Posted on November 10, 2013
Obama’s Bad Lie
But the rest are OK, apparently
“If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.” That’s just one among dozens of variations of this promise that President Obama has made since 2008. By now, many in the news media have acknowledged that it’s a lie. The obvious questions are, what brings them to that realization now, and why about this, of all things? Their willingness to hold him accountable for this particular lie suggests that it’s something exceptional, as if he’d been impeccably honest about everything else up until this point.
There was no such judgment, for example, about his attributing the motive for the Benghazi attack to a YouTube video, as he did in his Rose Garden speech two days after it occurred, and again on Late Night with David Letterman five days later, and again in a speech to the United Nations a week after that. Not only didn’t the media hold him accountable, but presidential debate moderator Candy Crowley of CNN even helped him deny saying it.
In August 2012, he said in reference to possible military action in Syria, “a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus.” A year later, when it was learned that chemical weapons had been used in Syria, he said, “I didn’t set a red line. The world set a red line [by producing the Chemical Weapons Convention] … Congress set a red line when it ratified that treaty.” Of course, the red line is only a metaphor that he used to explain what might compel him to launch an attack. If it hadn’t been his line, he would not have been at liberty to move it after it had been crossed.
During his final debate against John McCain in 2008, Obama flatly denied having launched is political career at the home of Weather Underground founders William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. There is no factual dispute over whether the “meet the candidate” event took place. It’s just that it has been deemed unimportant, and the president’s denial of it has not been characterized as a lie.
Although Obama has gambled $840 billion on his stated belief that massive amounts of deficit spending will stimulate the economy, he persists in claiming that his astronomical deficits were inherited from George W. Bush. Not only don’t the media expose this lie, but they happily assist him in spreading it. Some of them have even backed up his efforts to blame Bush for Operation Fast & Furious, and the taxpayer-funded “investment” in Solyndra.
As a state senator, Obama blocked Illinois’ version of the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, a decision he justifies by saying that the bill lacked any language prohibiting its use as a means of challenging Roe v. Wade. In fact, an amendment had been added that contained the very provision he’d demanded, and he obstructed the bill anyway.
Not that Obama’s lies are restricted to policy matters. Repeatedly throughout his presidency, he’s stated that Islam has been an integral part of America’s fabric since the nation’s founding. He attended Jeremiah Wright’s church for 20 years, and even pinched a quote from Wright for the title of his 2006 book, The Audacity of Hope, but claims to have been oblivious to the minister’s racist, America-hating rhetoric. He’s even spun the tale that his parents met as a result of the march in Selma, which famously took place in 1965. According to his birth certificate, he was born in 1961. Both can’t be true.
So why, after all this, have the media zeroed in on the Obamacare whopper, as if it were the one and only “bad” lie, among all of Obama’s lies? With the understanding that the simplest answer is often the correct one, here’s one suggestion: it’s the one lie out of the bunch of them that they actually believed, and wanted to be true.
The distinction is like the one between laughing with somebody and laughing at him. For as long as the media have been lying with Obama, they’ve understood his lies to be good. Now, they realize that they’ve repeatedly been told a lie that they don’t perceive themselves to have been in on, and it has hurt their feelings. In their view, it’s perfectly defensible to lie to the American people, and even to the “international community” to which they are more sympathetic. For a liberal president to lie to the press, however, is downright ungrateful.
The Shinbone: The Frontier of the Free Press