SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

March 6, 2013

Anderson: With spring comes hope

Spring is coming, I just know it! Even though after the November election, I thought we might never see political hope and joy again.

Here, along with the red-winged blackbirds Chip saw last weekend, are my harbingers of better days to come.

First, the bear emerging from his den: Bob Woodward exposing lies again. My political interest began in the Watergate era, when Woodward and Bernstein at The Washington Post uncovered the cover-up of illegal activity by Nixon operatives during the 1972 presidential campaign. I read their book “All the President’s Men,” saw the movie with Redford and Hoffman twice, and was primed at an early age to be skeptical, question politicians, admire reporters who did this sort of thing for a living. Many of our current reporters chose journalism as their career because of Watergate and until Obama ran, lived up to their calling. Now, Woodward has shamed those who haven’t questioned Obama for the six years of his ongoing presidential campaign.

While writing a book about domestic policy, Woodward did extensive interviews with administration officials during negotiations over raising the debt limit last year. Republicans agreed to allow more debt in return for serious spending reductions; if the Obama administration and Democrats didn’t work with them on these, automatic cuts called a sequester would happen on March 1.

As the deadline approached, the president took to the campaign trail, blaming Republicans for the coming automatic cuts, for not managing the country while he played games. Woodward stepped forward to tell country the truth, that the sequester was in fact Obama’s idea and that he had “moved the goalposts” by now demanding tax increases in return for the spending cuts.

The Obama administration, unaccustomed to being exposed, blamed the truth-teller; the president’s economic adviser, Gene Sperling, told him in an email that “you will regret staking out that claim.” My hope is this threat, probably to refuse the writer White House access, will inspire the rest of the media to support Woodward at this time and, in the future, the truth-telling concept itself.

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