The excuses are already coming fast and furious as President Obama and his party faces a rebuke in Tuesday’s election of historic proportions. The lack of accountability so far may be forgivable; after all, nobody admits they have done a lousy, hypocritical, incompetent and dishonest job while they are running for re-election. The voter’s fury and the Democrats’ peril are being blamed, alternatively and collectively, on George Bush, on Sarah Palin, on racism, on the sad stupidity of the American public, who just are so impatient and unsophisticated that they don’t comprehend all the wonderful things that have been done for them. It’s also the Supreme Court’s fault for allowing large corporations the right of free speech, although the union money flowing to Democrats as the result of the same decision has dwarfed corporate money.
All of these excuses are demeaning to Obama and his party, and insulting to the intelligence of everyone else.
The reason the Democrats are going down to a party that had thoroughly disgraced itself out of power just two years ago, is illustrated by a shocking report that barely caused a ripple in the news cycle. Now the story itself isn’t the reason; as usual, the left-tilting major news media soft-pedaled it, though a similar story in the Bush Administration would have earned scare headlines and network “Special Reports.” Most voters don’t know about it. But it wouldn’t surprise them…not after everything that has gone before.
‘Treasury Hid A.I.G. Loss, Report Says” is the way the reliably Obama-boosting New York Times headlined it. It isn’t a Fox News story, but Fox couldn’t have been any more direct:
The United States Treasury concealed $40 billion in likely taxpayer losses on the bailout of the American International Group earlier this month, when it abandoned its usual method for valuing investments, according to a report by the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program. “In our view, this is a significant failure in their transparency,” said Neil M. Barofsky, the inspector general, in an interview on Monday. In early October, the Treasury issued a report predicting that the taxpayers would ultimately lose just $5 billion on their investment in A.I.G., a remarkable outcome, since the insurance company was extended $182 billion in taxpayer money in the early months of its rescue. The prediction of a modest loss, widely reported as A.I.G., the Federal Reserve and the Treasury rushed to complete an exit plan, contrasted with an earlier prediction by the Treasury that the taxpayers would lose $45 billion.
“The American people have a right for full and complete disclosure about their investment in A.I.G.,” Mr. Barofsky said, “and the U.S. government has an obligation, when they’re describing potential losses, to give complete information.”
I’d agree with that, wouldn’t you? And we were led to believe that we were electing a president who agreed with that too. We were told that this President would lead with transparency and openness. If there were challenges and sacrifices, we would face them together, and know what the goals and the costs would be.
It was a sales pitch, however, that’s all. The Administration announced tough, mandatory conflict of interest requirements for office holders, then waived them whenever they got in the way of a key appointment. The head of homeland Security went on national TV after her intelligence and security systems had allowed a known terror suspect to get on a plane with a bomb, and announced that the system had “worked.” (It worked because passengers stopped the bomber before he could detonate his device.) The massive stimulus package was passed with a promise that there were hundreds of thousands of “shovel-ready jobs” being funded, but there were not.
The Administration began citing “jobs saved” statistics that often involved counting the same job multiple times, as every promotion or raise was counted as a “job.” As unemployment continued to rise, the Administration began to spin the statistics, using, for example, the short-term census workers to show that the job situation was improving, though they were jobs that were not affected by the economy at all.
Then came the health care fiasco, as Obama kept making promises about a bill that hadn’t been finalized yet and that he hadn’t read. One was repeated again and again: “If you like your current health plan, you can keep it.” The resulting bill, whatever its remaining nasty surprises, definitely will force more employers to junk their current plans, and whether you like it won’t have any bearing on the matter. The final bill was passed after the Congressional Budget Office was rushed into scoring it with inadequate time and information, and announced that it would save as much as it cost. Obama and Pelosi and Reid swore it wouldn’t increase the deficit as Republican scoffed. A couple months after the bill passed, the CBO revised its estimate. Yes, Obamacare would add to the deficit…a lot.
During the Gulf oil spill, the President’s mantra was that he “would not rest” until the leak was plugged, that he would work on it “24-7.” But these were just words. We saw Obama take multiple vacations and attend concerts and fundraisers. He had a right, but if he was going to rest and wasn’t working 24-7, he shouldn’t have said so. Gradually, all but the most blindly loyal Obama worshippers began to suspect that we were being played.
Jimmy Carter was a weak president, but when he ran for the office, he promised, “I will never lie to you.” After Nixon and L.B.J, the public expected presidents to lie to them; this was a new concept. For the most part, Carter kept that promise. The public learned not have a high regard for his leadership, but it didn’t distrust him. Barack Obama went far, far beyond a promise not to lie. He promised to lead a rebirth of integrity, fairness, and respect for the public. What he gave us, however, was a Treasury Department that hides the real costs of a controversial bail-out because elections are coming.
And the thing is, it isn’t an aberration. This is how the Democrats and the Obama Administration has shown its trust and respect for the American people. By deceiving them. By hiding the facts. After raising hopes and exiting so many by promising to be different.
That is why the Democrats are going down.