THE PLANK JUNE 23, 2009
Harper's publisher John R. MacArthur, writing in the Providence Journal, says that President Obama misled the American people:
IT ISN’T QUITE
FAIR to call Barack Obama a liar. During the campaign he carefully
avoided committing to much of anything important that he might have to
take back later. For now, I won’t quibble with The St. Petersburg
Times’s Obamameter, which so far has the president keeping 30 promises
and breaking only six.
And yet, broadly speaking, Obama has been lying on a pretty impressive scale.
MacAurthur goes on to list Obama's "lies." He provides four examples. The list is worth going through. First:
himself as the peace candidate, or at least the anti-war candidate. He
is not a peace president, nor is he stopping any wars. True, he
promised military escalation in Afghanistan (to blunt John McCain’s
accusations of wimpishness), but well-meaning folks believed their new
hero would genuinely move to end the occupation of Iraq and seriously
try to negotiate with the Taliban.
In other words, Obama said he would send more troops to Afghanistan, and some naive lefties chose to believe he was lying, so now that's he's following through, it counts as a lie because "well-meaning" people like MacArthur never believed it. Oookay.
Obama said he
wanted to reform Washington and “fix” its “broken” system of corrupt
lobbying. But Obama is neither a reformer nor a skilled legislative
mechanic. Hatched from the Daley Machine in one-party Chicago, Obama
wouldn’t be president today if he rocked boats. Witness the appointment
of Roland Burris by the corrupt former Gov. Rod Blagojevich to fill
Obama’s Senate seat: not a word of public protest from the new
administration because Burris is a made man in the Chicago Democratic
So, Obama promised to be a reformer, but he lied because it turns out he's from Chicago. I'm pretty sure he admitted that fact during the campaign. I also fail to recall Obama promising to insert himself into the appointment of a replacement Senator from Illinois.
Obama, with his
Arabic middle name and his big Cairo speech, wants people to think that
he is the Muslim world’s new best friend. Well, the
photograph of a cheery Obama with Saudi King Abdullah and a smiling
Emanuel with Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal, proves the contrary. ... Indeed, the
president doesn’t mean for one minute to force Israel into anything
more than symbolic withdrawals of its illegal settlements on the West
Did Obama promise to cut ties with Saudi Arabia and do more to pressure Israel than to demand a halt to settlement construction? I must have missed that as well.
And the final "lie":
Obama makes like
he’s a friend of organized labor, at least he did during the Ohio
primary when he needed to beat Hillary Clinton. ...
In a debate
with Clinton on Feb. 26, 2008, he said, “I will make sure that we
renegotiate [NAFTA] in the same way that Senator Clinton talked about”
and “use the hammer of a potential opt-out as leverage” to get “labor
and environmental standards that are enforced.”
But two months
ago, U.S. Trade Rep. Ron Kirk said such a blunt instrument was no
longer necessary and that the leaders of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico
were now “of the mind that we should be looking for opportunities to
strengthen [the North American Free Trade Agreement].”
Meanwhile, as I
noted in my April 15 column, “Wall Street sharks circle the UAW,” Obama
and his banker friend Steven Rattner are liquidating the United Auto
Workers even as they liquidate the American auto industry.
The NAFTA renegotiation flip-flop is legit, but was pointed out long before the 2008 general election. MacArthur's claim that Obama is liquidating the auto industry is bizarre.