I noticed that it happened around 10 o’clock last evening. My “OK With Being Treated Like a Moron” cup began to run over and I am no longer able to ignore the various lies that caused it.
The tipping point was Sec State John Kerry’s testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations committee. There to pitch why Congress should totally sign off on the Iranian Nuclear deal, he explained what the administration is trying to do and what it isn’t trying to do.
Here’s what he said:
"We set out to dismantle their ability to build a nuclear weapon. And we've achieved that. Nobody has ever talked about actually dismantling their entire program.”
The comment wasn’t noteworthy until I saw a quick little clip the Washington Free Beacon put together.
The video neatly juxtaposed Thursday’s statement it with one that he made in December of 2013:
"But I don't think that any of us that we were just imposing these sanctions for the sake of imposing them. We did it because we knew that it would hopefully help Iran dismantle its nuclear program."
The Administration’s comments and evaluations of the Iranian nuclear deal are full of these sorts of lies, half-truths, and idealized wishful thinking. Last week we were told that “anytime, anywhere” inspections were never part of the conversation. But that is precisely the opposite of what we were told a couple of months ago.
The same thing happens repeatedly with economic claims, as well: The economy is growing, people are going back to work, and the deficit has been cut. Everything is awesome.
To be fair, these assertions are factually true, but more is going on.
The economy isn’t at a zero growth rate. There is some forward movement. The problem is that it is just barely moving. Our historical gross domestic product increase is substantially more than we are now experiencing. It was 5 years ago last week that Joe Biden said it was the “summer of recovery”; full second quarter GDP numbers haven’t been released yet but they’re expected to be a slight improvement over the 1st quarter’s contraction of 0.2%. So that is positive, but in the slimmest of senses.
The unemployment rate is dropping, as well. But it is subject to the same analysis that the GDP claims are. As has been pointed out now for years by us pesky conservatives, its improvement has as much to do with people fleeing the job marketplace as it does with people actually getting jobs. Americans that are out of the workforce, or underemployed within it, remains at all-time highs.
And don’t get me started on the deficit. It is lower than it was a few years ago. But that is a game, too. Early in Obama administration all-time high annual deficits were set. To now overspend at less than that record level isn’t really a stunning accomplishment.
The debt and deficit lies bring me to my frustration with the made-up stuff from the right side of the political aisle as well.
Republicans are very fond of pointing out President Obama’s responsibility for the debt and deficit numbers. Some version of “Obama has added more to the debt than all other President’s combined” is asserted on Facebook or Twitter or in conversation every second.
In contrast, however, listen or watch what happens when someone points out that Bill Clinton balanced the budget. A microsecond later Newt Gingrich’s Speakership will be the counter argument used in response. It was only because of Newt that Clinton gets the credit.
Oh yeah? Well then explain to me what the heck John Boehner’s involvement with the annual deficit has been. The GOP cannot have it both ways. Either the House has the power of the purse and gets credit (Gingrich) AND blame (Boehner), or it doesn’t.
The Republicans also lied to us about how different the world would be if only there was a majority of them in the Senate. The only real is that there are now more of them in that chamber saying that what we really need to make good things happen is a GOP President.
In the Senate, Bob Corker on Friday said that Americans had been fleeced by the administration over the Iran deal. That may be true, but what he also failed to point out was that the amendment with his name on it, passed in May, flipped the Constitutional treaty authority from the Senate back to the President.
Historically, the President would have to negotiate a deal and then get a buy-off from Congress. Corker turned that upside down. In order to overcome a promised-by-the-President veto of a down vote from Congress, the Senate will need a super majority. The Republicans knew this when they set it up but told us it was the best way to stop the President.
It was a lie.
Now that I think about it, the lies aren’t just causing my cup to run over, they are flooding the country and it is incredibly way past time for it to end.