By Tom Quiner
What is your word worth? Everything.
Sadly, President Obama’s credibility is in a free fall. In fairness, every politician, conservative or liberal, is going to say things on the campaign trail that they simply can’t live up to. Sometimes they were blowing smoke in the first place. Sometimes, political realities get in the way.
President Obama’s credibility has gone beyond the vagaries of campaign promises run amuck. His integrity is questionable.
A few examples reveal how wide-ranging the president’s credibility gap has become.
Liberal icon, Bob Woodward, wrote about how Mr. Obama reneged on his budget deal with House Speaker, John Boehner, in 2012. He revealed in his book, “The Price of Politics,” that Boehner and Obama had a deal struck. They shook hands on it. Then the president reneged and asked for more taxes. The president was livid when Boehner said no. Boehner told Woodward:
“He was spewing coals. He was pissed….He wasn’t going to get a damn dime more out of me. He knew how far out on a limb I was.”
In his arrogance, Mr. Obama didn’t believe that he had to live up to his handshake agreement, dealing a damaging blow to the remainder of his presidency and a deal that could have benefited the financial well-being of our country.
Who can forget the president’s promises on the pending legislation now known as Obamacare? He went before the American Medical Association and looked them in the eyes:
“So let me begin by saying this: I know that there are millions of Americans who are content with their health care coverage – they like their plan and they value their relationship with their doctor. And that means that no matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what. My view is that health care reform should be guided by a simple principle: fix what’s broken and build on what works.”
Obamacare would not have passed without this pledge. The president said what he had to say to get the misnamed Affordable Care Act passed into law. In the video above, you can see and hear him make this pledge over and over again.
It was all a lie.
Thirty percent of Americans with health insurance are losing their current coverage. I know, I’m one of them. We are being forced to buy coverage we don’t want. In the Rube Goldberg structure of Obamacare, some people will save money; most will pay more. Mr. Obama’s credibility took another nosedive over his deceit on this subject.
When someone negotiates in bad faith time and time again, no one trusts him anymore. Henninger quotes Republican Senator, Marco Rubio as saying that immigration reform is probably a dead deal. No one trusts the president anymore. Republicans are afraid he’ll renege on the enforcement of illegal immigration if Republicans agree to a path to citizenship for undocumented workers.
It’s not just Republicans or the American people who don’t trust the president, it’s the international community. Remember Obama’s famous red line regarding Syria? It just kind of disappeared. Saudia Arabia took notice. As Dan Henninger wrote:
“Last weekend the diplomatic world was agog at the refusal of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah to accept a seat on the U.N. Security Council. Global disbelief gave way fast to clear understanding: The Saudis have decided that the United States is no longer a reliable partner in Middle Eastern affairs.”
Mr. Obama’s lack of credibility makes the world a more dangerous place, asserts Henninger:
“Bluntly, Mr. Obama’s partners are concluding that they cannot do business with him. They don’t trust him. Whether it’s the Saudis, the Syrian rebels, the French, the Iraqis, the unpivoted Asians or the congressional Republicans, they’ve all had their fill of coming up on the short end with so mercurial a U.S. president. And when that happens, the world’s important business doesn’t get done. It sits in a dangerous and volatile vacuum.”
This administration’s natural inclination is to dissemble. Remember Benghazi? The president looked us in the eyes and said the problem was a provocative film made by an American. In other words, the problem was us, not the terrorists.
How about the rollout of the Obamacare exchanges? They are a disaster. Again, the administration’s initial reaction was to dissemble, says Henninger:
“Rather than level with the public, the government’s most senior health-care official, Kathleen Sebelius, spent days spewing ludicrous and incredible happy talk about the failure, while refusing to provide basic information about its cause.”
The chance for meaningful budget, immigration, and healthcare reform is zilch with this man at the helm. And the world is a more unsettled place.
What is your word worth? Everything.