The president’s press conference was jammed with half-truths, evasions and out-and-out misrepresentation, some so stunning that even mainstream reporters took to snarking in their tweets. The tone of condescension was striking. In his world, Congress is not behaving properly: “I cannot force Republicans to embrace those common-sense solutions. I can urge them to. I can put pressure on them. I can, you know, rally the American people around those — you know, those common-sense solutions, but ultimately they themselves are going to have to say, we want to do the right thing.” The right thing is defined as getting it his way. Moreover, he apparently is totally unaware that presidents in the past cajoled, made deals and implored opponents to do things they hadn’t been prepared to do.
I can’t list all the doozies in the press conference, so I’ve grouped them for convenience:
SIMPLY NOT SO:
“[W]hen it was determined that doing something about [the sequester] might mean that we close some tax loopholes for the wealthy and the well-connected, suddenly, well, you know what? We’ll take the sequester. And the notion was, somehow, that we had exaggerated the effects of the sequester. Remember? The president’s, you know, crying wolf. He’s chicken little. The sequester? No problem.”
The president did cry wolf and departments had ample latitude to shift spending. When Congress offered legislation to confirm that, Obama threatened to veto it. And the sequester doesn’t require tax hikes; that’s a condition the president placed on removing it — before he came up with a series of untrue scare stories.
“I continue to believe that we’ve got to close Guantanamo. I think — well, you know, I think it is critical for us to understand that Guantanamo is not necessary to keep America safe. It is expensive. It is inefficient. It hurts us in terms of our international standing. It lessens cooperation with our allies on counterterrorism efforts. It is a recruitment tool for extremists.”
The jihadists don’t need Gitmo to recruit radicals (some of whom were jihadists well before Gitmo was set up). Our international standing in the Middle East is lower than when Obama took office, since which the Gitmo situation has remained unchanged. And short of bringing Gitmo prisoners to the United States, which is unacceptable to Democrats and Republicans, where would he put these terrorists? It is necessary for our safety, as seen by the released detainees who returned to the battlefield.
“So all the implementation issues [on Obamacare] that are coming up are implementation issues related to that small group of people, 10 to 15 percent of Americans — now, it’s still 30 million Americans, but relatively narrow group — who don’t have health insurance right now or are on the individual market and are paying exorbitant amounts for coverage that isn’t that great.”
No, there are implementation problems across the board. Moreover, Obama leaves out the skyrocketing costs and the employers who are dropping coverage. Watch for this one to make a whole lot of GOP ads in 2014.
“[W]hat’s happening in Syria is a blemish on the international community generally, and we’ve got to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to protect the Syrian people.”
But what about, you know, a no-fly zone, arming the rebels, etc.?
“And what we now have is evidence that chemical weapons have been used inside of Syria, but we don’t know how they were used, when they were used, who used them; we don’t have chain of custody that establishes what exactly happened.”
This means (notice the criminal legalism) that he’ll never be satisfied with any attainable level of proof and will therefore do nothing. C’mon: Who else but the Assad regime would have used chemical weapons on civilians?
“By game-changer, I mean that we would have to rethink the range of options that are available to us.”
So game-changer doesn’t really mean game-changer.
Benghazi whistle-blowers can’t testify? His answer: “I’m not familiar with it.”
This qualifies as a press jaw-dropper as well since no one in the press corps bothered to ask why the president would be caught unaware of the North African al-Qaeda menace, where he was on Sept. 11, 2012 and why he perpetrated a false narrative for so long.
On the hunger strike at Gitmo: “I don’t want these individuals to die.”
His drone strategy says otherwise.
On Obamacare: “And for the 85 to 90 percent of Americans who already have health insurance, they’re already experiencing most of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act even if they don’t know it.”
Stupid voters; they never knew that they’re getting such a deal, huh? (Are keeping 26-year-olds on insurance and barring insurance companies from disqualifying people with pre-existing conditions “most of the benefits”?) If so, there are much simpler ways to handle those issues.
CAN’T BRING HIMSELF TO SAY:
“Jihadist,” “radical Islam,” “Islamic extremism,” “FBI failure” and any reference to the lackluster economy, the high number of unemployed and the rotten GDP number.