In mid-February, I identified several clear fibs and pathetic straw-man arguments that Barack Obama and his teleprompters (not necessarily in that order) employed in four statements he made at his first presidential briefing and at an appearance in Elkhart, Indiana, earlier that day.
It is now painfully clear that Obama and his apparatchiks have entered an arena many thought Bill Clinton and his crew had all to themselves.
Admission to this very exclusive club requires the repeated ability to get through the Three Steps of Super-Sized Lying with most of your perceived credibility somehow still intact:
- The president and his administration must have the nerve to state what they know is an obvious falsehood without betraying any hint that he or they realize it is false, and in a way that causes virtually all who hear it to instinctively believe it.
- Sadly, more often than not, Step 1 is enough, because the second step requires actual follow-up by someone who heard it. That someone has to discover, document, and prove beyond doubt that the statement or contention made by the president or his administration is not true.
- Sometimes Step 2 occurs, but the truth-teller’s proof gets little or no attention. But if it does, the third step requires the president and his administration to cling to their guns, so to speak, using a variety of tactics that effectively amount to saying, “Who are you going to believe, us or the irrefutable evidence?”
Critics can say what they will about George W. Bush’s accomplishments or lack thereof, but if they’re honest — an unfortunately dubious proposition — they’ll have to admit that he and his administration almost never engaged in the three-step process to which this administration is virtually addicted.
If you look at what the Left continues to insist are Bush’s five biggest “lies,” you’ll realize that he and his administration never even got to Step 1, let alone the rest of the Three Steps of Super-Sized Lying:
- Most crucially, there is the assertion that there were weapons of mass destruction in pre-war Iraq. Critically, the Left’s claim has been and still is that “there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.” Please note that the critics’ claim was not “no stockpiles,” “no large caches,” or “only a few.” Their claim, frequently stated to great applause, was that there were none, with no exceptions, no qualifications, and no redefinitions. But the truth is that there were WMDs in Iraq … (This brief pause has been provided so lefties can pick their brainwashed jaws off the floor.) … Heck, I knew that in 2005. Later evidence proved that WMDs were really, officially there. What’s more, in November 2006, a New York Times article acknowledged the existence of a report showing that “[Saddam] Hussein’s scientists were on the verge of building an atom bomb, as little as a year away.” As Ed Morrissey described it at the time, “Saddam [was] far ahead of Iran in the nuclear pursuit, … [making] it much more urgent to take some definitive action against Saddam before he could build and deploy it.” Oh, and I almost forgot about the 550 metric tons of yellowcake uranium found in Iraq after Saddam was overthrown, specifically “the stuff that can be refined into nuclear weapons or nuclear fuel.” History will have to tell us why the hapless Bush crew didn’t defend itself against the Left’s long-since-refuted lie.
- The supposedly infamous “sixteen words” (“The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa”) that made Joe Wilson a temporary media darling were and still are not only true, but doubly so.
- Bush never said that the threat from Iraq was “imminent.”
- The worst that can validly be said about the “Mission Accomplished” celebration in May 2003 is that it was overconfident; it doesn’t change the fact Saddam’s ouster had indeed been achieved.
- Finally, the hope expressed by Dick Cheney in 2002 that “my belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators” was just that — a hopeful prediction.
None of the above items from the Bush era qualifies as a “lie” as any normal person who recognizes that intent is the key would define the word.
By contrast, there is no legitimate doubt that Barack Obama and his administration are serving up super-sized whoppers with a complete absence of shame. Here are just a few of the more egregious:
- In February, Obama, in a Peoria, Illinois, visit, said in a speech that Caterpillar CEO Jim Owens had told him the previous day that “if Congress passes our [stimulus] plan, this company will be able to rehire some of the folks who were just laid off.” The truth is that Owens “told Obama he could rehire people if a ‘responsible stimulus bill is passed and the economy gets going again.'” Who do you believe, Barack Obama or a CEO and the congressman who later spoke with Mr. Owens?
- On May 11, Obama and the administration claimed that executives and representatives of major health care providers agreed that they could wring major cost savings out of the medical system in the next 10 years on the road to a supposedly affordable government-run system that would save the government up to $2 trillion. Within days, health care officials denied there were any detailed promises, saying that “they agreed to slow health spending in a more gradual way and did not pledge specific year-by-year cuts.” Who do you believe, Obama or the others at the conference?
- On the day of government-run Chrysler’s bankruptcy filing, Obama and his car guys told a bipartisan group of political leaders that the bankruptcy “will not disrupt the lives of the people who work at Chrysler or the communities that depend on it.” Those who heard it reasonably took that statement to mean that no plants would permanently close. At least two congresspersons issued press releases to that effect. On May 1, government-run Chrysler announced that it would close plants in Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Obama lied; jobs died. Who do you believe, Team Obama or a bipartisan group of politicians?
That the “Bush lied” crowd and the establishment media (but I repeat myself) are so quiet while Obama’s patent falsehoods go virtually unchallenged tells you all you need to know about whose side they are on — and it’s not the side containing the truth.