A lot of folks had cause to wonder if Barack Obama warranted the Nobel Peace Prize – winning it as he did all of seven months into his tenure.
The second-guessing has only mounted, due to his continued use of unmanned drone attacks, his lack of stalwart opposition to the killing in Syria, his odd sanguine approach to nuclear ambitions in Iran, and his directorship of an international spy ring that has even allies apoplectic.
But if they ever give out an award for sheer chutzpah, he should win hands-down.
After being caught in a most flagrant untruth – his promise that “If you like your health-care plan, you can keep it” – his response is: I never said that.
No, what he now says he said was that you can keep your health-care plan if none of its provisions changed after the Affordable Care Act was passed.
Sorry, Mr. President.
That’s just not true.
Not only did you not issue that qualifier over the past few years, you sometimes even ended your promise with the words “period” and “no matter what.”
That wasn’t true, and your insistence this week that you always included that new caveat is even less true.
Fact-checking website Politifact.com said it found 37 “if you like it you can keep it” promises by the president or his surrogates, and “we never found an instance in which he offered the caveat that it only applies to plans that hadn’t changed after the law’s passage.”
Politifact rated Mr. Obama’s utterings a “Pants on Fire” untruth.
Even the liberal Washington Post’s Fact Checker gave the president four “Pinocchios,” which is described as a “whopper.”
How is it that a president of the United States can issue such naked untruths and think he can get away with it? Because the formerly “mainstream” media have allowed it for five years?
Perhaps. But the nonstick coating the press has sprayed on Mr. Obama all these years is wearing off. Obama spokesman Jay Carney tried to use personal mocking and other diversions to escape tough questions from ABC News’ Jonathan Karl on Monday, but could not.
The administration also was being blatantly disingenuous when the president said you could avoid the website by calling and applying over the phone. In truth, that was just a longer way around to the website, as it turns out.
Says ABC News: “While President Obama and other top aides have publicly reassured frustrated consumers that they can bypass the troubled website and apply by phone in as little as 25 minutes ... ‘The same portal is used to determine eligibility no matter how the application is submitted (paper, online),’ reads a Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight memo from Oct. 11.
“ ‘The paper applications allow people to feel like they are moving forward in the process and provides another option,’
it says. ‘At the end of the day,
we are all stuck in the same queue.’ ”
Says CBS News: “A CBS News analysis finds key tests to ensure the security and privacy of customer information on (the) troubled Obamacare website fell behind schedule. ... A deadline for final security plans was delayed three times over the summer, and final top-to-bottom security tests never were finished before the launch.”
That last point is no small thing. This government is asking you – nay, forcing you – to trust it with your most basic, private and intrusive information – and to trust that no one else will see it.
Well, reports have already surfaced that indicate the process is wholly unsecured: A man in North Carolina received personal health information in the mail about a South Carolina man who had signed up for Obamacare.
It’s hard to know what things can be believed anymore.
And it’s sad to know the president isn’t one of them.