Thursday, July 14, 2011
Ann Althouse notes that Barack Obama pretty much made up the story about his mother's health insurance troubles out of whole cloth. In other words, he lied.
On the one hand, this seems like a larger-than-usual stretching of a personal truth in pursuit of a policy objective. It reminds us that argument by anecdote, at least for complex legislation, is misleading, and that we should look askance at any politician who plays that game. On the other hand, politicians exploit their families, dead or alive, for all sorts of purposes. See, e.g., John Edwards.
As social commentator Winston Smith has often observed, some very successful politicians regard "truth" as merely the servant of political goals, and so it must occasionally be redefined to suit the changing age. Not terribly complicated, though Abraham Lincoln had higher hopes for the people than Obama, who seems to believe the people can be fooled a good deal of the time instead of just every know and then.
And, the always amusing ponderance: What if GW Bush had made up stories to jam through hugely unpopular legislation? Heck, what if he had just made up stories?
Obama has torched a lot of careers on his own side of the aisle, the liberal media now included through their sins of omission. The man has been held accountable for nothing. Unfortunately for him and them, we all notice anyway.
Al Gore (tobacco). Hillary Clinton (airport). John Kerry (CIA hat). This is a Democrat style of lying, more commonly called bullshit.
Generic politicians say "I was never there...I didn't know the money came from him...I was never with that woman/foreign agent/known criminal..." Plenty of Republicans as well as Democrats there. And we should give Bill Clinton credit for being that sort of liar, not like the other Dems.
But this is not a one-off deal, this is a pattern. Hell, Lloyd Bentsen said "I knew John Kennedy" as far back as 1988.