For politicians, is being a "good liar" just a part of the job?
That's what many are wondering about President Obama these days.
It appears his pants have been on fire and his nose growing when he's been talking about his vaunted healthcare reform. This is most noticable during his oft-repeated claim that if you like your insurance plan, you'll be able to keep it. - A great claim if it were true (Which it is not entirely).
This is just the newest verse of the Obama administration's "second term blues."
But, for the most part, the President's credibility remained intact.
To be fair, we should note that almost everybody whose insurance coverage is in-flux will end up with better and perhaps even cheaper coverage. Many insurance policies only last on a yearly basis anyway, so some of this turnover likely has nothing to do with the new healthcare law at all.
So it's not accurate to claim that the Affordable Care Act will really displace a huge number of Americans in the health insurance market.
Still, the President oversimplified a complex issue to ease the passage of a controversial law, and in the process made a promise that he probably knew he couldn't keep.
A bad move.
This kind of willful deception from our elected representatives is both infuriating and sadly commonplace. Any politician playing this game deserves a hefty dose of scorn from us citizens regardless of our, or their, ideological persuasion.
Conor Friedersdorf of The Atlantic put it best:
There are important ways in which every lie or misleading statement is not equal. If we compare the consequences of every Bush Administration misdirection prior to the Iraq War—a multi-trillion-dollar conflict that killed 5,000 Americans and tens of thousands of Iraqis—their deceit was orders of magnitude more damaging than, say, Clinton and his allies subverting a sexual-misconduct lawsuit while under oath.
But there is one way in which all lies government officials tell are alike: To different degrees, they all subvert self-government by depriving Americans of accurate information as we make political judgments. They all diminish an almost depleted store of trust that's needed for functional governance.
Has President Obama lost your trust? Is it possible for any politician to avoid telling lies? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.