The Mind of the President

Here is David Hazony writing at — the other side reaches people with spin and lies, our side can’t figure out how to reach people with the truth:

What the recent revelations about the Iran deal tell us about America’s new guiding philosophy in the world.

I. Spin is the Opposite of Policy

Whoever said that truth always wins out hasn’t spent much time in Washington. In this town of majestic monuments and post-adolescent ambition-addicts, where the campaign never ends and only impotence is considered unseemly, truth is a butterfly in a mist of acid rain. It’s hard to catch, harder still to save.

Successful leaders have always been adept at deception, of course. To say politicians are liars is to state a truism and to ignore the unpleasant fact that sometimes one must deceive in order to achieve.

But in the last couple of years, something seems different, especially relating to the Obama administration’s signature policy initiative of its second term: The nuclear deal with Iran.

Two recent devastating profiles—one of President Barack Obama by Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic and the other of Obama’s communications chief Ben Rhodes by David Samuels in The New York Times Magazine—have revealed a kaleidoscope of mendacity so sophisticated, creative, consuming, and substantively boundless as to give rise to a sense that something essential has changed in the relationship between truth and falsehood, between the actual policies of an administration and its efforts to sell them.

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