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The White House's Strategy for the Midterm Elections: Lies and Damned Lies

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

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.

This is one of those flatly dishonest statements that cries out for condemnation, but that we're likely to see and hear repeatedly from the president and no doubt from Democrats Pelosi and Reid in the midterm campaigns to come.

"On just about every level, this claim is ridiculous," Kessler writes. "The president earns Four Pinocchios."

But Obama has built his presidency on claims that do not pass the smell test, and have destroyed his credibility.

His all time biggest whopper was about Obamacare in which he said repeatedly, "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan."

"And that means that no matter how we will be able to reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people," he said. "No one will take it away, no matter what."


Then, last year, as Obamacare went to work on one of the world's most advanced medical care system, notices were sent out to over six million Americans, telling them their policies had been cancelled because they didn't meet a mountain of new government mandates.

This wasn't just one small little fib, or even a one-time example where the truth was stretched a bit. No, this was a giant Orwellian claim that didn't have a scintilla of truth behind it.

Pulitzer Prize-winning declared it the "Lie of the Year", pointing to 37 separate instances "we could find in which President Obama or a top administration official" made either identical or similar claims about the "Affordable Care Act."

And as for the official title of this law, Obama has often said, "The only change you'll see are falling costs as our reforms take hold."

But as millions of Americans now can attest, heath care premiums have been climbing to pay for the government's new mandated benefits, whether you need them or not.

The people this will hit hardest are the middle class, the ones Obama professes to care so much about. Especially those with big families and limited budgets that are already stretched to the breaking point.

A recent Kaiser Health Tracking poll found that about 45 percent of uninsured people surveyed said they intend to pay the federal penalty this year, rather than sign up for coverage. The chief reasons: affordability.


People are hurting in this economy and Obama doesn't have a clue about how to get America growing again and producing needed jobs. The White House's internal polls mirror public polls that show the Democrats are in trouble in November.

If you don't think so, look at the Washington Post-ABC News poll last month. It found only 39 percent of voters felt it was more important for Democrats to be put in charge of Congress, compared to

53 percent who wanted to put "the Republicans in charge."

Obama's running scared. So he peddles a false charge that Republicans are to blame for an anemic, job-starved economy -- not his failed, big spending, tax-hiking, jobs stimulus plans or that he's offered nothing since then that would put America back to work.

He doesn't understand that he's the one in charge of the government and has no one to blame but himself.

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