How unfortunate that dishonesty – with its cousins, obfuscation, back-biting and double-dealing – has become de rigueur for so many of our elected representatives.
What’s peculiar is how some of our nation’s leaders have taken disinformation to truly pathological levels, despite a modern media landscape in which the Internet and a 24-hour news cycle should make uncovering a lie easier than ever.
There is no shortage of egregious lying going on (Benghazi, anyone?) but pound-for-pound, the most profuse distortions in American politics today swirl around the largest and most wide-reaching piece of legislation in a generation: Obamacare.
The disinformation is relentless. It started early when President Obama said in June 2009 that, “If you like the plan you have, you can keep it. If you like the doctor you have, you can keep your doctor, too. The only changes you’ll see are falling costs as our reforms take hold.”
Lie, lie and lie.
That statement, and versions of it, were repeated dozens of times in the following months by the president or senior members of his administration, even after they knew what they were saying was false.
For that, The Washington Post’s Politifact website named Obama’s claim the 2013 “Lie of the Year.”
Perhaps the president was holding out hope his words would ring true through repetition. Wasn’t it communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin who said “a lie told often enough becomes truth”?
This president can’t be bothered with truth or facts. He is never wrong. Notice how often he obfuscates past mistruths while practicing his own revisionist history by peppering vague statements with pet phrases such as “let me be clear,” “I’ve said repeatedly” and “as I’ve said in the past.”
This is a man comfortable in the knowledge that nobody – certainly nobody inside the Beltway or Washington press corps – has the nerve to call him out.
Being only April, competition for the 2014 “Lie of the Year” is still fierce. Odds are, the winning whopper will again be tied to Obamacare.
We proffer Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius as a candidate, for trying to distance the administration from the 7-million-person enrollment goal for the government-run health exchange. In February, when it appeared the goal wouldn’t be met, she said the figure came from the Government Accountability Office.
“I’m not sure where they got that number,” she said.
Really? Perhaps the widespread notion of a “7 million” goal took root when Sebelius herself told reporters in June: “We’re hopeful that 7 million is a realistic target.”
Or perhaps last Sept. 30 – the eve of the disastrous HealthCare.gov website rollout – when she said: “I think success looks like at least 7 million people having signed up by the end of March 2014.”
Bearing past lies and current prevarications in mind, can anyone really believe the Obama administration’s happy announcement that it met the 7-million sign-up goal?
Then there’s Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who lied about lying about Obamacare.
Recall in February when he said on the Senate floor that stories of Americans being hurt by Obamacare were just “tales, stories made up from whole cloth, lies distorted by the Republicans to grab headlines or make political advertisements.”
The Nevada Democrat shamelessly denied ever making the statement after being confronted with the fact that, yes, many Americans now pay more for insurance and have been cut off from policies they were happy with and doctors they liked.
“That is simply untrue,” he said last month on the Senate floor. “I have never come to the floor, to my recollection, and I never said a word about any of the examples that Republicans have given regarding Obamacare and how it’s not very good.”
We can only assume such brazen lying is the by-product of America’s mass attention-deficit disorder and left-leaning mainstream media that seem eager to sweep liberal transgressions under the carpet.
In the past, it was much more difficult to catch a politician in a lie. But once caught, accountability was swift and severe.
These days, uncovering a lie is child’s play. It’s the accountability part that keeps getting harder.