” or “posting legislation well in advance on the internet” — make it all so.