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by Victor Davis Hanson
Truth is the lifeblood of democracy. Without honesty, the foundations of consensual government crumble.
Yet Lois Lerner, one of the
Almost everything that
Attorney General Eric Holder -- who had already been held in contempt by the
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was recently asked by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) whether the
Washington reporters and spin doctors argue whether newly appointed National Security Advisor Susan Rice knowingly lied when she wove a yarn about a single video-maker being responsible for spontaneous violence that led to the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi. Yet no one disputes that her televised fables -- as well as those of both President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton -- were untrue, and demonstrably so, at the time. Yet Rice was promoted, not censured, following her performance.
Former EPA Director Lisa Jackson created a fake email identity -- "Richard Windsor" -- to conduct official business off the record. But Jackson did not just stop with that ruse. She turned Richard Windsor into an entirely mythical persona, her own alter ego who supposedly took online tests and was given awards by the
Deception is now institutionalized in the Obama administration. It infects almost every corner of the U.S. government, eroding the trust necessary for the
What went wrong with the Obama administration?
There is no longer a traditional adversarial media in Washington. Spouses and siblings of executives at the major television networks are embedded within the administration. Unlike with Watergate, the media now holds back, believing that any hard-hitting reporting of ongoing scandals would only weaken Obama, whose vision of America the vast majority of reporters share. But that understood exemption only encourages more lack of candor.
There is also utopian arrogance in Washington that justifies any means necessary to achieve exalted ends of supposed fairness and egalitarianism. If one has to lie to stop the
Barack Obama swept up an entire nation in 2008 with his hope-and-change promises of a new honesty and transparency. That dream is now in shambles, destroyed by the most untruthful cast since Richard Nixon, H.R. Haldeman, Ron Ziegler and John Dean left Washington in disgrace almost 40 years ago -- after likewise subverting the very government they had pledged to serve.
When Untruth Undermines Democracy | Politics