The bad faith presidency

The bad faith presidency

At the end of the day, the root of President Obama’s mendacity on ObamaCare was simple: He didn’t dare tell people how the law would work. He couldn’t tell people how the law would work.

Forthrightness was the enemy. It served no useful purpose and could only bring peril, and potentially defeat. It had to be banished. Instead, President Obama made the sale on the basis of dubious blandishments and outright deceptions.

If this is the only way to pass your signature initiative — and a decades-long goal of your party — it ought to give you pause. But Obama was a natural at delivering sweeping and sincere-seeming assurances that just weren’t true. This kind of thing is his métier.

If he were awoken at 3 a.m. and told that he had to make the case for nationalizing the banks by denying he was nationalizing the banks, he would do an entirely creditable job of it, even without a TelePrompTer. The salesmanship for ObamaCare represents in microcosm the larger Obama political project, which has always depended on throwing a reassuring skein of moderation on top of left-wing ideological aims.

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