My reaction? You've got to be kidding me.
Jon, Congress, UK, guys... your surprise shows that you're missing something important here; something important about this administration, and, to some extent, about yourselves as well. These guys are not doing what you on occasion (some more often than others) do, telling lies, in truth they aren't even lying.
A liar is someone who, at the very least, is aware of, and is concerned about, what the truth. is. If there is one thing a liar knows, it is what the truth is! And in telling lies, the liar is concerned about what the truth could do to them if it became widely known. While a liar will do everything they can to hide it, they still have a healthy fear of and respect for, what the truth actually is.
We should be so lucky as to have liars in, and supporting, this administration.
What do I mean? Ask yourself, what is the typical reaction of a liar when called out on their lies?
Anxiety, embarrassment, panic, desperate evasion, bluster, and, at least over being caught, regret... right?
Can you really call out the Obama administration and those of like mind on those points?
Early on, well after telling the American people 'If you like your healthcare, you can keep it' numerous times, the president said bad politicos had slipped some language into the ObamaCare bill which put that oft repeated promise in jeopardy. And then, he and his fellows went right on saying that 'If you like your healthcare, you can keep it', time and time again.
Get clear on that. He acknowledged that it was no longer possibly true. The Truth of the matter was out there. Then he went right along repeating the same usefully comforting, but untrue, assurance.
Only now that it has become common knowledge that that is not, and cannot be the case, have they now modified their comment to 'If you like your healthcare, and it hasn't changed, then you can keep it', which they are now earnestly repeating as if that was what they had meant all along.
Not only is there no plausibility here, but there is no fear of being revealed as having been, and currently telling, words which convey no measurable amount of truth in them.
Because they aren't even lying. They aren't concerned with hiding the truth, they are only concerned with creating the result they want. To them, truth and falsehood are simply adjectives of marginal interest (when useful), to be applied only as useful means for achieving their ends. Period.
Liars respect the truth and work around it. This bunch, within and without the White House, do not. They have no regard for, or thought for, what is true... or even any sign that they acknowledge that such a thing is of importance. What they do have, is a set of goals they want to achieve, a plan for achieving them, and whether or not those goals will accomplish what they say they will, doesn't even enter into their plans or considerations.
They know where they are. They know where they want to be. Even their goals are only a means of getting what they want. They know what they want, and based upon what that truly is, they are pursuing the only means to achieving them: Power. They pursue power, and what they want, is power, for it's own sake, and happiness, let alone the pursuit of it, doesn't figure into their plans at all.
That leaves quaint issues such as 'lies' and 'truth', as little more than useful things to be noted here and there only in so far as they sway you into helping them achieve their ends, and they will say what they think needs to be said, and in what manner, in order to get there. If denial seems to be useful, they'll deny. If apologizing seems to get them what they want, they'll apologize. If, like Hilary, they think a show of frustration might be useful, they'll give that a whirl and see what difference it might make; they'll cheerfully trot out whatever words seem most likely to help them accomplish their next step. Not because those words have any relation to being true, and not with any concern for whether or not some or all of them might be false. They know where they are, they know where they want to be, and they have a notion of what they need to say in order to cause the right reactions in a select set of useful people... and for them, that's what the purpose of words are.
To get you what you want. For the greater good. Not only is that, in their eyes, justification enough, it is all they are concerned about, and being the ones who define just what 'the greater good' is, ensures that it won't interfere with what they want.
And that my friends is what they mean, when they tell you that their words depend upon what the meaning of Is, is.
Not whether or not something is good, or beautiful or true - but because they want it, and whatever it is that you think their words mean, is only a means for them getting what they want.
That's not lying.
Liars know what is true. Liars respect the truth. Liars fear the truth. Liars are concerned about what is true and what is false. When you use words without respect for what is true or false, when you use words as a means of weaponizing those who hear those words, in order to achieve your ends, that's not lying.
That's not even lying.
That's the pursuit of power for power's sake. And for those with enough hubris to believe that they can handle power, that they are capable of wielding the power to do whatever they think is best for others without restraint... their language doesn't even rise to the level of lying - it simply works the levers of public opinion and moves them closer to getting what they desire... their precious.
Is the Obama administration a pack of liars?
Don't I wish.