Monday, January 26, 2009

What do Transparency and Obama Have in Common?

During the transition and now into the first week of the Obama Presidency, the administration has been using the word "transparent" to describe the new administration's approach to governing.

The choice to use the word "transparent" was actually pretty clever because it connotes thoughts of openness of the administration. It also allows the administration to set up websites like which featured a portion of the site for user questions. (Please click that link and note the irony of the "Open for Questions" page being closed.) It was so open, in fact, that people began to ask about Obama's connection to the Blagojevich pay-for-play scandal. Those questions apparently required too much transparency on the part of the administration, so their loyal followers took them down immediately.

"Transparency," as it was understood by many Americans, indicated that this administration would not hide information, but make it readily available. However, the word "transparent" can also be used to describe something that is virtually invisible. Which is probably more accurate for how the administration behaved by the end of last week when Obama signed an executive order to rescind the Mexico City Policy.

The Mexico City Policy denied federal money to organizations the perform or promote abortions in foriegn countries. This policy was put into place by Ronald Reagan in 1984, rescinded by Bill Clinton in 1993, was reinstated in 2001, and now Barack Obama as again rescinded the policy yet again.

When Obama signed to executive order to close Gitmo, the press was invited to witness this historic occasion and to capture it on video for the world to see.

Closing Gitmo

But when he signed the executive order to rescinded the Mexico City Policy, he did so without any cameras around on a Friday afternoon when he knew talk radio wouldn't get a hold of it until the following Monday, which would make it old news by then.

Where's Obama?

I can't identify Obama in this picture documenting the rescinding of the Mexico City Policy above. Maybe he's being transparent.

Here's the problem. At the Saddleback Forum, Obama said that he was in favor of "reducing the number of abortions" and that he has "inserted [this goal] into the democratic party platform."

When speaking to Rick Warren, an evangelical pastor, while on the campaign trail, Barack Obama portrayed himself as a leader committed to reducing the number of abortions.

But with the executive order signed on Friday providing funds given by every American taxpayer to organizations that provide and promote abortion as a means of family planning, or worse, population control, Obama reveals a very different agenda.

In the open, during a campaign, in front of a respected evangelical pastor, he said one thing. Behind closed doors, after the election, he acted very differently.

So what do transparency and Obama have in common? They both have two faces.

Note this: Obama's positions never change. What he claims to be his position is what changes depending on who's watching.

Is that change we can believe in?

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