Monday, March 31, 2008

Obama's Truth Problems

Hillary Clinton has taken a great deal of fire from all sides due to her lies about her experiences, or lack of thereof, of sniper fire in Bosnia. The Washington Post described her story as a “whopper.” The television pundits were unanimous in declaring that Hillary lied. Christopher Hitchens spoke for most observers when he called Hillary’s statements “flagrant, hysterical, repetitive, pathological [lies]”.

Hillary deserves all the criticism she gets. But the media’s (both liberal and conservative) treatment of Hillary is a little unfair. Hillary is not the only Democrat Presidential candidate to repeatedly and obviously lie.

The Jeremiah Wright controversy is the worst thing that has yet happened to Barack Obama. Obama clearly had to do some significant damage control. Unfortunately, Obama’s damage control consisted, in large part, of lies.

In an interview with Fox News the day after the Wright story broke, Obama explained that he had never heard any controversial statements from Wright, either in his sermon or in private conversation. Three days later, Obama rhetorically asked if he had ever heard “statements that could be considered controversial” from Wright. In those three days, the answer had changed from “never” to “yes”.

Obama famously declared that he “could no more disown Reverend Wright then [he] could disown the black community.” Three days later, he appeared on The View, and where he declared that he would have left the church had Jeremiah Wright not been on the verge of retirement.

It appears he wasn’t serious about the whole “disown the black community” thing. Now, the reason he didn’t leave Wright’s church was because he wanted to spare the departing Wright’s feelings.

That is at least two obvious lies. First, that Obama was unaware of Wright’s statements, and second, that Wright could not be disowned any more than the black community as a whole could be.

Obama’s falsehoods do not extend only to the Wright controversy. Obama can’t, by his own words, “disown the black community.” That line would work better if Obama’s claim to fame was not his 2004 insistence that “there is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America — there’s the United States of America.”

So what of the “black community”? Obama clearly said that no such thing existed. He tried to retcon his 2004 statement by claiming that his speech was aspirational, that his speech was not a reference to what things are, but what they could be.

It would have been nice if Obama could have told us about this aspect of his speech. Most liberals seemed to think he was talking about the here and now. In fact, that was a major factor in his success—the idea that he was a truly post-racial candidate.

Of course, Obama couldn’t tell us about the “aspirational” facets of his 2004 speech, because there weren’t any. Obama said: “Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us — the spin masters, the negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of "anything goes." Well, I say to them tonight, there is not a liberal America and a conservative America — there is the United States of America. There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America — there’s the United States of America.”

Note the “now even as we speak” part, and the “[t]here is not” part. That is the present tense, not the aspirational tense. Obama clearly lied here, and incredibly obvious.

Everybody knows Hillary Clinton is a liar. (Deep down, many of her supporters probably realize this). Fortunately, for her, Obama shares her problems with honesty under pressure. His triangulations in the wake of the Wright scandal have been Clinton-like in their falsity, audacity, and effectiveness. Obama has been often compared to Bill Clinton—he shares Clinton’s qualities of being handsome, articulate, and popular. He obviously shares one more Clinton attribute—he is an accomplished liar.


At April 1, 2008 at 12:17 PM , Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...

Isnt this insane?

The Democrats are in utter chaos and they have to seat the Delegates in Florida and Michigan, Howard Dean want's all this wrapped up by July 1 (Ha! Good Luck), then the lies!

Both Barack and Hillary are liers.

Pretty soon they are going to get all mixed up pretty soon and it will be Obama who snuck into his church with the Rev. Wright under Sniper Fire and Hillary will have had a racist white Pastor.

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