Polls show that, even as his job approval ratings have struggled against continued grim economic news, majorities nonetheless find President Obama personally likable.
A recent CNN/ORC poll, for example, found that an astonishing 76 percent of respondents approved of him "as a person." Americans seem to have decided that Obama is at bottom a trustworthy, honest man, regardless of his skills, or lack thereof, as an executive.
That is unfortunate, because the facts suggest otherwise. As a presidential candidate Obama misled the public as to his intentions should he ascend to the Oval Office; as president, he has participated in open cronyism and corruption, buying votes to assure passage of unpopular legislation and awarding special favors to campaign contributors.
In short, Obama the president, people forget, is Obama "the person."
Consider: Labor unions representing some 500,000 workers have received waivers exempting them from financial and bureaucratic burdens of Obamacare since June 2011.
No wonder a prominent labor leader once bragged, "We spent a fortune to elect Barack Obama -- $60.7 million to be exact -- and we're proud of it."
That a special interest, legendary for its largess to Obama, would win exemption from legislation that binds the rest of us may be shocking, but it should come as no surprise.
Obamacare's very birth was a painful and messy exercise in legislative duplicity and corruption -- or have we all forgotten the infamous "Cornhusker Kickback" and "Louisiana Purchase" scandals that saw U.S. senators receiving sweetheart deals for their states in exchange for supporting Obamacare?
Obama began misleading the public on his health care plans while still on the campaign trail. During a 2008 Democratic debate, Obama argued against an individual mandate as a solution to the problem of the uninsured on both moral and economic grounds:
"A mandate means that in some fashion, everybody will be forced to buy health insurance. ... But I believe the problem is not that folks are trying to avoid getting health care. The problem is they can't afford it."
In spite of these assurances, Obamacare contains a mandate that every citizen purchase government-approved health insurance or face government sanction.
Most egregious, Obama sold his health care reform as financial panacea for all our economic ills, telling us that the nearly trillion-dollar legislation would actually save the nation money.
This legerdemain was accomplished by a variety of dishonest budgetary gimmicks: front-loading the taxes, back-loading the spending and shunting a huge portion of the cost to the states.
How to explain such mendacity from the man who vowed to cure our capital from its endemic corruption and vice? Simple: Obama is a disciple of the far-left-wing radical political strategist and teacher Saul Alinsky.
Early in his career, Obama absorbed Alinsky's approach, and even taught it in a class for aspiring community organizers hosted by a front group for the master.
This is a connection liberal members of the mainstream media were mostly uncomfortable covering during the 2008 Democratic presidential primary when Obama defeated Hillary Clinton, another Alinsky acolyte, or during the general election campaign against Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona.
Alinsky, a Chicago-based union and community organizer who died in 1972, preached ethical relativism in pursuit of radical political change. In his famous tome, "Rules For Radicals," Alinsky wrote, "to me ethics is doing what is best for the most," and "ethics are determined by whether one is losing or winning."
In other words, the ends justify the means for Alinsky -- but he advised his students that they must always give their behavior the sheen of a morality to make it palatable to the masses: "Do what you can with what you have and clothe it in moral arguments."
Obama learned this lesson well. In the summer of 2009, he claimed that passing his law was a "core ethical and moral obligation: That is, that we look out for one another; that is, I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper. And in the wealthiest nation in the world right now we are neglecting to live up to that call."
Such sanctimony is only exceeded by the moral turpitude with which the law was actually sold and passed. Alinsky would be proud.