Obama goes 1984: Like Big Brother, he's revising history of what he said

WASHINGTON, November 5, 2013 — President Barack Obama Monday night went all-in for the ultimate in lies and propaganda, namely re-writing history just like Big Brother in George Orwell’s 1984.

Stung by the national backlash against his broken promises on health insurance, Obama now claims he said things that he actually never uttered.


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Not even Houdini could have escaped from the trap that Obama had put himself in. Unless, of course, he cheated. So that’s what Obama is doing.

Obama was cornered by videos from his years of speeches on the Affordable Care Act—Obamacare. Repeatedly he had promised that those who wanted to keep their current health coverage could keep it. Millions have since learned they cannot and it’s costing them a bundle.

He cannot pawn the blame off on speechwriters, because the White House had released photos showing that Obama wrote the final drafts of those speeches himself. The Wall Street Journal reported that Obama had overridden senior advisors who told him not to make his claim so absolute; therefore he cannot blame them.

The President revealed Monday that he supposedly had all along included a qualifier, namely, “what we said was you could keep it, if it hasn’t changed since the law was passed.


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It was the phantom phrase that nobody had ever heard him say. Don’t bother searching the audio, video and transcripts of the scores of his speeches in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. There is no such language in any of them.

To get away with making this audacious disclosure, Obama chose the friendliest possible audience, namely Organizing for Action, which is simply the re-named Obama re-election campaign. That group would applaud Obama just for tying his shoes.

The President has totally crossed the line into George Orwell’s 1984, where Big Brother employed countless minions to constantly re-write history, edit photographs and recordings, etc. All evidence of the past was constantly changed to match whatever Big Brother was claiming today. Jay Carney had not yet been born when the book was written, so Orwell described how the “Ministry of Truth” would track down everything that contradicted Big Brother’s most-recent message, then change the past to fit:

This process of continuous alteration was applied not only to newspapers, but to books, periodicals, pamphlets, posters, leaflets, films, sound-tracks, cartoons, photographs — to every kind of literature or documentation which might conceivably hold any political or ideological significance. Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to have been correct, nor was any item of news, or any expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to remain on record.


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Today, Obama cannot destroy all evidence of his prior statements, but politically-speaking he won’t have to. He’ll simply show his current altered version to his adoring followers. They’ll be warned that any other versions have been edited or taken out of context to embarrass the President.

Obama used that technique in his 2012 campaign. When Mitt Romney made a word-for-word use of Obama’s infamous comment, “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen,” the Obama campaign ran counter-ads claiming Romney had changed Obama’s words and taken them out of context. Even though Romney used them un-edited, word-for-word!

In front of Monday’s carefully-selected crowd of about 200 loyalists, Obama claimed he was “not breaking an even more important promise” of extending “quality, affordable” health coverage to all. He pleads necessity by claiming the pre-Obamacare policies were shoddy, inferior, unregulated merchandise, which is a surprise to the states that so heavily regulated them and the consumers who so eagerly bought them.

It’s absurd to pretend that a $5 increase in a co-pay is an excuse to “rescue” consumers by pushing them into Obamacare coverage that costs thousands of dollars a year more, regardless of how more expansive the coverage might be.

Obama’s latest speech is the strongest evidence yet of his basic lack of honesty.

How the media portray the new claim will reveal much about them. Which media will label it as a fabrication—a lie—and which will tiptoe around and avoid that?

And how many politicians will fall in line and just follow their leader’s approach, even when it means spreading untruths?

Civility explains restraint when a President stretches the truth, but duty requires calling-out a President who shreds the truth so callously as Barack Obama does.


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Ernest Istook

Ernest Istook spent 25 years in public office, including 14 years in Congress. He was rated one of the top 25 conservatives in the U.S. House of Representatives. Then was a Heritage Foundation fellow and a fellow at Harvard's Insitute of Politics, where he led a study group on Propaganda in American Politics Today. 

Now as a radio host and a commentator, Ernest aims to expose Washington's gimmicks--to help you avoid the pitfalls. He brings clarity out of the confusion. 

Native to Texas, Ernest transplanted to Oklahoma after graduating from Baylor University.

Contact Ernest Istook

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