Associated Press is reporting that German Chancellor Angela Merkel said yesterday the relationship between Germany and the United States as well as the future of a trans-Atlantic free trade agreement have been "put to the test."
Her Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich told Parliament that the U.S. administration needs to "come clean" on the NSA spying on Germany and Merkel herself.
Merkel says, "The allegations are grave...for the future, new trust has to be re-built" toward the Obama administration.
Democrat Senator Kristen Gillibrand from New York was asked by ABC's "This Week" if she thought President Obama knew millions would lose their insurance policies at the time he was promising the public they could keep them.
She said, "We all knew...he should have just have been specific."
Perhaps "truthful" would have been a better word.
Gillibrand told ABC, "Anyone claiming ignorance, therefore is not telling the truth."
Can he re-build trust?
Merkel says the "allegations of massive spying by the US National Security Agency"...including tapping her own phone, "are grave and must be investigated."
However, she says, that Germany's alliance with Washington "remains a fundamental guarantor for our freedom and security."
It's difficult to have a meaningful relationship when trust is gone.
At first Merkel had tried to play down the spying allegations, but that changed when she learned that her personal cell phone had been tapped.
Senator Gillibrand (D-NY) told ABC's "This week" the Democrats were not misled by President Obama's promises that Americans who liked their insurance policies could keep them. She said "No, we all knew."
She added that the whole point of Obamacare was "covering things people need, like preventative care, birth control."
The redistributive nature of Obamacare, Gillibrand said, was the point of the program; anyone claiming ignorance, therefore, "is not really telling the truth."
German reporters are pressing Merkel, asking if Germany's sovereignty has been compromised by the Obama administration's actions, while Americans are expressing alarm at the degree to which the President has misled the public.
Can trust be rebuilt here and abroad?
The problem continues. While offering a "sort of' apology" or acknowledgement that the public was misled by his statements, he continues to make promises he simply can't keep.
The Financial Times points out that while acknowledging past lies, he continues the pattern. They specifically point to his comments last Thursday where he said Americans who have lost their existing insurance policies in the last 6 weeks can now "retrieve them."
And if they couldn't retrieve them to blame the insurance company, not him.
This will boomerang. Without significant help from the insurance companies, he cannot pick up the broken pieces. Even with their help, many feel it will be impossible.
Remember Humpty Dumpty? All the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't pull it off.
The Financial Times gives an insightful and in depth look at his track record so far. They conclude that he has tripped up on nearly every hurdle, and likely will not rebuild the trust of the American people---or the world.
Real Clear Politics published a poll yesterday with the title: "Obama's Approval Rating Literally Falls Off The Chart." And it has. His approval rating is 41% and falling.
In a Quinnipiac University poll, only 44% of voters thought Obama was trustworthy and honest.
Time will tell. The Clintons are making their move to elect Hillary in 2016 and are distancing themselves from Obama. That will not be helpful to his recovery.
How did we get to this place in our country?
Our Founding Fathers and other leaders who followed warned us regarding this kind of peril.
Samuel Adams, in a letter to James Warren on November 4, 1775 said, "Nothing is more essential to the establishment of manners in a State than that all persons employed in places of power and trust be men of exceptional characters. The public cannot be too curious concerning the character of public men."
Perhaps citizens should be more "curious" in upcoming elections.
President James Garfield said, a hundred years after the Revolution (1877), "Now more than ever the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature...If the next centennial does not find us a great nation...it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces."
Agreed. It's time to "control the political forces."
Trust is built over time and is not easily broken over honest mistakes. It is enduring, but it can be fragile. When actions are perceived to not be a mistake, but a calculation, it is much more difficult to restore trust.
Something to remember:
English Standard Version (ESV)
Blessed is the man who makes
the Lord his trust,
who does not turn to the proud,
to those who go astray after a lie!
Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Informed. Be Prayerful. Be Pro-Active. Be Blessed.