Who's responsible? Give us some truth, Mr. President

Who's responsible? Give us some truth, Mr. President

May 21st, 2013 Chris Devaney in Opinion Free Press

Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

"I've had enough of reading things ... by neurotic, psychotic, pigheaded politicians ... all I want is the truth, just give me some truth." How true those words ring today from the protest song written by John Lennon in the early 1970s. Many of President Obama's supporters probably immersed themselves in those lyrics, not knowing that some day their future hero would be living them.

In the last few days, Americans have been subjected to a torrent of news about various scandals raging in different sectors of the Obama administration. As a whole, these instances reveal a systematic effort to discourage Americans from discovering the truth about our government's activities under President Obama. The question we're all asking: Who's responsible?

Obama playing fast and loose with the facts is not a new revelation. In multiple 2012 campaign speeches, the president promised Americans health care insurance premiums will go down under Obamacare -- a convenient promise made in the heat of a campaign. Sadly, it could not be further from the truth. Recent estimates gathered from the largest health insurance companies find some premiums could rise as much as 400 percent because of the president's health care overhaul.

It seems truth is a subjective term for President Obama, fluctuating based on what fits his political needs of the moment. With that in mind, it is worth recounting a period that has rocked the West Wing to its core.

Last week, with testimony in front of Congress that sharply contrasted the official White House story, Obama Press Secretary Jay Carney responded by calling the Benghazi scandal old news, saying it "happened a long time ago." In fact, the president doubled down saying, "there is no there there." Unfortunately for the administration, which would like to see us all move on, it seems new revelations are coming out every week, making it very relevant in the present.

Separately, details emerged about the IRS targeting conservative groups as far back as 2010. Groups were harassed that "criticized the government and sought to educate Americans about the Constitution." If that is the threshold the IRS uses for targeting groups, I would suggest the editors of this newspaper could be next.

While that last line may seem like a joke, it was the next scandal that made it a reality.

The Justice Department secretly seized two months worth of phone calls from reporters and editors of The Associated Press. Credit the head of the AP for calling it what it is, a "massive and unprecedented intrusion" into the freedom of the press. At a briefing on Tuesday, the administration said 14 times over it believed in the media's "unfettered" ability to conduct investigative journalism -- apparently only when it doesn't involve questioning Obama's policies, though. The potential ramifications of this scandal alone would make Richard Nixon's administration blush. Alarmingly, President Obama is facing five times that many controversies.

In fact, one-third of all House committees are investigating some aspect of Obama's administration. I haven't even touched on the brewing stories around the illegal fundraising end-run around Congress to implement Obamacare and the Environmental Protection Agency's callous attempts to keep conservative groups from obtaining information.

The bottom line is this: President Obama has been exposed. The onslaught of scandals from all parts of his administration suggests one of two conclusions, both of which raise chilling concerns: Either the president or his staff are orchestrating the heavy hand of government to target his enemies and run roughshod over the Constitution, or the President is just a bumbling manager, more astute at acting like a president than actually serving as one. Both outcomes are unacceptable. Both present a damaging blow to a president who came in riding the promise of hope. President Obama, just give us some truth.

Chris Devaney is chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party. He resides in Chattanooga.