The Year of Lies
In looking back at 2013, it's hard not to characterize it as The Year of Lies. We were told that Syria was a humanitarian disaster, until we were told it wasn't. We were assured (repeatedly) that you could keep your healthcare plan and your doctor under Obamacare, until you couldn't. We were told that the IRS attacks on opponents of the administration were conducted by rogue low-level employees in Cincinnati, until we leaned that they were coordinated in Washington, DC. We witnessed continuing and pervasive stonewalling on a variety of scandals (Fast and Furious, Benghazi, the AP, the NSA) and were told that the scandals were all "phony" ginned up for political advantage. Yet not once was the public provided with full disclosure. We listened as a president lied about his lies, misstating events that were well documented and arrogantly blaming it all on his opposition.
Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Senator Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) makes a rather remarkable statement: "The past year may go down not only as the least productive ever in Washington but as one of the worst for the republic.
Barack Obama, his band of leftist supporters, and his media allies do what they do best—redirect blame for this administration's many and varied failures, incompetence, and mendacious actions to a variety of conservative boogie men: Ted Cruz, John Boehner, Rand Paul, the Tea Party, FOX News—the list is long. Yeah-it's all their fault. If they would just participate in the fantasy that abject incompetence can be forgiven, blatant lies can be ignored, and bigger and more intrusive government provides all of the solutions, we'd all be just fine.
Sure, the GOP isn't blameless. They did more than a few boneheaded things during 2013, but the party and it's leaders look like true statesmen when compared to this president and this administration.
Coburn laments this Year of Lies when he writes:
The culture that Mr. Obama campaigned against, the old kind of politics, teaches politicians that repetition and "message discipline"—never straying from using the same slogans and talking points—can create reality, regardless of the facts. Message discipline works if the goal is to win an election or achieve a short-term political goal. But saying that something is true doesn't make it so. When a misleading message ultimately clashes with reality, the result is dissonance and conflict. In a republic, deception is destructive. Without truth there can be no trust. Without trust there can be no consent. And without consent we invite paralysis, if not chaos..
This administration has repeatedly demonstrated that it cannot be trusted—to tell the truth, to govern competently, to lead effectively. As a consequence, it has eroded the trust of a majority—and that does, in fact, invite chaos.
Will 2014 be any better? Sadly, I fear we'll see more of the same.
But life goes on. We can hope for more honesty, more competence, and less divisiveness. Heck, maybe that'll happen.
Happy New Year.