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"Let Me Be Perfectly Not Clear" & "Make Lots of Mistakes About It" [Victor Davis Hanson: Obama lies] ^ | January 17, 2010 | Victor Davis Hanson

Posted on 01/18/2010 7:24:34 AM PST by Tolik

It’s the lying, Stupid?

“Lie” is a rather harsh word; the noun and its verb form leave little to context or extenuating circumstances. So I use it sparingly.

But I know no other word for President Obama’s long string of “misstatements,” especially the blatant ones about closing Guantanamo within a year of his inauguration or serially declaring that he would insist on health care debate airing live on C-SPAN.

How odd that the liberal block is quiet that once coined “Bush lied, thousands died” (even when the CIA  and Defense intelligence was accepted by both parties and in sync with what the Arab world and Europe were insisting upon [recall the charge of a supposed naïve Bush taking us to war against a  nut who would gas our troops marshalling in Kuwait.]). In any case, not telling the truth has a lot to do with sinking polls

So I don’t quite buy the liberal lament that the people will support Obama when the economy improves.

It was roaring in 2005-6, and still Bush was unpopular — given the violence in Iraq and the administration’s inability to articulate our objectives there. And even when Iraq was winding down in 2008, polls still showed persistent American anger at the media narrative of a botched Katrina, the insurgency in Iraq, and a “jobless recovery.”

No, the American people are losing confidence in Team Obama because quite simply they are tiring of being lied to, and treated like children in need of Ivy-League Platonic guardians.

Yes, they intrinsically liked Obama and put away for a time their suspicions that he had not come clean on his real ideological intentions, his radical leftist past, his intimate association with the creepy Rev. Wright, and his partisanship that had made him the most liberal senator in the Congress.

Let us count the ways

But almost immediately, Obama, again, in Platonic fashion, began to say things that could not be possibly true. Remember the categories.

1)   The bait and switch lies. Here, we, the eager voters, were told that there are no more bad blue/red state dichotomies. We are a purple America. Instead, we immediately witnessed the demonization of the supposed “rich” (I say supposed, because the Buffet/Gates/Turner plutocrat is exempt), who are not “patriotic,” do not wish to “spread the wealth,” and must “pay their fair share.” Almost immediately Obama’s Bush became America’s Emanuel Goldstein — an Orwellian figure constructed to unify the people around an evil predecessor incapable of a single positive act — whether keeping us safe for over seven years from another 9/11-like attack, freeing 50 million from the Taliban and Saddam, or generating enormous national wealth from 2002-08.

Some deluded voters in November, 2008, went for Obama on promises of a new kinder, gentler politics. They got instead the most partisan, nasty Chicago politicking in memory.

2)   The “noble” lies. These are untruths aimed at the common good. In Cairo, we were told Muslims did all sorts of wonderful things in the past like invented printing and sparked the Renaissance and Enlightenment. Why not fabricate and exaggerate when the intentions are global ecumenicalism?

Remember the new tactic of assessing job losses by “jobs saved”? And why not, since we wish to bolster our spirits and believe that our borrowing was not wasted on pork-barrel insanities, rather than “investments” that created “millions of green jobs” that otherwise would not have existed?

And we must believe that health care reform as envisioned by the Obama massive state assumption of private insured care will save “trillions in waste and fraud.” Believe that, and at last the dream of “universal health care” is obtainable.

Remember the phrase “using all our resources” during the high energy prices of the 2008 campaign? Obama then was a centrist who would drill, develop nuclear, look for more gas, burn coal — all to tide us over as we waited for the dream of Van Jones. That too was a noble lie, necessary for we fools to cling to, while the anointed fashioned a “green” cap and trade future for us, whose efficacy  we could not quite yet fathom.

3)   Tactical lies. Then there are the tactical lies to achieve the desired ends in “that was then/this is now” fashion. Turn to Orwell’s Animal Farm for the right landscape. Health-care debate on C-SPAN/health care debate behind congressional doors. Taxes on Cadillac health plans were an inane McCain idea/taxes on Cadillac health plans are a way to eliminate waste and fraud; stupid, clueless Bush was pushing unpopular social security reform that 65% of the people didn’t want/wise, hip Obama is pushing noble health care reform that 65% of the people don’t want. The list is endless and started in 2007 with public campaign financing as good for dark horse candidates/public campaign financing as bad for front-runner cash cows.

Apparently two or three “let me be perfectly clear”s and 3-4 “make no mistake about it”s — when prefaced to something like “no more lobbyists in government” or “posting legislation well in advance on the internet” — make it all so.

4)   The Deadline Lies. Remember those? You’ve seen that sort of “if you don’t, then you….” in the supermarket when the poor harried mom has the three-year-old kid screaming and kicking on the aisle floor, and screams back as she blocks shoppers, “If you yell one more time, I’m going to spank you!” — as he screams and kicks all the louder.

Guantanamo shut by January 21, 2010? Iran in non-proliferation compliance by the UN summit or the G-20 meetings or the October face-to-face negotiations or the first of the new year? Remember health care done by the summer break? By Thanksgiving? By Christmas or else? By the first of the year?

I used to have a relative of sorts who came around the ranch and wanted $500. I gave it to him once and he’d return sheepishly every three months, and promise, “This spring I am going to pay you back.” “This summer I’ll paint your barn.” “Before the first rain, I’ll fix that tin roof on the shed.” Finally, I forgot I ever gave him the money, and now only vaguely recall how silly I was. So too, we forget the promises, so frequent and impossible they now  seem.

The list could be expanded exponentially and already, reader, you are screaming even as you read this, “But Victor, you didn’t list the worst of all, the lie about (fill in the blanks)…”

What are the catalysts for such prevarications?

1)   Habit. Obama could more or less say anything in mellifluous tones, and the media would become enraptured. This ability to charm by sounding honey-tongued while saying nothing started perhaps in the Ivy-League and has never ceased. Some habitual liars persist since they are never caught or even admonished. Obama is never called to account (cf. Robert Gibbs’s angry reaction to the blasphemy when asked about the C-SPAN fantasies). The most transparent administration in history hasn’t had a news conference since mid-summer, even amid the toadies (Note to media: photo-ops and interviews are not press conferences). The media and Obama have an unspoken pact that goes something like the following: “We both are educated elites who know best for the Neanderthals. So from time to time I will have to lie to you to get our shared aspirations realized; and I accept from time to time, you will have to play act as critics to cling to some sort of legitimacy that is likewise necessary for our joint aspirations.” (And then we’ll both have a beer together afterwords.)

2)   Morality. All philosopher-kings believe that the ends justify the means. To make us loving, caring equals — with no rich, no poor — we must sometimes adopt the Chicago politics that we insist we abhor. A Tony Rezko is bad, but a Tony Rezko is temporarily necessary to get the sort of hope and change we’ve been waiting for.

3)   Squaring circles. You can reconcile thinking that he U.S. is culpable for its race/class/gender felonious past, and globe-trotting the world on a presidential luxury jet with the red, white , and blue plastered all over it — the logical manifestation of a uniquely meritocratic, capitalist, and free-enterprise economy. One cannot damn insider, influence-peddling, private-jet flying Wall Street bankers, corrupt insurers, and “the rich,” and then hire the same, frequent the same, and aspire to be the same. Class warfare is hard when your own profile is the logical target. And so one is bound to change the story as hypocrisy begins to cramp.

4)   Personal confusion. Read both Obama memoirs (is that the right word for these auto-hagiographies?), and it becomes clear that he is still confused who he is. Barry Soetoro? Barry Dunham? Barack Dunham? Barack Obama? Barry Obama? Prep school upper-middle class in Hawaii or impoverished minority in need of affirmative action? African or African-American or plain old American suburbanite?  Harvard Law Review and Chicago Law lecturer or unpublished wannabe legal professor? Harry Reid’s unaccented “Negro” dialect or Harry Reid’s ability to turn it on only as needed? Racial healer who wows the suburbanite and NY-DC insider clique, or angry racialist who throws out “stupidly,” the clingers speech, “typical white person” and brags about not missing a Rev. Wright sermon to the Chicago Sun-Times? When one is confused about who one is, one creates alternate narratives and personas — and, yes, often they will clash.

The economy might just be in what we heard once (wrongly, in fact, in 2004) categorized as a “jobless recovery.” And, yes, the people have roared that they don’t want the remedies of statist health care, mega-deficits, higher taxes, more government, green boondoggles, apologetics abroad, blanket amnesty, and more lunatic appointments like Van Jones and Anita Dunn.

But what is taking Obama down below 50% approval is mostly  a public awareness that they elected a deeply cynical man, who either cannot or will not speak the truth or keep his promises (note the Nixonian resonance in “perfectly clear about…”). In fact, it is worse than that — in the postmodern world of Barack Obama there is no truth per se, just competing narratives privileged by the relative degree of power behind them and the relative perceived moral intent involved.

So when the advocates of hope and change, of non-traditional America, of the poor and the needy and the more noble, say something, it must be true because, you see, it should be true.

TOPICS: Editorial
KEYWORDS: vdh; victordavishanson

1 posted on 01/18/2010 7:24:38 AM PST by Tolik
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Victor Davis Hanson:

Just a partial list:

Our Sorta, Kinda War on Terror - President Obama has not signed up for a serious effort against radical Islam
Truths We Dare Not Speak. Five propositions that simply have become taboo
When Conservative Felonies Become Liberal Misdemeanors
2010: Our Year of Decision
Beating the Dead Terrorist Horse. September 11 taught us many lessons. To our peril, we have forgotten them
Bush Did It! And, Really, Bush Did It! And Bush Really Did It!
A Humpty-Dumpty View of the World
2009 Chickens and Their 2010 Roost
Where Did These Guys Come From? The Origins of Obamism
The War Against the Wannabe Rich. Why attack the productive classes who want to be rich?
The Long March From California to Copenhagen [Hanson on debate between capitalism and socialism]
The Palin Wonder
Why Are We Tiring of Obama?
Change, Weakness, Disaster, Obama: Answers from Victor Davis Hanson
If Iran Refuses To Cooperate, Block Its Ports
Resetting the Reset Button [Victor Davis Hanson dissects 0's pathetic diplomacy]
Riding the Back of the Tiger [Victor Davis Hanson on Obama not understanding What Causes Wars...]
What Bush Inherited, and What He Left Left Behind
Who Are ‘They’? To Obama, “they” are responsible for all our troubles. Problem is, “they” are most of us
Afghan Mythologies. We have everything we need to defeat the Taliban.
The Discreet Charm of the Left-wing Plutocracy
Truman and the Principles of U.S. Foreign Policy. Jimmy Carter rejected the postwar consensus. President Obama appears to be following a similar path
Dr. Barack and Mr. Obama - The backlash is sharp as voters learn that Obama is not the man they thought he was
Obama and "Redistributive Change". His real agenda
The War Against the Producers
President Palin’s First 100 Days. Imagine if Sarah Palin had Obama’s record
Thoughts About Depressed Americans
Our Battered American [gets angrier - Must Read Rant]
Just a partial list. Much more at the link:
2 posted on 01/18/2010 7:25:27 AM PST by Tolik
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To: neverdem; Lando Lincoln; SJackson; dennisw; kellynla; monkeyshine; Alouette; nopardons; ...


  Ping !

Let me know if you want in or out.


FR Index of his articles:
NRO archive:
His website:

3 posted on 01/18/2010 7:26:24 AM PST by Tolik
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To: Tolik

Excellent piece, as usual. Could you add me to your Ping List, Please? Thanks!

4 posted on 01/18/2010 7:28:37 AM PST by Diana in Wisconsin (Save the Earth. It's the only planet with chocolate.)
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To: All
Two of many very good comments on the pajamasmedia's discussion of the essay:
4. cfbleachers:

In fact, it is worse than that— in the postmodern world of Barack Obama there is no truth per se, just competing narratives privileged by the relative degree of power behind them and the relative perceived moral intent involved.

VDH, when truth is a privilege to be bestowed by the keepers of the facts at their whim, changed at their whim, hidden at their whim, bent at their whim and ignored at their whim…then it becomes a commodity of declining value, lost in the mist of misdirection and deceit.

This administration is not held to account for anything they say (or do) by the Fourth Estate, which, of course… is a Fifth Column instead.

Therefore, neither feels any immediate consequences for their distortions, since the truth “belongs” to “their” side…and is treated as if it was a concubine, they aren’t married to it…but will use it for their purposes when they are in the mood.

And we…the people, are never even kissed when they get around to us.

 6. mikemcdaniel:

Dr. Hanson: Well analyzed. May I add three additional categories that support yours?

(1) Political Philosophy: Frank Davis, Saul Alinsky, Bernadine Dohrn, Bill Ayers, Van Jones, Rev. Wright, Anita Dunn, just a few names of Obama’s mentors, associates, friends, and people who have significantly influenced Barack Obama. Many are self avowed communists, others terrorists, virtually all self described “radicals” (IE: leftist/communist/socialist revolutionaries), but all share one primary motivation: A raging hatred of America and an overwhelming need to bring about its destruction. All, including Obama, have benefitted greatly from the American system. All have been given breaks and perks few can attain. Yet all persist in their hatred of the very system that not only allows their virulent hatred and agitation, but actually rewards them for it.

The communist philosophy is violent, barbaric, homicidal and genocidal, paranoid, based in economic and social lunacy, cruel, brutal and unrelenting, yet its adherents cloak it in populist disguise and use the very system they loath to destroy that system from the inside. Redistribution of wealth is one of the milder tenants of this faith, but every communist believes and knows that “power flows from the barrel of the gun,” and should Obama ever attain absolute power, he would indeed impose, by violence, his beliefs on all Americans, for their own good, of course. This is, after all, the goal of all communists, like our president. But he’s not a communist!

Think for a moment. Who has mentors, friends, advisors, associate like these? Would any decent, rational American knowingly befriend or work with such sociopaths? If we are known by our friends and associates, and those who are truly wise understand the truth of this truism, is it unreasonable to believe that he shares their beliefs and desires?

We have elected as president a man who hates America and whose overriding political philosophy demands its destruction so that a worker’s paradise may flourish as all good communists believe it inevitably must. And they will support “revolutionary” movements everywhere so long as they are opposed to America and democracy. Iran will get nucs? Iran will surely use them? Iran will cause a second holocaust? No problem. Not a big deal. We can live with that. A massive, destructive, economy and freedom destroying health care scheme is far more important. Want to understand Barack Obama? Study communists throughout history. He’s a slightly slicker version, and is addicted to the teleprompter, but in essential beliefs and goals, no different.

Narcissism: Narcissists are incapable of empathy, yet capable of skillful manipulation of others. They speak in convincingly populist tones, yet care nothing for individuals. Their self regard has no limits, yet their regard for others exists only to the extent that others can benefit them or sing their praises and when their praise ceases, the narcissist’s support for them snaps off like a light switch. They cannot be wrong, therefore anyone who does not believe everything they say and who will not praise everything they do must be an enemy intent on evil, for they are the ultimate good. At best, they will simply refuse to recognize that everyone doesn’t worship them (Copenhagen X 2). At worst, they will lash out, try to destroy anyone for whom they have no use. They are often immoral, but are at best, amoral. Because of their greatness, they will dare what others would not consider. They will destroy nations, or prevent nations from defending themselves.

Who would even think of making and standing behind a pseudo-presidential seal while merely a candidate for president? Who would think of constructing, out of extra-constitutional thin air, an “Office of the President-Elect” with all it’s ephemeral trappings? Who would send political operatives to give assurances to and make deals with foreign governments while still a candidate and while still occupying the non-existant Office of the President Elect? Who would send out official photographs of himself actually looking down his nose at the public and even the Vice President? Who would think, let alone say aloud that his nomination as the democrat candidate for POTUS would be remembered as the moment that the oceans stopped rising and the planet began to heal? Narcissism is mental illness. The degree of that illness and the damage that might be caused by a narcissist depends on their position of power. We have cause to be worried; the world has cause to be worried.

Inadvertent Truth Telling: Anita’s Dunn’s public praise for Mao, the murderer of more human beings than Hitler, is a case in point. One does not even think of citing as inspirational the worst mass murderer in history unless one actually believes them praiseworthy. Several other revealing inadvertent truths were Valerie Jarrett’s cooing like a love-sick adolescent over Van Jones, a self-described communist. Michelle Obama really does believe America is a “mean” country. Rev. Wright really does want God to damn America. Barack Obama really does think that Americans are idiot rubes who cling to God and guns and hate anyone who isn’t like them. Bill Ayers really does believe that he didn’t do enough to kill Americans. Bernadine Dohrn really does think the Manson murders were pretty cool. Barack Obama’s answer to Joe the Plumber remains perhaps the most telling inadvertent truth. He really does believe in “spreading the wealth around.” Let’s not forget that if Obama gets his way, energy prices will “necessarily skyrocket.” Those truths we can believe in.

Remember that Barack Obama has never worked in the real world. He has never had to experience having his theories and beliefs exposed to the reality of the marketplace and the marketplace of ideas. And now, he doesn’t have to care. But why would Obama do X, Y or Z? It makes no sense! It’s politically tone deaf! Yes it is. But he’s not a rational politician for all of the reasons Dr. Hanson so well outlines, and perhaps, for those I’ve flattered myself to suggest. The sooner we understand these essential truths about the man we’ve elected president, the sooner we’ll be able to minimize, perhaps even begin to reverse, the damage.

5 posted on 01/18/2010 7:35:13 AM PST by Tolik
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To: Tolik

The Inadvertent Truth Telling is a good one. The mask slips off one of these commies once in awhile.

Truths not told are a form of lying too.

6 posted on 01/18/2010 7:41:59 AM PST by IamConservative (Liberty is all a good man needs to succeed.)
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To: Diana in Wisconsin

Added to the VDH ping list. Thanks!

7 posted on 01/18/2010 7:42:13 AM PST by Tolik
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To: Tolik
0bambi says a lot of:

Let me be perfectly CLEAR

Let me be CLEAR

Is 0bambi a scientologist seeking highest "clear" levels...?

8 posted on 01/18/2010 8:15:59 AM PST by spokeshave (Third largest employer in the world is UK health system, after the Chinese Army and Indian railways)
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To: Tolik
Barack Obama and his motley minion remind me of my mother's family. They were Irish con men, swindlers, and grifters. They were a very clannish sort of people. Here are some of their family values:

"Never tell the truth to anyone outside of the family."

"The trick's the thing."

"Family is everything."

"The truth is what you make of it."

9 posted on 01/18/2010 8:18:44 AM PST by Irish Queen (This world is not my home, I'm just a passing through ...)
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To: Tolik

The man can put thoughts on paper like no one I have ever encountered and he does it repeatedly...

10 posted on 01/18/2010 8:27:22 AM PST by tubebender
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To: Tolik

“in the postmodern world of Barack Obama there is no truth per se, just competing narratives privileged by the relative degree of power behind them and the relative perceived moral intent involved.”

This should be the 5th point of why Obama lies. Not about morality. But about the consequence of post modern lack of belief in the truth: power politics.

Obama is confusing and it even confuses us as to how confusing he really is. What’s not confusing is the fact that Obama lies, and perhaps for the all reasons VDH indicates. I believe he really loves to be publicly challenged and the recent heckler made his eyes light up. Here was truth ready to be subverted by love, the love of the crowd for the Great One to win out, the opportunity for love to conquer all. The same thing with Wilson: Obama smiled and loved it. Because the audience loves him he wins — it’s celebrity thinking at its narcissist best.

11 posted on 01/18/2010 10:05:20 AM PST by Blind Eye Jones
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To: Tolik

“Make lots of mistakes about it”, LOL.

VDH reads Steyn. Make no mistake about it, LMAO!

12 posted on 01/18/2010 10:22:45 AM PST by Attention Surplus Disorder (Voters who thought their ship came in with 0bama are on their own Titanic.)
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