From Jonah Goldberg in the LA Times today:
"All we've been hearing the last three years is if you like your policy you can keep it.... I'm infuriated because I was lied to," one woman told this newspaper, as part of a story on how some middle-class Californians have been stunned to learn the real costs of Obamacare.
And that lie looks like the biggest lie about domestic policy ever uttered by a U.S. president.
The most famous presidential lies have to do with misconduct (Richard Nixon's "I am not a crook" or Bill Clinton's "I did not have sexual relations") or war. Woodrow Wilson campaigned on the slogan "He kept us out of war" and then plunged us into a calamitous war. Franklin D. Roosevelt made a similar vow. "I have said this before, but I shall say it again and again: Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars."
The Great Debate of the Obama Era? Is he a liar or simply a moron?
Honestly...this is what they are using as a defense now. Yesterday on Hugh Hewitt's radio show, he asked Joe Scarborough what the buzz is amongst the liberal insiders and he responded by saying he asked friends in the Left Wing Media what the spin is and Scarborough said there is none. This is astonishing because on every conceivable failure imaginable, they have a hand wringing storyline of explanations that range from blaming Bush to executive privilege, but they have no line of B.S. to cover up this time. The experts of B.S. are speechless?
The latest question has been, "What did the President know and when did he know it?" After 5 years of work, Obama's supporters can not name a significant achievement except for Obamacare. Now that we are learning millions of Americans that want to keep their plan are being dumped from their plan because of Obamacare, people want to know if they were lied to, hoodwinked, stabbed in the back. So we have pundits insisting on prosecutorial certitude that Obama did or didn't knowingly lie otherwise they offer him presumed innocence. What they are demanding is a blue dress or a tape of Obama saying, "I know we said you can keep your plan and that premiums will go down, but once the bill is passed, we will modify it in to what ever we want and if it means lying to the American people, so be it". So when Jay Carney and others say, "He didn't know", the alternative view emerges that he must be disengaged and not in control of the massive government he swore would take care of us all.
The New York Times and others are calling him the "Bystander President":
As a practical matter, no president can be aware of everything going on in the sprawling government he theoretically manages. But as a matter of politics, Mr. Obama’s plea of ignorance may do less to deflect blame than to prompt new questions about just how much in charge he really is.
So in essence, you have two choices, Our President lied or he is a moron. And Obama's supporters think that the doubt that exists between these two options is somehow a defense. If critics can't be sure if he is a liar or a moron, then he enjoys presumed innocence.
Last night, Bill O'Reilly posited Obama must not have known about the millions that would be cancelled, because he would have wanted his signature plan to succeed. That idea may be giving Obama more credit than he deserves. It relies on a number of assumptions that he is compassionate to all Americans wants and needs and that he is very skilled. Let's consider the implications of his not knowing. This means there is a massive conspiracy of Democrats in his administration who knowing, as we all do, that his most famous selling point was, "If you like your plan, You keep it" was a promise Obama wanted to keep, that they decided to do the opposite. If let's say Sebelius decided to secretly do the opposite, she would have to give out orders to other Democrats on her staff to do so, and they would all immediately say, "But this will make the President a liar, does he know we are doing this? It will make him look like a fool. Its not what he wants. It might even be illegal to make up these rule changes without his approval". They would either have to be convinced by her to go along with the conspiracy or leak it to the press that there is a rogue element in the administration that is endangering his most cherished program and trying to countermand his most sincere promise. Is that believable? A conspiracy of Democrats taking control against his will to make Obamacare even more intrusive and restrictive? No administration in history is more aware of its own inner workings than this one. They created an elaborate sting operation in the West Wing to smoke out an NSA tweeter, for God's sake. His inner circle can't make a trip to the bathroom without discussing the political ramifications of it.
So there is the possibility that Obama knew, that he lied AND that he is a moron about how the reaction would be out of his control. They call that vanity.
The debate then on the other side has been if he did lie, is this just Politics as Obama sychophant Clarence Page has said. Everyone does it? This was Obama's no new taxes pledge. You make a bold promise, so big and so out there, that if you were to break it, it would mean the end of your career. In the case of George H. W. Bush, the Democrats talked him in to breaking it, then gleefully portrayed him as a liar and he lost. What kind of "Lie" was this? or broken promise? He made a pledge, but broke it at the behest of the Democrats in order to "compromise" (Remember when Presidents did that) in order to get spending caps that would reduce the deficit and stimulate the economy well in to his second term. But he lost, so Clinton was the one that was forced to live under those deficit reduction spending caps. Too bad for him, but good for conservatives that wanted a balanced budget. So Bush 41 sacrificed himself and his career to find middle ground with his opponents for the good of the American people. The Democrats used it to their advantage to gain power.
Clinton's biggest lie? "I did not have sex with that woman" It may not have been about his signature legislation, but it surely wasn't for the good of mankind,... it was for the good of his own personal benefit and at the expense of the American people.
George W. Bush was said to have lied over WMDs. Now that the fever swamp has chilled a bit, the evidence of his lying has been in doubt. In Bush's speeches in the weeks before the Iraq War, especially his speech to the nation, he laid out numerous reasons for military action not just WMD. But even if you assume the most stringent of standards, why would he lie and what was to be gained? The meme at the time was he wanted to get rich on oil revenues for his own personal benefit. It must not have worked, because he lives in a fairly modest suburban tract home in North Dallas. In reality, Bush believed Saddam had the capability, the motive and the will to threaten American lives on a massive scale. As the Duellfer report and all the others demonstrated, Saddam was fighting for survival everyday and going on offense was his way. As Tariq Aziz testified in the report, the key was the delivery vehicles acquired in opposition to the sanctions. Aziz described how with the illegal missiles, they could "cook" bio/chem cultures and have them ready for placement in warheads in 72 hours. Saddam never gave up and never would give up a trump card for Iranian invasion. Bush attacked Iraq for several reasons, but he did it for what he believed was for the best interest and security of the American people. One has to prove he knew the WMD rationale was false and that he knew he was misleading on WMDs in order to consider it a lie. Was it a mistake? Did he mis-underestimate the amount of significant WMD stockpiles in Iraq? WHo knows, but was that a lie? And who would have benefited from such a lie if he knowingly misled on the matter? Was it for his personal benefit? No.
Now consider Obama's lie. He claimed there was a crisis of 50 million suffering people who are dying without healthcare and government was the solution. In fact the number of uninsured who could not attain it because of financial status was about 8 million and of those, about half were what we call "Young Invincibles". We were told Obamacare would pay for its self because it would be so efficient and with the help of taxing the rich, we would make money. Now we are told if the young invincibles, who don't use the product, don't pay in, the system fails. So its a transfer payment. Young healthy people paying for aging hippies.
Obama made promises that he knew he would not keep. He tried to garner support from independents for Obama Care by portraying it as not as intrusive as he truly intended it to be. When he said you can keep your policy, what he was thinking was, "I really don't care what you want because you are stupid and I know best". We know that, because administration defenders are in essence saying so now. They claim that of the 16 million (and growing) that are being kicked off their policies, that they will be given better policies that do cost more, but are better and they will be given subsidies which will make them dependent on political whims for now and forever to powerful people they may not like. So the lie is you don't get what YOU want, but you are too dumb to know whats best for you. The other meme is your new policy is better and you won't realize it until you get sick and need it. You are too stupid. Obama he smart.
The promise was one product, the actual bill was not what you were told, the law after being passed was manipulated with exemptions, modifications and parts they just chose not to enforce. Now people are losing their insurance. And why the lie? He lied because the program he wanted was a program that he already knew could not pass and could not garner support of the majority of Americans. But he wanted it and that's all that mattered, not the will of the people. Polls have never supported Obamacare. He lied not just for personal gain, its worse than that. He lied to establish a self perpetuating power system that would deliver votes and slush funds in the future and provide a carrot and stick engine that could be used to manipulate the people to advance his leftist agenda. As he has portrayed the Tea Party as a small cadre of ideologically driven radicals trying to force the rest of America to live under its rules, he is just angry to have competition for his own small radical cadre. He likes to portray himself as the personifaction of the public's will, but with only a 41% approval rating and that one based on promises he never intended to keep, the image of what Obama convinced people would be a wonder world will always be more popular than the world he actually delivered. But what you think of Obama is not important to him unless it serves him. Whether he is a liar or a moron or both, his lie was not to save anybody or serve the American people, it was a moronic lie to perpetuate Tyranny.
Tyranny is so alien to most Americans that to witness its emergence is a black swan event. We are so unprepared for such a blatant betrayal, it is hard to comprehend. Obama's attitude at this point is I won't be running again, so they have to just take it. They have to take the bitch slap and deal with it and they'll get over it and the media is on my side anyway. We will see how far the American people will go and how much lying they'll tolerate. This lie is a major turning point. Will people call it what it is or just put some ice on it and rollover. We'll see.