Obama and the Lack of Transparency

| July 15 2012

The Obama campaign is in full-throated outrage over what it calls Mitt Romney’s “pattern of secrecy,” his deliberate attempt to hide details of his personal finances from the voters.

In yet another attempt to avoid discussing the president’s record, the campaign is working overtime to paint Romney as a manipulative politician who runs from the responsibility to meet public standards of transparency. The Obama campaign should look in the mirror. 

It is not news that hypocrisy can infect political campaigns. But this time the Obama campaign has strained the credulity of the American voter. They won’t fall for it.

It is breathtaking to see the Obama campaign charge Romney with secrecy.

It comes from a campaign touting the most secretive president in memory. Throughout his youth in Hawaii and Indonesia, his college days at Occidental, Columbia, and Harvard, the mythology of his candidacy in 2008, and his tenure in the White House, Barack Obama is shrouded in secrecy.

Lack of transparency surrounds the White House in a protective cocoon of secrets and defiance that prevents public scrutiny. Time and again the president draws the curtain and prevents the public from learning facts about its government.

Fast and Furious, the now infamous gun-walking scandal, is only the most recent example. When Congress exercised it oversight responsibility and got too close to the truth, the President slammed the door shut through executive privilege. Documents sought under Congressional subpoena power remain hidden.

The president’s healthcare law is perhaps the most glaring example. The 2700 page overhaul of the nation’s healthcare system was packed with purposely-obscure legislative mumbo jumbo that nobody read and even fewer understood. Only after the bill became law did the public grasp its full impact. As Nancy Pelosi said, you had to pass the bill to learn what was in it.

Secrecy surrounds Obama’s mode of governing. When he can’t get his way through deliberation and compromise in Congress, he and his bureaucracy simply issue edits. Environmental and immigration policies come down in executive orders and regulatory rule making. Take it or leave it.

Even the president’s personal history is a mystery. His best selling book, “Dreams From My Father,” is a work of fiction filled with composite characters and muddled family history. To this day, no one knows how the president performed in college. His transcripts are locked away.

Now we have the spectacle of the Obama campaign spreading falsehoods about Mitt Romney. It is time for the president to own up to his own lack of transparency. Time is running short. Election Day is right around the corner.

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