Is Presidential Lying About Important Issues Important?

Apparently Democrats and liberals do not think presidential lying is very important. Consider the following results taken from an April 16 Fox News poll:

26. How often do you think Barack Obama lies to the country on important matters?

                   Total   Dem   Rep   White   Black   Lib   Conserv
Most Times          37%     13   60     42      12      16    49
Some Time           24      25   25     24      26      24    26
Now & Then          20      28   10     20      23      30    14
Never               15      31    4     11      37      28     8
Don’t Know           3       2    2      2       2       2     2
  • 61% think Obama lies most or some of the time on important issues.
  • 81% if you add in the “now and thens.”
  • Even 38% of Dems and 40% of Libs think that on important issues he lies most or some of the time.
  • A whopping 66% of Dems and 70% of Libs think he lies on important issues most times, some times, or every now and then.
  • 31% of Dems, 28% of Libs, and 37% of blacks think he never lies.

I’m not sure which is more remarkable and in need of some kind of explanation (perhaps something along the lines of Obama’s sneer last week at Republicans who still oppose Obamacare, that they are experiencing “you know, the stages of grief … anger and denial and all that stuff”): that so many Democrats and liberals apparently do not think presidential lying on important issues is very important, or that so many of them (31% of Democrats, 28% of liberals) think Obama never lies.

Now, as John Fund has pointed out, even mainstream journalists

who cover the White House are concluding that the smears are part of a conscious strategy to distract voters from Obamacare, the sluggish economy, and foreign-policy reverses; the attacks are intended, the thinking goes, to drive up resentment and hence turnout among the Democratic base.

Major Garrett, the CBS White House correspondent, has talked with White House aides who confirm that the administration is working from the theory of “stray voltage,” as developed by former White House senior adviser David Plouffe. “The theory goes like this,” Garrett wrote. “Controversy sparks attention, attention provokes conversation, and conversation embeds previously unknown or marginalized ideas in the public consciousness.”

Deliberately misstating information about key issues in order to keep certain issues before the public is often a premeditated strategy. “The tactic represents one more step in the embrace of cynicism that has characterized President Obama’s journey in office,” John Dickerson wrote at Slate. “Facts, schmacts. As long as people are talking about an issue where my party has an advantage with voters, it’s good.”

Well, we can at least Hope for Change.

Say What?