Obama and Past Presidents

(I considered titling this “Isn’t Barack Obama Wonderful!”) I was researching, in an off moment from a project I’m working on, details about past ambassadors. I’ve used WhiteHouse.gov for a long time, looking back at prior administrations and speeches and executive orders and such. It was a useful storehouse of past ideas and news.

President Obama changed all that.

Now, all speeches, videos, press releases, executive orders et cetera that pre-date him are gone, erased from the site.  All old links are dead.  Instead, WhiteHouse.gov is the Barack Obama and Friends channel, all the time.

There are traces of evidence that the United States had presidents before.  Each of them has a page, written with somewhat rough-edged English and a fairly deft and subtle leftist bias. (Jimmy Carter’s list of accomplishments is large than that of Ronald Reagan, for example.)

And the page of each of the presidents for the past century (with one exception) ends with a “Isn’t Obama Wonderful?” bullet point, formally entitled “Did You Know?” that connected each of these past presidents with Obama’s wonderfulness. Here are some examples:

Did you know?

  • President Barack Obama awarded George H.W. Bush the 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, for his commitment to service and ability to inspire volunteerism throughout the country, encouraging citizens to be “a thousand points of light.” The administration continues to promote service and civic engagement, honoring heroes of local communities as “Champions of Change” and fostering civic participation.

Did you know?

  • 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. Source: Harry S. Truman Library and Museum

Did you know?

  • President Herbert Hoover signed the bill founding the Department of Veterans Affairs July 21, 1930. President Obama is committed to making sure that the VA, the second-largest cabinet department, serves the needs of all veterans and provides a seamless transition from active duty to civilian life, and has directed his Administration to modernize the way health care is delivered and benefits are administered for our nation’s veterans.  First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden launched Joining Forces to mobilize all sectors of society to give our service members and their families the opportunities and support they have earned.
I miss the old days, when you could actually use the side for historical purposes. And I find this constant recasting of history to puff up the current president to be distasteful.
History on the White House web site is re-written for other purposes as well. As I mentioned not long ago, Obama’s people edited the administration’s own photo captions and press releases to remove the fact that they had ever said that Jerusalem was in Israel. And then Obama’s team edited historical Bush documents (including releases and reports) to make it seem that he followed the same policy of not admitting that Jerusalem was in Israel.  That was deception, and rather odious as a nation’s very existence is the core topic.
The narcissism is just tedious.  The GWB archives can be found at http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/ (compared to the more direct Clinton access at http://clinton.archives.gov/).
===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle