- - Monday, October 6, 2014

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

America is facing two domestic crises as I write: one not yet realized, the other well established. The possible one is that of an Ebola epidemic on our shores. The undeniable one is a crisis of leadership in the White House. The latter, alas, will surely aggravate the former–and vice versa.

On September 16, President Obama spoke to a gathering at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. As usual, the president said what people wanted to hear. The chances of an Ebola outbreak in the U.S. were “extremely low.” The U.S. has increased airport screening so that no one with the disease can fly here. “In the unlikely event” someone with the disease does enter the country, he said, the government has taken “new measures” to assure that doctors are trained and hospitals are ready “to deal with a possible case safely.”

Three days later, Thomas Eric Duncan left the house in Liberia he had been sharing with a mortally ill Ebola patient. He apparently lied about his contact with the woman, then boarded a plane for Dallas by way of Brussels and Washington’s Dulles airport. On September 25, he walked into Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, nauseous and feverish. Despite his recent exodus from Liberia, no one thought to test him for Ebola. Three days after that, he was finally admitted, and only then after a friend called the CDC.

In essence, nothing Obama had said on September 16 was true. Airport screening was inadequate. Hospitals were unprepared. And the arrival of an Ebola patient here proved much too likely. Were this kind of carelessness an anomaly, one could shift the blame to Obama’s health officials or the principals at the CDC. Unfortunately, Obama’s failure to tell the truth is not an anomaly at all. It is his norm.

In my new book, I document more than seventy-five significant deceptions by Obama and his staff. Indeed, in chronicling the untruths, I ended up writing a history of the presidency.

Obama has been able to establish a uniquely dishonest White House for two reasons. One is obvious: the media let him. The second needs explanation. Like any gifted sleight-of-hand artist, Obama has had his audience focus on the wrong object. The pundits debated his ideology—Marxist, socialist, progressive, pragmatist—and other areas of his background–but they rarely questioned his commitment.

Although immersed in leftism since childhood, Obama never left the shallow end of the pool. He proved so adept at breaking promises because he did not care deeply enough to keep them. What mattered more for America’s first postmodern president was that he be seen striking the right pose, finding the right groove, spinning the right narrative.

To be sure, many Americans distrusted Obama from the beginning—reneging on his pledge to play by federal campaign limits in 2008 tipped them off—but the media elite refused to catch on. It was not until the implosion of Obama’s “if you like your health plan” promise that many in the media opened their eyes. They began to see they could no more contain the truth about this presidency than the CDC could contain the Ebola virus.

Now, Obama’s Ebola chickens have come home to roost, and far too few citizens, Republican or Democrat, trust him to guide the nation through a looming crisis. Obama may have promised “the most transparent administration in history,” but the majority of Americans know he has delivered much less. As liberal First Amendment lawyer James Goodale has put it, “President Obama will surely pass President Richard Nixon as the worst president ever on issues of national security and press freedom.”

More problematic for America is that the arrival of the ailing Mr. Duncan tests Obama’s credibility on his most vulnerable fronts—health care, national security, and immigration. When tested in the past on these issues, Obama has tended to say whatever was expedient at the moment.

Still, whether or not Obama drew a “red line” in Syria or dismissed ISIS as the “the jayvee team” does not affect Americans where they live. Nor even do the thousands of illegal “children” Obama has disingenuously scattered across the country.

Americans can live with a corrupt health care policy, illegal immigrants, and even head-lopping terrorists. They cannot and will not live with a national security establishment that allows Ebola-infected aliens to enter the country.

Citizens will demand honest answers to their questions. The problem is that now, even if Obama tells the truth, he has given no one any reason to believe him.

Jack Cashill is the author of You Lie! The Evasions, Omissions, Fabrications, Frauds and Outright Falsehoods of Barack Obama.

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