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OPINION-Administration has credibility gap

‘Unfortunately, so far the Obama Administration has valued its agenda more than its credibility.’

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) recently called on members of the Obama Administration to begin rebuilding the American people’s trust by focusing on their credibility, rather than their political agenda. Excerpts of his remarks are below.

“Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Our founders pointed out in the Federalist Papers and elsewhere that a concentration of powers in the hands of a few is the very definition of tyranny.

“And we've learned from hard experience over the course of our nation's history that when government thinks it knows best, particularly here in Washington in a country as big and diverse as ours is, that the natural tendency then in Washington is to try to suppress the voices of those who see things differently.

“Over the last week, a series of events have highlighted the Administration's massive credibility gap. First we learned more details about the coordinated attempt to misrepresent the September 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.

“Then we learned this last week that a senior IRS official had acknowledged that her agency deliberately targeted certain political speech and activity for harassment using the instruments of power given to the Internal Revenue Service, perhaps the most awesome, pervasive and potentially intrusive power the federal government has, in the hands of that agency.

“On top of all that, the top administrator of Health and Human Services, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, has been soliciting funds from the very industries she regulates.

“So whether the issue is a terrorist attack in Libya, political and partisan abuses by the IRS, or efforts by the Department of Health and Human Services to shake down the health insurance industry they regulate, it appears that the birds have come home to roost, that the founders warned us about, the concentration of government power invariably leads to abuse of that power and it's the same old story of human frailties over and over again.

“If we will try to work hard to regain the public's credibility and we will simply do our work and respect the wisdom of the ages when it comes to concentration of power and its impact on individual liberty, and the temptation when power is absolute to see that power corrupted and abuse that power when it comes to dealing with the American people.

“Unfortunately, so far the Obama Administration has valued its agenda more than its credibility. Without regaining credibility, we will never regain the public's trust, and without that trust, it will be much, much harder to solve America’s biggest problems. That is the biggest single challenge to President Obama's second-term agenda. And to our ability as Americans to show that this 200-plus year experiment in self-government actually works.”

Senator Cornyn serves on the Finance and Judiciary Committees. He serves as the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee’s Immigration, Refugees and Border Security subcommittee. He served previously as Texas Attorney General, Texas Supreme Court Justice, and Bexar County District Judge.

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