Originally posted on June 13, 2019.
In August 2015 when she was asked if she had wiped her email server, Hillary Clinton replied, in what appeared to be seriousness, “Like with a cloth or something?” That moment crystallized Clinton’s appearance as either completely detached from normal Americans, or desperately deceitful.
This week, in what could be his own “cloth or something” moment, Joe Biden told a crowd that during the Obama administration there wasn’t a “single hint of a scandal or a lie.” Either Biden wasn’t paying attention, or he’s just plain lying to Americans. In either case, how can he be running for president?
As a reminder of all that was troublesome during Biden’s days as VP, David Harsanyi goes through a sample of the scandals that occurred during those years. At The Federalist he writes (abridged):
“Know what I was most proud of?” presidential candidate Joe Biden told a crowd on Wednesday. “For eight years, there wasn’t one single hint of a scandal or a lie.”
There are probably plenty of people who believe this myth. Off the bat, though, it should be mentioned that even liberal factchecking outfit PolitiFact once awarded Barack Obama the “Lie of Year” for misleading the American people about his technocratic health-care plan.
Our former vice president, no slouch about misleading the public on the ACA, probably forgot.
Obama’s most famous lie, of course, upturned millions of lives. Without it, it’s doubtful Obamacare—which was perhaps the only wholly partisan national reform effort in American history—would ever have passed. Even with a stream of falsehoods, the bill had to be shoe-horned through Congress. Media did a lot of heavy lifting for the administration in those heady days.
“If you like your health care plan, you can keep it” was only one of an array of demonstrably false statements fed to the public to give (now-extinct) moderate Democrats cover. You might remember one of Obamacare’s architects, Jonathan Gruber, explaining how this “lack of transparency” compounded by “the stupidity of the American voter” was a huge political advantage for the administration.
Obama’s CIA director, John Brennan, oversaw an operation of illegal spying on a staffer of the legislative branch of the U.S. government. At least five agency officials under his watch broke into Senate computer files.
Then there is Obama’s director of national intelligence, James Clapper, who brazenly lied to Congress about spying on American citizens.
Biden might not remember that Internal Revenue Service leadership aggressively targeted conservative groups to undermine their voice in elections. The IRS admitted as much in an apology letter.
Then there was Obama national security advisor Susan Rice, who went on national television and claimed that terrorist attacks against Americans at Benghazi were a “spontaneous reaction” to “hateful and offensive video,” even when she knew it was a sophisticated and pre-planned terror attack. Defenders of free expression were nowhere to be found as the maker of the video was conveniently thrown into jail.
Then again, perhaps Biden feels “most proud” of his mythical eight years of non-scandals because it’s about the only thing in his political past he isn’t going to be forced to abandon.
Read more here.