COMMENTARY | When Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C. yelled “you lie!” at President Obama during a speech before Congress a few years ago, it was thought to be a breach of decorum. Now, according to a Fox News poll, the vast majority of Americans agree with him.
“The Fox News poll found that 37 percent think the president lies ‘most of the time.’ Another 24 percent say he lies ‘some of the time.’
“Twenty percent say Obama lies “only now and then,” and 15 percent say he ‘never’ lies, the survey found.”
The straw that broke the camel’s back seems to be the “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” lie. The president has lost his credibility and with it his ability to effectively govern.
The president may think he has a “phone and a pen” to do what he wants, but in a democracy a chief executive’s power derives from his ability to move the people to his side. Now, with the vast majority of Americans believing him to be a liar, that ability is gone.
The president’s tendency to demand that we believe him and not our lying eyes also has had a debilitating effect. His recent boast that eight million Americans have now signed up for Obamacare and that the debate over health care reform is now over is falling on deaf ears. The figure is not widely believed and the demand to shut up is rightly seen as not only dishonest, but arrogant.
The rest of the Obama presidency is likely to be a rear guard action to try to preserve as much of its accomplishments, such as Obamacare, as possible as well as a series of distractions such as pay equity, immigration, and gun control. It will only get worse if, as many expect, the Republicans take over the Senate this November.
Can Obama get his credibility back? Likely not. So we are doomed to endure over two and a half years of a crippled presidency featuring rancor and division. What a dolorous mess.