For a long time, intrepid critics of Barack Obama have described him, accurately, as a pathological liar. The Benghazi affair must force even the most circumspect among us to recognize that the problem is even more serious: the president of the United States has no conscience.
Most men do bad things during their lives. But most men know when they are doing a bad thing, and, more importantly, they feel bad about it. This is why, for most of us, bad behavior has its limits. There is a point beyond which we simply will not go, even for a greatly desired advantage. Our minds will not let us do it. We say things like “I couldn’t live with myself if I did that.”
This principle seems to extend very far down through the depths of human weakness, even to the actions of criminals. A “crime of passion” is so named in part because we presume that the criminal, had he not been momentarily overruled by a violent emotion, would have stopped himself short of committing the crime. This conception also implies that once the violent emotion has passed, the criminal will feel remorse, and probably also shame.
If a sane man lacks this capacity for stopping or rebuking himself — not merely in a moment of extreme passion, but in calm moments, in long-anticipated situations, or in prepared statements — then we say he has no conscience. Barack Obama has long been a candidate for inclusion in the category of the conscienceless. Benghazi seals his fate.