By Ed Lasky — June 12, 2014
The latest scandals from the White House have prompted speculation trying to determine why President Obama screws up so much. There is a simple answer.
Obamacare, a failed trillion dollar stimulus, sky-high food stamp usage, disability rolls soaring, our national debt mortgaging America’s future, our adversaries and enemies on the march. Obama has compiled quite a list of “accomplishment” as he fulfills one promise — to fundamentally transform America. Tragically, it has been a very damaging transformation.
Some ascribe these failures to Obama’s inability to manage the presidency, to lead; others to a work ethic problem; others to a lack of experience (only on the fictional West Wing TV show would academia be seen as qualifying one for the presidency) and a sparse record of ever accomplishing anything of significance other than being …Barack Obama.
All these failures have been justified, explained away or caused by lies (you can keep your insurance, doctor, and save $2500 on premiums; ObamaCare will add not a thin dime to the deficit; a red line that was Orwellian-erased when it became an embarrassment; Al Qaeda was on the run; Benghazi was caused by a video; there was not a “smidgen of corruption” at the IRS). The lies are too numerous to list (here is a partial list from last year of 252 examples of lies, law-breaking and corruption) and that list ever-expanding because, as Victor Davis Hanson wrote, a man who would lie about his mother’s death will “fudge” the truth about anything. And so he has and will, indeed must, continue to do so.
George Will wrote two years ago that “that “Barack Obama’s intellectual sociopathy — his often breezy and sometimes loutish indifference to truth — should no longer startle.” If journalists had only fulfilled their responsibilities as the fourth branch of government perhaps Obama’s career would have never led to the presidency, because his lying started at the very beginning of his national career. His memoir was riddled with inaccuracies. In a prime example of projection he repeatedly has warned Americans not to listen to his critics and opponents as they were trying to “bamboozle “people, while he bamboozled his way to the Oval Office.
He would be nowhere without the lying. That was all he really ever had.
One suspects that he could pass a lie-detector test with honors. But why does he feel so comfortable lying? For the same reason a con man does: he thinks most people are suckers, dummies, and rubes. A con man has to know his targets to reap his “rewards”.
Joseph Curl in the Washington Times wrote in “Is Obama really that stupid” that Obama and his underlings must have known Bowe Berghdal was a deserter and the Taliban 5 were war criminals and murderers and concluded “The president may be incompetent, but he’s not stupid. He’s just counting on the American people to be.” That is correct and has been true for years.
Two years ago I wrote “What Obama Thinks of Americans” outlining the many instances where Obama has insulted our intelligence. It may have started with the “bitter clingers” slur in 2008 but his contempt has flowed for years. We don’t think clearly and “fear and frustration” drive voters; racism still corrupts our society; we have gotten “a little soft” and a “little bit lazy”; “have lost our ambition, our imagination”; we don’t appreciate him enough. No wonder he stayed in Pastor Jeremiah Wright Junior’s church; Wright was preaching to the choir.
By the way, his pejorative views of Americans are shared by Michelle Obama (who considers young people “knuckleheads”) and by former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, who said about the Benghazi scandal, “people are tired of it, or don’t know anything about it” (especially risible for someone who pushed Obamacare on us without knowing what was in it). Liberals view Americans as dumb — hence the need for nanny-ism. And control from above by superior elites and intellectuals — liberal fascism, Jonah Goldberg has called this political philosophy – is Obama’s calling.
Another indicator of his views of Americans happened in 2012 when he spoke without a teleprompter and owned up to one fault: he had not been a good enough storyteller (in other words, Americans weren’t good enough listeners). So his policies and leadership were not the problems but the messaging (lying?) was the problem.
Obama has run the most insular of presidencies. Instead of listening to experts to formulate policy, instead of reading Daily Intelligence or Daily Economic Briefings or meeting with Cabinet members, he has preferred to meet with spinners and political hacks. Once in office, he placed campaign strategist David Axelrod in the office closest to the Oval Office (power is reflected by proximity) and made his campaign speechwriter (Hope and Change), Jon Favreau, the highest paid staffer in the White House. Those reveal Obama’s priorities.
Kimberly Strassel recently wrote in “Meet Obama’s Kissingers” about Obama’s National Security Council:
NSC staff are foreign-policy grownups, and its meetings are barred to political henchmen.
Or that was the case, until the Obama White House. By early March 2009, two months into this presidency, the New York Times had run a profile of David Axelrod, noting that Mr. Obama’s top campaign guru and “political protector” was now “often” to be found “in the late afternoons” walking “to the Situation Room to attend some meetings of the National Security Council.” President Obama’s first national security adviser, former Marine General and NATO Commander Jim Jones, left after only two years following clashes with Mr. Obama’s inner circle.
He was replaced by Democratic political operative and former Fannie Mae lobbyist Tom Donilon. Mr. Donilon joined Ben Rhodes, the Obama campaign speechwriter, who in 2009 had been elevated to deputy national security adviser for strategic communications. Also present was Tommy Vietor, whose entire career prior to NSC spokesman was as an Obama spinmeister—as a press aide in the 2004 Senate run, and campaign flack for the 2008 Iowa caucuses, and assistant White House press secretary. In fairness, his credentials also included getting caught on camera in 2010 pounding beers, shirtless, at a Georgetown bar. America’s foreign-policy experts at work.
Not that Mr. Obama’s first instinct is even to rely on his now overtly political NSC. This paper reported in September 2013 that as the White House struggled with the question of military intervention in Syria, it summoned all the old “Obama loyalists” for advice. They included his 2008 campaign manager ( David Plouffe ), his former press secretary ( Robert Gibbs ), a former speechwriter ( Jon Favreau ), and Mr. Vietor (who had by then left the NSC to form a political consulting group).
A serious-minded NSC, in the tumultuous aftermath of Benghazi, would have responded with a sober assessment for its president of the real and continued terror threat, and of the failings that resulted in four dead Americans. Instead we find the deputy NSA, Mr. Rhodes, crafting an internal email advising his colleagues to spin, and blame it all on an Internet video. Mr. Rhodes had no interest in advising the president on hard realities. His only interest was ensuring his boss got re-elected.
So our commander in chief gets advice from political hacks when it comes to defending America. To quote Glenn Reyonolds of Instapundit, Americans are in the best of hands.
When Obamacare disasters were damaging his image in 2013, who did he call? Not Ghostbusters ; not experienced experts or professionals; not Republicans for their input but his campaign flacks, David Axelrod, David Plouffe and Jon Favreau. They were there to craft a message not fix a problem.
So Obama has stepped up his record-breaking hiring of journalists and their kin to staff his administration. For example, Ben Rhodes’s brother is head of CBS News, a network that was accused by one of its star journalists, Sharyl Attkisson, of having avoided criticism of the White House and stifling any investigation of Benghazi. At the same time, the White House has operated in an unprecedented manner to control the news flow — whether by intimidating and investigating (the secret subpoena of Associated Press phone records) journalists, coopting them by special invitations to the White House, tapping local and more pliable journalists (or even disk jockeys such as the Pimp With The Limp) rather than national figures for interviews, and relying on narrowcasting via social networks to deliver their version of reality. Facts are whatever Obama and his fellow Democrats tell you they are. Hence the relentless denial of reality we see displayed by the “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” president – he thinks we are easily bamboozled. Fictions and lies are the new truth.
But the spinning can only go on for so long. Eventually a juggler drops his plates and the spinning stops. A liar has to resort to increasingly absurd and easily punctured lies to sustain a story. Not every scandal can be dismissed as partisan witch hunts, distractions, “phony scandals,” or controversies whipped up in Washington. How many times can we hear “Dude that was like two years ago” as the stonewalling persists? Those become tiresome clichés with diminishing returns as time passes and people wise up. Every time Susan Rice appears on a Sunday news show won’t Americans just start thinking: she is lying? We have seen all these acts before.
As was so well put in a quote attributed by many to America’s first Republican president Abraham Lincoln, “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time”.
As I wrote in “Obama The Storyteller:
Successful con men, like sharks, need to keep moving They can move to an area, find and score against the marks and suckers, and move on to find a new group of innocent victims. But Obama has now been on the national stage for 7 years now; there is nowhere left to hide, no new suckers to find. Reality is there for all to see.
A recent poll may offer hope. Most Americans have come to realize that Obama lies. Stop the presses! Maybe it is true after all that Americans will always do the right thing-after exhausting all the alternatives. According to a Fox News poll:
President Barack Obama has lost the trust of most Americans: a new poll shows that about six in 10 voters think he lies on important issues some or most of the time.
Twenty percent say Obama lies “only now and then,” and 15 percent say he “never” lies, the survey found.
And to add insult to injury to Obama and his allies, a poll also shows that Fox News-anathematized by liberals- is the most trusted TV news source in America. No wonder Obama and others on the left have hectored America not to watch the network.
Obama will pass from the scene in two years; the damage he and his allies have caused will last for many years to come. Indeed, the lies he and his proxies have routinely engaged in for years have subverted democracy in America.
They will continue to do so until Democrats are removed from power in Washington and elsewhere.
November 2016 cannot come soon enough.