A similar line with a different pronoun was made famous by Ronald Reagan during the 1980 presidential campaign. It was in response to Carter’s repetition of claims regarding Reagan’s position on Medicare. It gained currency because it was so representative of both Reagan’s sense of humor and his ability to turn the tables on political opponents.
“There he goes again” may well be remembered as the phrase most representative of President Obama. Most representative as in he’s telling another whopper.
One wonders if even Obama acolytes notice his difficulty with truth telling. The latest examples were his statements regarding the authority of the Supreme Court.
It’s one thing to subject the distant past to revisionism. After all, there are no living witnesses for refutation. It is quite another to try to replace the memories of witnesses to an event that occurred only two years ago. That is a bridge too far even for a president who prides himself on rhetorical prowess.
Logically, an individual who makes such an attempt must either have lost his grasp on reality, or believe his listeners are too dimwitted to test his statements against personal recall.
The president stated that to overturn the health care law would be “an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.”
A strong majority! It squeaked by in the House with a bare 7 votes.
As to historical revisionism, Obama stated that it would be “unprecedented,” and extraordinary” for the Supreme Court to overturn a major law. More than a prevarication, it is embarrassing for someone who once taught constitutional law to attempt to pass off such a misrepresentation of what the Constitution provides.
As Paul Wehner wrote in a 4-4-12 Commentary article:
For Justices to invalidate a law they deem to be unconstitutional is precisely what the Supreme Court is supposed to do. (“No legislative act … contrary to the Constitution, can be valid,” is how Alexander Hamilton put it in Federalist #78.) If one takes Obama’s words literally, he believes an unjust and unconstitutional law, if passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress, cannot be overturned.
Only when called to account by the 5th District Court did Obama (not very convincingly) attempt to deny that he said what he said. Attorney General Eric Holder responding to the 5th District Court’s demand for clarification, upheld the principle of Supreme Court review. “The department has not in this litigation, nor in any other litigation of which I am aware, ever asked this or any other court to reconsider or limit long-established precedent concerning judicial review.” But in an attempt to white wash what Obama said, he added, “The president’s remarks were fully consistent with the principles” of judicial review outlined in his letter.”
Suppose the 5th District Court has not challenged the president’s rewrite of history. Would Obama have continued to obfuscate in the same vein?
I don’t know what the political effect of all this will be. But intellectually, this is the week where Barack Obama jumped the shark. In a deep, fundamental way, he is no longer a serious man. Nor an honest one. His public words are now purposefully bleached of truth. And that is a painful thing to have to say about an American president.