Obama administration officials have convenient ways of evading responsibility. Hilary made her getaway before some of the truth about Benghazi began to ooze out from the cracks, and Holder not only has recused himself from the investigation of the AP story but he blames subordinates for all his woes. Best of all, perhaps, is the evader-in-chief who now claims that he always called the Benghazi attack a terrorist incident.
It is not so much the lying we should find disturbing: most politicians lie most of the time. As MacArthur said of FDR, "He never told the truth when a lie would serve." Substitute the name of almost any member of the Congress or the Executive Branch, and the statement remains true. No, it is the childishness of the evasive tactics so reminiscent of children who have been caught joyriding in the family car or raiding their mother's purse. One of my own kids would always say, for example after slamming the stationwagon door on his little sister's hand, "I didn't mean it." By which he means he had not intended to get caught damaging his sister when he only wanted to devil her.
Do not fool yourself. Most Republicans are just as bad. John Boehner, while clearly smarter than President O, is almost as evasive, especially when he does not want to admit the degree to which he is collaborating with the administration. Speaker Boehner, a family-values Republican, recently went to Florida to give away his tatooed daughter to a dope-smoking dreadlocked Jamaican construction worker.
Yes, I would rather have John Boehner or Mitt Romney or even--and this takes some anti-gagging medications--Mitch McConnell than Barack Obama as President, but the mere fact that such men are leaders of the GOP tells us the party is hopeless.
Thomas Fleming is the former editor of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. He is the author of The Politics of Human Nature, Montenegro: The Divided Land, and The Morality of Everyday Life, named Editors' Choice in philosophy by Booklist in 2005. He is the coauthor of The Conservative Movement and the editor of Immigration and the American Identity. He holds a Ph.D. in classics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Before joining the Rockford Institute, he taught classics at the University of Miami of Ohio, served as an advisor to the U.S. Department of Education, and was headmaster at the Archibald Rutledge Academy. He has been published in, among others, The Spectator (London), Independent on Sunday (London), Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Chicago Sun-Times, National Review, Classical Journal, Telos, and Modern Age. He and his wife, Gail, have four children and four grandchildren.