Jacob Sullum's great column this morning on President Obama's broken tax pledge, and his brazen way of abusing the English language in order to falsely insist that he hasn't and won't continue to break it, reminds me of a laughable but unfortunately typical op-ed this weekend from the New York Times' Thomas L. Friedman. Excerpt:
How is it that a president who has taken on so many big issues, with very specific policies — and has even been awarded a Nobel Prize for all the hopes he has kindled — still has so many people asking what he really believes?
I don't think that President Obama has a communications problem, per se. He has given many speeches and interviews broadly explaining his policies and justifying their necessity. Rather, he has a "narrative" problem. […]
What is that narrative? Quite simply it is nation-building at home. It is nation-building in America. […]
One of the reasons that independents and conservatives who voted for Mr. Obama have been so easily swayed against him by Fox News and people labeling him a "socialist" is because he has not given voice to the truly patriotic nation-building endeavor in which he is engaged.
So many flawed (yet widely held) assumptions in so few words. Kindled hopes do not true intentions demonstrate. And though a wide swath of the commentariat seems reluctant to even enterain the idea, Obama–like all presidents–tells lies and shatters promises. When you come into office repeatedly promising a "net spending cut" (even after the financial dukey has hit the fan), and then unleash the biggest net spending binge since World War II, it's understandable that a healthy chunk of voters would wonder what you really believe. Particularly when journalistic analysis of the inexperienced politician focuses on the hope-kindling, not the ideology/policy-construction.
And what kind of sheeple-disdaining dillweed explains away the defection of political independents from the Obama-supporting to the Obama-suspecting camps (an important factor in yesterday's elections) as the product of Fox News' magic wand? Did not Murdoch's evil empire exist in November 2008?
Well, at least Friedman will always have China!