I remember feeling so proud that we had a black President. I knew he was human, I know that skin color does not matter, but it was hard to not hope that given what his race has been through - he could understand what was wrong with the world ... and maybe fix it.
For reasons he only knows, he choose to side with abuse. He has perverted himself with something so addictive that perhaps the best course of action maybe for him to take a seat at the back of the bus.
It's important for people who believed in Obama's rhetoric to stop making excuses and realize that they were conned. Fool me once, shame on you...
(I mean "making decisions at the margin" in the way that economists use the term. For example: I wish cheese was free. But, in real life, I have a choice between $2.49 cheese and $2.19 cheese. So I buy the cheaper cheese, not the free cheese. Because the free cheese doesn't exist.)
If the President has to make small decisions about "the lesser of two evils", then how much power does he really have?
For example: He said he would close Guantanamo Bay, but didn't. One theory is that he was full of shit. He's just a tool. Another theory is that there wasn't the political capital to accomplish such a thing. As in: there was enough push-back from his own party... he didn't want to alienate some of his friends... as in, he couldn't afford to. So he says: "Screw it. A couple hundred people in hell isn't worth my career if I can focus on other things that can benefit more people."
(I'm not trying to be an apologist for Obama here. I think Washington is pretty horribly corrupt in both parties...)
So I'm left to wonder: Sure, no smart politician is going to burn his own career for a couple hundred foreigners that the citizens hate anyway (I guess...). But why is Gitmo still open? What does it accomplish? (I keep going around in circles trying to figure out why anyone loves Gitmo...)
A president "spends power" at the margins. He spent a lot of power on Obamacare. (You call in favors, you do the horse-trading...) But he has spent no power against the "Security Industrial Complex". I guess it's not something that he cares to achieve. People are calling it "Bush's 4th term". I understand the contractors profit from "Fear of Terrorists". And I'm sure there are some military / intelligence people who are actually hard-core about it. But, outside of that.... who the fuck loves it? I just don't get it... Washington has wrapped itself into a self-sustaining engine of fear...
... oy vey. And here we're not supposed to be getting all political on HN... :-/
Besides, if you are the president and your campaign promise was to close a prison. Keeping in mind that many people there are held without charges for over a decade and a few are already cleared to be let go but are still there for reasons I don't understand, if you can't do this being a president in 2 terms then perhaps you just can't do it, least you can do is make way for someone who can.
It's kind of amusing on some level because the trope goes: Let's demand xyz be done about xyz, but let's not do/think of what we can to work on xyz ourselves within our own local communities before we are given permission by the establishment, who made xyz possible, to impose it on everyone else.
The arguments, the conviction, the ideology developed during his campaign holds the same values today as it did yesterday. The earth is round and it isn't less so if crooks say it.
Past performance or lack there of is an indicator of future performance. Obama has not been able to deliver on most of his promises from closing Gitmo to bringing this nation together. Does anyone believe he is capable of doing the right thing? Just talking about it does not count.
This is true for all politicians. Even the one you think is yours.
There will be no Messiah.
FYI, no one has pure motives past the age of 10. There are only people who delude themselves into thinking their motives are pure.
...so, his purity, innocence, and honesty was corrupted from the outside, by others? Did he not choose and hire his own advisors? Isn't this like blaming Cheney for everything Bush did?
"he could understand what was wrong with the world ... and maybe fix it."
Obama the Messiah? What U.S. President could ever 'fix' the problems of the world?
"...perhaps the best course of action maybe for him to take a seat at the back of the bus."
So, let's revert back to racist treatment? This statement of yours is what drove me to the keyboard this early in the morning.
Your arguments are _bizarre_. It is amazing what the Left projected onto Obama in terms of hopes and aspirations. His _only_ career has been that of a politician, yet the Left expected him to be something else? He never ran a city, a state, a company, or ever made/produced anything. His career is an extreme example of Affirmative Action, if anything. For goodness sake, he was awarded a Nobel Prize for simply having been elected. That seems quite premature and misguided in hindsight now, doesn't it?
I admit, I voted for him in '08 and was proud to do so. I've never been more regretful of any of my votes in my 32 years of casting ballots.
1. The awarding of the Nobel peace prize is ALWAYS political, not just in this case. The committee is wielding a tool, that is all.
It is no use getting upset by the assumption that this committee is a moral authority and Obama got unfair special treatment. They give these prizes as a political tool or signal.
2. This prize was given in the context of a bounty of needless new wars/colonial projects, especially Iraq. You can figure out what the intended signal was from this.
Now you have to admit that our involvement in Iraq has reduced dramatically, and now at least we have a timetable for Afghanistan. But that's actually beside the point. The peace prize is given as a tool by a certain European set to exert influence. It's not a justly-given award for moral perfection.
Unless you understand these things, you are going to keep scratching your head about that Nobel prize forever.
Forgive me, I only meant to say that he was supposed to help injustice, a world he claims to have come from. Now, he "sits in the front seat" so to speak and makes a mockery of what Rosa Parks endured. She really created change.
Voting for someone because of their race is every damned bit as bad as voting against someone because of their race.
Maybe you folks who are surprised by the recent change in your attitude toward our President should stop voting for candidates who consistently hold positions against individual liberty?
we absolutely need to protest Obama's actions in this area but as far as voting differently at the presidential level, unless we can radically change our voting system to realistically support 3rd party candidates, presidential politics isn't going to change much.
The reality is that the average American is frightened of terrorism and wants the government to protect them. The average American believes in "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear." The average American is still in a Cold War mindset and thinks that we need a massive military and intelligence apparatus to avoid being invaded and conquered.
The conversation in the tech community has centered around the system and the process, making the implicit assumption that the American public generally agrees with us that these acts are bad, and they're being foisted upon us without our consent by an out-of-control government. The reality, as far as I can tell, is that the American public does not generally agree with the tech community on these issues, and that we've ended up with these massive spying and anti-terror programs because that is the government the American public wants.
I firmly believe that our efforts should be directed toward convincing the public at large of our positions. If accomplished, the government will follow. The system is not (yet) that broken.
At least if McCain had been elected then we would have had opposition party contention between the executive and legislative branches.
At least with a Republican in office, the media would have been more likely to do its job by asking tougher questions and analyzing rather than fawning and adulating.
Before all that, though, maybe people should get involved earlier in the process and not let the media, the party leaders, and Saturday Night Live pick their candidates for them?
That said, I do think that having a Republican administration take the blame for the current scandals (IRS, NSA, AP, Benghazi) would have been a good thing.
If we extrapolate the level of anal probing that went on as a result of the Valerie Plame outing to the above scandals, the media wouldn't let any of them go until something more meaningful happened in congress, in the courts, or in voting booths.
As it is, these scandals are all disappearing from the MSM's coverage. Maybe they can do another multi-month coverage of George Zimmerman-like trials to take our minds off of important things.
Also, as we went to war in Iraq because the MSM, including the new york times, as well as congress, went along with the republicans, so you can't generalize that a certain combination of R/D leads to the most checks and balances via the government or the media. The democrats in congress rubber stamped a whole set of republican policies - the democrats are a terrible opposition party since they offer so little of it. Checks and balances are essentially working terribly (we currently have 100% obstruction for almost all issues, then for this one we have too little) and no R/D pattern will fix that, only changes to the rules including voting (compulsory, allow second choices) and campaign finance (there should be almost no finance in campaigns) will change that.
It's not our voting system that needs to be radically changed. It's the extent to which we rely on representatives to hold power for us. It's the 21st century; why don't we have tools to collaboratively write legislation?
I have a honest question, did you read his voting record, see what bills he had wrote / sponsored / co-sponsored, or listen to his podcast before deciding he was worth your hope for that symbol? The media narrative for both sides is smoke and mirrors. The only real truth is what the do in legislation.
1) Yes, he had one as a US Senator.
Someone who kept a pristine voting record would not actually get anything done.
EDIT: Don't forget that one of the earlier whistle blowers said (a few months back) that Obama had been put under surveillance by the NSA as well , which means
a) you should expect him to have been vetted by the powers in place before being admitted as a presidential candidate by that 1 of the 2 parties available,
b) "they" have stuff on him and can handle him like a puppet that he seems to have become.
Ergo, it's not about which puppet you elect, it's about the system.
Blair had a plan, he managed to execute a fair amount of it, then fell apart. Exactly like Thatcher. Cameron has none. Oh yeah, "austerity", which I think the US has now shown to be not the way to go. Heh, Cameron even nicked that idea off Brown. Like Obama, he just continued with the previous leader's polices.
Sorry, both sides are full of crap. UK, US, its all the same. Its that old thing, "no matter who you vote for, the government always get in."
I think it's more likely that the Federal bureaucracy is simply more powerful than our elected officials, at least some ways. They provide a great deal of the information Congress and the President use to inform their worldviews and decisions, and probably have well developed methods of getting what they want from the two. The bureaucracy has a real advantage by simply having less turnover, more continuous time in the system, hence more institutional knowledge of how to work the system, than the average politician.
Race is just one of many things that is "wrong" with the world. The two biggest things seem to be the tendency of humans to want to kill or convert anyone who follows a different ideology, and poverty. If I had to guess, in many cases the former is keeping many parts of the world from escaping the latter.
Clinton? Bush? Reagan? Romney?
Both parties have the same masters.
The idealist in me died when he realized that even large, powerful governments can be undermined and destroyed by this controlling group (or the group's controlling group). If they can topple countries, like they have done several times in the past, then what kind of resistance can a lowly normal pose offer?
None. I've learned to just keep my nose to the grindstone, make money for myself and ignore the rest of the world. It's easiest that way.
Obama is a vain, stupid man who believes that he is the president of the United States. In reality he is manipulated by a small inner group of people who have the real power and who play him like a puppet. Do you really believe that a man of such limited capabilities can stage a successful campaign to become president? Obama is the biggest con ever played on the American people.
I will intentionally ignore this line above because what you later said would apply to every elected person in any country, not limited to the USA:
> In reality he is manipulated by a small inner group of people who have the real power and who play him like a puppet. Do you really believe that a man of such limited capabilities can stage a successful campaign to become president? Obama is the biggest con ever played on the American people.
Taking that into consideration, I was still hoping that the president's role was something more positive and not completely covering up the NSA's blunders when they got caught with their pants down.
Politics may be full of that sort of language, but why are media? This is not North Korea where journalists have to fear punishment for insulting the supreme leader. Or is it?
By changing the definition, or narrowly defining it, they can exclude all of the great new forms a journalism from the protections that 'journalists' provide. The next step would be a government license for 'approved' journalists.
Because they're not an opposing force in a war, they're dance partners.
Edit: this comment is not specific to your question alone, it's a comment on this specific thread.
"The Drake case collapsed in spectacular fashion when the judge found that the information Drake possessed was completely unclassified, and had only been marked otherwise after it was seized from his home."
I doubt he would have had assassins on his trail, but he would have been put through the legal system the same way Manning was.
Also consider the court of public opinion -- there's enough of an uninformed mass who think this is a scumbag who gave American secrets to China and Russia that an administration can bend the laws quite a bit and get away with it.
I don't know which law you are consulting for the definition of "torture," but if solitary confinement is torture then our system hands it out for many people less famous and glamorous than Snowden all the time, without much of any outcry. And this outcry seems to be confined to certain political figures, not just any prisoner caught with a shank.
(Not that we can expect different behavior from any of the future Presidents, nor from the recent ones.)
Except for the fantasy statements, Obama
is careful about actually doing anything.
He's good at making sure that whatever
happens, he is not held to blame.
But he does actually do some things:
He pushed 'clean, green, pure, pristine,
100% all-natural energy' and got a
lot of campaign contributions. He
has pushed ObamaCare but seems to
want to 'push' its implementation out
past the end of his second term
(fine with me). So,
he wants ObamaCare as fantasy but not
as actual implementation. He does some
little things in Syria, e.g., supposedly
trained about 20 rebels in how to use
some Russian missiles; so, he gets to
claim to support 'fighting for freedom'
or some such in Syria without actually
doing much or much he could get blamed
for. He asks the DoD to give him
options for doing more in Syria, no
doubt already knowing that all the options
would be high on cost and low on
effectiveness and that he won't approve
any of the options; but just by making
public that he asked for the options
he will please some voters. After one
of the high school shootings, he visited
the site and said he was going to 'get
the guns' or some such. Of course the
Second Amendment and the NRA are still
there, along with a lot of gun owners
in rural and Western states. But the
high school shootings are out of the
headlines now. We could go on and on
For the NSA leak issue, he sees right
away that a lot of voters are concerned
about the Fourth Amendment and so
makes statements, like the one to
Leno, that he is against 'over reaching
government' or some such. But as the
Salon article explained in detail,
what Obama said to Leno was just nonsense.
But such nonsense is about all Obama
needs because only a tiny fraction of the
voters will get as deep as the Salon
article, and the MSM mostly won't
go there. So, superficial nonsense
Maybe it's a smart strategy. There is
a danger that once people catch on that
mostly he's just passing out fantasy
nonsense no one should take seriously,
too many voters will get pissed. Maybe.
At least he's not actually doing much,
and money he doesn't spend isn't wasted
and projects he doesn't do aren't failures.
We've got plenty of government and
in total don't really need more. So
in a major sense, Obama can get by
without doing very much. Actually
I wish that at times W had done less.
There is a risk if the country actually
needs a president; in the meanwhile
it's okay for him to spout fantasy
nonsense on Leno and work on his
golf game and jump shot.
Welcome to media-driven representative democracy. And when I say "representative", I mean the media represents us, which it basically does. And when the media gets tired of a story, after a few days or weeks, they move onto something else, and so do we, and so do the politicians. That is their job, and that is what we expect from them, as voted by us through our support for the media, who represents us.
Democracy depends on scrutiny, accountability, long-term follow-up. It's a problem.
My hope is that the Internet will make
the needed information available and that
enough citizens will get and use the
information to get the government
we need to meet the challenges of
our current world.
E.g., the OP points out some of Obama's
superficial nonsense, and we discuss it
here. Much more such activity, and Obama
will have to think twice and talk once,
and we might be on the way to better
With great strain I omitted
my usual rants about the role of formula
fiction -- e.g., a good guy, white hat,
with a problem,
and a bad guy, black hat --
and morality plays -- evil, sinful
humans transgressing against the
pure, pristine, precious, sensitive,
delicate, snow white, 100% all-natural
environment by wasteful, selfish
use of filthy carbon, with retribution
the destruction of the planet,
and redemption through sacrifice
of getting rid of cars and returning
to bicycles and horses --
Journalism usually fails standard
high school term paper writing
standards, e.g., the role of
For nearly all important work
in our society, original research
in mathematics or physical science,
medicine, finance, law, the
standards of quality in journalism
are laughable. An airplane designed
with the techniques of journalism
would never get off the ground, which
would be a very good thing.
We could go on and on.
The book mentioned TV: My ISP gave
me a cable TV set top box with their
special deal for lower cost than
service without TV, but I've never
connected a TV to the box! I haven't
watched TV in months and not much for
years. The set top box has a good
Unfortunately, I suspect the average American prefers a leader who always gives confident, reassuring statements in response to any crisis. It helps reinforce the illusion that intelligent, honest, and benevolent actors are leading the nation in a healthy direction.
I will give some examples of US presidents
who actually did some things.
This will take me into some very
contentious history: My goal isn't to
take sides in the history but just to
illustrate that some presidents actually
try to do things. For some of the
items in history, you may believe that the
presidents did well or poorly;
that difference does not concern me
here but only that they did do somethings
along with, secondarily, to observe that
we can differ on the quality of the results.
If we do differ on the quality of the results,
then we have to accept that presidents
who do things can risk failure;
one way to avoid both failure and success is not to do
As far as I can tell, no one knows what was in the
minds of W and Cheney at the start of Gulf War II --
not even still in the minds of W and Cheney.
But Gulf War II was a big effort and not just some
"placating sound bites", platitudes, cliches,
fantasy nonsense. I thought that the effort was
foolish, but it wasn't small.
So, for Gulf War II, were W and Cheney just
pushing out "placating sound bites"? No,
I don't think so. Basically I wish all they
had done was push out "placating sound bites".
Instead, I have to believe that they believed
that what they were doing was prudent, maybe
even necessary, to "protect and defend" the
US. And they had a point: At the time of
Gulf War II, doing nothing seemed to risk
a significant WMD attack on the US; I didn't
really believe there was much risk, but, right,
it was a small chance of a big loss and, thus,
difficult to evaluate.
course, as we know now, what they did in
Gulf War II cost the US a lot in blood and
treasure. I'm sure there were some brilliant
military operations, some grand heroism,
and some astounding successes; there were
also some major screw ups.
Maybe long term, history will record that
the US dumping Saddam in Gulf War II
and putting in place a democracy, fragile,
a long way from perfect, was a grand turning
point in the Mideast, US and world security,
taming of radical Islam, and progress for world peace.
Hopefully. And I can believe that such
was some of what W and Cheney had in mind.
I doubt we achieved such success, but maybe.
So, Gulf War II was an example of political
leaders actually doing something, that they
believed in, that was risky, and that they
could get blamed for. I'd say they were
high on courage, sense of responsibility,
and patriotism but too low on simple,
basic, pragmatic smarts.
Else? For Saddam, I'd have put in place
one heck of an intelligence operation
so I knew what the heck he was/was not
doing. I'd turn as an intelligence
asset everyone of importance in the place short of
his cook and maybe also his cook. Then
I'd "Make him a offer he couldn't refuse:
'Behave or you and your family, children,
and grandchildren will all perish.'"
Or, for a small example, in Iraq US
General "Mad Dog" Mattis told some
Sheiks: "I come in peace. I didn't bring
artillery. But I plead with you, with
tears in my eyes, if you f&&k with me,
I'll kill all of you.".
I know; I know; international relations
are not supposed to do that. So, adjust
the message a little. But, net, I'd
have left the thug in power and saved US
blood and treasure. If the Iraqi people
didn't like their thug, then that was their
problem; the role of US policy was mostly
just to make sure he was not our problem.
Ike? He pushed the interstate highway system.
Reagan? The Soviets were terrified of Star
Wars (I doubt that they should have been),
and Reagan used it, along with Poland, etc.,
to help break up the
LBJ? He was just determined, beyond belief,
to 'fight for freedom' in Viet Nam. He
allocated huge US blood and treasure. My
view is that the US is fully happy with Viet
Nam now (my Brother laser printer was made in
Viet Nam and is better than my old HP laser
printer), and my view is that the US could
have had essentially the same result
in 1947, 1956, ..., by doing essentially
nothing. Yes, Ho Chi Minh liked to appear
on parade reviewing stands in Moscow and
Peking -- nothing's perfect -- but actually
that meant next to nothing.
Net, lots of US presidents actually try to
do big things; mostly I don't like the
results; but they don't all just mouth
If ObamaCare is a good design for
the US health care system or can
be morphed into such a design, then
Obama, Pelosi, Reid, the Senator
Kennedy staffers who wrote an early
version, etc. will deserve credit.
guess (from reading some of
an earlier bill)
is that as passed it was a
steaming pile of sewage, to mess up
the US health care system and kill people
and waste money,
it may get turned into something good
as implemented in the Executive Branch.
I do fear the influence of
Dr. Karen Davis and her academic,
economic, health care systems research
nonsense -- I've been too close to such
There are major suggestions, e.g.,
from Barney Frank, that ObamaCare is
just a step to 'single payer' and,
with the power of the Commissioner,
really just nationalization of the
US health care industry, a huge
fraction of the US economy. I'm
very afraid of the consequences
in health care quality, cost,
and abuses of government power.
I know; I know; the US health care
system is a very long way from free
enterprise now. NIH pays for a
huge fraction of the medical research.
Likely, as elsewhere in Federal Government
research grants, the research supports
the 'research-teaching' hospitals that
do so much for patients, and poor patients,
training physicians, and doing medical
research. The FDA is right on top of
each new product. The CDC plays a
major role in US health care. The Hill
Burton hospitals admit anyone regardless
of ability to pay. Many hospitals
are funded by city taxes. Etc.
Improvement: Needed? Yes. Possible?
Maybe. Easy? No. A mess? Easy!
Yes, Obama has supported ObamaCare, but
actually he showed that he knows next
to nothing about the issue, e.g.,
during the summer of the big debate
made some uninformed
town hall statements and
slapped down hard by the US College
of Surgeons and then mostly just
shut up about the details.
I suspect that ObamaCare will be
put on a back burner, maybe
become just a subsidized insurance
plan, and otherwise junked, a little
after Obama leaves office.
Huh? Got any kind of evidence for this extremely doubtful statement? Or is it just an idle fantasy of yours?
I am sure Putin respects Obama just fine; they're both consummate politicians playing their parts to the T.
Which pains me greatly, I used to quite like and respect both.
This is Obama's first time as an executive of anything substantial, and I don't think he's ever been a bureaucrat. The US faces some significant threats, and there's plenty more that can be made to look significant. He could sincerely believe that he's striking the right balance between security and liberty. And the political situation, which does not encourage democrats to do anything that increases the risk of terrorist action.
I'm deeply disappointed with this, but personally I'm inclined to apply Hanlon's Razor here. Of course, I also tend to apply it to Bush, who I still think was well-meaning and generally sincere, but incurious and somewhat hapless. Trying to run a country with 3 pounds of meat is an impossible task, so "disappointed" is basically the top end of my scale.
I think what the average person may not grasp about Snowden is that he is a true patriot, who truly loves his country, in a way far beyond the average American. I mean, he basically risked spend the rest of his life in some prison to publicize what he viewed as the government invading privacy in gross violation of the 4th amendment to the constitution. Would any of us risk spending the rest of our life in prison to bring that to light if we were in his position? Not likely, and it is because we don't have the same level of love for our country as he has.
Snowden needs to really focus his PR people and efforts on that simple message, that he acted out of love for his country. It is a simple message. Otherwise, he risks being painted as an out of control punk, or whatever.
For OBL, you are looking at the bigger
picture, starting with 9/11, and not
just with the Navy Seals and their
raid, and your view is fully appropriate:
OBL and a few guys with airline
tickets and box cutters got the US to
do a lot of harm to itself as you
listed. We were sucker punched.
We've done it to ourselves.
apparently OBL was not completely
nuts but understood well enough
to say that his objective was not
to defeat the US but just to watch
it bankrupt itself! We need to wise up.
What we do to ourselves if there
was a really serious threat and attack?
There is one view that the US went from
The Great Depression to a hot economy,
with 2-3 jobs for everyone who could work,
in just 90 days after people started
shooting at us. We spent huge bucks,
and nearly everything that the bucks
bought was junk on a battlefield in
a few weeks or sold for war surplus.
Still, the spending, even on stuff that
was just junk, got us out of The Great
My view is that mostly the extra spending
was just wasted, but, as for the WWII
example, have to believe that even wasted
such spending can get us out of a great
depression. So, I'm not totally against
the spending. But the waste was still
a black mark. We didn't have just to
waste so much of the money.
OBL? Fine. But bringing in Hollywood
to make a movie and letting out
secret information on Navy Seal tactics
was not good. I credit the Navy
Seals and the DoD. Even if a president
doesn't do anything, there still is the
rest of the government, and sometimes
it does things. So, can credit Obama
for not messing up a good effort
across the Potomac River in that five
sided funny farm.
US out of Iraq? Another post in this
thread says that that was just the
I can't claim that Obama never does
anything. Still, I see a difference:
It appears to me that he has the strategy
I tried to describe, on a lot of headline
issues, pass out a lot of
platitudes but actually do something
on only a small fraction of those.
Otherwise do relatively little and, thus,
don't get blamed for failures.
It's all on a continuum and not
0 or 1. It just looks to me like
he talks the talk without walking the
walk, or some such, more than other
presidents since, say, FDR.
Maybe it's good pragmatic leadership,
and if so most of the blame is on the
mainstream media and the voters. US
voters are awash in power, can shake DC
just by pulling some levers behind a
curtain, and with the Internet are awash
in information. If Obama gets away with
what the OP described, then the voters
get what they deserve.
The U.S. was the only major country with cities and factories left standing, that weren't hit by wave after wave of bombers, so rebuilding your country necessitated buying U.S. goods.
The U.S. also suffered relatively fewer casualties than the other major players. The Nazi scientists didn't hurt either.
You are correct in that spending money on otherwise useless military items / people, is indeed useless, though those receiving military contracts argue the opposite, called "Military Keynesianism".
Some voters are (relatively speaking) "awash in power". But these tend to be while, male, older, and rural.
But over the past year, he's practically gone full retard. I'm not even talking about on a policy level -- I'm just talking about his communications, period. On the Snowden issue he's shown zero leadership, zero sense of understanding or sympathizing with Americans' concerns... and all this coming from a former constitutional-law scholar, it's just BIZARRE.
Obviously my faith in Obama has rapidly dwindled, but more than that, I'm just left confused. Why can't the man even communicate anymore?
1. They're in power and "but the government lied first" is not going to hold up in court if you're accused of perjury, lying to a police officer, etc.
2. There's something to be said for taking the higher ground. Long after people forget who started it, having a culture that doesn't value honesty hurts everyone.
Is it immoral to lie? If so, why? Is it always immoral to lie, or only sometimes? Why? Does someone else's immoral actions excuse you from your moral obligations? Does the immoral action of the head of state taint the entire organization? Why? If the head of state is a proven liar, but the organs of state you are lying to are honest, is it ethical to lie to them?
If you subscribe to New Testament morals, then there definitely is a moral reason to tell the truth, even if the entire government is corrupt. The government is put there by God to keep order and restrain evil, so when you are acting in that sphere of government, you have an obligation to respect the State as God's agent. (Now if the State oversteps its authority or is using means known to be displeasing to God, disobedience may be in order, but respect should still be there. I expect that respecting someone usually involves telling them the truth.) Also, Jesus says to love your enemies and to not return evil for evil (instead, return good for evil), which would seem to suggest that you have a moral obligation to tell the truth even to liars.
These lies bring into question the truthfulness of a lot of other government statements.
Lawyers on the clock are always careful that what they say is legally sound; why shouldn't politicians be held to that standard? Maybe it'll make them more vague and hand wavy, but perhaps the law could be structured to be proportional to the malice and deceit behind the lie. If they must do something contrary to what they said, they should have to justify their decision in writing why they have changed their mind.
I don't know how to concretely make them irrelevant. We could just ignore them, and consider the cost of government like friction, but they do fuck peoples' lives up and so we can't ignore them entirely. And they are currently the only significant outlet of safety net, as much as they're trying to fuck that up too.
I don't know. Anyone?
One hell of a co-incidence.