President Obama’s statement on gun control Tuesday included an attempt to dismiss claims he ultimately wants to undermine the 2nd Amendment:
Now, I want to be absolutely clear at the start — and I’ve said this over and over again, this also becomes routine, there is a ritual about this whole thing that I have to do — I believe in the Second Amendment. It’s there written on the paper. It guarantees a right to bear arms. No matter how many times people try to twist my words around — I taught constitutional law, I know a little about this — I get it. But I also believe that we can find ways to reduce gun violence consistent with the Second Amendment.
Not a very convincing performance. Is there any other Amendment to the Constitution the president would downplay in this way? Saying, “It’s there written on the paper” would be an odd, dismissive comment from someone announcing plans to tighten up the 1st or 5th Amendment.
If the tone struck you as vaguely familiar, that suggests you’ve been paying attention. President Obama has often promised that he understood people’s concerns about a particular issue, only to reveal later it was all about getting his way.
1.) Here’s the president swearing repeatedly, “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.”
As it turns out, that was not true. In fact, it was always impossible based on the design of the law. When the president was called on the falsehood, he tried to move the goalposts. In November 2013, he said, “what we said was you can keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law passed.” As you can see in the video, that’s not at all what he had been saying.
A month later, the president changed course and apologized, saying of people who were losing their plans, “I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me.” It was a politically expedient lie told about his own signature law.
2.) It wasn’t the only politically expedient lie the president told about Obamacare. He also said explicitly that calling the public option a “trojan-horse” for single-payer healthcare was an “illegitimate” claim made by his opponents who were “not telling the truth.”
Unfortunately for the president, not all of his friends in Congress and the media were as disciplined. A number of them revealed the public option was a sneaky strategy for getting what the party really wanted: single-payer healthcare. Some who abetted the president’s lies at the time have since admitted that was the desired goal all along. The president tried to fool the American people, just as he had with the “keep your plan” promise. He almost got away with it.
3.) Before he became president, Obama told Pastor Rick Warren, “I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman.”
Hard to be more clear than that. Obama was definitely a traditional marriage guy. And then, two years into office, he said his position was evolving. Finally, in 2012, he announced he had changed his mind. But had he really? According to chief strategist David Axelrod, Obama was always in support of gay marriage but agreed to lie about it because the truth would hurt him politically:
Axelrod writes that he knew Obama was in favor of same-sex marriages during the first presidential campaign, even as Obama publicly said he only supported civil unions, not full marriages. Axelrod also admits to counseling Obama to conceal that position for political reasons. “Opposition to gay marriage was particularly strong in the black church, and as he ran for higher office, he grudgingly accepted the counsel of more pragmatic folks like me, and modified his position to support civil unions rather than marriage, which he would term a ‘sacred union,’” Axelrod writes.
Obama reportedly told Axelrod, after he stated his opposition to gay marriage at an event, “I’m just not very good at bullshitting.” Based on his utterly unconvincing statement regarding the 2nd Amendment this morning, the president still isn’t very good at it.