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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
8:09 PM Tue, Sept. 25th

Column: Words mean different things to politicians

Every politician makes promises. We usually give politicians a great deal of leeway when they make exaggerated campaign promises. An outright contradiction of such a promise, after getting elected, can be disastrous, politically. George H. W. Bush’s “Read my lips – no new taxes” pledge is the classic example.

In 2008, Presidential Candidate Barack Obama made the statement, quite correctly, that President Bush, in his eight years in office, added $4 trillion to the national debt. He then added, “That’s irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic.” When Obama took office, the national debt was $9 trillion. Now it is over $19 trillion and rising. Does President Obama now think of himself as “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic” since he raised the national debt by more than $10 trillion? Maybe Obama thinks that what Bush spent $4 trillion on was irresponsible and unpatriotic, but Obama’s $10 trillion was helpful and necessary.

Shortly after his inauguration, in 2009, Obama promised that his administration would produce “unprecedented level of openness in government.” In February 2013, he said, “This is the most transparent administration in history.” Okay, the first statement in 2009 could be attributed to the wishful hopes of a new president. But the 2013 statement can be described only as an outright lie.

“The Obama years are a benchmark for a new level of secrecy and control.” “I would say it is the most secretive White House that I have ever been involved in covering, and that includes — I spent 22 years of my career in Washington and covered presidents from President Reagan on up through now...” Reading those remarks, most progressives would assume that they came from Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin or any of a number of reporters at Fox News. They would undoubtedly be surprised to find out that they came from Jill Abramson, executive editor of The New York Times, in April 2014.

In September 2012, Obama lied about the Fast and Furious scandal, blaming it on Bush. While the Bush Administration did have a similar program, it had been discontinued as ineffective before Obama took office. ABC later reported that the Obama Administration started the Fast and Furious in October 2009.

President Obama’s most remembered serial lie is “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.” The Tampa Bay Times documented 37 times that the President or top administration officials made that claim. They didn’t back off until it became obvious with implementation of the so-called Affordable Care Act, that it wasn’t true for millions of Americans.

The deadliest diplomatic incident that occurred under Obama’s watch was Benghazi. Certainly the death of the sitting Ambassador and three other Americans is bad enough. The Obama Administration blamed it on an “anti-Islam” film. It looks like a blatant attempt to cover the President’s political backside during an election race. It is also pure Chicago-style politics. The President said that Al Qaeda was “on the run” prior to their affiliates raiding our compound and killing our people in Benghazi. Was he lying then, or when they said the film, that almost no one saw, caused this terrorist act?

Using the IRS against political enemies was one reason Richard Nixon resigned before he could be impeached. Under Obama, an IRS process that normally takes three or four weeks, could take conservative organizations three or four years. The Administration and the IRS obfuscated the Congressional investigations by delaying or refusing to hand over emails, phone logs and other communications. Lois Lerner, a central figure in this suspected crime, has invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. She has since been allowed to retire with a full retirement. Yet, President Obama has said, that there is “not even a smidgen of corruption...” in the IRS scandal.

There are many more documented lies told by this administration, the most recent was in the last week of April of this year. State Department spokesman John Kirby claimed no contradiction to the President’s stated policy (since August 2014) of “no boots on the ground” in Syria, after he announced the 250 more troops were being sent to Syria to fight ISIS. When confronted by AP reporter Matt Lee that this was the Obama Administration’s stated policy for “months and months,” Kirby stated that wasn’t true.

The thing about telling so many lies, is that after a while no one believes the liar any more. Now the Democrats are poised to continue this Obama legacy by nominating Hillary Clinton. This is the woman who’s commitment to transparency won’t allow her to release the texts of her speeches to Goldman Sachs. Hillary claimed, erroneously, she was under sniper fire in Kosovo, that she and her husband Bill were “dead broke” when they left the White House in 2001, and that the deaths in Benghazi were caused by an anti-Islamic video.