Every time you turned around, the Cult of St. Barack seemed to dwindle just a little more.
Blame it on whistle-blower Ed Snowden, if you will.
In May of 2013, Ed's bravery resulted in the American people learning just how much Barack Obama had lied to them and how the illegal spying, begun under Bully Boy Bush, flourished and multiplied under President Barack.
Ed would note, in fact, that he could have done the whistle-blowing in 2008 but thought things might change under Barack. They did change, but not for the better.
So Ed goes public with the information.
Followed immediately with Ed going public about himself. After WikiLeaks published some of Chelsea Manning's exposures, the issue -- for the press (including 'brave' McClatchy correspondent Nancy A. Youssef) -- became Chelsea, Ed wanted to avoid that distraction and went public with the fact that he was the whistle-blower and why he was the whistle-blower.
At this point, Barack's pretense was exposed.
He had the Bolivian presidential plane forced down in Austria in what was a true international incident, a complete over reach and a disregard for diplomatic immunity which will come back to hurt the United States.
And that was only the start of it.
Barack and his minions lied and lied again.
They lied to the public.
They lied to the Congress.
Throughout the second half of 2013, they continued lying and, initially, some people believed them. Even some members of Congress. That began to fall away as more exposures emerged from Ed's whistle-blowing.
It also underscored yet again how the man who knew Barack best called it right in 2008.
Many have forgotten and few caught on in real time.
In an apparent effort to ensure that no more catch on, Crapapedia has vanished the moment from their "Jeremiah Wright controversy" entry.
The National Press Club appearance was what forced Barack and Michelle to appear on television immediately after and to denounce Wright who had just offered comments about Barack being a typical politician, "Politicians say what they say and do what they do because of electability."
This went against the campaign theme and lie that Barack was above and beyond politics.
And that's why Barack went from March 18, 2008 declaring, "I can no more disown him [Wright] than I can disown the Black community," to the pouty Today show appearance with Michelle at his side where Barack whined in response to Wright's charges that he was a typical politician, "If I wanted to be politically expedient I would have distanced myself and denounced him right away, right? That would have been the easy thing to do -- that would be the standard stock political advice."
That this 'affront' was the key takeaway was made clear by the fact that not only was it in the May 1, 2008 broadcast of the interview on the Today show but that Brian Williams included that quote -- and that was it, they didn't have time to include other aspects of the interview and time to also slime Hillary which, for the record, Andrea Martin did in her 'report' -- on the April 30, 2008 broadcast of NBC Nightly News.
That this was the "affront" was also made clear in the April 28, 2008 speech Barack gave, where he declared, "What became clear to me is that he was presenting a world view that contradicts who I am and what I stand for, and what I think particularly angered me was his suggestion somehow that my previous denunciation of his remarks were somehow political posturing."
What The Cult of St. Barack could shield the people from in 2008 was no longer concealed by 2014 as Barack was left exposed as dishonest and as craven as any other typical politician.
That's because after exposure comes self-exposure.
Especially for celebrities.
They can't leave it alone, they pick at it like a scar.
I'll name a friend, Diana Ross.
Diana is not a bitch.
But she's been called it and worried it might be true.
So after Mary Wilson's army of ghost writers completed that pack of lies (even the efforts at hypnosis didn't help Mary's memory although -- based on the stories Steve McQueen told me about Mary, I guess there's good reason for her not to want to remember her brief affair with him) and it was published, Diana repeatedly returned to the topic.
Even, in an interview with Barbara Walters (when those interviews actually mattered) answered "That people think I'm a bitch" to the question of what is the biggest misconception.
What Diana should have done, following the release of the book, is declared publicly, "I'm a little surprised Mary thinks so little of me after years of using me as her personal bank, requesting one loan after another. I never would have loaned her all that money if I'd known she wasn't really a friend."
That's all she needed to say.
That would have put Mary's trashy book of fiction into perspective and also exposed the reality (which Mary is so ashamed of) that for the bulk of her life, Mary couldn't even support herself after the Supremes were over.
Diana wants her own way the way most people do. I don't see her as a bitch and the only one I know who ever called her that and knew her was Ryan O'Neal but Ryan just slept with her to use her so I don't think I'd vest too much into his opinion.
Currently, Bill Cosby's in crisis mode.
I don't know if the accusations are true or not.
But we're seeing exposure go into self-exposure as Bill can't stop making remarks that go the heart of the accusations and help keep them alive.
Or, for another example, after Bully Boy Bush's eight-year occupation of the White House, it's now largely forgotten that Poppy Bush was once considered the idiot of the family.
(Yes, Bully Boy Bush was so dumb, he managed to steal the title from his father.)
As the press repeatedly noted his gaffes in 1988, he seemed unable to stop providing them with more gaffes.
One of the most infamous ones (now forgotten but, if you need to fact check, see the August 1988 issue of The Progressive for Molly Ivins' "The Word's The Thing") was George H.W. Bush declaring of his years as Vice President during the Reagan administration, "For seven-and-a-half years, I've worked alongside him and I'm proud to be his partner. We've had triumphs, we've made mistakes, we've had sex." Which he quickly corrected, "Setbacks. We've had setbacks."
Again, it took Bully Boy Bush to wipe away America's earlier memory of George H.W. as the dumb Bush.
And Barack might be able to take comfort in that.
Because the lesson is that a fresh scandal can fade a past one.
Sadly for Barack, none of his scandals are "past" scandals.
Instead, they are all ongoing.
And no fresh scandal from someone else can wipe away ongoing ones.
Take the Iraq War.
He ran on it, remember?
He was against the Iraq War.
Before he was for it.
In 2002, speaking to a tiny group -- not even enough to make a "small crowd" -- of employment challenged baby boomers, he was against the impending Iraq War.
Running for the US Senate in 2004, he was for the Iraq War.
In 2008, he would run on wanting to end the Iraq War.
But he didn't want to.
Nouri al-Maliki is a thug. He was installed as prime minister of Iraq by the Bully Boy Bush administration in 2006 -- in part because a CIA analysis found Nouri to be deeply paranoid and it was thought that this could be used by the US government to easily control him.
His first term was one scandal after another including that he was running secret torture cells.
But in 2010, when he lost the election to Ayad Allawi, the White House let him bring Iraq to a stand-still as, for eight months, he refused to step down as prime minister. And then the White House brokered a contract (The Erbil Agreement) that dispensed with the voters, the votes and democracy to give Nouri a second term.
As we spent years explaining, that was done because Barack wanted to keep US troops in Iraq beyond the 2008 SOFA agreement the Bully Boy Bush administration negotiated with Nouri (which gave the US permission to keep troops in Iraq in 2009, 2010 and 2011).
Again, we spent years telling you that keeping US troops in Iraq beyond 2011 was why Barack insisted Nouri get a second term.
In 2014, the press finally caught up with us.
But to be fair, we weren't the only ones telling the truth. Michael R. Gordon and Bernard E. Trainor reported in their book The Endgame that US Vice President Joe Biden insisted in October 2010 -- mere weeks before The Erbil Agreement -- had declared that Nouri would agree to extending US forces in Iraq beyond 2011 and that Joe was so sure he would "bet you my vice presidency Maliki will extend the SOFA."
That book came out ahead of the 2012 debates.
Strangely, it was greeted with silence as Ava and I noted in "TV: Media continued fail."
Ed Snowden exposing Barack in 2013 allowed the media -- The New Yorker, for just one example -- to finally 'discover' the book in 2014.
But no one -- except Peter Feaver -- wanted to note the book in 2012. Certainly not after Barack lied in a 2012 debate. As Glenn Kessler (Washington Post) pointed out, "Romney’s right -- Obama did try to get a status of forces agreement, but could not get an agreement with the government of Iraq. So now he stresses the fact that he has removed all troops from Iraq, while knocking Romney for supporting what he originally had hoped to achieve."
Barack repeatedly lied.
And slowly, Americans can admit that.
In June, Barack began publicly sending US troops into Iraq and did so under the promise that they would not be in combat.
From Mr. Pretty Lies.
December 9th, Secretary of State John Kerry appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Secretary of State John Kerry: On the issue of combat operations, I know that this is hotly debated, with passionate and persuasive arguments on both sides. The President has been clear that his policy is that U.S. military forces will not be deployed to conduct ground combat operations against ISIL. That will be the responsibility of local forces because that is what our local partners and allies want, what is best for preserving our Coalition and, most importantly, what is in the best interest of the United States .
Wasn't that a relief?
Mr. Pretty Lies plans to keep a promise - - at last.
But . . .
Secretary of State John Kerry: However, while we certainly believe this is the soundest policy, and while the president has been clear he's open to clarifications on the use of U.S. combat troops to be outlined in an AUMF, that does not mean we should pre-emptively bind the hands of the commander in chief oo or our commanders in the field -- in responding to scenarios and contingencies that are impossible to foresee.
Was a promise made to the American people or not?
Is Barack to keep his promise?
An AUMF that refused to allow for combat troops wouldn't tie anyone's hands.
It could easily be passed.
It would require that if Barack wants to break his promise -- which he apparently is open to doing -- he would then have to go back to Congress for a second approval.
But if a promise is a promise and if Barack can be trusted, why does he need an AUMF which allows for US combat troops?
This is the sort of self-exposure which will become more and more clear in 2015.
Membership in The Cult of St. Barack is dwindling. And the press has little reason to continue to whore for Barack. They whored for Bully Boy Bush for years. When it was no longer in their interests to do so, they dropped him.
The press has begun to drop the adoration of Barack as well.
Just this week, Julie Pace and Nancy Benac (AP) pointed out, "The Yes-We-Can man is entering a twilight of maybes [. . .]"
It's not a plot to 'take him down' -- it's just, as Ava and I pointed out the day after the November 2012 election -- the natural process.
Possibly Barack could have avoided it.
The press carried Barack's water much longer than they did any other president or Oval Office occupant.
But Ed Snowden changed the landscape.
If you doubt it, think of how Ed's illegal spying revelations went over in Europe.
Not very well at all.
And that may have impacted the European Court of Justice Advocate General Eleanor Sharpston siding with US War Resister Andre Shepherd in November.
Another positive sign? An unwillingness to remain silent while temple whores in The Cult of St. Barack continue to lie. Take Margaret Kimberley's "Freedom Rider: Cuba in the American Imagination" (Black Agenda Report):
Even supposedly serious thinkers succumbed and revealed more about their own fantasies than any insight about Cuba. Liberal pundit David Corn could only think of his stereotypes in a startling missive posted on twitter. “Cuba's a swell place to visit. Beaches, rum, baseball, music. It'll be great for more USers to visit-& that could counter repression there.” If there were a prize awarded for truly stupid twitter posts, Code Pink’s Medea Benjamin should win with these words, “Obama spoke with Raul Castro yesterday. The ice is melting. Mojitos for all!”
It is difficult to know where to begin in analyzing such nonsense. It isn’t clear what Corn means by repression, but surely the presence of Americans having fun has never made people safe anywhere in the world. As for Benjamin, anyone whose response to a foreign policy decision includes references to a cocktail should be ignored now and forever.
Yeah, it's going to be hard for the whores in the next few years.
2014 ended with The Nation featuring an article -- a fact-challenged one -- noting The New Republic carrying water for the powerful -- as if The Nation has done anything else since 2009. (Other big fact challenge? Slamming The New Republic for it's KGB ties when, in fact, The Nation has their own problems including entertaining a Soviet Agent who was later executed for being a spy -- entertaining him and raising money for him.)
Where does Katrina vanden Heuvel think she goes next with her propaganda website?
It was one thing, in the early '00s to pose as brave lefties who called out Bill Clinton when, reality, not so much from The Nation when Bill was president. But in the early '00s, you could get away with it.
Now The Nation has all so many articles online.
Propping up Barack. Carrying water for him.
As more and more Americans turn against the hugely unpopular ObamaCare, it's going to be really hard for The Nation to lie that they stood up to the increased corporatization of health care. It's going to be hard for them to pretend they were pushing for single-payer.
So much will be hard for them to pretend.
Where do they go?
These temple whores after Barack terms out of office?
They've destroyed their credibility and now are in the self-exposure phase themselves.
All of which means 2015 should make for a very, very interesting year.
And, of course, there are the years beyond and there's the scandal no one wants to talk about.
No, not Benghazi.
In photograph after photograph, Susan Rice is shown at a distance, in the shadows.
Is she the administration's Iago?
Or is it just another sign of the sexism in Barack's administration.
Long after Barack's out of the White House and Anita Dunn decides to (again) tell the truth (with no retraction or fear this go round), the rank sexism will be an issue that Barack can't silence, finesse or control.
Barack's recent golfing game got him in trouble.(and should -- as Gary Chartier notes at Information Clearing House) but his sexism is so common place that people don't even bother to point out it's yet another golf game with men.
It's as though the LPGA is the only four letter term Barack's unfamiliar with.
Or take his winter pleasure reading list. As Rebecca pointed out, there are six authors. All six are men.
I'm sorry, did I nod out and wake up in 1640? Has Aphra Behn and all the professional female writers that followed her not yet emerged?
Again, none of these actions are hidden.
They're out in the open and Barack, in 2014, was exposing himself repeatedly.
2013: The Year of Exposure
2012: The Year of Avoidance
2011: The Year of the Slow Reveal
Other 2014 year-in-review pieces: Isaiah's "2014 Self-Exposure," Kat's "Kat's Korner: 2014 In Music," Ruth's "Ruth's Radio Report 2014," Martha and Shirley's "2014 in Books (Martha & Shirley)" and Ann and Stan's "2014 in Film (Ann and Stan)" which first went up at their own sites as Ann's "2014 in Films (Ann and Stan)" and Stan's "2014 in film (Ann and Stan),"