Barack Obama’s is no Reality-Based Government

Andrew Sullivan, as you probably know by now, is very upset about the president throwing the election at last week’s debate. As Scott Shackford pointed out yesterday, Sullivan responded to criticism of his analysis of what he rightly described as a “devastating” Pew research poll by noting that while he was an Obama supporter, he wasn’t on the Obama campaign team and wouldn’t spin for anyone.

Andrew Sullivan is horrified because the polls show Mitt Romney might become president, and that, he says, would mean “reality-based government is over in this country again. We’re back to Bush-Cheney, but more extreme.” He ends his piece by warning "much more than Obama’s vanity is at stake.”

But the claim that President Obama leads a “reality-based government” any more than George Bush did or Romney might is rather spurious.

Just yesterday, the State Department acknowledged there were no protests prior to the terrorist attacks on the consulate in Benghazi. Yet the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations described the incident as a “spontaneous protest” the weekend after the attack. She denies making misleading statements because they were based on the best information available at the time. Signs that the assault was not spontaneous, of course, emerged within days. For two weeks, the president and other government officials went about a campaign linking the protests at and attacks on embassies in the region to simple furor over an anti-Islamic film, culminating in a speech at the U.N. where the president both defended free speech and condemned some of its purveyors. Reality?

Yet at the same time, the president adopted much of the Bush strategy on counter-terrorism. Is torture any less connected to reality than extrajudicial killing? Is a military commission more divorced from reality than a due process consisting of conversations?

Not to mention government healthcare reform that included the penalty that wasn’t a tax before it was that had to be passed in order to be understood that America’s still trying to understand, or the drug war that isn’t or might not be or any of a number of false policy positions still attributed to the president by supporters.

Politicians will keep lying as long as we don’t punish them, Jack Shafer explains in a Reuters column. And failed policies will be what’s on offer as long as partisanship and fear and compromised principles drive the political process. Politicians will keep operating in fantasy lands as long as voters and supporters do, too.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Oh come on, it's easily as much reality as Jersey Shore is.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    that, he says, would mean “reality-based government is over in this country again. We’re back to Bush-Cheney, but more extreme.” He ends his piece by warning a “much more than Obama’s vanity is at stake.”

    This goes well beyond the therapeutic capabilities of a juice box and a hug.

  • Tim||

    Four years on and we're still bitching about Bush and (shiver) Cheney?

  • Dr. Frankenstein||

    We’re back to Bush-Cheney, but more extreme.

    I thought Obama's policies were Bush poilices but more extreme.

    Medicare part D to Obamacare
    Gitmo stayed open but no new prisoners as we simply killed suspected terrorists.
    Crony capitalism to green energy boondoggles
    Large deficits to obscene deficits

  • Lord Peter Wimsey||

    This just proves what every sentient biped already knew: Andrew Sullivan not the intellectual he's made out to be. He's and idiot with a decent vocabulary. For the record, I was calling out Sullivan for his bullshit way back when he was every Neocon's favorite homosexual.

  • ConstitutionFirst||

    Reality-Based? Really?

    Coming from the man who has hidden the vast majority of his documented history behind court-orders?
    We were promised transparency... change... hope...

    On January 11, 1996 Barry 0bama joined The New Party and along with ACORN, promised to support their agenda. Those are the promisses that he kept.

  • BarryD||

    I ask again: if blogs didn't link to Sully's silliness, would anyone even know who he is?

    Why does anyone treat the guy like he matters at all?

  • Pro Libertate||

    That reality-based crap is the funniest thing ever in politics. Self-aware, leftists are not.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Yeah.

    "Reality based" is a recurring phrase that leftists use as if it were some magical incantation that automatically confers objective truth on whatever drivel that they happen to be spouting.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement