The Norman Transcript

Columns

November 2, 2013

Promises are only for the product

NORMAN — There is something fundamental about President Obama that too many Americans apparently do not understand: A promise is something he makes to achieve an objective — win an election, get a bill passed. It has nothing to do with telling the truth, nor is it something he feels the slightest obligation to keep.

He promised to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He hasn’t, and likely won’t. He promised major reforms to the Patriot Act, to protect the rights and privacy of Americans. He has done the opposite. Every time a provision of that law has been due to expire, the president has pushed to extend it. He has presided over the most massive spying operation on American citizens in history.

He promised his would be the “most transparent administration in history.” Instead, it has been the most opaque, even in the judgment of liberal journalists.

The list goes on, but you get the idea.

So I’m genuinely puzzled by the momentary tempest over the president’s broken promise that, “If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health-care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health-care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.”

It is a promise he made dozens upon dozens of times without any qualification or caveat. Yet, as millions of Americans are finding out, no, they can’t keep it, no matter what.

The president doesn’t need to run again. Who cares if he had to make blatantly false promises to achieve his “fundamental transformation of America”? This is normal for Obama. We trusted him — that’s our mistake, not his.

Sure, his people are now saying that’s not exactly what the president really meant, but that is just patronizing spin about how government knows so much better than we do about what is good for us.

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