Posted by: bkivey | 13 November 2013

Mis-speaking, Mis-stating, and Lying

The last couple of weeks haven’t been kind to the resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. The roll-out of his signature legislation, the legislation he rode to two elections on, is an unmitigated disaster. Not so much the wonky website, but the fact that this statement, and variations of it, turned out not to be true:

“No matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health-care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health-care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.”

Barack Obama 15 June 2009

That is an unequivocal statement. “Period” means without qualification. You’d think the World’s Greatest Orator would know that.

While the Affordable Care Act was still working its way through Congress, this may have been believable. There were going to be changes to the legislation, but Mr. Obama made this statement a mere nine months before he signed ACA into law. 2,700 page documents don’t spring whole into being overnight. So it’s likely that the major provisions of the law were already decided. And you’d think that someone for whom this was a pet project, and had his name on it, would know in some detail what was in it.

As various provisions of the law have phased in, insurance companies have started informing policy-holders that the health care plan they liked didn’t meet the new requirements. What started as a trickle turned into a flood the later part of this year. Tens of millions of people are finding out that what they’ve been told the last six years isn’t true.

Mr. Obama’s first reaction was to blame the victims. When people started complaining about their canceled policies, he told them to go buy policies on the state exchanges: “That’s what they’re there for”, completely ignoring the fact that his and his party’s effort is what put people in that position in the first place.

The next tactic was a jaw-dropping attempt to re-write history.

“If you had one of these plans before the ACA came into law, and you really liked that plan, what we said was, you could keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law was passed.”

Barack Obama

4 November 2013

This might have worked before mass media (say, the 16th century), but in the early 21st century, such a brazen attempt to deny the facts is borderline delusional.  Either that or the President and his handlers advisers have zero respect for the American people. It’s hard to put a positive spin on that, but that hasn’t kept the fully invested media outlets from trying.

The Administration’s professional apologists have claimed the President ‘mis-spoke’ or made a ‘mis-statement’ in his description of Obamacare.  So we’re to believe that the “smartest president ever” ‘mis-spoke’ hundreds of times for six years?  I’m more likely to date Julia Roberts. Possibly the media are unclear on the subtle differences between mis-speaking, mis-stating,  and lying.

Let’s posit two people; call them A and B. B asks A the distance from the Earth to the Sun. B’s cell phone is dead, whatever.


A knows that the distance is 93 million miles, but tells B that the distance is 40 million miles. Assuming good faith on A’s part, they have mis-spoken. They knew the truth, but what was in their head didn’t come out of their mouth. Presumably A will correct the mistake.


A actually believes the Earth – Sun distance is 40 million miles and tells B so. They have mis-stated the fact. When B charges their phone, they may apprise A of their mistake.


A knows the distance is 93 million miles, but chooses to tell B that it’s 40 million miles. Knowingly providing false information is a lie. Knowingly providing false information that will cause harm is a damned lie; the less charitable might go so far as to call it evil.

The probability that Barack Obama didn’t know that tens of millions of people would lose health-care plans they liked as a result of Obamacare has to be a four-sigma event. It’s just not reasonably possible. Now all the hope-and-changers have a choice between knowing their man lied to their face with contempt, or that he’s mentally incompetent, or that he’s shockingly easy to manipulate. None are good choices for a chief executive with a finger on the nuclear trigger.





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