'Trust Us,' Says the President, Even as the Government Proves It Can't Be Trusted


President Obama on the computer
White House

As Scott Shackford and Mike Riggs pointed out, President Obama returned, earlier today, to a favorite theme of his: insisting that Americans should trust the government. He did so even as that position becomes increasingly preposterous. While talking up his signature policy, the Affordable Care Act, which we'll just have to trust won't become the huge disaster it certainly looks to already be, the president was asked about revelations, this week, that the National Security Agency is scooping up information on Americans' telephoning habits and snooping on their Internet activity. But tradeoffs!, he said. You have to balance privacy and security. And we have top people on the job to make sure it's done right. You don't have to just trust us … but trust us.

From President Obama's speech in San Jose:

That's not to suggest that you just say, trust me; we're doing the right thing; we know who the bad guys are.  And the reason that's not how it works is because we've got congressional oversight and judicial oversight.  And if people can't trust not only the executive branch but also don't trust Congress and don't trust federal judges to make sure that we're abiding by the Constitution, due process and rule of law, then we're going to have some problems here.

Just weeks ago, the president hit us with this same astonishment that anybody could doubt the government's essential goodness during a speech at Ohio State University:

Unfortunately, you've grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that's at the root of all our problems; some of these same voices also doing their best to gum up the works.  They'll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner.  You should reject these voices.  Because what they suggest is that our brave and creative and unique experiment in self-rule is somehow just a sham with which we can't be trusted.

We have never been a people who place all of our faith in government to solve our problems; we shouldn't want to.  But we don't think the government is the source of all our problems, either.  Because we understand that this democracy is ours.  And as citizens, we understand that it's not about what America can do for us; it's about what can be done by us, together, through the hard and frustrating but absolutely necessary work of self-government.  (Applause.)  And, Class of 2013, you have to be involved in that process.  (Applause.)  

The founders trusted us with this awesome authority.  We should trust ourselves with it, too. …

This is a continuing theme with the nation's chief executive, even now that we've discovered that the U.S. Justice Department has been snooping on the Associated Press and spying on Fox News reporter, James Rosen, while implying that his uncovering of information was somehow criminal. He urges us to place our trust in government officials even though we've also recently learned that this administration, like several before it, has presided over an Internal Revenue Service that targets its political enemies for special treatment.

The cinematically creepy and intrusive NSA is just the cherry on top.

Somebody needs to tell the president that it's not that a lack of trust in government leads to "some problems," it's that a litany of problems involving the use and abuse of government's coercive power have eroded any basis for trust.

NEXT: Tech Industry Fears Loss of Trust After NSA Revelations

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  1. I don’t recall seeing a post this late before

    1. Usually it require breaking news, but I recall seeing a handful of 11 posts.

    2. Auto posting.

      They should set up the Morning Links post to show up at a random time between 8:55AM and 9:05AM, just to foil all the people who try to be first.

      1. 2Chilli lives in AZ, and it was posted at an odd time, so my guess is that he really was up late writing this.

    3. through the hard and frustrating but absolutely necessary work of self-government. (Applause.)

      I don’t think that word means what a single person in that room thinks it means.

      The founders trusted us with this awesome authority.

      No! No they did not! It was the exact opposite. Good god we are doomed

  2. “The founders trusted us with this awesome authority.”

    Ummmm…no they didn’t.

    1. One of the founders – the primary author of the Constitution – said it best:

      “It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.”

      Last time I checked, the government was chockful of the very lowest sort of Men, and not an Angel among them.

    2. For the children’s sake can’t we just pretend they did?

  3. Barack Obama is as trustworthy as a shit-eating aardvark.

    1. I wasn’t aware that shit-eating aardvarks were that untrustworthy. You won’t get that kind of useful information on cnn.

      1. Oh yeah man, it’s totally true.

        I once bought a used lawnmower off of craigslist from a shit-eating aardvark and the engine seized up after a single mowing. I tried calling him back, but the phone number he gave me was for a payphone in the parking lot of a bbq chicken joint. So I went to the bbq chicken joint and asked around. I was met with derisive laughter for being dumb enough to make a deal with a shit-eating aardvark. They said I was the third guy that week that came around looking for “John Smith Shit-eating Aardvard PhD” over some rip-off or scam.

        1. That Aardvark was a dick

          1. I don’t wanna sound like a specist, but every encounter I’ve had with an aardvark has been bad.

            They’re lazy, and all they do is sit around drinking cheap malt liquor thinking about raping white humans.

            1. In their opium dens?

              1. I think that the world is a much sadder and less colorful world, without opium dens.

                1. I’m sure the Qing dynasty agrees whole heartedly.

                2. It’s hard to imagine a time when this country allowed people to have and frequent an opium den.

                  This is what happens when you give the womenfolk the right to vote. They vote away all the fun stuff.

        2. The tip off really should have been the fact that he was really a weasel. He only called himself an aardvark so that his number would be listed first in the Yellow Pages.

        3. the phone number he gave me was for a payphone in the parking lot of a bbq chicken joint.


    2. We’ve all seen, or at least heard of, shit eating dogs, but a shit eating aardvark, now that must be an incredibly rare animal. Maybe even as rare as an honest politician. Basically, unheard of.

    1. I first read the name of the IRS agent Elizabeth Hofacre as Elizabeth Hoface. Unfortunately, I’ve not been able to find a picture to confirm or deny if she has, in fact, a ho face.

  4. The President of the United States is our boss, but also the President and the First Lady are kind of like the Mom and the Dad of the country. And when your Dad says something you listen, and when you don’t it will usually bites you in the ass later on. The country’s parents are only here to protect us from the monster under the bed.

    The founders completely trusted mom and dad with this awesome authority. Hence the Bill of Rights.

    1. It’s way past your bedtime, you old geezer, now take your brandy in prune juice, and STFU! (;

    2. And when your Dad says something you listen,

      I thought that was somebody else.

  5. I’m like totally the only one of the Reasonoid elders that can stay up past 12:30pm, drankin, rasiin hell, and trashin prodlodyte statists on da interwebs. All the rest of yall are pussies!

    1. Well, ok, I can’t still spell, but I am still for the win!

      1. This could be the latest post eveh posted on H&R. Feel it, biatchees!

        1. The west coast folks haven’t even got home from the bars yet. They’ll be on all night.

          1. That’s a lie. We never hear from those queers late at night.

            They have to spend they’re late evenings paying taxes and searching online for california legal guns. It’s a hard knock life.

            1. That’s offensive GBN, I’m here all the time. Way to distort the truth.

              1. Lie! I am collecting the evidence against you right now. I need to give my bros at NSA a call, be right back…

                1. Why do you have to call them, they’re reading all your posts right now.

                  1. they’re reading all your posts right now

                    If I really thought they were, my posts would include a lot more swearing and stuff about tar and feathers, and lamp posts.

              2. I guarantee that next monday when pantsfan is schooling me on canadian culture and law, you’ll be nowhere to be found.

                We party hard up in this bitch.

                Did you see below that there was a crazy person shooting out in Cali? Guess y’all will be needing even more draconian gun laws now.

                1. What’s there to learn about Canadian culture? Poutine, hockey, Tim Horton’s, ketchup chips, pervasive sense of self-superiority, Frenchies who don’t riot but whine a lot, and the metric system. Your’e now fully schooled.

                  1. They riot, you just need the Habs to win the Stanley Cup.

          2. Those WA peeps are all strung out on the pot, you can’t expect them to post anything intelligible at this hour.

            1. Not to mention the lack of protein from their vegetarian diets sapping whatever energy they have left.

            2. I’m enjoying the fact that this bar isn’t closing til I go home. It’s awesome when you are buddies with the bartender.

        2. lastest?

          1. FAIL!

          2. There he is!

            I’ve drank my way out of the post-sweep depression and am, frankly, relieved. I hope the team is totally scrapped and rebuilt with a few years of suck in between. Then I’ll be able to afford to go to some games.

            I remember when the Pens were among the worst in the league and you could get tickets for $20. And you didn’t have to deal with all the bandwagon motherfuckers who don’t even know who the fuck Billy Tibbetts is.

            1. There he is!

              The igloo heaters only kick on in the 3 hours of perpetual daylight, during these 6 weeks of summer. AP has a mere 2 hours to feed the sled dogs, and thaw a days ration of whale blubber.

              1. that sounds way cooler than how it really is

                1. Oh, come on AP, don’t hold back, just let me have it with how Canada is so much better, with perfect health care and all. I can take the sadness.

      2. Wrong. Me, Pantsfan and a few others are on here every damn night.

        On weeknights too, you know the days when your mom makes sure all the lights are off so your’e ready for kindergarden the next day.


        1. Oh, and I’m playing with guns right now, so I win.

          1. I was looking into reloading given the ammo situation. Hell, even reloading supplies are scarce, including bullet cast molds for gods sake. It’s freakin ridicules.

            1. I’d wait.

              I pretty much quit shooting for the last 4 months as the only ammo I find is way overpriced. I’ve noticed more stock in the stores lately and a price drop is sure to follow. Be patient.

              Getting into reloading is a smart move. I’m considering it for myself when I get enough cash together for the initial investment. Plus it’s a detail driven, oldschool hobby and I dig that.

              1. Yeah, my great uncle used to do it. I’ve been wanting to get into it forever. I have some friends going shooting tomorrow but I passed. Cutting back as well. I have a new rear sight ordered for my 10/22 which I have plenty of ammo for. I also, just went to purchase an 870 Monday. Purchase is delayed. Haven’t heard anything so should be able to pick it up Tuesday. I’ll want to take both of those out pretty soon after. Will leave the rest of the arsenal at home.

                1. I got one of those HandR 870 clones for $160 at walmart, and have been really pleased with it. I’ve taken it out a few times and haven’t had a problem yet. The biggest difference between it and the 870 is the metal parts aren’t as machined as well and you you have to watch out loading/disassembling not to get little cuts on the sharp edges.

                  One plus it that all of the 870 aftermarket parts work on it so you can accessorize. Mine, for instance has an under-folding stock and a thing to store extra shells. This stuff was made for the 870 but fit perfectly on mine.

                  My dad has the 20 gauge model and it has worked well also.

                  1. I bought my 870 14 years ago. It has evolved from hunting to tactical over the years. Now the only original part is the receiver. Great gun, never had a failure.

          2. You’ll shoot your eye out! And Pantsfan’s a damn Canuckistanian, he don’t count, only real people!

            1. I’m laying in bed surrounded with guns, an am eating cheeseburgers. That totally discounts pantsfans unfortunate heritage.

    2. Hyperion| 6.8.13 @ 12:52AM |#
      “I’m like totally the only one of the Reasonoid elders that can stay up past 12:30pm, drankin,”

      Hey! Keep it down out there!

  6. If the government is us and we must trust us then the reverse is true. Then you are us so why do you need the secret service? Open the gates to the White House and send home your guard. Come on, trust us.

    1. Plebs don’t count. he’s talking about top men.

    2. I think nearly that same thought anytime I hear someone use the lame excuse that “It’s okay, because the government is US! Social Contract!!”

      Then I pee on their shoes.

      1. You don’t get performance anxiety whilst urinating on another man’s footwear?

        1. Not when I’m wasted and he’s looking the other way.

    3. The more I think about this stuff, the more I think “It’s like they want us to root for the terrorists, ’cause if the government is us then we sure are some evil motherfuckers.”

  7. KimKierkegaardashian
    Are passions, then, the pagans of the soul? Is reason alone baptized? The sexy secretary look lets you have both.

    1. VH1 existentialism huh. Or is it Bravo.

    2. This is why you don’t go to twitter, or ever read any copy paste from it, ever.

      1. Jon Gabriel ?@ExJon 7 Jun

        With all these Obama scandals piling up, I bet the next #SNL episode will have some hilarious Sarah Palin jokes.

  8. Here we go


    1. Wait… this is Cali? Unpossible! They have the strictest gun lawz, evah! Probably the shooter was some bagger from TX, or some other redneck bagger land, who was an NRA member.

      spraying bullets

      I see the lefty sheeples have not forgotten their trained talking points.

      1. This is why we need stricter national laws! or possibly a border fence to keep all the Texans out and the avocados in.

      2. Yeah, that term jumped out at me as well. It’s like nails on a chalkboard.

    1. I’m not mad at the bruins or have any ill will towards them. They simply played like they wanted to move on to the finals. The pens played like they wanted to golf. I hope the free-agents realize that the offers they’ll get next year will be a third smaller than if they won the cup.

      This last series had only a few players acting like they wanted it: Cooke, Vokoun, and kunitz. Everybody else looked like dogshit. I heard on the radio today that Letang wants $7mil next contract. Go fuck yourself, is what I say to that.

    2. What could you have against Charo?

      1. Charo first taught me that Latin women might be hot(although I never found her so). The experiment lasted a life time and I now concur with the study.

    1. Jennifer Lawrence seems to get hotter with every picture I see.

    2. I have no idea who any of those people are.

      My pop-culture knowledge stops at 1968, even though I am relatively young. Just doesn’t interest me, unlike the douchebags around here.

    3. IF YOU are one of the one third of Australia’s young adults who still live with their parents

      Wow, I am fucking shocked! The biggest nanny state on the planet, and people can never learn to be responsible adults. Who would have thunk it? They’re failing in a spectacular way, let’s take their example and run with it!

      1. The sad thing is, according to both the Heritage and Fraser Indices, Australia has a higher overall level of economic freedom than the US

  9. I’m usually here late too! Not drunk as usual though, got some kind of nasty cold.

    1. Do you think it’s possible that the reason libertarians make no political headway is that we’re all unrepentant drunks?

      1. No. That’s not it. The problem is that we have been sending our kids to public school for decades. You can’t teach stupid to young kids, for years on end, and not expect them to learn it.

      2. Freedom is hard. Free stuff is easy. That is why the message of liberty falls on deaf ears.

    2. Last week, well started 2 weeks ago, I got a sinus infection and then it went into an ear infection. So I started treating the ear infection with AB drops, and it almost cleared up, and then the other ear was infected. SOB, fucking shit, that was really fucked up and the pain was unreal. I had to drank myself through the pain, the drops and pain killers did not cut it.

      1. What kind of painkillers?

        Vicodan can usually make any situation better.

        1. Only ibuprofen, I can’t take most painkillers, including any opiates, they make me sick. Alcohol on the other hand, is a real godsend.

          On the other hand, when Murika was a still a free land, I bet that ethchlorvynol would have worked extremely well. Plastic pickles is what we called them.

  10. Apparently this was the “highlight” of the something awful thread I mentioned in the second to last thread of the night. This is why I wanted someone other than my friend to review it.

    1. Socialism works! We only need a few more comic strips to prove it!

      1. Wait so if the worker is the only one that matters, why doesn’t he just flip the owner/manager the bird and sell the product himself? If he’s making it and doesn’t need the evil greedy capitalist, he’d be stupid not to

        Damn I really shouldn’t even try to think through socialist idiocy. I’m pretty sure my IQ just fell 10 points

        1. Oops. Missed your comment. Ignore my comment below.

      2. Socialism works! We only need a few more comic strips to prove it!

        This is an actual video taken — at the peak of the anti-Walker protests in Wisconsin last year — of a socialism-besotted young restaurant drone-slash-“intellectual,” offered without further comment…


        … except to say: THIS is what you’re dealing with, ultimately, whenever attempting to discuss basic economics rationally with the likes of Malia’s Buttplug, Tony, etc., etc.

    2. It’s like, only workers actually make the products, ya know? So, like, why don’t they get all the money? After all, the products just go straight from the worker to the buyer, and the coordination of the entire chain of production is totally costless. If a product’s value is $100, all of that money should go straight to the worker.

      It’s Common Sense.

      1. If it is so easy, why doesn’t the worker start his own company and pay his workers the same amount he pays himself. Pretty simple solution to get the capitalist boot off your neck.

        1. The worker can’t figure it out because he’s never been a freshman in college and now well versed in the way things should work.

          1. Truthfully that’s what they hope for. Class war. Workers win but are too stupid to organize and manage everything so they need the so-called self-professed “intellectuals to rule them. Bring int he Vanguard/Philosopher Kings. Charles Manson tried this only with a race war. Kill some high profile whites and pin it on blacks. The whites would go after the blacks and the blacks would retaliate. He figured the blacks would win and kill all the whites while has clan hid in the desert. After a few years, the blacks would miss the whites leadership and he would come out of nowhere to be their King. It amazing how much communism resembles psychopathy.

  11. I’m perfectly sober. Going out for an alcohol free dinner with two Mormon girls will do that.

    1. Two! You dog.

      1. If he only went with one she’d get sloppy drunk.

    2. Why does their religion prevent you from drinking? Unless…..you are pretending to be a Norman to nail them!
      Does that work?

      1. Mormon. Stupid auto correct. Unless they are into english men, then carry on

        1. Aren’t the Normans French?

          1. You are right. I am not normally working this late so my brain is a bit fuzzy.

      2. When I was a puppy I pretended to like Barry Manilow to get in some girls pants. The worst thing about that was that she was horn dogging me all night so it was totally unnecessary. Live and learn.

    3. The one I’m seeing is a lapsed Mormon, but she just doesn’t like alcohol for personal reasons. The other girl was her still practicing sister that she insisted I meet since they’re like best friends. It’s all good though, it was interesting.

      1. Did you try taking it out?

      2. So you had an extra girl on your date and didn’t ask any of us if we wanted to come along and make it a double? That was probably a pretty good move on your part.

  12. If, a month or so ago, someone had asked Obama or one of his obsequious genuflecting toadies if the NSA was collecting phone records or if the government was monitoring everybody’s internet traffic, they would have said “Why, no! Where do you get these paranoid ideas? Tinfoil hat much?” or words to that effect.

    So why the fuck should I believe anything they say now?

    1. “So why the fuck should I believe anything they say now?”

      Same reason you should have bleeved it then; zero.

  13. lol, dude is kidding right? Seriously? lol.


  14. From President Obama’s speech in San Jose:

    That’s not to suggest that you just say, trust me; we’re doing the right thing; we know who the bad guys are. And the reason that’s not how it works is because we’ve got congressional oversight and judicial oversight. And if people can’t trust not only the executive branch but also don’t trust Congress and don’t trust federal judges to make sure that we’re abiding by the Constitution, due process and rule of law, then we’re going to have some problems here.

    That is one articulate motherfucker, that is.

    1. “That is one articulate motherfucker, that is.”

      “I am not a crook”

  15. I was a young PFC heading to Vietnam, with more than a few moral reservations about what I was getting into. My older brother-in law was an F4 pilot having already served 1 tour bombing North Vietnam. He tried hard to convince me that our mission was noble. He told me “our government has all the latest intelligence data. We should trust them”. Dumbest thing I ever heard. Been libertarian ever since, and glad of it. Fast-forward 35 years. My son-in-law was as stubborn as I was in his own way. He was determined to join the Army and go to Iraq so he “could shoot somebody”. He came back in multiple pieces.

    1. He told me “our government has all the latest intelligence data. We should trust them”.

      I heard that exact same line of bullshit hundreds of times in the run up to the Iraq war.

  16. At the time, this just sounded like any other of her insane ramblings:

    Roland Martin: The reality is like anything else: You’d better get what you can while he’s there, because, look, come 2016, that’s it.

    Maxine Waters: Well, you know, I don’t know, and I think some people are missing something here. The president has put in place an organization that contains the kind of database that no one has ever seen before in life. That’s going to be very, very powerful. That database will have information about everything on every individual in ways that it’s never been done before.

    1. You know who else started a political movement using a database?

      1. Victor Von Doom?

  17. Sadly, the photo when annotated read, “And then I push this button here, and POOF! tens of thousands of miles away, other people of color are incinerated! Really nifty, huh?”

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