Today's Cabinet post announcements is yet another reminder that it's easy to tell when a politician is lying: his lips are moving. All the rhetoric about ending the war in Iraq--and Obama is keeping Secretary of Defense Gates--and putting Hilary Clinton (one of the stauncher defenders of Bush's War on Terror, at least in broad outline, until the primary season started) at State! And as Michelle Malkin points out, for all the campaign rhetoric about their differences on foreign policy and the War on Terror, now he says that the media blew it out of all proportion:
This is fun for the press to try to stir up whatever quotes were generated during the course of the campaign, and you’re having fun. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m not faulting it. But, look, I think if you look at the statements that Hillary Clinton and I have made outside of the heat of a campaign, we share a view that America has to be safe and secure, and in order to do that we have to combine military power with strengthened diplomacy.What's this "were generated"? Passive voice constructions are a marvelous way for the speaker to avoid admitting that someone said something, as in this classic Matt Groening cartoon: "Mistakes were made."
The hated Bush tax cuts? Obama is going to let them expire, apparently, instead of trying to get them repealed. It is a good decision, considering the state of the economy, but after all the rhetoric about the evil rich people that Bush/McCain helped (but who funded Obama's campaign), Obama's dishonesty is beyond belief. And all this on top of a White House staff that reads like Clinton's third term.
What the left wanted that they are likely to get: Attorney General Holder will certainly focus his energy on disarming law-abiding Americans whenever and wherever he can, while downplaying prosecution of felon in possession laws. (And even here, Obama lied up a storm about not trying to disarm law-abiding Americans. He's batting 100% on this dishonesty thing.) And Obama's appointees to the Supreme Court will, unless the Republican Party suddenly decides to stop being gentlemen, interpret the Constitution as requiring states to recognize gay marriage and protect partial-birth abortion.
I've been waiting for someone to make the point, and Dick Morris did it well:
Obama is beginning to make Bill Clinton look like a paragon of honesty.
The myth of the small donor is even more important. Most political observers did not attack Obama for his breaking of his pledge to accept public financing because of our belief that he was funding his campaign by a massive outpouring of small donations. We felt that he was single-handedly accomplishing campaign finance reform and did not mind that he opted out of the public system. Indeed, we cheered as he amassed a $600 million war chest as it signified the clout of the small donor and showed the vulnerability of the old fat cat/PAC network that others used to raise money.
But we were fooled by Obama’s propaganda. In a story by Fred Lucas, CNSNews reports that the Campaign Finance Institute (CFI) found that only 26% of the donors to Obama’s campaign gave $200 or less, compared to 25% for President Bush’s campaign in 2004. How did Obama fund his campaign? The old fashioned way, from fat cats. CFI found that he got 80% more money from large donors (over $1,000) than from those who gave less than $200.
Obama did benefit from small donors slightly more than other campaigns, but not enough to make the historic statement it appeared at the time that was taking place. CFI notes that 47% of Obama’s total fund raising came from large donors, compared to 60% for McCain, 60% for Bush in 2004, and 56% for John Kerry. This trend represents a movement in the right direction, but hardly the revolution that has been mythologized.
These revealing stats are more than a footnote to history. They represent the denouement of a carefully cultivated myth. Obama sold America on the idea that his campaign was animated by hordes of small donors who we’re attracted online. It now appears that this line was nothing more than a convenient smoke screen to mask his dependence on the traditional forces that have always funded presidential campaigns. And it puts into a new perspective the massive amount Obama raised and his brazen reversal of his public pledge to accept the limits imposed by public financing of campaigns.
Now that we know that Obama funded his campaign the old way – from rich people and special interests – it is reprehensible that he did so to the tune of over $600 million. When it looked like he was using the money of small donors to buy the election, it was excusable. But now that it becomes clear that he was getting money the same way other politicians always have done so, his vast outspending of McCain, all based on his chicanery in not taking public financing, puts his victory into a sharply more negative light.