Obama’s Jim Bakkeresque Earmark Hypocrisy

As people who have closely — or even not so closely — followed Barack Obama have come to realize, much of his rhetoric is right out of the George Orwell school of Newspeak.

Even as he pushes radical, massive shifts of power from the people to the government, he declares that he opposes big government. He talks about how he’s going to cut the deficit even as he pushes through the largest and most wasteful spending bills in American history — and now, he’s talking about how much he hates earmarks even as he signs a bill absolutely crammed to the bursting point with earmarks,

President Obama’s call to rein in the use of earmarks was met with derision yesterday even from some of his past reformer allies, dealing an early blow to his attempt to change how business is done in Washington.

Obama signed what he called an “imperfect” $410 billion measure to fund most government agencies through September. He used the occasion to criticize the more than 8,500 projects, costing more than $7.7 billion, that lawmakers inserted into the bill, and he declared that “this piece of legislation must mark an end to the old way of doing business and the beginning of a new era of responsibility and accountability that the American people have every right to expect and demand.”

But as he vowed to press Congress to shun earmarks in the future, a bipartisan collection of lawmakers said the proposals he offered yesterday would do little to curb the practice and would do nothing to address the appearance of a connection between campaign contributions and spending programs ordered up by lawmakers.

Barack Obama’s stunning hypocrisy is a feature of how totally confident he is that the mainstream press will continue to act like part of his campaign team instead of doing their jobs.

No matter how starkly Obama’s words differ from what he does, most of the mainstream media will focus on the rhetoric, not the reality. If Obama says he is against earmarks, it doesn’t matter he signs a bill containing more than 8500 earmarks, because he must be against earmarks. That’s what he said, right? And as Chris Matthews once said in words that could have come out of the mouths of most of the reporters in journalism today if they were honest enough to admit it, his job is not to tell people what’s really happening, it’s to make sure that Obama succeeds.

If George Bush had done the exact same thing that Obama just did, every newspaper in America would have it on the front page and there would be editorials all across the country denouncing him for his duplicity — and rightfully so. But, because it’s Obama, most of the same papers will give him a free pass. I know it’s true, you know it’s true, and these reporters know it’s true. That’s why they have no integrity, that’s why they put out a lousy product, and that’s why so many Americans, myself included, cheer every time a newspaper goes out of business.

PS: Kudos to a paper I seldom have a kind word for, the Washington Post, for giving Obama the treatment he deserves on this issue.

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