We have many sound bytes and catch phrases with meanings that fluctuate like the wind. The concept of a mandate lost all meaning when pundits claimed George Bush won with a mandate for his agenda in 2004. With just 51 percent of the vote, it hardly seems sane to declare a mandate.

Obama must have a supermandate. If either had a mandate, it didn’t last 4 years, long enough to push a campaign agenda into law.

Our laws require transparency in government. Few governments abide by those laws. Laws requiring board meetings be held in public are usurped by moving to Executive Sessions. Requests for public documents are tharwted by ‘redaction,’ deleting critical information with magic marker.

The worst violation of transparency may have been under President Bush. Bush proclaimed a recession before entering office. The recession materialized 4 months later. Bush proclaimed a series of tax cuts would end the mythical recession, drive the economy to sustained recovery, and pay off trillions in public debt.

When the red ink rolled over the rosy reports, Bush stopped giving ten year budget projections.

If we hide the results of our bad decisions with administrative action, then we do more than deny responsibility. We destroy transparency.

So far, President Obama has been open with bad economic news and budget projections. Revealing the truth will hurt him politically. But remember, it helps you.

No matter how much we want to hear good news, democracy requires that eternal diligence, an effort to see the world without blinders.

Obama has put no smoke and mirrors in his economic and budget projections. Reward him instead of reviling him.