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Editor’s note: Michael Ackley’s columns may include satire and parody based on current events, and thus mix fact with fiction. He assumes informed readers will be able to tell the difference.
Don’t be surprised if President Obama announces this week that he “had no idea” his press secretary, Jay Carney, was telling whoppers in media briefings.
This would be in keeping with his ignorance about the Fast & Furious gun running, which enabled him to go to Mexico and say how terrible it was that drug cartel guns came from the U.S.
Remember, he also was in the dark about the failure to protect our ambassador and his staff in Libya; he didn’t know the IRS was targeting conservative political organizations or that his Justice Department was checking reporters’ telephone records.
If you believe any of this – as Justice Department and IRS personnel are donning Mussolini’s black shirts for a parade on Pennsylvania Avenue – you probably believe that in the Watergate scandal Richard Nixon was simply ill served by his underlings.
The fascist impulse always exists among true believers, and Obama only hires true believers. For such fascists, the end always justifies the means. Therefore, an inconvenient truth justifies a lie, a distortion, a cover-up.
The past year’s crop of administration lies is undergoing a familiar evolution.
First you have the initial lie, like the attribution of the Benghazi murders to an anti-Islam video. This is followed by “we were doing the best we could,” as in, “the situation was fluid and data were hard to come by.” (This is a real stinker in the Benghazi cover-up, as the nature of the Benghazi attack was known from the get-go.)
Next comes a desperate defense, which we may call “what you heard me say is not what I meant.” See Carney’s revision of his statements regarding the notorious Benghazi “talking points.”
As the net of truth draws tighter, agents are dispatched to declare that only low-level employees were involved. When that fails, they declare that so many persons and interests were involved that culpability is too diffused to pin down.
These ploys generally work pretty well, given the partisan, lazy and craven Washington, D.C., press corps. These are the “journalists” who were comfortable giving the Justice Department a pass on Fast & Furious and happy with the original Benghazi lie.
The media finally began to stir a bit when the IRS criminality came to light, and they actually awakened when their own ox was gored with the Justice Department’s Associated Press subpoenas.
There are variations in the evolution of lies and their defenses. We saw the “it’s not important” defense when Hillary Clinton asked of the talking points lie, “What difference … does it make?” And Carney even tried, “It was a long time ago.” (Please don’t tell me everybody in politics does this sort of thing. That places abuse of power on the same plane as minor venality or the denial of marital infidelity.)
Now that we have inescapable evidence of true abuse of power, we arrive at the liar’s last refuge: “I take responsibility, but I didn’t know.” (Add sotto voce, “And I won’t take the consequences.”)
It’s difficult to swallow the idea that Obama didn’t know about his administration’s abuses, or that he is determined to “get to the bottom” of them. However, let us exercise some mental discipline and assume for the sake of discussion that he really didn’t know.
It then must be asked: If the president was truly ignorant of these abuses, how did his administrators, who worship him, come to think they could get away with them?
The answer is simple, and if you examine your own experience you will see it is true. A chief executive’s staff – in business or government – reflects the attitudes of the chief. If the chief executive is open and honest, those who execute his program will be, too. If he’s covert and dishonest, his staff will assume that should go for them as well.
If the chief executive demonstrates contempt for the law and the Constitution, why should we expect anything different from the people he hires?
Obama’s fascists reflect his own fascist tendencies, which we have pointed out from the beginning of his administration. Lately, you could hear his statist proclivities in his commencement speech at Ohio State, when he said the loyal opposition was just trying to “gum up the works.”
To him, opposing views not only are wrong; they are intolerable. To suppress them, his staff has gotten the message: “Do anything you think you can get away with.”