So, in President Obama’s interview with Bill O’Reilly Obama mostly bobbed and weaved and evaded answering questions in any meaningful manner. But he also doubled down on his lie on Benghazi, the one that had surfaced with some fanfare in the second debate with Romney.
“When someone is attacking our compound, that is an act of terror and that’s how I characterized it the next day,” Obama said during the live sit-down broadcast from the White House during Fox’s Super Bowl pre-game show.
Obama knows that he will never be fact-checked on this in a way that will matter (bloggers and the right will do it, but the MSM will back him up), and that most people (including those in the MSM) will just allow it to pass into the realm of “things generally thought true.” Wasn’t that settled during the debate, when “moderator” Candy Crowley (who showed a distinct lack of moderation) leapt in to assert that yes, indeed, Obama had called Bengahzi an act of terror the day after it occurred, in his Rose Garden speech?
Anyone who wants a thorough analysis of exactly what Obama said and why it’s the case that he most definitely did not call the attack an act of terror—and just how strange Crowley’s actions in that debate were—please read this, this, and this.
But the larger issue is that we’ve all grown very used to Obama’s lies. Does anyone, including his most avid supporters, expect him to tell the truth anymore? But not all lies are created equal, and most politicians tell lies about something or other, some minor and some major. So what seems different about Obama, besides the volume and variety of his lies?
It’s one thing to lie about something hidden or secret, something that’s hard to ascertain. Is Obama lying, for instance, about how well he knew Bill Ayers back in his Chicago days? Almost certainly, but we don’t know, and we’re almost certainly never going to really know the full extent of their relationship. Is he lying about whether he actually believed that Americans would be able to keep their doctors under Obamacare? A bit easier to ascertain, but not so very easy because we have to assume he had enough knowledge of what was in the bill and how the regulations were going to operate in order to assume he deliberately lied (which he almost certainly did). Did he know about the IRS targeting of the Tea Party? Again, we have to assume that people told him, or that he directed it himself, and that he’s covering up that knowledge. But there’s no smoking gun to implicate him in the IRS offenses (the situation there resembles the speculation about whether Chris Christie knew about the much less important—but still troubling—Bridegate).
But the lie about whether Obama called Benghazi a terrorist act in his Rose Garden speech is of a different order, IMHO. It’s about a matter of easily-obtained public record: his words in a particular speech. And it becomes virtually certain (as I asserted in the posts of mine that I linked to above, where I analyzed the text of the speech very closely), if you look at the words of that speech, that he did not say that. In fact, he pointedly avoided saying it when he had many opportunities to do so.
I can’t recall any previous president, even when lying or shading the truth, saying that he had said something in a public speech when he had not (if you can think of such an incident, let me know). This is what is called a bold-faced lie, an egregious lie—and a lie that depends for its success on the collusion of the press.
And that’s what Obama knows he will get. It’s vitally important. He got that collusion on the first—and most important—time he asserted this particular lie, in that second debate with Romney. I even think there’s at least a 50% chance that the whole thing was arranged ahead of time with Crowley, and you may agree if you actually study the video of the debate.
This is what gives Obama the confidence—the sheer chutzpah—to do this sort of thing without blinking. Because it works for him, and he knows it.