Topics: Obamacare

Examiner Editorial: Barack Obama and the politics of lies

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Opinion,Editorial,Barack Obama,Obamacare,Fox News,IRS,Benghazi,Washington Examiner,Magazine

That was quite a victory dance President Obama did Thursday while claiming Obamacare is “working” because eight million people have now supposedly signed up for the health care program. He even indulged in some less-than-subtle mockery of Republicans - and by extension the majority of Americans who have disapproved of Obamacare since before it became law. "The repeal debate is and should be over,” Obama said, taking a dig at Republicans who are “going through, you know, the stages of grief … anger and denial and all that stuff …”

But a president who is viewed by most Americans as less than honest has no business crowing about a victory that remains anything but obvious. And he certainly should not heap insults on people who for four years have profoundly disagreed with him on the wisdom of Obamacare. To put this as “less than honest” is to be charitable. What Fox News found in its most recent public opinion survey was that 61 percent of Americans believe Obama “lies” about important public issues either “most of the time” or “some of the time.” No other president in living memory has conducted himself in a manner that warranted even asking if such a description was appropriate.

It comes as no surprise today that Obama's defenders are sparing no invective for Fox News in the wake of that survey. But it was the president, not Fox News, who repeatedly and knowingly misled the American people with two infamous Obamacare lies: “You can keep your health insurance if you like it. Period. You can keep your doctor. Period.” For better or worse, Obama will forever be known as the president who chose repeatedly to propagate two falsehoods. Those two lies were profoundly significant because they were designed to hide the truth about how Obamacare would affect the daily lives and health of hundreds of millions of Americans.

Since it became painfully clear in 2013 that Obama had lied about Obamacare since 2009, it has been increasingly difficult for many Americans to continue accepting at face value his statements on other major public issues. In both the Benghazi and IRS scandals, for example, Obama claimed to have known nothing about them until they were reported in the national media.

But if that were true, why has the president's attorney general and so many other of his most prominent appointees withheld thousands of documents subpoenaed by Congress and requested by journalists under the Freedom of Information Act? Are there passages in those withheld documents that make it clear Obama knew much more than he has admitted?

Such questions go to the heart of the issue of the president's probity. If he lied about keeping health insurance plans and doctors, why should fellow citizens believe his claim that nothing else could have been done to save four Americans in Benghazi, or that there isn't "a smidgen of corruption" at the IRS? That is Obama's legacy and his burden.

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