The post is intended to follow-up on this one, asking supporters of the President who are unbiased, fair and honest, how they continue to trust this administration in light of the repeated pattern of hiding negative developments as long as possible, assisting the compliant news media in burying them, and intentionally delaying admissions, disclosures and bad news until after elections.
It is not a partisan question, but a legitimate ethics inquiry. As I explained in discussing the recent election eve Fast and Furious document dump, there is not any legitimate question about whether this is ethical conduct by the Obama Administration, or whether it is in any way consistent with the pledge of transparency made by Candidate Obama in 2008 and currently posted on the White House website. It isn’t, on both counts. There is no argument about that—I know that. What I don’t understand, and very much want to, is why anyone—Democrat, progressive, Federal worker, journalist, MSNBC hack, Markos Moulitsas, Harry Reid, anybody at all—would excuse or try to justify it sufficiently to say “Yes, I trust these people.” I asked, and nobody took up the challenge.
Is it because everyone actually realizes how inexcusable and sleazy this is, and nobody trusts the Administration any more? That can’t be it: otherwise, I wouldn’t be reading all these amazing blog posts about columns about how stupid the American voting public was to send an emphatic “We’re sick of the Democrats” message at all levels of government, across states of all political persuasions. Is it because all the Obama supporters are in the throes of DODD (Desperate Obama Defense Derangement)? I suppose that’s possible. It is also possible that Obama defenders are gun-shy here, since their standard refrains of “Republicans are obstructing everything,” “it’s all Bush’s fault,” “everybody does it,” “it’s because he’s black,” and “nobody’s perfect” not only fail to persuade but attract well-deserved derision.
I don’t know the answer, but I want to understand, Trust is the basis of democracy, and trust must work both ways. The Obama Administration consistently shows that it does not trust the American public to approve of its policies and conduct if the public has timely information about what the facts are. Why do so many people trust a leader who doesn’t trust them, and has contempt for its trust?
It happened again, you see.
The Border Patrol’s annual statistics were posted on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Web site on Oct. 10. The agency statistics indicated that most of those the Border Patrol stopped from sneaking into the country last fiscal year were trying to come here from countries other than Mexico. They were online for about 5 hours, then abruptly taken down.
The Washington Post suggests that the shift that might have provided ammunition for politicians leading up to Tuesday’s election. One way of reading the stats is that they show the perverse incentives signaled by the “Dream Acts” and various sympathetic messages and policies toward illegals: that’s how I would read them. Presented with suspicions of the administration once again hiding the ball before elections, Customs and Border Protection spokesman Christopher O’Neil said in an e-mail to the Washington Post that the early release was due to miscommunication. Taking down the data had nothing to do with the midterm elections, but rather was an effort to provide all of the agency’s statistics — and not just the Border Patrol’s — “in one concise and comprehensive package.” He explained the agency had intended to publish the data by Oct. 31, but administrative delays in gathering statistics caused the date to be pushed back several days.
How convenient. Customs and Border Protection now plans to publish before Nov. 15, he wrote. You know, after the election, just as the administration kept blaming the deadly 9/11 attack on our Libyan outpost on a crazy YouTube video instead of Al Qaeda, keeping the facts muddy and confused until after the 2012 election, so the Obama campaign claim that terrorism was under control wouldn’t be challenged. Just a coincidence.
And indeed, it might be, and everything O’Neil said may be true…but why would anyone trust these people, when we see such maneuvers again and again? The President postponed his mysterious executive order regarding illegals until after the election, knowing that it would have an explosive political response. Another coincidence? Today we learned that the President is sending 1,500 more “advisors” to Iraq. Did he not know he needed to do this before the election? Did he fear that the announcement would anger and discourage the all-important isolationist/anti-military involvement/ anti-war base? How do we know? Why should we trust him?
Why would anyone, at this point?
I want to be fair, and I really want to know what I’m missing.