Gruber & Rhodes: Lying Politicians Are Old News, But Bragging About it Seems To Be An Obama Innovation

Does Ben Rhodes victory lap bragging about how he pulled the wool over the eyes of a stupid and gullible America on Iran remind anyone else of Jonathon Gruber?  Remember these famous words from Gruber?

"You can't do it political, you just literally cannot do it. Transparent financing and also transparent spending. I mean, this bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes the bill dies. Okay? So it’s written to do that," Gruber said. "In terms of risk rated subsidies, if you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in, you made explicit healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed. Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really really critical to get for the thing to pass. Look, I wish Mark was right that we could make it all transparent, but I’d rather have this law than not."

Even the justification is the same -- its OK to break the law and lie about it in order to break up gridlock.  (By the way, my mother-in-law -- who tends to be a reliable gauge of mainstream Democratic thinking -- argued the same thing with me, that extra-Constitutional Presidential actions were justified if Congress did not accomplish enough.   Asked about whether she was comfortable with the same power in a Trump administration, she was less sanguine about the idea).

While political lying is old as time, it strikes me that this bragging about it is a new phenomena.  It reminds me of the end of the movie "Wag the Dog", when the Dustin Hoffman character refused to accept that no one would ever know how he manipulated the public into believing there had been a war, and wanted to publicly take the credit.  In the movie, the Administration had Hoffman's character knocked off, because it was counter-productive to reveal the secret, but I wonder if in reality Obama is secretly pleased.


  1. Not Sure:

    "The ends justify the means", said every sociopathic politician, ever.

  2. SamWah:

    Yeah, he's saying he fooled us, and there's nothing we can do about it.

  3. gr8econ:

    So Obama's two premier accomplishments required lies to the American people. I am less troubled by that than the precedent it sets.

  4. John Moore:

    The real story is that the media ate up what this young inexperienced liar told them. He had no background in national security or foreign affairs, but was able to convince "reporters" of his spin. And, they stuck to the spin - about how the new Iranian president is a moderate, etc, in spite of easily available evidence to the contrary.

  5. Not Rick:

    For a true sociopath the means needs no justification. Yeah I think Obama is proud as hell that he fleeced the American public over and over. It proves to him just how much smarter he is and reenforces his unearned moral superiority.

    I swear, the left is no only impervious to facts but they're incapable of connecting action and consequence. (I'm referring to the voters, not the liars that pull the strings)

  6. Andrew_M_Garland:

    === ===
    Where Are the Omelets?
    March 28, 2012 by Lawrence W. Reed

    On ne saurait faire une omelette sans casser des oeufs.

    Translation: “One can’t expect to make an omelet without breaking eggs.”

    With those words in 1790, Maximilian Robespierre welcomed the horrific French Revolution that had begun the year before. A consummate statist who worked tirelessly to plan the lives of others, he would become the architect of the Revolution’s bloodiest phase, the Reign of Terror of 1793–94. Robespierre and his guillotine broke eggs by the thousands in a vain effort to impose a utopian society based on the seductive slogan “liberté, égalité, fraternité.”

    But, alas, Robespierre never made a single omelet. Nor did any of the other thugs who held power in the decade after 1789. They left France in moral, political, and economic ruin, and ripe for the dictatorship of Napoleon Bonaparte.

    As with Robespierre, no omelets came from the egg-breaking efforts of Lenin, Mao, Pol Pot, Adolf Hitler, and Benito Mussolini.
    === ===

    How many eggs does it take to make a socialist omelet? All of them.

    Our modem socialists announce that it is often necessary to lie to create a future utopia. We must shout at them, "Where are the utopias that past lies have created?"

  7. kidmugsy:

    "How many eggs does it take to make a socialist omelet? All of them." That's rather good. Hats off!

  8. kidmugsy:

    "how the new Iranian president is a moderate": I learnt long ago to reject any argument phrased in terms of moderate and extremist.

  9. joe:

    not sure what is worse
    Obvious misrepresentation of the facts
    Obvious media promoting the misrepresentation of the facts
    or the voters lacking the ability to recognize bad policy
    Or voters and/or the media thinking bad policy is a good idea

  10. Don:

    Well, the President wanted a legacy. I think he's got one now.

  11. sean2829:

    It's not just the Obama Administration. Look at the things Harry Reed said about Mitt Romney and taxes. It didn't matter weather it was true or not, his guy won the election so it was a good thing.

  12. zengda:


  13. DaveK:

    I long for the "good old days," when we usually expected our politicians (as well as their staff and family members) to be above even the appearance of corruption.

  14. marque2:

    Obama is a moderate extremist :P

  15. Nehemiah:

    And now the republicans have their own version of the means justify the ends in the form of Donald
    Trump. The question will be whose ends will be served?

  16. Andrew_M_Garland:

    The modern take is to admire politicians by how smoothly and deniably they execute their corruption.