The Bad Faith President
Say what you might about Jimmy Carter and the inept presidency, but at least Jimmy was acting in good faith.
President Obama is the personification of bad faith.
"[N]o president ever before has lied as frequently, as flagrantly or as foolishly as has Barack Obama" (Jack Kelly in Real Clear Politics). "[T]he president is coming across more and more as a trimmer, as an operator who's not operating in good faith" (Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal). "President Obama is too busy spewing falsehoods to support his ideological agenda than [sic] to take account of the facts" (Larry Kudlow in Real Clear Politics). These essayists are neither lightweights nor ideologically rigid right-wingers. Ms. Noonan was a recent supporter of Obama.
As citizens, we owe the office of the president respect and support, regardless of our individual feelings for the occupant of the office. In return, the occupant of the office of the president owes us a good-faith custodianship -- a custodianship that we are being denied by President Obama. Let us explore Obama's bad faith in three areas: energy policy and the economy, national defense and foreign policy, and personal freedom and liberty.
Energy Policy and the Economy
Obama is campaigning on the energy slogan of "all of the above" in bad faith. See his website (ignore that "Donate" tab). The funny thing about Obama's "all of the above" is the limited definition of the word "all." Shades of what the meaning of is is.
"All" does not include coal.
Obama is campaigning on reducing the cost of gasoline and creating more jobs. At the same time, he is putting virtually an entire industry out of business with an EPA regulation that limits the emissions from coal-fired plants to economically unachievable low levels.
When challenged on this dichotomy, thin-skinned Obama gets all huffy and claims that everybody should have known that this was coming. There is truth to this. In a 4 November 2008 article in Real Clear Politics, Jack Kelly quoted Obama from a San Francisco Chronicle interview:
What I've said is we would put a cap and trade policy in place that is as aggressive if not more aggressive than anyone out there, so if someone wants to build a coal-fired plant, they can. It's just that it will bankrupt them because they are going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's being emitted.
At about the same time, now-Energy Secretary Chu was proposing increasing gasoline prices to European levels. With the campaign in full swing, both Obama and Chu are now advocating lower gasoline costs, something Obama prefers to call "flexibility" as opposed to being a flip-flopping panderer of bad faith.
Just for the record, Obama is forever telling us that the U.S. has but two percent of the world's proven oil reserves. He never tells us that if we were to include the known reserves of shale oil in the western U.S., we would have about 70% of the world's reserves. That oil is there, and it is economically recoverable, but it is not counted because of government dithering.
"All of the above" does not include our shale oil, it does not include the Keystone pipeline, it does not include ANWR, and it does not include granting leases and licenses for offshore drilling. But, as Charles Krauthammer delights in telling us, it does include algae!
National Defense and Foreign Policy
Oh, those pesky open microphones.
Obama has an open mic track record. Remember when Obama said American voters "get bitter, they cling to guns or religion"?
Obama got caught again recently. The conversation, extracted from a 27 March article in the New York Times, between President Obama and Dmitry Medvedev of Russia is shown below:
[Obama] On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this can be solved, but it's important for him [Putin] to give me space.
[Medvedev] Yeah, I understand, I understand your message about space. Space for you.
[Obama] This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.
[Medvedev] I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.
How do you take this? Me, I think Obama is saying that he needs to deal with the American people in bad faith until after the election, when Obama can show his true pro-Russian position. Krauthammer has a similar outlook:
You don't often hear an American president secretly (he thinks) assuring foreign leaders that concessions are coming their way, but they must wait because he's seeking re-election and he dare not tell his own people.
Here's another open microphone -- this one capturing Obama and Sarkozy. The quotation is from the Guardian of 8 November 2011:
"I cannot stand him [Netanyahu]. He's a liar," Sarkozy told Obama. The US president responded by saying: "You're fed up with him? I have to deal with him every day."
Of course, that's not what's said in public. The following quote is from the Right Perspective for 5 March 2012:
"The bond between our two countries is unbreakable," Obama told Netanyahu during a White House press conference in the Oval Office. "The United States will always have Israel's back when it comes to Israel's security."
Actions speak louder than words. Have I mentioned bad faith recently?
Personal Freedom and Liberty
Barack Obama believes the Constitution to be flawed (see postings by Michelle Malkin here and by Newsmax here). He sees the Constitution as a "charter of negative liberties." He would rather it state what the "government must do on your behalf" -- e.g., "bring about redistributive change." I always thought the genius of the Constitution lay in its limitation of governmental powers, but what do I know? I'm just a dumb rocket scientist, not a Professor of Constitutional Law.
Since the Constitution is not to his liking, Obama believes he, as president, can manipulate it with immunity. Consider the recent ObamaCare regulation issued by Kathleen Sebelius, the Oz-like witch from Kansas. Insurers must provide coverage for contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients at no cost to the insured. Free stuff -- the promise of the demagogue.
The Wizard Obama, from behind his green curtain and in his normal bad faith, framed the issue as contraception. A brilliant political ploy -- so simple and non-controversial when so framed. He is now morphing the issue to a full-blown Republican War on Women.
The issue is not as simple when appropriately framed as religious liberty. The use of contraception, sterilization, or abortifacients is directly contrary to Catholic Church teachings. It is inevitable that there will be the occasional conflict between religious beliefs and existing law. It has been customary to define religious conscience exemptions in such cases.
Timothy Cardinal Dolan is the archbishop of New York and the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. This past November, he was invited to Washington by President Obama to discuss the ObamaCare mandate on contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients. James Taranto describes the meeting in a 31 March WSJ piece. The archbishop summarized his understanding of Obama's position as respecting the works of the Church by not planning to "impede that work" and being very serious on the "protection of the rights of conscience."
By the end of January, Archbishop Dolan knew that Obama had been dealing in bad faith. The "protection of the rights of conscience" given by the Wizard and his witch was so narrow as to be meaningless. The archbishop felt betrayed.
Many people, including me, think of the Catholic Church in terms of catechism, pomp, and dogma. Too seldom do we think of the Church as a force for good: the schools, hospitals, adoption agencies, and charitable ministries, to say nothing of the Catholic Charities. As Cardinal Dolan says in his 2 March letter to the bishops, "the Church is the largest private provider of health care for women and their babies in the country." All of this good work is threatened by the ObamaCare contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients mandate.
These three examples, all current high-visibility issues with no need for cherry-picking, provide fearsome insights into the future of America. In each, we see a president acting in bad faith, spinning, dissembling, even lying. In each example, we see an Obama who promises what the American people want to hear, but he has no intent to deliver.
In each example, his true intent is to indeed fundamentally change America. In energy his intent is to destroy jobs, an industry, and a large section of the country. In foreign policy, his intent is to realign the U.S. with our enemies while abandoning our friends. In freedom and liberty, his intent is to make the office of the president supreme using unconstrained powers of compulsion.
Be afraid; be very afraid. Half of the American voters can be bought with free stuff or fooled with bad -faith glibness or guilt-tripped with phony political correctness. Thank God for the Electoral College.
Please vote Obama out of office.
Mike Johnson is a concerned citizen, a small government conservative, and a live-free-or-die resident of New Hampshire. E-mail email@example.com.