I have been enjoying the clips of President Obama kicking it old school with the House GOP in my hometown of Baltimore yesterday. There were many enjoyable moments, but I really enjoyed part of the exchange with Rep. Chaffetz of Utah. The Freshman GOPer was in full concerned troll mode as he baited President Obama with his “sadness”.
The young lad served up a litany of crocodile tears including a wing-nut meme that way to many in the media and on the left have bought hook, line and sinker:
CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: You said you weren’t going to allow lobbyists in the senior-most positions within your administration, and yet you did. I applauded you when you said it — and disappointed when you didn’t.
Oversimplification and a reduction of evidence to a simplistic binary frame is a favorite sophistic tactic of the wing-nuts and single-focus advocates (left, right and center). Often, this reduction to a binary frame is based on a false assumption that binary absolutes are the only measure of purity (and therefore: truth).
The rejection of a holistic view of how the world actually works drives me nuts. The attacks on President Obama over lobbying and transparency are rooted in this mindset and Chaffetz seemed to be the designated wing-nut given the assignment to confront President Obama with this lazy meme as just another talking point in his litany of wankery. While <a href=”http://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/video/president-obama-takes-questions-gop-house-issues-conference”> the entire exchange is worth watching</a>, I really enjoyed this answer by the President:
THE PRESIDENT: In terms of lobbyists, I can stand here unequivocally and say that there has not been an administration who was tougher on making sure that lobbyists weren’t participating in the administration than any administration that’s come before us.
Now, what we did was, if there were lobbyists who were on boards and commissions that were carryovers and their term hadn’t been completed, we didn’t kick them off. We simply said that moving forward any time a new slot opens, they’re being replaced.
So we’ve actually been very consistent in making sure that we are eliminating the impact of lobbyists, day in, day out, on how this administration operates. There have been a handful of waivers where somebody is highly skilled — for example, a doctor who ran Tobacco-Free Kids technically is a registered lobbyist; on the other end, has more experience than anybody in figuring out how kids don’t get hooked on cigarettes.
So there have been a couple of instances like that, but generally we’ve been very consistent on that front.
This was a great answer for the Wing-nuts and the folks in the media trained to carry their water (as <a href=”https://www.balloon-juice.com/?p=33644 “>Dougj pointed out the other day</a>).
The issue of corruption in Washington is one that I’ve spent some time following and there has never been, in my lifetime, a President who aggressively confronted corruption—until now. This is one of the success stories of the first year of the Obama Administration and I think things will be even better in the second year.
Treat this as a late night open thread.