The Hypocrisy of High Office


The president’s boundless hypocrisy is always a source of wonderment to me. This is one of his most salient traits, along with narcissism, arrogance, and contempt for all who disagree with him.

His hypocrisy was apparent from the first. The moment he took office, he killed the voucher program that gave an opportunity to 2,500 poor minority children to escape the wretched school system of the District of Columbia. He did this at the very moment when he and his wife were putting their own kids in the swankiest, spendiest private school in the city.

Then there has been his endless bashing of the rich — while he and his wife were collecting millions from rich donors, many of whom got prominent roles in the administration, or taxpayer-subsidized loans and grants from it.

The latest illustrations are equally . . . rich. The first is the news that Obama, even while campaigning strenuously to limit everyone else’s gun rights, has just signed into law a bill that will give him Secret Service protection for life — that is, protection by armed guards, furnished by the government. He thus reversed a law from the 1990s that put a 10-year limit on the coverage.

Yes, even while the administration is ghoulishly exploiting dead children in its calls for an assault weapons ban, making all federal buildings “gun-free” zones, and limiting the size of bullet clips, Obama himself will be protected in perpetuity by men carrying those evil guns.

In this respect, it must be noted, Obama simply joined the ranks of other famous people who oppose guns for everybody but themselves or their bodyguards. It upsets me to do so, but I think of Rosie O’Donnell, Dianne Feinstein, Michael Bloomberg, and Michael Moore, all of whom have sought or employed armed guards or have their own conceal-carry permits, while waging war against the Second Amendment.

None of them, however, can manifest hypocrisy on such a grand scale as we have seen in the Great Obama Sequester Scare. Honestly, I cannot fathom how anybody could be silly enough to think that a 2% cut in the budget — which is slated to grow by an even greater amount than that, so that net spending by the federal government will in fact go up, but by a slightly smaller amount than planned — will cause catastrophic consequences. Yet Obama, ever the demagogue, used every scare tactic in the book to arouse opposition to the plan that he himself devised, suggesting that planes would crash, thousands (or was it millions?) of teachers would lose their jobs, billions of people would die from eating uninspected food, floods of biblical proportion would ravage the landscape, and all manner of other hysterical hoohah.

For once the Republicans called his bluff. They allowed the sequester to happen. So Obama is now cutting expenditures in ways that are clearly intended to punish both Republican politicians and all taxpayers vicious enough to support any schemes of fiscal restraint. His most daring attempt to curb expenditures (so far, at least) has been to stop White House tours — right about Spring Break time. The intent is obviously to make the vacationing little ones cry out to their parents, who will then be filled with outrage against the enemies of government spending. The savings from these omitted tours? A gargantuan $18,000 a week. For larger savings, the administration released a horde of alleged lawbreakers, formerly held for deportation proceedings. Undoubtedly, these people will report to the proper authorities, whenever requested to do so. No security problems there.

But where security really matters, the administration is careful not to cut at all. For example, Department of Homeland Security chief Janet (“Big Sister”) Napolitano announced that while the Secret Service’s budget will be cut, the president’s own security team won’t be reduced a penny. And don’t worry — there are apparently no plans to cut the White House calligraphers, who (as noted by Kimberley Strassel) collectively earn $277,000 a year. They’re worth as much as four months of White House tours — and apparently cheap at the price. Otherwise, I’m sure, they would have been laid off.

It’s too bad that the president doesn’t have more time to stay at home and watch them do their work. He has golfed more than any other president, and when he isn’t golfing (with those horrid rich people, by the way), he is usually on vacation. (I’m counting his speaking tours as vacation time, because after all, listening to his own voice is one of the president’s most valued forms of recreation.) But this stuff can get pricey. As Strassel observes, cutting the White House tours created savings equal to about two hours of Air Force One flying time.

I won’t even mention Michelle Obama’s upcoming 50th birthday bash, with Adele and Beyonce performing. That should cost about a thousand weeks of White House tours.

Faced with the necessity, the grim, unnatural, and wholly unforeseen necessity of cutting any government expenditures whatever, Obama will always do his best to make the cuts hurt the ordinary people whom he purports to champion, while maintaining his own life among the rich and special, spending freely on himself and friends.

What a guy!

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Joseph McNiesh

The hipocrisy of Libertarians is always a source of wonderment to me. They work for state universities! Mr. Libertarian, Murray Rothbard, lived in RENT-CONTROLLED apartment in NYC. He then worked for University of Nevada Las Vegas-a state university. In 1997, the libertarian candidate for governor worked at Ramopo College-a state university. Should we start a college in NJ or NV? A Libertarian in the state assembly in NJ or NV would have voted "no."

Gary Jason

I reject your fatuous, faux moral equivalence.

First, it is not clear to me how you can call someone a hypocrite for utilizing a service they oppose BUT PAID FOR. I oppose the current social security system, much preferring the Chilean system, but since I have paid into it every damn year of my adult life, I will of course apply for it when I retire (if it is still solvent at that time, which I doubt). That isn't hypocritical. If a libertarian president ended social security for everyone else, but accepted it for himself, then that would be hypocritical. And Obama killed vouchers for poor black kids, condemning them to the lousy DC public school system, while he sent his own kids to a ritzy private school. Sorry, that IS clearly hypocritical.

Second, my article was on the hypocrisy of those in power. When have the libertarians ever won power? Let's try voting them in, and then YOU can write articles exposing THEIR hypocrisy, should they every be hypocritical.


Are there not calligraphy fonts to be had anywhere. I'm pretty certain I saw one or two of them on my computer awhile back when I was trying to impress someone with my own artsi-ness. The White House could develop its own special White House Font, copyrighted for Presidential use. I think it's safe to say that after several Presidents (God forbid they need personal fonts) the White House Presidential font would have more than paid for itself.

A vision of starving calligraphers begging for money alongside our highways is quite disturbing. Sequestration is so very painful.

Ross Levatter

While I'm in general agreement with the thrust of Mr. Jason's argument, and there can be no doubting the Olympic levels (the mythical mountain, not the sporting event) that Obama reaches in megalomania, I can't go so far as to bemoan the canceling of White House tours.

That is, while I agree the POINT of canceling the tours was Obama's desire to show the "cuts" hurt, in actual fact I think it's a benefit that more American subjects cannot continue to brainwash their children to find awe at the seat of Empire.

So I think it's GREAT these tours were canceled. Just as I'd be OK with the French government canceling tours of Versailles. It's not as if the tour guides say things like, "And here's the room where Lyndon Johnson decided to lie to the American people to justify extending involvement in Vietnam. Down the hall we see where the second President Bush and his Secretary of Defense ordered then Secretary of State Colin Powell to lie to the UN about Iraq's putative weapons of mass destruction. And on this rug here you'll notice some ash stains from when President Obama tokes up even while pushing to throw people like you into prison for doing the same thing." THAT would be a tour worth raising private funds for.


i doubt that critics who mention the canceling of the tours is actually upset at their canceling - they are simply noting Obama's counterproductive policies - evidently - he's never understood the expression "penny-wise, pound-foolish"

Gary Jason

Actually, I think it's worse than Obama simply not having a clear-eyed approach to cutting real waste. Rather, I think he is deliberately targeting programs people generally find worthwhile PRECISELY to punish them into demanding that Republicans agree to rescinding the sequester cuts.

We here in California are well acquainted with this ploy--recently, to get the state income tax raised to over 13%, our own demagogue Governor told us that the State Parks would be cut to the bone. After passing the tax increase, it was discovered that the State Park system had hidden away many millions of taxpayer dollars against a rainy day. We all laugh, as we watch wealthy Californians flee like frightened Frenchmen.....

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