“Now, if you had one of these plans before the Affordable Care Act came into law and you really liked that plan, what we said was you can keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law passed.”
—–President Barack Obama this week, telling supporters of Organizing for Action what he should have said for three and a half years, but representing the statement as if he had been saying it all along. A video is here.
There’s not much more to write about this, except to debate whether we should weep, laugh, or take to the streets with torches and pitchforks. The President’s solution to the discovery that his repeated assurances that nobody would lose their doctor or their health plan under the Affordable Care Act were an intentional deception of the American public was not, as his various lackeys and underlings and media lapdogs have claimed in various devious ways, to deny that his statement was a lie (for it obviously was). Neither was it to justify lying, as others among his shameless enablers have done. He didn’t try to minimize the lie and say it was trivial, since only a relative few million Americans will be affected, like the New York Times did, to its eternal shame. No, President Obama is above such demeaning obfuscations and alibis. He simply re-wrote history, and claimed that he said (well, “we” said) words that he never said at all.
This is, you have to admit, admirably audacious. It is as if Bill Clinton said, “Remember, we said that I didn’t have sex with that woman, Miss Lewinsky, unless you count multiple blow-jobs. Let’s not forget that.” Even Bill didn’t have the guts to try this trick, though I’m sure he polled on it. But Barack Obama had even more brass than Clinton: he was able to go in front of a live audience and say not that this was what he meant, which would be slimy enough, but that this is actually what he said—and he never said anything like this!
Fantastic! The hallways of old Washington, D.C. must be echoing with the ghostly applause of great dissemblers and liars of the past—from Aaron Burr to Albert Fall and Joe McCarthy, to JFK, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and his henchmen, and Sen Harrison Williams of Abscam infamy, who briefly claimed he took the bribe from the fake Arab as part of a personal “investigation,” and Newt (well, Newt’s still kicking, but this must have made him smile)—as they appreciate a true work of bold lying art.
Really, how can you top this? This lie is on the same immortal scale as the original Jumbo, uttered by the great Schnozzola as he tried to sneak the largest elephant in the world out of the circus, only to be confronted by a sheriff and the challenge, “Where do you think you ‘re going with that elephant?” “Elephant? What elephant?” Jimmy Durante answered, looking and sounding as if he really had no idea what was at the end of the rope he was holding.
Of course, that was funny, while Obama’s equivalent is outrageous, insulting and frightening, all the more so because we know that a lot of people will be taking to their blogs and TV studios and news columns to argue that he really did say what he did not, just as if Obama had climbed into a DeLorean and changed the wording on his teleprompter in 2009.
If he can get away with this, he can get away with anything.