Kentucky's Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes will not say whether she voted for Barack Obama for President. Her reluctance is easy to understand. Just compare Obama's own words on some of the biggest issues of his presidency with the actual facts.
On September 16, 2014, Obama said, “In the unlikely event that someone with Ebola does reach our shores, we've taken new measures so that we're prepared here at home. … We're working with hospitals to make sure that they are prepared, and to ensure that our doctors, our nurses and our medical staff are trained, are ready, and are able to deal with a possible case safely.”
Less than a month later, Ebola reached American shores. Two U. S. healthcare workers have been infected with it. The Centers for Disease Control even let one of them to travel on a commercial airline flight after she notified CDC that she had a fever.
In a January 2014 interview, Obama told The New Yorker, “The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn't make them Kobe Bryant. … I think there is a distinction between the capacity and reach of a bin Laden and a network that is actively planning major terrorist plots against the homeland versus jihadists who are engaged in various local power struggles and disputes, often sectarian. … And how we think about terrorism has to be defined and specific enough that it doesn't lead us to think that any horrible actions that take place around the world that are motivated in part by an extremist Islamic ideology are a direct threat to us or something that we have to wade into.”
Obama later tried to deny that he was referring to the Islamic terror army ISIS, but FactCheck.org, Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler, and others concluded that he was. ISIS now occupies large parts of Iraq and Syria, and Obama says that it poses a serious enough threat to the U.S. to warrant an air campaign intended to degrade and destroy it.
In his weekly address of June 6, 2009, Obama said, “If you like the plan you have, you can keep it. If you like the doctor you have, you can keep your doctor, too. The only change you'll see are falling costs as our reforms take hold.” According to PolitiFact.com, it is one of 37 instances in which he or a top administration official said something like this in referring to Obamacare. The fact-checking organization named it the “Lie of the Year for 2013” since, well, it was.
On November 15, 2009, after meeting with then-President Dmitri Medvedev of Russia, Obama said, “The reset button has worked.” He was referring to his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, having given the Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, a silly “reset” button, on which the State Department had wrongly put the Russian word meaning “overload” instead of “reset.”
On October 22, 2012, in the third presidential debate, Obama said to his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, “A few months ago when you were asked what's the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia … the 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because the Cold War's been over for 20 years.”
Russia has since seized Crimea from Ukraine and is now trying to take more of that country's territory. This week, Russian President Vladimir Putin said of Obama and the U.S., “We are hoping that our partners will understand the recklessness of attempts to blackmail Russia, (and) remember what discord between large nuclear powers can do to strategic stability.”
On September 15, 2009, among other occasions, Obama said, “I want you all to know, I will not rest until anybody who's looking for a job can find one — and I'm not talking about just any job, but good jobs that give every American decent wages and decent benefits and a fair shot at the American Dream.”
Five years later, the labor force participation rate reflecting the percentage of civilian population having a job or actively looking for one, was 62.7 percent, the lowest since 1978. 92,584,000 Americans 16 and older were outside the labor force. But according to an August tally by CBS News correspondent Mark Knoller, Obama had spent all or part of 129 days on vacation and played 186 rounds of golf. Media also reported he had also hosted over 400 political fundraisers.
“Not even a smidgen of corruption.” President Obama said this on February 2, 2014 about the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups. He announced this conclusion even though an “investigation” of IRS targeting by the Obama Department of Justice is supposedly ongoing. There are calls for a special counsel because multiple DOJ staffers involved in the “investigation” have conflicts of interest, including ties to Lois Lerner, who has taken the Fifth Amendment and whose e-mails mysteriously went missing.
The yawning chasm between Obama's words and reality make it obvious why Grimes goes mute about voting for him. He is in over his head, not always honest, and should just stop talking.
John David Dyche is a Louisville attorney and a political commentator for WDRB.com. His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @jddyche.