Transparency: Can you see the illusion, now?


As the great Edward G. Robinson might say, “How do ya like yer transparency now? Ya! Ya!”

Obama’s “transparency” was always a damned illusion, of course. People bought it b/c they wanted to. In truth, I can’t think of a less transparent administration than this one, which keeps using that word as though it means something else.

So, here’s the latest:

The Sunlight Foundation notes that, the website created by the Obama transition team in 2008, ceased to exist after June 8, 2013. now reads: “The transition has ended and the new administration has begun,” then directs readers to That’s reasonable enough, although it would have been equally reasonable in January 2009, when ‘Change’ published its last post on the transition.

Why now? Sunlight assumes the administration wanted to scrub potential liabilities, such as this promise from the administration’s ethics agenda:

Protect Whistleblowers: Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled. We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance. Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government. Obama will ensure that federal agencies expedite the process for reviewing whistleblower claims and whistleblowers have full access to courts and due process.

A White House spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment regarding the reasons for pulling the site.

Given that the “transparency czar” was eliminated in 2010, “why now” is a fair question.

About a year ago, someone accused me of being a simple hater, a “shill” for the right, an unthinking, unintelligent reactionary motivated by ideological hate and (of course) racism; he told me that the Obama I observed was “completely different from the one I see.” About five weeks ago, he admitted that, yeah…he could see, finally, the inconsistent, illusory idol I’d been identifying for five years –the golden calf, empty except in how it reflected believers back to themselves.

And golly, all it took was a couple of months into a re-election that would give Obama “more flexibility” and a belief (re-inforced by his ever-protective, journo-politically incested fanboys and fangirls in the press) that he and his administration were no longer accountable to anyone, for anything.

It’s “masks off” time for many, it seems. Our policymakers are a sorry lot. The only folks on the world stage I’m liking right now, are Peter the Roman, and his silent, prayerful predecessor.

And Peter keeps telling us to open our eyes and see the idols for what they are; to become aware of the idols so we may cast them aside, while there is time; to reach, instead, for Christ and his truth.

“It is true that nowadays, to some extent, everyone, including our young people, feels attracted by the many idols which take the place of God and appear to offer hope: money, success, power, pleasure,” he said. “Often a growing sense of loneliness and emptiness in the hearts of many people leads them to seek satisfaction in these ephemeral idols.”

I don’t think it’s any accident at all that we’re seeing this headline, now. News of the beatification of Oscar Romero comes in God’s good time, not man’s, and I suspect his eventually sainthood will speak more forcefully to our immediate future, than it might have a few years ago. The day before he was assassinated, this great bishop preached directly to the soldiers who repressed the people, in obedience to the Salvadoran regime.

“In the name of God, in the name of these suffering people whose cries rise to heaven more loudly each day, I implore you, I beg you, I order you: Stop the repression.”

Yes, I fully understand how ironic it is to uphold Romero, who was killed by a “right wing” regime, as a possible voice of encouragement against the galloping intrusions and excesses of a “left wing” regime. But the truth is when extremism makes people afraid to speak out or to do their jobs for fear of retribution, it doesn’t matter whether the tyranny has originated from “the right” or “the left” — it is of a piece, and only reveals to us that the distinctions themselves were illusions meant to divide and conquer.

We are in for some very interesting days, possibly scary, even harsh ones, I think, for any who dare to remain curious or who have the fortitude to resist succumbing to “the party” for the sake of personal expediency or a pension.

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“Internet Catholics be Crazy”: Anchoress at America Magazine
Ana Marie Cox “Comes out” as a Christian
About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Heloise1

    Scared might be all to the good. Harsh times and repression will wake more people up and shine a light on their path back to God.

    All that we face has been faced before, over and over again, as far back as the voice that speaks to us today from the Holy Bible .

  • Manny

    You are spot on here Anchoress. Now I didn’t buy into “the most transparant administration” crap but I had no idea it would be this bad. This man rivals Nixon in his under handedness. It was obvious he kept playing with the truth early on (the “affordable” healthcare act – ha!) but I had a true epiphany when he lied straight to Cardinal Dolan’s face about religious freedom. It was a bald faced lie, and ever since then there have been so many that have followed: Benghazi was because of a movie, the IRS scandal, Mitt Romney killed a man’s wife, he was against gay marriage, the sequester was not his idea, and so on. I no longer believe a word he says. I don’t blame the Republicans for not passing an immigration bill. He’s only going to enforce what he wants to enforce. You can’t negotiate with someone who lies and does what he wants despite his promises. His promises are empty.

  • hotboogers

    He is worse than Nixon. He is aided and enabled by Congress and the media, which Nixon did not have in his pocket.

  • David

    Obama said this past week, every obstacle we’re facing is phony, all concocted to distract and that we need to see and find our way through it all with him leading us down the path. While it truly comes across as the golden calf moment, Obama may see himself as the Keanu Reeves character in “The Matrix”, the one who can see through all the deception
    I agree this all makes for interesting times. It seems, though “our” time is very much out of sync with God’s own time. I hope we don’t make that one mistake we’ll all regret.

  • Callmelennie

    Indeed, that explains much of Nixon’s “deviousness” He was trying to be effective in an environment where he was opposed by a Congress that had a huge Democratic majority and a venal media that would stop at nothing to disrupt his administration.

    And much of Nixon’s under handeness stems from attempts to end the war that the Dems started and, moving further on, to end the Cold War itself. These are goals that were universally supported by the American people, as opposed to what Obama is attempting to do.

  • Manny

    I can’t judge there. I’m not a historian. But Nixon had a great accomplishment, bringing the US and China together. That is one of the great achievements of the 20th century. I see nothing in this administration.

  • Dagnabbit_42

    Eh, I don’t see the irony in the left/right terminology.

    Those terms have to refer to something.

    In the U.S., “right” means advocacy of smaller government except where “traditional family values” issues are involved, and sometimes even there (as in, preventing “big government” from influencing society in an anti-traditional fashion). “Right” mixes freely with “classical liberal” and “libertarian” in the U.S.

    In Russia, the “conservative hard liners” are the communists.

    And in a monarchy, “conservatives” are monarchists. It all depends what you’re trying to “conserve.”

    And the original “right” and “left” folks, in the French National Assembly in 1789, would recognize few “left/right” distinctives in modern American politics as relevant to their seating arrangement on either side of the king.

    So there’s really no continuity to the terms “right” or “left” across different geographies or eras.

    By the usual standards, Nazism (the National Socialist party of Germany) was a left-wing movement. But it gets called “right wing” because American progressives, embarrassed to have been big supporters of Nazism in its early years, rewrote their definitions thusly: “Nazis were racists, racism is bad, we’re left-wing, left-wing is good, therefore right-wing is bad, but bad is racist, therefore right-wing is racist, therefore Nazis were right-wing.”

    So it goes.

  • Steve

    But Lizzie, Obama has brought much transparency.

    He has made our personal lives transparent by spying on on.