Thursday, October 04, 2012
Is Barack Obama a Compulsive Liar?
Barack Obama has lied about the terrorist attack on the American Consulate in Libya for over 15 days, even going so far as to overtly imply that this attack was prompted by an obscure internet movie trailer in his speech at the United Nations two weeks after it was confirmed the White House knew it was an Al Qaeda sponsored attack. Additionally, during the current campaign the lies and obfuscations about Mitt Romney and the Republicans have been so fast and furious that it is nearly impossible to keep up with them.
The administration's reaction to what went on in Libya is not a surprise, as reliance on prevarications and the attendant dishonesty is part and parcel of Obama's normal behavior. There rarely has been a speech or an off the cuff comment since he entered the national stage that does not contain some deliberate or insinuated falsehood. This tendency is exemplified in his recent interview with Univision wherein Obama lied about why he never introduced immigration reform and when the ill-fated Fast and Furious program was raised, he began blaming the Republicans and George Bush respectively.
There is now a near universal mistrust of Obama among world leaders as well as many members of Congress who candidly admit they cannot deal with Barack Obama, as he has proven himself to be untrustworthy and unbelievable -- particularly as he refuses to accept any responsibility for the outcome of his actions and policies. The diminished status of the United States around the globe and the greatly eroded standard of living for the vast majority of Americans are testament to these character flaws.
At times even the most diehard of his sycophants in the mainstream media are forced to report on this disturbing trait in their hero. This past spring the Washington Post ran a lengthy front page article on Obama's machinations during the debt ceiling debate. The highlight of the piece: Barack Obama deliberately lied to the American people concerning the intransigence of the Republicans in the House of Representatives. It was an amazing admission for a pillar of the sycophantic mainstream media to write a story claiming that their hero lied. A further example of the media's awakening to the deceit and fabrications of the Obama administration is the recent reporting on the Libyan scandal which is actively pursuing the lies and cover-up.
However, there has been five years of outright lies and narcissism that have been largely ignored by the media, including some in the conservative press and political class who are loath to call Mr. Obama what he is in the bluntest of terms: a liar and a fraud. That he relies on his skin color to intimidate, either outright or by insinuation, those who oppose his agenda only adds to his audacity. It is apparent that he has gotten away with his character flaws his entire life, aided and abetted by the sycophants around him; thus he is who he is and cannot change.
In an earlier column I asked the question is Barack Obama a compulsive liar or a sociopath?
"A sociopath is typically defined as someone who lies incessantly to get their way and does so with little concern for others. A sociopath is often goal-oriented (i.e., lying is focused--it is done to get one's way). Sociopaths have little regard or respect for the rights and feelings of others. Sociopaths are often charming and charismatic, but they use their talented social skills in manipulative and self-centered ways."
A compulsive liar:
"A compulsive liar is defined as someone who lies out of habit. Lying is their normal and reflexive way of responding to questions. Compulsive liars bend the truth about everything, large and small. For a compulsive liar, telling the truth is very awkward and uncomfortable while lying feels right. Compulsive lying is usually developed in early childhood, due to being placed in an environment where lying was necessary."
While Barack Obama exhibits traits from both categories, it is becoming increasingly clear that he is primarily a compulsive liar. How else to explain the lies and obfuscations that so easily come forth regardless of whom he may be talking to or the subject matter. His sociopathic skills come to the fore in his ability to manipulate others to join him in his these prevarications, or to exploit the celebrity culture that has overwhelmed a deliberately ill-educated American society.
In the United States there is great deference paid to the occupant of the White House. Justifiably so, as that person is the chief operating officer of the country, but more importantly he or she is the head of state representing the nation around the globe. The President's actions and demeanor set the tone for not only the political class but the country as a whole. Over the centuries there have been many exceptional but also a few inept men to hold the office of President.
Today so much power is vested in the Office of President that honor and integrity must be a hallmark of a president's character. It is not with Barack Obama; he is perhaps the most dishonest and disingenuous occupant of the oval office in history, and has the potential to do more long-term damage to the United States than all his predecessor combined.
His failings can no longer be excused by this historical deference or timidity fostered by race with the euphemisms of spin or politics as usual being used to avoid the truth. It is extraordinarily difficult to run against someone such as Barack Obama -- a stranger to truth and integrity willing to do anything to win -- but Mitt Romney must do so by candidly admitting who he is dealing with.
While the future of the country depends on dramatically altering the economic and governing landscape, it cannot do so unless the opposition politicians and average citizens recognize and forcefully challenge the lies and machinations of Barack Obama and his allies without fear of what may be said about them or to them by either the Obama machine or their sycophants in the media.
More of Obama's effortless lies -- swallowed whole by the media
The best response to all that's strange, mysterious or just surprising may be a smile. But the news of late has reduced me to the one-word question and expletive favored by "Mad Men's" Don Draper whenever he's confronted by anything that doesn't make sense:
Take the sheer number of fabrications Barack Obama managed to pack into one response to a simple question on CBS' "60 Minutes." To swallow them all would require a boxcar of salt. And the whole enchilada came packaged in our president's usual condescending style -- as if he were still addressing a class of first-year law students at the University of Chicago, their notebooks at the ready to capture every pearl of wisdom he might drop, however artificial.
All it took to unleash this Niagara of falsehoods was a simple question about the explosion of the national debt on this president's watch. (It's now 60 percent higher than when he took office.) The president's response went on for some time, but the biggest whopper had to be his claim that "when I came into office, I inherited the biggest deficit in our history."
The biggest annual deficit the federal government has ever run turns out to have been in 1943 in the midst of the Second World War, the next biggest in the wartime years 1944 and 1945. As the Wall Street Journal was quick to point out.
It took the Journal two whole, heavily footnoted columns to go through the various snares-and delusions contained in the president's extended answer to a simple question. And the Washington Post awarded him four Pinnochios, its Oscars for dissembling, on the basis of this performance.
Here's the text of the president's statement in all its sprawling fraudulence:
"When I came into office, I inherited the biggest deficit in our history. And over the last four years, the deficit has gone up, but 90 percent of that is as a consequence of two wars that weren't paid for, as a consequence of tax cuts that weren't paid for, a prescription drug plan that was not paid for, and then the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.
"Now we took some emergency actions, but that accounts for about 10 percent of this increase in the deficit, and we have actually seen the federal government grow at a slower pace than at any time since Dwight Eisenhower, in fact, substantially slower than the federal government grew under either Ronald Reagan or George Bush."
Beginning with that bogus claim about inheriting the biggest annual deficit in American history, the president went on to make a number of other dubious assertions that needed clearing up:
1. The Bush tax cuts actually increased government revenues, as tax cuts tend to do, rather than add to the federal deficit. Those awful Bush tax cuts worked so well that President Obama now proposes keeping them for most Americans.
2. The Bush administration's drug insurance plan under Medicare may not have been paid for, but that doesn't mean this president wants to drop it. On the contrary, ObamaCare would extend it. On a vast scale.
3. The war in Iraq was already being won by the time President Obama came into office, and American involvement there was starting to wind down -- thanks to the Surge of troops that Sen. Obama had said would never work. (So did Hillary Clinton, then a U.S. senator and now his secretary of state.) The Surge proved so successful that President Obama adopted the same tactic in Afghanistan. And if it works as well there, it will also reduce this country's military expenditures, and therefore the federal deficit -- not increase it.
4. This president was willing to take responsibility for "only" 10 percent of the federal deficit, a figure that has no discernible basis in fact. His stimulus package back in 2009 cost $830 billion, and still failed to do much to stimulate the economy. The unemployment rate remains above 8 percent. The recession formally ended in June of 2009, yet his administration has been driving up the national debt by trillion-dollar deficits every year since he was sworn in. Where he got that 10 percent figure is anybody's guess, probably his.
5. When the president says the deficit is growing at the slowest rate since the Eisenhower administration, he's just having some fun with numbers. Because he's measuring its rate of growth from the end of his first fiscal year in office -- after he had increased government spending by $535 billion a year. Given that inflated base, of course the rate of increase would appear smaller -- however ruinous.
And so trickily on. Bill Clinton did this kind of thing much better. And is still doing it much better, to judge by his ring-tailed roarer of a speech at the Democratic National Convention this year, which may have been just as deceptive but was so much slicker.
What was most remarkable about our president's extensive mix of the misleading and just plain false wasn't so much its web of falsehoods, semi-falsehoods and numbers games. Most of us are accustomed to that kind political gamesmanship by now. (Oh what a tangled web we weave, / When first we practice to deceive.)
What was unusual about his long-winded speech of an answer to a simple question was that it elicited not the slightest dissent from the country's liberal (now called progressive) intelligentsia. There's no point in looking for any criticisms of the president's preposterous claims from a columnist like, oh, Paul Krugman, to cite the most blatant example of the deterioration of thought on the American left.
Didn't there used to be a creature known as the honest liberal? What ever happened to the liberal conscience? Where are the Lionel Trillings and Murray Kemptons and Dwight Macdonalds of today? The kind of liberals who, despite their political leanings, saw through Alger Hiss' cover story from the first, and were never afraid to challenge left-wing orthodoxies in general.
Something seems to have died in the American soul. Now whatever our own presidential candidate says, no matter now outrageous, it sparks no outrage, while everything the other party's candidate says must be a lie.
What a sorry comedown for American political commentary when obvious falsehoods have to be pointed out by the fact-checking, bean-counting, Pinnochio-awarding number crunchers at the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. Rather than the kind of commentators who offer thought, not just rows of figures. What has been lost is the eloquence that makes political commentary not just a public service but an art.
The World's Most Dynamic Religion Is ...
For at least the last hundred years, the world's most dynamic religion has been neither Christianity nor Islam. It is leftism.
Most people do not recognize what is probably the single most important fact of modern life. One reason is that leftism is overwhelmingly secular (more than merely secular: it is inherently opposed to all traditional religions), and therefore people do not regard it as a religion. Another is that leftism so convincingly portrays itself as solely the product of reason, intellect, and science that it has not been seen as the dogma-based ideology that it is. Therefore, the vast majority of the people who affirm leftist beliefs think of their views as the only way to properly think about life.
That, in turn, explains why anyone who opposes leftism is labeled anti-intellectual, anti-progress, anti-science, anti-minority and anti-reason (among many other pejorative epithets): leftists truly believe that there is no other way to think.
How successful has leftism been?
It dominates the thinking of Europe, much of Latin America, Canada, and Asia, as well as the thinking of the political and intellectual elites of most of the world. Outside of the Muslim world, it is virtually the only way in which news is reported and virtually the only way in which young people are educated from elementary school through university.
Only the United States, of all Western countries, has resisted leftism. But that resistance is fading as increasing numbers of Americans abandon traditional Judeo-Christian religions, lead secular lives, are educated by teachers whose views are almost uniformly left-wing and are exposed on a daily basis virtually exclusively to leftist views in their news and entertainment media.
And when there is resistance, the left declares it "extremist." Merely believing that marriage should remain defined as it has been throughout recorded history, as between a man and a woman, renders you an extremist. So, too, belief that government should be small -- the Tea Party position -- renders one an extremist. Last week, the managing editor of Time Magazine, Richard Stengel, said on MSNBC that the Salafis, the most radical Islamist sect, are "the Tea Party of Muslim democracy."
Even Christianity and Judaism, the pillars of Judeo-Christian values, the moral value system upon which America was founded and thanks to which it became the world's beacon of liberty, have been widely influenced by leftism. Many priests, ministers, rabbis and many Jewish and Christian seminaries are leftist in content and Jewish or Christian only in form.
Years ago, I debated one of the most prominent rabbis in the Conservative movement of Judaism on the issue of whether morality must be God-based. The Ivy League Ph.D., yarmulke-wearing rabbi argued that God was not morally necessary. If you want to understand why so many Jews vote left while nearly all the Western world's opposition to -- and frequently hatred of -- Israel emanates from the left, one explanation is this: For most American Jews, their religion is leftism, while Judaism is their ethnicity and culture. The Reform, and increasingly the Conservative, movements have, to a large extent, become political movements that use Hebrew and Jewish rituals to equate Judaism with progressive politics.
Within mainstream Protestantism and Catholicism, the same dominance of leftist values exists. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops largely holds the same social and economic views as the Democratic Party and The New York Times editorial page. It differs with the left with regard to same-sex marriage, abortion and religious freedom issues such as those pertaining to Catholic hospitals and government-funded contraception. As for mainstream Protestant denominations, they, too, are largely indistinguishable from leftism. Proof? Ask a liberal Protestant minister to name one important area in which he and leftism differ. Ask a liberal Reform or Conservative rabbi the same question. Their silence will be telling.
The truth is that the left has been far more successful in converting in converting Jews and Christians to Leftism than Christianity and Judaism have been in influencing leftists to convert to Christianity or Judaism.
Finally, leftism has even attained considerable success at undoing the central American values of liberty, "In God We Trust," and "E Pluribus Unum," supplanting liberty with egalitarianism, a God-based society with secularism, and "E Pluribus Unum" with multiculturalism. (I make this case at length in "Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph" [HarperCollins].)
This triumph of the twentieth century's most dynamic religion -- leftism -- is why, even in the midst of an ongoing recession, the leftist candidate may win. As I wrote in my last column, it's not just the economy, stupid.
For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)
Posted by JR at 1:36 AM