It’s been interesting to watch the Democrat Party and their patrons in the media desperately trying to defend the indefensible. That would be Obama’s massive "if you like your insurance, you can keep your insurance" lie. Click here and here to see fun compilations of rationalizations of and euphemisms for Obama’s whopper. As near as I can tell, the excuses fall into two categories.
The first has to do with clarity: Either he was a) not clear enough, b) not nuanced enough, or c) overly simplistic. I know, I know, a and b contradict each other, but when spinning a lie of this magnitude, consistency is, at most, an afterthought. Anyway, when you sweep away all the fog, the crux of this argument is that what Obama said was actually or technically true but could be construed by the uninitiated as narrowly or (ever so) slightly untrue. What Obama really meant was ‘if you like your insurance, you can keep your insurance’ as long as Obama likes your insurance. But a simple communication breakdown which apparently occurred every time Obama opened his mouth on the topic is to blame. Jonah Goldberg masterfully addresses this absurd contention:
For starters, Obama’s statements were not ”narrowly untrue.” They were broadly, knowingly and entirely untrue. He repeated them over and over again, often straight into the camera. It’s nice that Greg Sargent concedes now that the president “could have been clearer.” But “could have been clearer” implies that he was a little clear about how this would work and just didn’t clarify enough. The truth is the complete opposite. He wasn’t even deliberately unclear. He was clearly dishonest. Obama was stridently deceitful. Seriously, watch this video compilation of Obama’s repeated and vociferous statements about “keeping your plan” and tell me he was just failing to be sufficiently clear that millions of people wouldn’t be able to keep their plans:
The second rationalization being promulgated for the big lie goes something like this: Let’s move on. ObamaCare’s the law of the land. This is just water under the bridge. And besides, it was an open secret in Washington that Obama was lying. It was necessary to fool you hayseeds into believing you’d be able to keep the insurance you’re happy with because you’re too stupid to understand that Obama knows what’s best for you. And if you had been smart enough to know what’s best for you, you’d have been smart enough to know Obama was lying to you, but you wouldn’t have minded anyway since he was only helping you. Get it? In other words, it’s your fault for being dumb enough to trust us. Call it the Animal House defense where the millions of Americans who are losing their health insurance due to ObamaCare are Flounder to Obama’s Otter (language warning):
Well, some did anyway. Most likely many of them were Obama’s obligatory low-information voters. I digress. Goldberg also takes this on:
I agree that everyone in wonkland knew it was b.s. But what does it say about the liberal wonks that they either never said so when the legislation was being debated or said so very quietly under their breaths. I’m genuinely curious, did Sargent or his colleagues at the Washington Post report that what Obama was saying — never mind the impression he was leaving — was a lie, or even “narrowly untrue”? I mean did they report it when it might have hurt the law’s chances of passage, not afterwards when all lies are retroactively absolved as the price for social progress.
Indeed, what is so infuriating to many of us is that now that it’s the law of the land, Obamacare supporters act as if all of the lies were no big deal and no serious person believed them anyway. But as anyone can tell you, if Obama had been honest about the trade-offs in his signature piece of legislation, it would never have become his signature piece of legislation. So please, don’t tell me the lies don’t matter.
The fact is, as Goldberg points out, that Obama had no choice but to lie to get this thing passed. In a piece today at the Washington Examiner, Philip Klein explains why:
For decades before Obama burst onto the political scene, liberals had been pushing for the federal government to establish some sort of national health care program.
But this effort always ran up against the same obstacle — an overwhelming majority of Americans were happy with their coverage and were leery of any changes.
So the health care status quo prevailed again and again, but most prominently when President Clinton‘s health care reform effort went down in flames in 1994.
Eventually, Democrats learned that whenever proposing changes to the health care system, they had to emphasize that the changes wouldn’t affect those who already had coverage they liked.
But why did Obama engage in such a blatant lie, one that would inevitable be exposed as such when millions of Americans necessarily lost their coverage due to ObamaCare? Because, as Klein argues, they’d be so ecstatic over the wonders of ObamaCare that they’d forgive the lie. Either that or, in the case of Obama’s low-information voters, forget he ever lied in the first place. I can’t argue with Klein’s logic — Obama certainly had to lie in order to fool those satisfied with the coverage that they could keep it — but I continue to believe there’s more to it than that.
To pick up where I left off Monday, ObamaCare is more a wealth redistribution scheme than a health care plan. (A program which purposely destroys the greatest health care system in human history can hardly be called a health care plan.) Central to the fundamental transformation Obama wants to impose on America is his belief that America is fundamentally an unfair place. And the only remedy to this unfairness is to fleece the productive and redistribute the proceeds to the unproductive because, presumably, this will somehow encourage the unproductive to become productive so they too can be fleeced. Liberal logic. Normally this redistribution is accomplished via the nation’s vast network of Welfare programs. But the public’s support for traditional welfare has waned as it has become a chosen way of life for far too many people. Overtly passing a huge new tax on the middle class (where the money is) to fund massive new welfare spending was not politically possible, even with the overwhelming majorities Obama enjoyed in both houses of Congress at the time.
But what if, under the guise of "health care reform", he and his fellow travelers could design a system to covertly transfer wealth from the middle class to Obama’s favored constituencies? In ObamaCare, that’s exactly what’s been done. The middle class was seduced by Obama’s lie and are now being forced — by design — off their lower cost insurance plans when, by law, they must purchase an Obama approved plan that contains many services they neither need nor want and that necessarily cost far more in monthly premiums and deductibles. This additional money then gets transferred indirectly by insurance companies to whomever Obama wants to transfer it. John Roberts was right about one thing: ObamaCare is nothing but a tax. A gargantuan, albeit indirect, tax levied on the middle class by insurance companies acting as agents of the Obama regime. This is the essence of the ObamaCare lie, and another example of transparency from the most transparent administration ever.