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NANCE: The Golden Presidency

NANCE: The Golden Presidency
By: Penny Young Nance - 2/14/2013

What would a “Golden Presidency” look like? At the dawn of his administration, President Obama said, “A democracy requires accountability, and accountability requires transparency.” This Thursday, the president felt that accountability and squirmed.

What Dr. Ben Carson said at the National Prayer Breakfast was no revelation. It’s what American people have been talking about for years. Carson was perfectly polite in his integration of today’s current policy concerns with his Christian values. But alas, we are reminded of just how untouchable our president truly is. Everyone has run to his wounded side to cushion him from such a blatant “attack.”

As a Christian woman who has attended the National Prayer Breakfast on several occasions, let me remind everyone that the Prayer Breakfast stopped being a place of prayer the moment Yasser Arafat was invited to have a front row seat. That year, many Evangelicals stayed home. The Prayer Breakfast has, unfortunately, morphed into a production of political piety among politicians eager to earn a veneer of religiosity. The speakers often see it as their chance to “speak truth to power” and taking it is the price of admittance. This is not the first time a brave soul stood up to a sitting president in that venue and brazenly shared their deeply held religious beliefs.

In 1994, Mother Teresa publicly assailed U.S. abortion policy in front of President Clinton, the First Lady, and Al Gore. I was told by the now-deceased Chuck Colson that on her way off the stage, while shaking hands, Mother Teresa pointed her finger at the president and said, “Stop killing babies.” Ouch! Getting whacked by Mother Teresa surely hurt! Yes, it created a buzz, but no one said it was wrong.

As the Monica Lewinski scandal broke, Bill Clinton gallantly walked onto the Prayer Breakfast stage to a very tepid response in which many participants stood but refused to clap. That was the year I decided to maybe take a pass next time. Against my better judgment, I gave it another chance two years ago, only to be lectured by that year’s speaker, Hilary Clinton, on “gay” rights. And last year, Eric Metaxas made a clear and articulate defense of life issues. Every person and politician that wants to come to the Prayer Breakfast does so at their own risk.

Everyone seems to understand but President Obama, who cannot stand to be questioned, much less criticized. Flocked by fawning press and an allegiance of followers willing to take his word as gold, the president must realize that Ben Carson’s speech was in keeping with tradition. All of Obama’s fellow untouchables need to get over it.

Watch closely, the national media refuses to ever hold this president accountable. 60 Minutes fawns over him, and even Saturday Night Live produced a skit on that fact during the 2008 primary. The few times he has actually been challenged, President Obama doesn’t know how to react. The first presidential debate with Mitt Romney was a perfect example. When Romney correctly pointed out that the president didn’t know his facts on tax policy Obama was instantly on his heels, testy, and smug.

Joe the Plumber gained national attention during the 2008 U.S. presidential election when, during a videotaped Obama campaign stop in Ohio, Joe asked about Obama’s small business tax policy and received a tone deaf response that included the statement, “When you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”

Even this week, Obama’s right hand man, Jay Carney, was asked if there was a reason the president hadn’t submitted his budget on time. Carney’s response? He was focused “on substance over deadlines.” As I try and think of more examples, I realize that’s just the problem. I can’t think of many more times the president has actually had to “face the music!” I can list them all on my hands. It’s unfortunate that the president of the United States can sidestep hard hitting questions from the American people, because mainstream media lobs softballs with the word “savior” on them his way.

In the State of the Union address, the president not only failed to take responsibility for climbing debt and lower wages, he refused to even acknowledge them in any meaningful way. “He won” and, therefore, firmly believes that it’s his way or the highway. It’s true when commentators said his second inaugural speech could have been summed up in five words, “Stop me if you can.”

He has so effectively surrounded himself with “yes” people that he can’t take an ounce of criticism from the outside. Yes, a president needs an element of Teflon-coated durability. However, it’s as if the very facts about the state of our nation can’t get past the veneer of the “golden one,” and the sycophants of the media will never tell him the truth.

President Obama can dismiss all he wants, but Benghazi happened. Susan Rice happened. Hagel’s happening. Taxes are up, and jobs are down. Even the president’s very flawed cabinet escapes scrutiny. After months of anticipation, we finally got a Clinton ping-pong match where she escaped unscathed with glee. On to 2016. Hagel’s terrible committee hearing has left silence for a pin to drop on both sides of the aisle, and must I mention Eric Holder.

All that glitters is not gold, and surrounding oneself with fawning enablers is dangerous. There are two Americas, but not in the way former-Senator John Edwards thought. At least half of the nation knows we are off the rails. Regardless of the president’s denial of facts, the nation will have to eventually pay its debts, both fiscally and even morally. In this sense, we have squandered our true gold, which is the Constitutional principles and the moral guard rails fought and paid for by the blood of our Founding Fathers. I wonder what words they would have for this “golden” president?

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