“Now you see it … now you don’t!”
The hands are in constant motion, lifting, swapping and placing the walnut shells in ever-shifting positions, occasionally giving a glimpse of the pea that will be found under one of the shells.
The sleight-of-hand trickster is glib and talkative, alternately assuring and then questioning the observer about which shell hides the elusive pea. At some point, the observer stops the motion and the chatter and points to the shell he is sure hides the pea.
And invariably, he’s wrong.
The shell game practitioner is practiced and skilled at the game, knowing how to distract with chatter and motion, and to effectively hide with his back and forth hand actions the actual changing location of the little pea. At times there may actually be no pea on the surface, having been palmed by the trickster temporarily, lest the observer accidentally choose the right shell.
Does any of this seem familiar, in light of the recent Supreme Court decision to uphold Obamacare – not as voter-approved law, but as a massive new tax? While the countless repeated assurances from this president that he would “raise no new taxes on 90 percent of Americans – no income tax, no payroll tax, no estate tax, no tax, no tax, no tax …” still ring in our ears?
Do we not remember the man, with all his persuasive skill and confident assurances, saying over and over “this mandate is not a tax; in fact, it will reduce taxes,” on TV and in his constant staged appearances across the country?
Voila! The tax pea was found where it was least suspected, under the black robe of Justice Roberts! Who’d have imagined? And now it’ll pop up on the tax bills or expenses of all Americans, as the cost of living and the shared trillions of debt pile up on us!
We should have known this would happen, because the shell game has been played on us repeatedly in the last four years. I’m including the last year of Mr. Obama’s campaign, when he hid his true feelings under one verbal shell and later revealed the opposite feelings under another after he was elected. The sly fella fooled us again and again!
On abortion, he said he was not in favor of it, but that if one of his daughters made a mistake, “she shouldn’t be punished with a baby.” That sent shock waves through the pro-life half of America – but at least candidate Obama said he didn’t “favor” abortion. But he fooled us; his first executive order when he assumed the presidency was to give $250 million dollars of our taxpayer funds to Planned Parenthood International, the foremost provider of abortions in the world!
We sure didn’t see that coming. We’d have sworn his convictions were under that first shell! The pre-election one.
And marriage, another shell game masterpiece. When Rick Warren asked him on national television about marriage, the cunning Master stated blithely his conviction that marriage, in his view (under his campaign shell), was meant “for one man and one woman.” So we knew where that pea was, right?
Boy, were we played for chumps again. Just recently, as election 2012 comes nearer, the trickster announced his thinking had “evolved,” and he lifted another shell to reveal his view that two men and two women had just as much right to get married as one man and one woman. A complete reversal of what we thought was firmly under his marriage shell. But that trick was calculated to attract a lot of votes for his re-election, so who could blame him? Never underestimate a slickster.
Looking back over the last three and a half years, it’s amazing how many times and in how many ways we’ve fallen for the same illusions. Mr. Obama, during his candidacy, stated forcefully that he considered President George W. Bush’s running up the national debt as “unpatriotic”! The debt pea was firmly under that shell – we thought. But we were fooled again, of course. President Obama has proceeded to run our annual deficit up to close to $2 trillion, and has presented plans that will add $15 trillion to our already $16 trillion debt! How does he do it?
And energy – boy, has that been a crazy trick! First he said his demands for “clean energy” would cause the prices of coal and gas to “skyrocket,” on purpose! That was so poor gas-addicted Americans would be forced to use less oil and gas. Clever, huh? But when polls showed high gas prices were hurting his approval ratings, he lifted another pea to show that under another shell of his administration, oil production had increased significantly. What he failed to point out was that the increase was the result of drilling begun under George Bush and that he, Obama, was still obstructing America’s oil production every way he could. The whole thing was so confusing that the public gave up trying to find that pea!
But the Master Game of all has been his pledge of a “transparency” pea! He was so convincing about that one that when he produced an obviously fraudulent “birth certificate,” he completely fooled most of Congress and all the media! A lot of average citizens were on to him, though, and kept asking “what’s under those early passport and school and travel records shells? Show us those, mister. What are you hiding under there?”
Even he, skilled as he was at his slippery magic, knew that showing those peas would ruin everything, and that his game would be over. So he hired lawyers to keep all those hidden away forever. And lately, when “leaks” emanated from the White House inner circle and were reported in the New York Times that not only jeopardized military secrets, personnel and procedures, but seemed purposed to enhance the president’s image as a strong leader, he professed to be “offended” by the innuendos, managing not to expressly deny a White House origin of the leaks.
But then, as members of Congress were catching on to his game and insisting he turn over his shells and reveal the “Fast and Furious” pea that cost the lives of hundreds of Mexicans and two U.S. agents – the sly trickster realized he was running out of tricks. He exerted “executive privilege” and told Congress the game was over – for a while.
After all, he has a re-election to think about.