What Obama's nakedly political moves say about our screwed-up polity

More and more, the president seems uninterested in even trying to hide the fact that he is making policy moves based on political considerations — in confessing he has to act one way until after the next election, at which point he can act another way. The most obvious example was the administration’s decision to delay immigration action until after the 2014 election — for admittedly political purposes…

How does Obama get away with it? (And to be clear, Obama is hardly the only culprit. Lawmakers on both sides engage in this behavior.) Perhaps the reason is that as a people, we prioritize transparency over virtue. Like Holden Caulfield, phoniness is the one sin we really despise. You can see this in the way we have pounced on Kentucky Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes’ pathetic attempts to parry the question of whether or not she voted for Obama. Partisans on both sides agree: No matter how unpopular Obama is in red Kentucky, it was foolish of Grimes to try and evade questions about whether she voted for him. Better to admit an uncomfortable truth than cover it up with a disingenuous excuse about the sanctity of the secret ballot.

The message seems clear: We all know how cynical our leaders are. And they know we know. So what’s the sense in hiding it?