Ah, remember those fall 2012 days when the liberal commentariat was assuring us that a vote for Obama was a vote for truth?
As is the custom, we are learning about this latest intrusion into what used to be protected by the Fourth Amendment not because the Obama administration is voluntarily kick-starting some “debate,” but because “a senior intelligence official” leaked inside information to a motivated investigative reporter. In fact (and also as is the custom), we don’t know for sure the Constitution-bending legal theory the government is using
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The president’s smug lies, like National Intelligence Director James Clapper’s bald-faced untruthing in front of Congress, suggest a National Security culture accustomed to doing and saying anything without fear of adverse consequences.
And this, too, shall pass away.
Critics of the president are convinced that Barack Obama will do lasting damage to the U.S. I doubt it.
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Each new “historic” speech is by now mostly history repeating itself as farce. The Victory Column oration gave way to a flat vignette at the Brandenburg Gate. The Cairo speech follow-ups were mostly confusion about Egypt and Syria, without the fictions of the West’s underappreciated debts to Islam. The second Trayvon Martin aside on racial look-alikes was even more disturbing that the first. I don’t think Obama’s advisors will allow him to proclaim any more “deadlines,” or “red lines,” or any sort of lines at all in the Middle East.
Aside from Obama himself, no one in the post-Benghazi, -AP, -NSA, and -IRS scandal era references the president any longer as the former “professor of constitutional law.” In Obama’s case even the inflated title has become an oxymoron.
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If anyone were to repeat the Obama reform mantra of 2008 — a new transparency, an end to lobbyists, no more revolving doors — it would incur laughter.
When we recount Fast and Furious, Benghazi, the IRS mess, the AP/James Rosen affair, or the NSA disclosures, we think not of modern scandals per se, but rather in historical terms: which prior administration was more corrupt and dishonest — Nixon’s or Grant’s? Is that comparison fair to either of them? Did Obama, in compensation, give us Reconstruction or an opening to China? Has he accomplished as much as Harding?
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The president’s signature achievement? He has established a precedent that the president can play all the golf he wishes without being caricatured as a distracted would-be aristocrat.
Unfortunately, it seems that the future Aldous Huxley predicted in 1932, in Brave New World, is arriving early. Mockery, truculence, and minimalist living are best, then enjoy the decline. However, we do need a Revolving Door Tax (RDT), learn what Members of Congress pay in taxes, and prosecute politicians and staff and their “family and friends” who profit from insider trading. Oh, and pay “public servants” what they are worth.