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Secrecy in government

Posted: October 12, 2010 10:55 a.m.
Updated: October 13, 2010 5:00 a.m.

It’s no wonder that President Obama could watch his party suffer one of the biggest flameouts in political history next month. There’s massive dissatisfaction with politics in Washington, and it starts at the top -- in the White House. On the campaign trail, Obama promised a new way of doing things, an openness and transparency that would allow Americans of all persuasions to look deeply into the government process. Yet he’s adopted the same closed-door stance that has led so many Americans to mistrust their elected officials in the nation’s capital.

In formulating his new health care policy, Obama pledged that the entire process would be open for all to see, even suggesting that meetings might be televised on C-Span. Yet the nuts and bolts of that policy, which is unpopular with the public, were ground out in secret meetings which were closed to the press and the public. And now comes word that Obama’s presidential campaign -- he’s already running for his next term, as almost all presidents do upon first walking into the Oval Office -- is allowing donors to use largely untraceable prepaid credit cards that could be used to evade limits on how much an individual is allowed to give or to mask the identity of a contributor. Open? Hardly.

Obama’s “Yes We Can” campaign slogan rings hollow now in the light of secrecy and darkness. And next month, he might well see how much voters disapprove of such ways.

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