WASHINGTON - President Obama, who's notorious for playing fast and loose with the truth, told another whopper last week about the Republicans in Congress.
This time it was in a political speech to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in Los Angeles in which he claimed that since 2007, the GOP had mounted hundreds of filibusters to block legislation that would have helped the middle class.
This is a group of people who believe anything Obama says, no matter how preposterous. But what he said was such a bald faced exaggeration that even the very liberal Washington Post gave his statement its highest score for dishonesty: Four Pinocchios.
It was another sign that Obama and the Democrats are getting desperate because of their declining polls, growing grumbles from their dispirited base, and the prospect of losing control of the Senate in the last two years of his presidency.
Here's what Obama, with a completely straight face, told his DCCC audience on May 7:
"Here's what's more disconcerting. Their [Republicans'] willingness to say 'no' to everything -- the fact that since 2007 they have filibustered about 500 pieces of legislation that would help the middle class just gives you a sense of how opposed they are to any progress -- has actually led to an increase in cynicism and discouragement among the people who were counting on us to fight for them."
The Post's fearless Fact Checker, Glenn Kessler, looked at the real numbers on filibusters and cloture motions to end debate, and concluded that the "president's claim makes little sense no matter how you do the numbers."
His fact check story Sunday ran beneath this headline: "Obama busted for false facts on Republicans' filibusters."
Obama's claim was specifically aimed at "legislation," while the vast number of "cloture" motions to proceed to a vote did not deal with legislation, but, instead, were judicial or executive branch nominations.
And get this: "Obama count also includes at least a half-dozen instances when Republicans were blocked by Democrats through use of the filibuster."
Obama's flim-flam dishonesty gets worse. In making his spurious claims, he chose to reach back to 2007 and thus became entangled in his own deceptions.
Or as Sir Walter Scott once wrote, "Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive."
Obama's clumsy demagoguery actually "includes two years when he was still a senator. On eight occasions, he voted against ending debate -- the very thing he decried in his remarks," Kessler says.
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