Category Archives: Congress
Three days after he was elected president Barack Obama told congressional leaders, “elections have consequences and I won”. He then proceeded to go it alone on an economic stimulus plan.
On September 9, 2009, Paul Ryan had the temerity to explain what was in the health care bill – before we passed it. Obama waited until April 13, 2011 (The Presidential Divider – WSJ) for payback. He invited Ryan to sit in the front row and then publicly humiliated him during a speech on the budget.
As a result of that and other insults, the Affordable Care Act was passed without a single Republican vote. Even at that, it required stunts like the Louisiana Purchase, the Cornhusker Kickback (later removed in reconciliation), and the illegal prosecution of Alaskan senator Ted Stevens (The 60th ObamaCare Vote – WSJ).
ObamaCare has never been popular with a majority of Americans. According to Jonathan Gruber Americans are a simple people who need to be lied to for their own good because they’re too stupid to understand basic economics.
Go it Alone
In January of this year Obama announced he no longer needed the serfs or Congress. He had a pen and a phone and he would go it alone on immigration reform. And so he did. Here’s the speech. When Congress refused to give him a bill he could sign – something David Harsanyi points out Congress has no obligation to ever do – he ordered immigration reform without a single vote from either party.
The administration whose foreign policy is “don’t do stupid shit” thinks we’re stupid.
The United States Supreme Court has agreed to decide King v Burwell. The case is about the survival of ObamaCare. The plaintiff says the Affordable Care Act only permits subsidies on state run health care exchanges. The IRS allows subsidies on federal exchanges as well. Without subsidies ObamaCare is no more.
The reason the law was written that way was to create an incentive for states to set up exchanges say law professors Jonathan Adler and Jonathan Turley. Apparently it wasn’t incentive enough because only 16 states set up exchanges.
The administration argument (not surprisingly) is that the law doesn’t mean what it says. The intention of those who wrote it was to offer subsidies on all exchanges. And good intentions are everything.
Enter one more Jonathan, MIT egghead Jonathan Gruber. He’s the architect of the law and he says the plain wording is just a type-o. His intent was indeed for federal exchanges to offer subsidies.
Unfortunately for Gruber a video emerged in which he claimed that if a state doesn’t set up an exchange not only will its citizens not receive subsidies, they, as taxpayers, will have to pay for other people’s subsidies on other state exchanges.
Gruber, wearing his egg on his face, called that a speak-o.
Stupid is as Stupid does
But that’s not all. More videos have surfaced starring Professor Gruber. One of his most memorable lines is that “lack of transparency is a huge political advantage”. He says that if voters understood that healthy people would be paying for healthcare for sick people they would oppose the bill, because they’re stupid.
Ron Fournier of National Journal and an ObamaCare supporter now says the law was built on a foundation of lies.
Progressives believe in government by experts. Gruber is an expert. For him, telling the truth would have been nice but he’d rather “have the law than not”. Jonah Goldberg wrote a great book called Liberal Fascism. Gruber fits the bill.
You may be wondering who was the crack investigative reporter who dug up these videos. It was some guy in his basement. He’s an investment adviser named Rich Weinstein. David Weigel has a great story in Bloomberg about him.
President Obama had this to say about his shellacking last week:
“To everyone who voted, I want you to know that I hear you. To the two-thirds of voters who chose not to participate in the process yesterday, I hear you, too.”
Jared Rizzi of Sirius XM was curious about the nonvoting voices Obama hears. Rizzi asked WH spokesman Josh Earnest if the president is “leader of a coalition that doesn’t vote?”.
Based on Obama’s obsession with rule by fiat he does appear driven by voices that don’t vote. He insists he’ll impose immigration reform by executive action if Congress doesn’t give him what he wants right now. Speaker Boehner, a voice for those who do vote, says that would “poison the well”.
Maybe well poisoning is the objective. In 2010 Obama told latinos to punish our enemies and reward our friends. After all, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough tells us Washington would “work better if Obama has his way”.
A year ago President Obama said, “If you don’t like a particular policy, if you don’t like a particular president, go out there and argue your position, win an election.”
And so it came to pass.
Now that his party has lost the Senate, Obama says he’s willing to listen to Republican ideas – if they have any. Whether he is or they do remains to be seen. But they have had some ideas in the past. Those ideas were packaged into about 350 House Resolutions and passed on to the Senate where they sit in Harry Reid’s desk.
The way Mitch McConnell sees it Reid protected the president from legislation he didn’t like by not bringing bills to his desk.
The New York Times, in January, called Harry a brute.
Politifact, however, says some of those bills are simply caught up in committee. Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post says it’s not at all unusual for Harry Reid to have 300 bills to be stuffed in his drawers.
Six years ago first term senator Barack Obama accepted his party’s presidential nomination in front of fake Greek columns and 70,000 true believers in Denver. Two weeks ago he said that he’s not on the ballot in this election but his policies are. And so they were.
Even the president’s Illinois home state governor, Pat Quinn, went down in flames. (By the way that’s Valerie Jarrett in the picture, not Joni Ernst.)