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Barack Obama has been accused of “vandalizing” the presidential biographies posted on the official White House website by injecting his own personal agenda into the details of what past leaders accomplished.
On the page with Ronald Reagan’s biography, for example, it states: “In a June 28, 1985 speech Reagan called for a fairer tax code, one where a multi-millionaire did not have a lower tax rate than his secretary.”
Then Obama has added, “Today, President Obama is calling for the same with the Buffett Rule.”
“This is a truly disgraceful behavior,” wrote Examiner Senior Editorial Writer Philip Klein.
“Put aside the fact that what Reagan was proposing in 1985 had nothing to do with the Buffett Rule. Obama should not vandalize his predecessors’ biographies to promote his own agenda,” he wrote.
“Obviously, as president, Obama can use the tools of the White House to advance his goals. But at the same time, all presidents are to some extent guardians of the institution,” he continued. “Sure, a lot of the White House website is naturally going to be used to promote Obama, but there are some areas that should be considered neutral ground – one of them being the history sections.
“I’m sure that during the Social Security debate in 2005, if President Bush had updated the biographical page to say that he was trying to preserve FDR’s original vision for Social Security, liberals would have been up in arms.”
Seth Mandel at Commentary Magazine has assembled a list of other instances of the White House injecting Obama into presidential biographies.
- On Feb. 22, 1924 Calvin Coolidge became the first president to make a public radio address to the American people. President Coolidge later helped create the Federal Radio Commission, which has now evolved to become the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). President Obama became the first president to hold virtual gatherings and town halls using Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, etc.
- In a 1946 letter to the National Urban League, President Truman wrote that the government has “an obligation to see that the civil rights of every citizen are fully and equally protected.” He ended racial segregation in civil service and the armed forces in 1948. Today the Obama administration continues to strive toward upholding the civil rights of its citizens, repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, allowing people of all sexual orientations to serve openly in our armed forces.
- President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare signed (sic) into law in 1965 – providing millions of elderly health care stability. President Obama’s historic health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act, strengthens Medicare, offers eligible seniors a range of preventive services with no cost-sharing, and provides discounts on drugs when in the coverage gap known as the “donut hole.”
Wrote Mandel, “The Heritage Foundation’s Rory Cooper tweeted the Obama had casually dropped his own name into Ronald Reagan’s biography on www.whitehouse.gov, claiming credit for taking up the mantle of Regan’s tax reform advocacy with his ‘Buffett Rule’ gimmick. My first thought was, he must be joking.
“But he wasn’t.”
He continued: “As you can see, the bullet points make clear that while each president has done something historic or notable, Obama is carrying forward every one of those accomplishments since Coolidge. No wonder he always seems to proud of himself.”
Obama even arranged credit for his wife, explaining in the Dwight D. Eisenhower biography: “President Dwight Eisenhower established the President’s Council on Youth Fitness on July 16, 1956 (now known as The President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports) after learning from a study that American youth were less fit than European youth. Today the Council is still going strong – with Olympians and professional athletes on board – working in conjunction with the First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative.”
And surpassing the presidency of Jimmy Carter also is a goal, apparently. The White House site says: “In 1977, President Jimmy Carter created the Department of Energy; today the DOE works with the Obama administration to drive toward innovation in energy and reducing reliance on foreign oil with an ‘all of the above’ approach.”
On the Commentary Magazine website, reader MK Daspit added one to those listed on the White House site:
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning – the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested. … President Obama saw this and said “I was totally going to do it in 5 days and get in two days of golf, but whatever.”
At the online Indecision Forever, writer Ilya Gerner also noted a few statements that Obama seems to have missed.
Gerner suggested the following:
- When Jefferson assumed the presidency on March 4, 1801, the crisis in France had passed. Today, President Obama communicates with the president of France entirely through apologies.
- On July 2, 1862, Abraham Lincoln signed a bill establishing the United States’ first land grant colleges. Today, President Obama fills out NCAA brackets.
- On July 17, 1898, William McKinley signed a bill that annexed the Hawaiian Islands, making them part of the United States. Today President Obama claims he was born in Hawaii.
- In August 1941, Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the construction of what would become Andrews Air Force Base. Today, President Obama plays golf there.