History As Propaganda
Commentary’s Seth Mandel finds that the White House has done some odd things to the Presidential history entries on the White House web site:
The Heritage Foundation’s Rory Cooper tweeted that Obama had casually dropped his own name into Ronald Reagan’s official biography on www.whitehouse.gov, claiming credit for taking up the mantle of Reagan’s tax reform advocacy with his “Buffett Rule” gimmick. My first thought was, he must be joking. But he wasn’t—it turns out Obama has added bullet points bragging about his own accomplishments to the biographical sketches of every single U.S. president since Calvin Coolidge (except, for some reason, Gerald Ford).
Here are just a few examples:
- On Feb. 22, 1924 Calvin Coolidge became the first president to make a public radio address to the American people. President Coolidge later helped create the Federal Radio Commission, which has now evolved to become the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). President Obama became the first president to hold virtual gatherings and town halls using Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, etc.
- In a 1946 letter to the National Urban League, President Truman wrote that the government has “an obligation to see that the civil rights of every citizen are fully and equally protected.” He ended racial segregation in civil service and the armed forces in 1948. Today the Obama administration continues to strive toward upholding the civil rights of its citizens, repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, allowing people of all sexual orientations to serve openly in our armed forces.
- President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare signed (sic) into law in 1965—providing millions of elderly healthcare stability. President Obama’s historic health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act, strengthens Medicare, offers eligible seniors a range of preventive services with no cost-sharing, and provides discounts on drugs when in the coverage gap known as the “donut hole.”
- On August 14, 1935, President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act. Today the Obama administration continues to protect seniors and ensure Social Security will be there for future generations.
- In a June 28, 1985 speech Reagan called for a fairer tax code, one where a multi-millionaire did not have a lower tax rate than his secretary. Today, President Obama is calling for the same with the Buffett Rule.
Ed Morrissey found several more, including at least three for President Reagan. This is hardly the biggest story in the universe, hence the short post, but its is darned odd that the Administration took the time to go back through the biographies of President’s stretching back to 1924 to add in what is essentially political propaganda for the Obama Administration. Has any previous Administration (and in this case, that would be the Clinton and Bush Administrations since the White House Web Site has only been live since the 1990s) done this? I don’t know, but it would be just as odd if they’d done it too.