Thursday, October 31, 2013

It's A Matter Of Trust

Some love is just a lie of the heart
The cold remains of what began with a passionate start
And they may not want it to end
But it will it's just a question of when

Some love is just a lie of the soul
A constant battle for the ultimate state of control
After you've heard lie upon lie
There can hardly be a question of why 

("A Matter of Trust" by Billy Joel)

I'm not sure of Mr. Joel's politics, or whether he'd approve of my use of his words in this fashion, but his 1986 song began to stick in my head last night as the reports of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sibelius' performance before a Congressional Committee and the President made a Boston road trip and attempted to dig himself out of the hole he's recently discovered surrounding the place where the Affordable Healthcare Act used to sit as 'settled law'.

There are those with far more established credentials than yours truly regarding the Washington and Boston events.  My interest ... actually my disappointment, is more far-reaching than with one law and far deeper than with one Administration (though the current occupant of the White House seems determined to double down on distortion at every opportunity).  

My disenchantment could go back as far as Bush '41.  "Read my lips. No new taxes." cost the elder Bush an entire term's worth of credibility, and inevitably an election.  It should have.  What he said was disingenuous and ultimately to be a lie.  Maybe you can excuse the elder Bush as trying to go along to get along with a difficult to get along with Congress (All in the spirit of compromise, right?); but ultimately, it was his broken promise. 

His successor parsed the truth so finely that it all but disappeared for a time in this country.  Clinton wasn't the first to have an affair in office, nor was he even the most creative where his Oval Office peccadilloes were concerned.  His on-camera denials during interviews and the feeble defense of trying to redefine "is" during a deposition however, did neither the man nor the office any credit for truth or authenticity.

As for 'Bush the Younger', while I can't necessarily fault him for the misinterpreted data on 'Weapons of Mass Destruction' that were universally accepted at the time, I can however register my discontent over the breach of the public trust that was the "Patriot Act", and his beginning the eras of 'Too Big To Fail' and the 'Corporate Bailout'.

The current resident however, appears to have cornered the market on mistrust, bringing a level of deception back to the White House not seen since Richard Nixon. 

It was bad enough when we were handed a flimsy story about a YouTube video after the attack on the Consulate in Benghazi.  No one seemed to care about another troubled tale from the Mideast and the prevarication of the video allowed most an excuse to ignore it.  Unfortunately, the unnecessary and off-repeated fiction of the UN Ambassador, the Secretary of State, and the President eventually changed the narrative from one of error and strategic misjudgment to one of shameless fabrication and cover up.

The handling of Top Secret material by the NSA and its subsequent release by Wiki-leaks and the British Press had the nation wondering whether the government could hold on to the truth (when occasionally it stumbled over it), let alone keep it secret.  Attacking members of the AP and Fox News instead of the perpetrators didn't help their credibility.  Lying to FISA courts to go after these reporters however, once again changed the tone of the story and made it not about security, but instead about trust.

If it wasn't the NSA it was the IRS, not that anyone actually trusts them to tell the truth; but the confirmed reports now appear to show the government using this nefarious bureaucracy to attack political opponents in the days running up to the last Presidential election.  The stories on whether such activity was going on, how widespread it was, and at what level it was being controlled continue to change on a daily basis.  While we still don't know the whole story yet, we do know that both the Press and Congress were being given the facts that should have earned their presenters a Pulitzer, if not an Academy Award. 

But this tale started today with the ACA; a subject for which the list of falsehoods is becoming too long to accurately keep track of.  Misstatements about how ready the website was for roll out, its actual (and final) cost, even when it will finally be fixed, vary wildly.  Heath plans that we were told were 'grandfathered in' apparently weren't, but union 'Cadillac Plans' that were supposed to rate a penalty now appear to have been given status that individual plans weren't.  A law that we were told would apply equally to those in the White House and Congress now has special subsidies and now no longer does.  The employer mandate of this 'settled law' is rewritten by a stroke of the President's pen, but the individual mandate (and its 'tax') remains whether you can obtain the product you are legally obligated to within the allotted time or not. 

Well then, who's responsible for these prevarications and misrepresentations, the falsehoods and fabrications that have become increasingly associated with the ACA.  Apparently the Republicans are, in spite of having failed to cast a single vote for its passage in either house.  Not wanting it implemented is evidently the same thing as lying about it.  The website contractors are to blame for lying about the system's lousy roll out.  Private insurance companies appear to be liars because they're obeying ACA regulatory statutes written by the HHS that force them to cancel your policy.  Finally, you're to blame for apparently lying about the problems you've experienced with the website, fibbing about the amount of time you're wasting to gather information, and telling falsehoods about the promises that were made to you and now appear to have been broken. (For shame on you!) 

Future Oval Office residents and their press secretaries will curse this Administration in the years ahead, not for what they've done, but for sowing the seeds of mistrust amongst the Press Corps and the American people.  As for the rest of our lying masters in Washington DC, they may not have invented the concepts of deception, but they're trying to patent it while attempting to turn it into an art subsidized form.  To paraphrase a former Toledo Mayor (who cannot be named):  "This law is full of half-truths, mistruths, and outright lies".

If there's a bright side to the deceit, distortion, and disinformation being generated in Washington DC these days however, it's that the growing stench of mistrust that the Obama Administration has created may have done what neither the abuses of previous White House residents (Republican and Democrat alike) nor the rise of the Tea Party could have.  The paucity of truth coming from Washington may finally have become so egregious that the electorate may finally be pissed off enough to do something about the lying bastards (and bitches) to whom we grant the reins of government. 

This taint has reached the point where it's no longer about the fictitious narrative delivered by Barack Obama and his minions.  Now it's just a matter of trust; and based on the latest polls, no one outside of Washington trusts anyone inside of it ... no matter what they say.


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