Since President Obama has shown a willingness to lie outright to the American people in order to advance his policy agendas and acquire political advantage, there is no reason why any citizen should have cared what he said in the State of the Union message yesterday. One example should suffice, though there are dozens. As recently as January 7, President Obama pushed his anti-gun agenda by stating that “we are the only advanced country on Earth that sees this kind of mass violence erupt with this kind of frequency. It doesn’t happen in other advanced countries. It’s not even close.” It’s a lie. It’s a lie because he has said this repeatedly, and repeatedly been told, even by reliable anti-gun sources that it is false. France suffered more deaths and injuries from mass shootings in the past year than the U.S. has during Obama’s eight years in office. That doesn’t diminish the importance of finding, if possible, effective policies to reduce U.S. gun violence. It just means that the President thinks it’s acceptable to lie to us, so he does.
The head-exploding moment in his speech last night (I read the transcript), if it did not come with the cynical and silly announcement of a Sixties space program-type effort to “cure cancer”—since we’ve all been ignoring cancer all these years–with Joe Biden—not Khloe Kardashian, an equally strong choice—at the helm (see, Joe’s son died of cancer, so that qualifies him for leadership in cancer research), came from Obama’s stated regrets for the divided state of the nation’s politics, and his failure to stem them, though Lord knows he tried.
Gee, why didn’t his advisors suggest to him that one way for the President to reduce societal division would to stop actively trying to divide people along class, race, religion, region, gender, generation and ethnicity?
That Obama had the gall to make such a statement is itself remarkable, and in many ways, characteristic. He was head of the Democratic Party, wasn’t he, when it held an entire national convention based on the premise that there is a “war on women”? He watched as his supporters in the gay community pronounced those whose religious beliefs caused them to maintain the exact same position against gay marriage that he claimed he held when he was elected as hateful bigots, and never took any steps to moderate the tone of the debate. He turned several local events into racially decisive ones by taking sides and presuming guilt before the facts were in. His administration courted Al Sharpton, a professional divider and racist; he sat by while Democratic leaders designated the entire Tea Party movement as racially-motivated. He encouraged supporters of his policy of not enforcing immigration laws to tar principled opposition as racist and xenophobic.
Obama’s rhetoric has been divisive, and the rhetoric of his party’s leaders has been more so, embracing and encouraging the idea that critics of his epically incompetent, partisan and disastrous leadership were racist rather than awake. His IRS treated conservative groups differently than liberal groups; his health care requirements targeted religious organizations; his allies vilified and demonized the wealthy and successful, culminating in his expressed support for Occupy Wall Street sit-ins, and later the sliming of Mitt Romney during the 2012 campaign.
Could Obama, as President and leader of the Democratic Party, have told Harry Reid to stop lying about Romney’s taxes, and stop attacking political activity by private citizens by denigrating them by name on the floor of the Senate? Of course he could have, and would have, if he wanted to stop “divisiveness” rather than derive benefits from it. Could he have acknowledged that climate change science wasn’t nearly as conclusive as environmentalists insisted, rather than encourage his surrogates and allies to compare reasonable skeptics to Holocaust deniers? He could have, but he didn’t want to. Obama’s Education Department ordered universities to discard fairness and due process regarding sexual assault allegations, declaring a “war on men.” Was he responsible? Absolutely. Is Black Lives Matter a racist, anti-law enforcement movement that seeks and benefits from racial divisions? Yes. Did Obama’s party officially endorse it? Why, yes it did. Could Obama, if he cared about preventing divisions among Americans, have simply said, “No”?
More recently, we have seen the Democratic leaders, as Obama sat by presumably approvingly, label legitimate objections to allowing Syrian refugees, who Obama’s own FBI director admits cannot be effectively screened enter the country from a region crawling with U.S.-hating terrorists as motivated by prejudice and bigotry. We have seen Obama’s allies, and Obama himself, suggest that law-abiding gun owners and supporters of the Second Amendment are responsible for the shooting deaths of children. Who would have suspected that such a tactic would be divisive?
Barack Obama saying that he regrets the divisions in American society and politics may be his greatest lie of all. He cannot truthfully say that he regrets failing to heal them, for he knowingly and intentionally encouraged, worsened and exploited them.
UPDATE: After I wrote and posted this, I saw this note about Weekly Standard columnist Steve Hayes making the same point on Fox, and pointing to some egregious examples that I didn’t mention, like the White House advisor comparing the GOP’s fight on the budget to “people with a bomb strapped to their chest,” Obama saying Iranian hardliners have “common cause” with the GOP, and that Republican candidates are “doing the work of the terrorists.”
As the headline says, it’s obvious: neither Hayes not I deserve any special credit for seeing it. But pay attention to all the indignant Obama defenders who will deny the undeniable..a true Jumbo.