The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Z_CNHI News Service

November 15, 2013

Americans see through Obama's lies

There is lying, and then there is lying.

It seems that President Barack Obama doesn’t know the difference, or more likely that he thinks the average American doesn’t know the difference.

He may be in for a rude surprise and an even ruder final three, lame-duck years.

Yes, all presidents lie, if not explicitly, then indirectly. I don’t have the documents in front of me – Doris Kearns Goodwin wasn’t free for lunch – but I’m willing to bet that even George Washington, father of our country, and “Honest” Abe Lincoln lied for what they considered to be the best interests of the nation.

These days, presidential handlers and suck-up journalists try to prettify or fog up reality with a standard list of euphemisms: The president misspoke; was misleading, disingenuous or inaccurate; stretched the truth; dissembled; misinformed, etc.

But most Americans, although they tend to be increasingly uninformed, are able to cut through the fog.

They tolerate plenty of grey. They tend to excuse presidents who make campaign promises that they then routinely break when the reality of governing sets in.

Obama promised to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, to cut the deficit in half, to keep unemployment at less than 8 percent if Congress supported a stimulus package of nearly $900 billion. None of those was true. But, hey, most people figured he wanted them to be true, and he intended for them to be true, at least when he said them. So, they gave him a pass.

Most Americans will also support lies told to protect the safety of the country. Indeed, they expect and want their president and his chief lieutenants to lie in certain circumstances, such as when dealing with a mendacious leader of a hostile nation.

But it is something else when the intent is to deceive the American people instead of a hostile foreign regime. It is something else when the lie’s intent is to cloak the reality of a controversial agenda, or to protect one’s own political career.

Text Only
Z_CNHI News Service
  • Sunburn isn't the only sign of summer that can leave you itchy and blistered

    You've got a rash. You quickly rule out the usual suspects: You haven't been gardening or hiking or even picnicking, so it's probably not a plant irritant such as poison ivy or wild parsnip; likewise, it's probably not chiggers or ticks carrying Lyme disease; and you haven't been swimming in a pond, which can harbor the parasite that causes swimmer's itch.

    July 30, 2014

  • Survey results in legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

  • Rodden, Danny.jpg Sheriff accused of lying about relationship with prostitute

    The sheriff of Clark County, Ind., faces an eight-count federal indictment that accuses him of lying about paying a prostitute for a sex act and giving her a badge so that she could claim a discount rate at a hotel.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • Sharknado.jpg Sharknado 2 set to attack viewers tonight

    In the face of another "Sharknado" TV movie (the even-more-inane "Sharknado 2: The Second One," premiering Wednesday night on Syfy), there isn't much for a critic to say except to echo what the characters themselves so frequently scream when confronted by a great white shark spinning toward them in a funnel cloud:
    "LOOK OUT!!"

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Sideshows involving Rice and Dungy stain NFL's image

    Pro football training camps should be all about, well, football. But the talk around the NFL is about Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice's two-game suspension, Tony Dungy's indelicate remarks about Michael Sam and Jim Irsay's largesse. What kind of league is Roger Goodell running?

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 2014

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos