Honesty less of an Obama policy than advertised.

For a guy who practically trademarked the word “change” and who ranted on continuously over the 2008 election campaign about open and honest government, Obama isn’t practicing much of what he preached. Those of us paying attention to what he was really doing and saying during the campaign noticed that literally the year before but others did not. Well, there’s no real hiding it, now, and even some of his cheerleaders in the MSM can’t avoid noticing.

Obama’s “town hall” meeting on health care yesterday was already being panned by such MSM members as Chip Reid and Helen Thomas (of all people) and Press Secretary Robert Gibbs tried to ridicule them for not waiting for the event to wrap up before they called it for the fake it was clearly turning out to be. The Washington Post reported on the event and not even they, Obama-minions that they are, could buy into the notion that this wasn’t a staged event:

In the stage-managed event, questions for Obama came from a live audience selected by the White House and the college, and from Internet questions chosen by the administration’s new-media team. Of the seven questions the president answered, four were selected by his staff from videos submitted to the White House Web site or from those responding to a request for “tweets.”

The president called randomly on three audience members. All turned out to be members of groups with close ties to his administration: the Service Employees International Union, Health Care for America Now, and Organizing for America, which is a part of the Democratic National Committee. White House officials said that was a coincidence.

Get that? The event was supposedly a town-hall meeting, open to anyone who asked, and out of all of those people the President “randomly” selected 3 people who just happened to be Democrat organizers. All of them. Explanation? “Wow, what are the odds?” the White House says. “Yeah, nice try,” WaPo replies. No one’s buying that story yet the White House continues to peddle it. They don’t think much of your intelligence.

And about that health care, remember back when Obama was stumping for the office and he brought it to everyone’s attention that McCain was going to tax their health benefits? At the same event, Obama is now refusing to rule that exact same action out. It was, at the time, a plan “so radical, so out of touch with what you’re facing, and so out of line with our basic values” that there was no way a sane person could vote for his opponent, John McCain. Now that Obama is President, however, he’s OK with inflicting that same “out of touch” plan on you. If that’s one of the reasons you voted for Obama then he’s pretty much smugly saying you’re a rube.

But please, don’t take my word for it. Guy Benson at the NRO’s Media Blog has a write up and the video of the events where Obama showed he was definitely against it before, you know, he was for it. Now. Bonus video is included of Obama advisor David Axelrod trying to provide cover for Obama’s about-face on the issue.

Why is all of this important? Well, it goes beyond the health care issue – which is certainly important on its own – and centers on the notion of whether we can trust this guy with anything now. Jim Geraghty, also at the NRO, brings clarity to this situation:

Flip-flops are nothing new in politics, but every once in a while, a president breaks a promise or an important pledge on such an epic level that it defines him, at least in part: “Read my lips: No new taxes.” “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” “We did not — repeat — did not trade weapons or anything else for hostages — nor will we.” Even “I will never lie to you.

Barack Obama’s sudden about-face on taxing employer-provided health insurance deserves to rank among these classics. Not because it’s as laughable as Bill Clinton’s, or as emphatic as George H. W. Bush’s, but because it takes a certain moral venality to casually adopt, as president, a position that was a dominant theme of your argument for why your opponent should not be president.

Emphasis mine. Exactly so. And to do so without even a passing acknowledgment that your opponent was right and you were mistaken is just insult on top of injury. The members of the left who were so obsessed with President Bush’s admission of mistakes should be loudly up in arms over this, either because Obama’s not admitting it was an error to vilify McCain over his position or because Obama’s doing what he specifically promised he would not do. I leave that task to them. The issue for all Americans is whether you should be trusting anything this man has to say. Until he starts showing the change he’s said he’s bringing, honesty cannot be counted among his policies.