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Obama Presidency, 01.21.09 — 11.15.13: R.I.P

Posted by Larry Doyle on November 15, 2013 9:53 AM |

“Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.”
Sir Walter Scott, in Canto VI Stanza 17 of “Marmion” (1808)

I do not think I can count the number of times that I have actually written the specific words, “truth, transparency, and integrity” at my blog over the last 5 years. When I write those words and the importance of putting them into practice, I actually mean them.

Regrettably, far too much that emanates from Washington on both sides of the aisle bears little resemblance with those virtues. Collectively we suffer tremendously as a result.

Before commenting on our President’s attempted Hail Mary, administration-saving pass delivered yesterday, I would like to pose a question to those who might read this post. Have you ever worked with or for an individual for whom telling the truth is secondary to advancing his/her own personal agenda? I have.

In fact, I would maintain that senior management on Wall Street is filled with individuals replete with this character deficiency. It is as if they learn that in order to advance their own careers, they have to be able to display to those above them a willingness to coolly and calmly run over people, bend the truth (if not outright misrepresent and lie), and cut corners to the point of actually breaking the rules of the game. All done in the pursuit of personal advancement with an acceptance that the ends always justify the means.

Many people might define individuals with such character traits as sociopaths. I tried to stay as far away as I possibly could from these people whenever possible.

I reflected on my interaction with many of these individuals when I watched the President speak to the American public yesterday. Just as I would walk — if not run — away from those individuals after assessing that they were not being forthright with me, I firmly believe that we are now witnessing a similar dynamic play out in Washington in regard to our President.

I do not think there is any doubt that the President was not honest with America when selling his healthcare plan. I view his veiled attempts at contrition delivered last week and then again yesterday not as embracing our prized virtues of truth, transparency, and integrity. Anything but. What I saw and heard were statements put forth to try to generate political cover for himself and Democratic representatives. Not a lot of honor in that.

Individuals and businesses are being enormously impacted like never before from the fallout of the incompetence and deception displayed by the administration in regard to Obamacare. People get this. What do I envision? Unlike the other controversies surrounding the administration over the last months and years, this is different and will stick to him and his administration despite any and all attempts to wipe their hands of it.

Nobody in Washington, let alone the President, can or should think that they can so coolly and calmly misrepresent a situation to the point that now many would believe it rises to the level of outright deception if not actually perpetrating a fraud. What is the price the public imposes on those who undertake these pursuits? They run away. They look upon said individuals in an entirely different light, that being one with zero credibility.

In my humble opinion, the Obama Presidency has now crossed the line and is officially a lame duck a full three years prior to the next election. That reality does not bode well for our economy or our position in the world but it is reality. This truth may hurt but it is the truth.

Mr. President, you and your colleagues involved in your deception made this bed, now you get to lie in it.

How do you feel? I welcome comments from those across all points on the political spectrum.

Navigate accordingly.

Larry Doyle

Please pre-order a copy of my book, In Bed with Wall Street: The Conspiracy Crippling Our Global Economy, that will be published by Palgrave Macmillan on January 7, 2014.

For those reading this via a syndicated outlet or receiving it via e-mail or another delivery, please visit the blog to comment on this piece of ‘sense on cents.

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I have no business interest with any entity referenced in this commentary. The opinions expressed are my own. I am a proponent of real transparency within our markets so that investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.

  • fred

    The key missing ingredient, as I know you are aware, is complicient media coverage, the 3rd leg of the stool.
    Wall St-Regulators-Media.
    If media coverage were to expose these “frauds” front page, until the truth was exposed, all the rats would scurry from the light faster than you could say the words “liberal bias”.

  • Van



  • Vince

    All I can say is …..AMEN….great column

  • Joe

    In regard to a lack of credibility, from the New York Sun:

    “[T]he most significant international event since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991” is the way Caroline Glick of the Jerusalem Post characterizes what happened last week at Geneva. The collapse of the Soviet Union, she reckons, “signaled the rise of the United States as the sole global superpower,” whereas nuclear talks with Iran that unfolded in Geneva last week “signaled the end of American world leadership.”

    We wouldn’t want to say it’s the most devastating column we’ve read on the failure of President Obama’s foreign policy, but it’s right up there with the best of them. She is particularly blunt in respect of Secretary of State Kerry, whose confirmation by the Senate this newspaper had the honor to oppose. Mr. Kerry, she writes, “spent the first part of last week lying to Israeli and Gulf Arab leaders and threatening the Israeli people.”

    On top of that, she writes, Mr. Kerry “lied to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the Saudis about the content of the deal US and European negotiators had achieved with the Iranians.” She characterizes Mr. Kerry’s message as having “threatened the Israeli people with terrorism and murder – and so invited both – if Israel fails to accept his demands for territorial surrender to PLO terrorists that reject Israel’s right to exist.”

    Ms. Glick also accuses Mr. Kerry of having laced his threats with “bigoted innuendo,” in that he “claimed that Israelis are too wealthy to understand their own interests. If you don’t wise up and do what I say, he intoned, the Europeans will take away your money while the Palestinians kill you. Oh, and aside from that, your presence in the historic heartland of Jewish civilization from Jerusalem to Alon Moreh is illegitimate.”

    “What greater carte blanche for murder could the Palestinians have received than the legitimization of their crimes by the chief diplomat of Israel’s closest ally?” asks Ms. Glick. She notes that Baroness Ashton, who represents the European “Union,” could not have received “a clearer signal to ratchet up her economic boycott of Jewish Israeli businesses.” She also notes that Mr. Kerry’s message was delivered as Jews were preparing to mark the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, a suggestion not that Mr. Kerry is a Nazi but that he’s playing with European fire.

    The thing to bear in mind about all this is that Mr. Kerry was the first secretary of state that President Obama wanted. On Hillary Clinton, the president had been cornered by the primary campaign of 2008 and the political hulk of President Clinton. The symbol of Mrs. Clinton’s failure was Benghazi. When Mr. Obama won re-election and Mrs. Clinton was finally gone, he had for the first time a free hand in foreign affairs. He put together the most left-wing foreign policy team in American history.

    These include two leading figures — Mr. Kerry and Secretary Hagel — who turned away from America’s fight in Vietnam and two other far left figures, Samantha Power at the United Nations and Susan Rice* at the National Security Council. No wonder Prime Minister Netanyahu is reported by the Times of Israel to be preparing give President Hollande a hero’s welcome when he arrives at Jerusalem. It almost doesn’t matter whether it was really the French who rejected a deal with the Mullahs. Compared to Mr. Kerry and his administration colleagues, Mr. Holland is a giant.

    This is a tragedy for America — but it’s not the end. Mr. Obama may have been left by Geneva for all to see as an appeaser. But America’s collapse is not the same as the fall of the Soviet Union. We had, and still have, a functioning democracy. There will be a congressional election less than a year hence, and we have little doubt that it will be fueled not only by the calamity of Obamacare, the collapse of the dollar, and the high unemployment that have become the hallmarks of Mr. Obama’s presidency. We’d like to think that it will also focus on the collapse in our foreign affairs. We have not the slightest doubt that with the right leadership from America things can be turned around not only at home but abroad.

  • Van





  • LD

    From Frontline back in April 2010, we are reminded of the cronyism propagated by the administration to pass Obamacare:

    On March 23, 2010, after a bruising year of debate, negotiation and backlash, President Barack Obama finally signed the health reform bill that he had promised more than a year before. But at what cost to his popularity and to the ideals of bipartisanship and open government that he’d campaigned on?

    In Obama’s Deal, veteran FRONTLINE producer Michael Kirk (Bush’s War, Dreams of Obama) takes viewers behind the headlines to reveal the political maneuvering behind Barack Obama’s effort to remake the American health system and transform the way Washington works. Throughinterviews with administration officials, senators and Washington lobbyists, Obama’s Deal reveals the dramatic details of how an idealistic president pursued the health care fight — despite the warnings of many of his closest advisers — and how he ended up making deals with many of the powerful special interests he had campaigned against.

    “The stakes couldn’t be much higher,” former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) tells FRONTLINE about what was involved in the landmark health care legislation. “We’re talking about almost 20 percent of our gross domestic product today, $2.5 trillion. Literally tens, hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on lobbying. Every special interest has their oar in the water.”

    To navigate the process of health reform, President Obama turned to his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, a consummate deal maker, who helped stock the West Wing with an all-star lineup of congressional insiders. But almost immediately, a key member of the team was forced to step down, and the country’s greatest champion of health reform, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), was sidelined with incurable brain cancer. The administration’s hopes for reform rested with Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), the powerful head of the Senate Finance Committee, who also happened to be one of the Senate’s top recipients of special interest money from the health care industry.

    The White House encouraged Baucus to quietly negotiate deals with the insurance lobby, drug companies and other special interest groups, despite promises to run a different kind of White House. “The president said that having people at the table is better than having them throw stuff at the table,” White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer tells FRONTLINE.

    But the deals were often controversial. FRONTLINE investigates how, near the start of the health care reform process, Baucus and the White House negotiated a secret $80 billion deal with Billy Tauzin, the former Louisiana congressman who had become the pharmaceutical industry’s top lobbyist.

    “People who thought that the pharmaceutical industry was still reaping profits that were excessive were unhappy with that deal and were particularly unhappy that it got cut behind closed doors,” says the co-chair of Obama’s transition team, John Podesta.

    The pact with Tauzin was only the beginning of a series of deals designed to win over potential opponents. The most notorious agreement, known as the “Cornhusker Kickback,” was concluded only days before a vote on the health care bill in the Senate. In exchange for the support of Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), the White House and Senate leaders agreed to spend $100 million to benefit Nebraska.

    The administration argued the deals were necessary to secure health reform. But the deals backfired. “It’s not a pretty process,” says David Gergen, who’s been an adviser to four different presidents, both Republican and Democratic, over the last several decades. “There is deal making — that’s the way it’s been done for a long time. But those deals done in your front parlor can be pretty smelly. The public was already up to here with what they were seeing in Washington, and I think it just put them over the side.”

    The backlash grew across the country. The president’s approval ratings sunk, the Democrats lost control of Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat, and the push for health care reform was suddenly in peril.

    “The grassroots of America had turned against this,” Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) tells FRONTLINE. “Health care was kind of the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

    At the White House, the president was forced to come to terms with what looked to be his most significant failure as president, before a last push this winter — and a last round of high-stakes, round-the-clock deal making — finally pushed the bill through.

    “The process was messy, and so it turned people off,” says Communications Director Pfeiffer. “It ended up being behind closed doors. It was filled with partisan wrangling, people yelling at each other across the table. We ended up having a process that represented a lot of what the American people hated about Washington.”

    “There is a realism that it has come with a cost,” veteran Washington Post reporter Dan Balz observes. “We don’t know what’s going to happen in the November elections. We don’t know what’s going to happen in 2012. But there’s no question that this health care battle has put his party at risk. And how they deal with that is the next chapter. But this was a historic moment.”

    posted april 13, 2010

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