While Charles Krauthammer highlights the legerdemain the President deployed to advance his economic healthcare plans, the President also prevaricated on the issues of conscience and abortion (“Does He Lie?” Washington Post Op-Ed, Sep. 18, 2009). The President relied on a technicality rather than reality in asserting that under proposed healthcare legislation, “no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place.” As Mr. Krauthammer points out, “laws are not self-enforcing,” and Mr. Obama neglected to add that he intends to get rid of the only conscience regulation that enforces those federal conscience laws. On federally funded abortions, the President also relies on technicality to obscure the reality. As disparate sources such as TIME magazine, FactCheck.org and the National Right to Life Committee have all demonstrated, the elaborate Enron-like accounting schemes devised in the House and Senate bills merely mask the fact that if those bill were passed, the federal government would be writing checks to abortionists. House and Senate committees eliminated any lingering illusions by voting down unambiguous amendments that would have clearly barred government funding of abortion.
If transparency in government is to mean anything, it must mean translating technicality into reality and replacing equivocation with truth.