So Long to the Used Car Salesman-in-Chief

President Obama sold clunker policies based on misleading the public

by Eddie Zipperer | 20 Jan 2017 at 5:28 AM

President Obama will be attending Friday’s inauguration — but after his presidency, it would seem more fitting if he slipped away and skipped town under the cloak of night. That’s always been the modus operandi of the used car salesman who strolls into town with glitz and style to sell a shoddy bill of goods. Which is exactly what Obama has done to the American people on a massive scale. Here are just a few of the classic flim-flam tactics Obama has used to sell overpriced, banged up, clunker policies to the American voters:

1.) The Old Bait and Switch (“Hey, this isn’t a brand new Mercedes! It’s a ’62 Corvair!”)
Like the Corvair, Obamacare was full of design flaws that made it “unsafe at any speed.” But based on Obama’s dishonest sales tactics, you’d have thought it was the public policy equivalent of a road to El Dorado. “If you like your plan, you can keep it.” It won’t add “one dime to the deficit.” The price of insurance will go down. You can keep your doctor. Jobs will be created. It was like promising the greatest event in television history and then delivering the Kardashians. Obama’s claims all turned out to be false — one was even named PolitiFact’s “Lie of the Year” — though I’m sure several of them were in the running.

One of the architects of Obamacare, Jonathan Gruber, even went around the country bragging about how they created a huge misinformation campaign that relied on the “stupidity of the American voter.”

2.) Shirking Responsibility (“Let me check with my manager.”)
“If it were up me,” says the used car salesman, “I’d sell you the car for that price all day long, but I have to ask my manager.” Then he takes a smoke break. Then he comes back and tells you the manager says “no.” Classic. And it’s the exact move Obama used when Syria crossed his “red line.”

In April 2013, he said, “We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus. That would change my equation.”

The administration reiterated his red line on multiple occasions. A few months later when Assad actually crossed the red line, Obama suddenly decided to "check with his manager" — in this case Congress — to see if they'd go for it. So, the pen-and-phone executive whose entire presidency was devoted to blazing trails around the Congress, suddenly couldn't do anything without their input.

3.) The fresh coat of paint ("When a car sparkles like that, there's no need to look under the hood.")

Nothing shines up a rusty, falling-to-pieces clunker like a fresh coat of paint. Of course, paint won't hold it together for long. Just long enough for it to catch your eye, look like a bargain, and separate you from your cash. In politics, the "fresh coat of paint" tactic is called good optics. "You don't like my policies? What if I lined up the twelve people they helped? Can you look at those people and tell me they don't deserve it? That you'd be happier if they hadn't been helped."

That was a favorite tactic of Obama in the early days of his presidency. The optics were an unsubtle and manipulative rebuke of anyone who didn't support his legislative ideas. But he had to scrap it when he traded in House and Senate bills for pen and phone executive orders.

4.) The ticking time bomb ("The car only ran smooth off the lot because Big Ernie poured sawdust in the transmission.")
When the contract is signed, and the transaction is complete, that's when everything goes to hell.

President Obama saved his most wretched decisions for after the election because if he had abandoned our ally Israel, treated Cuban immigrants like they were escaping from a bastion of freedom, and pardoned Chelsea Manning's treason before the election, Democrats would have received an even worse beating at the polls.

President Obama and his administration have dealt dishonestly with the American people from the beginning. Jonathan Gruber and Ben Rhodes, both of whom worked on major Obama legacy items, were so impressed with their own mendacity they felt the need to claim credit for it in public. It seems logical to assume there were many more propagandists in the administration who were smart enough not to brag. The Fast and Furious, the IRS targeting of conservative groups, the Bill Clinton-Loretta Lynch meeting, the plane full of ransom money for Iran, eight years of feckless foreign policy from the Iraq vacuum to the Iran deal —  the inauguration can't come soon enough. America can't afford any more Obama clunkers.

Eddie Zipperer is an assistant professor of political science at Georgia Military College and a regular LifeZette contributor.

  1. inauguration
  2. Iran Deal
  3. Obama legacy
  4. Obamacare
  5. President Obama
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