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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

How Presidents Lie -- By Victor Davis Hanson, National Review

In the past there have been all sorts of presidential fibbing. Some chief executives make promises that they know they probably cannot or will not keep. Before his reelection for his third term in the midst of a world war, Franklin Roosevelt swore that he would never send American boys to fight in a foreign war. In just a little over a year, he did just that. Lyndon Johnson likewise before the 1964 election said he would not send troops to Vietnam. But once reelected, he sent nearly 200,000 troops to fight the North Vietnamese; by the time he left office, over a half-million Americans were deployed in Vietnam.

In 1988 presidential candidate George H. W. Bush pledged that he would not raise taxes and did so emphatically: “Read my lips — no new taxes!” But in 1990 he flipped and agreed to tax hikes.

Barack Obama has offered all sorts of similar empty pledges, like promising to close the federal detention center at Guantanamo Bay within a year of taking office. It is still open. Obama also promised to halve the deficit by the end of his first term. Instead he doubled it. Ditto Obama’s promises on the good things to follow Cash for Clunkers, on the shovel-ready jobs that would follow the stimulus, and on the summer of recovery to be spawned by massive borrowing. At your own job, if you promise the boss that you will do something and then don’t, you’re likely to get fired; when presidents do the same, it’s called politics.


Sometimes presidents fib about their behavior — usually to hide embarrassing information or to exaggerate past accomplishments. Bill Clinton, for example, claimed that he never had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky. That was about as true as his assertion that although he had smoked marijuana, he never inhaled the drug. Obama too has fudged on lots of things about his past, notably his relationships with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright and the famously unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers. Obama suggested that he scarcely knew either shady character, but he somehow named his book The Audacity of Hope from a slogan of the former, and he had a campaign fundraiser in the house of the latter.

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