August 6, 2015

JAMES TARANTO: Obama goes “Full Orwell.” He’s been full Orwell for many years now, but Taranto’s right that Obama’s speech yesterday on the Iran nuclear deal was especially rich with patent falsehoods.

Rather than enumerate every flaw of Barack Obama’s defense of his Iran deal yesterday, we’d like to look deeply at the most glaring one, namely this passage:

Just because Iranian hard-liners chant “Death to America” does not mean that that’s what all Iranians believe. In fact, it’s those hard-liners who are most comfortable with the status quo. It’s those hard-liners chanting “Death to America” who have been most opposed to the deal. They’re making common cause with the Republican caucus. . . .

Obama’s “common cause” argument rests on several factual premises that seem to us obviously false, and that certainly are not obviously true—among them, that Republicans desire war, that there is a meaningful distinction between “Iranian hard-liners” and the Iranian regime, and that those hard-liners would prefer American military action to American appeasement.

But there is an even more basic objection to Obama’s statement. Assume for the sake of argument that the “Iranian hard-liners” and the Republicans really do want an all-out military confrontation. Now, consider an example from history when such a result actually obtained. On Dec. 7, 1941, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. On Dec. 8, Congress declared war on Japan. Would it make any sense to say that the Japanese and the U.S. Congress had made “common cause”?

Obama is equating mutual antagonism with its opposite, “common cause.” Again, Orwell put it more pithily: War is peace.

If Republicans who oppose the deal are “making common cause” with “Iranian hard-liners,” does it not follow that so are the Israelis—as well as those Democratic lawmakers who’ve announced opposition to the deal (seven so far, all in the House, according to the Hill), and 57% of the American public (including 55% of independents and 32% of Democrats), according to the latest Quinnipiac poll?

Lame duck Obama no longer cares about even the appearance of civility with Republicans, or any Democrat who dares to oppose him. His gloves are now off, it’s all personal to him (and his worshippers), and his radical ideological agenda is on full display. It’s full Orwell, replete with blatant lies, rewriting of history, and assault on the fabric of society itself. Obama is a bully, with a bully pulpit, and he doesn’t give a damn about the Constitution or its founding principles, which he thinks is deeply flawed. He has done more to damage the Constitution, the economy, and societal unity than all prior presidents combined.

January 2017 cannot come fast enough.