Friday, November 8, 2013

Obama Is Sorry

Well, not exactly.

Chuck Todd of NBC news interviewed President Obama regarding the rollout and implementation of Obamacare.  The following is taken from a transcript of the interview:

CT: I'll start -- with health care. It's probably the most quoted thing or requoted thing you have said in your presidency, "If you like your health care plan, you can keep it." You said it a lot during the run up. At this point, though, it's obviously something -- a promise that has not been able to be kept.

It is obviously something – a lie.

BO: We're talking about 5% of the population -- who are in what's called the individual market. They're out there buyin' health insurance on their own….So even though it only affects a small amount of the population, you know, it means a lot to them, obviously, when they get -- this letter cancelled.

I will translate: Choice?  I don’t care about choice (well except for one).  Why is everyone bothering me about the minority rights of 5% of the population?  I don’t care about minority rights.  Ummm, wait a minute on that.

BO: A lot of these plans are subpar plans.

Apparently not according to the people who bought them – the minority, you know.

BO: That [the plan they freely chose before Obamacare is] actually going to deliver what they think they're purchasing. Because what we know is before the law was passed, a lot of these plans, people thought they had insurance coverage.

But they had insurance coverage.  They didn’t just think they had insurance coverage.  They had the insurance coverage they chose, not the one you crammed down their throats.

BO: And then they'd find out that they had huge out of pocket expenses. Or women were being charged more than men.

Women charged more than men.  Might this be based on actuarial work?  If it was non-market based discrimination, might not a competitor resolve the inefficiency?

BO: If you had preexisting conditions, you just couldn't get it at all.

My house burned down yesterday.  I wonder if I can buy a homeowners policy today. There ought to be a law.

BO: They can't afford a better plan, even though they'd like to have a better plan.

They can’t afford a better car either.  Let’s get that on the list also, OK?

CT: Do you feel like you owe these folks an apology for misleading them? Even if you didn't intentionally do it, but at this point, they feel misled. And you've seen the anger that's out there.

BO: You know -- I regret very much that -- what we intended to do, which is to make sure that everybody is moving into better plans because they want 'em, as opposed to because they're forced into it.

Translation: I can’t understand why people aren’t happy being forced into an insurance plan I designed.

BO: …I am sorry that they -- you know, are finding themselves in this situation, based on assurances they got from me.

This is one of the money lines of the interview.  It is also complete nonsense.  People are not finding themselves in this situation based on Obama’s assurances; they are finding themselves in this situation because of Obama’s actions.

It wasn’t Obama’s assurances that caused people to voluntary give up their current insurance.  It was his actions that forced them off of their plans.

CT: …do you understand that people are gonna be skeptical of the next promise you make, of the next -- or are you concerned that people are gonna be wondering, "Jeez, what is the fine print that he's not telling me?" Do you get that people might be a little more skeptical? Forget the partisans here in Washington, just average Americans.

Do you think?

…I think most people know that -- even if they disagree with me on certain issues -- that I'm every day workin' hard to try to make life a little bit better for middleclass families who are -- and folks who are tryin' to get in the middleclass who are doin' the right thing and bein' responsible.

That must be why both the stock market and the number of unemployed are at or near multi-generational highs.  Good job, there, Mr. President.

After Obama’s mumbling and stumbling performance in the Obamacare part of the interview, Chuck Todd moves on to other topics:

CT: …there seems to be this growing p -- perception, some of it is the -- press reporting, some of it's your staff, that you're not always on top of some things. Or this idea that you didn't know certain things. So, for instance, we talked about the website . Did the warnings get to your desk or not? N.S.A., did you -- did you really not know you were tapping Angela Merkel 's phone until Edward Snowden leaked it?

I will translate: People want to know: are you stupid, oblivious, or malicious?  Come clean, Mr. President.

BO: Well, look -- these are two different issues.

Nope.  One issue.

BO: You know, one of the lessons -- learned from this whole process on the website -- is that probably the biggest gap between the private sector and the federal government is when it comes to I.T. How we precure -- procure it, how we purchase it. This has been true on a whole range of projects.

This will never change because it can never change.  A bureaucracy is not a private entity.  In the simplest of distinctions, a bureaucracy is fundamentally immune from market forces while spending money that is not their own.  A private entity is the opposite.

Next, on to the bogeyman:

CT: Why are you so sure you're gonna be able to trust the Iranians on some sort of temporary deal? Or how is it that you're going to figure out if you trust them or not –

BO: Well, fir -- fir -- first of all -- our job is not to trust the I -- Iranians. Our job is to put in place -- mechanisms where we can verify what they're doing and not doing when it comes to their nuclear program….  That they are not developing nuclear weapons, that their nuclear energy program is peaceful. And frankly, because of their actions in the past, the world doesn't trust 'em on that.

The world doesn’t trust them?  Based on what evidence?  Have the Iranians established military bases in dozens of foreign lands?  Dropped bombs on millions?  Spied on every connected person in the world?  Been at the epicenter of the most violent century in recorded history?

BO: …I’ve said that I won't take any options off the table, including military options…

Translation: I will nuke them if I want to.

CT: Final question, did you really not know that your campaign was researching this idea of swapping Joe Biden for Hillary Clinton?

Translation: You know I asked you this before – are you really this oblivious to what is going on around you?

BO: Here's the one thing I can say for certain. That -- if they had asked me, I would have said there is no way that I'm not running again with Joe Biden.

Doesn’t it seem this might have come up in one of the discussions leading up to the elections – perhaps before the primaries or whatever?

In any case, there you have it.  Bumbling and stumbling through statements that many know aren’t quite true.

The leader of the free world.  Instills some real confidence, don’t you think?


  1. This interview and the massacre that is Dear Leader's pet project seems reason enough for the Republican "opposition" to encourage and welcome the ACA's implementation, for nefarious reasons of course. (Their mindset, not mine.)

    Just a thought - in light of the State being an entity that's been shown to be just as untrustworthy as it is unreliable, do you think ACA could be what stokes a widespread distrust in government?

    Five years ago I'd say no, but we're in a much different climate today.

    1. I agree - I have suggested also that the republicans should do nothing to "improve" the program or delay its implementation - not for my care of republicans (I have none), but for the desired end of seeing the state as god.

      It seems to me if the republicans do anything to help smooth things along, it is just one more sign (as if one more was needed) that both parties want the same thing...more government.

      As to stoking a widespread distrust in government, this is a compelling suggestion. Gary North has suggested that a) this will be the last big government program ever approved due to the colossal failure, and b) this will be due not only to the fiscal constraints, but because it will be seen as the destruction of "the state as healer" myth.

  2. In retrospect, I'm not all too convinced that Republicans would be interested in delaying or abolishing Obamacare.

    We've heard this plenty of times, between Giulliani, Romney, and maybe several others that aren't coming to mind - "Make Government more efficient (not cut it back), run it like a business(not remove it's teeth)" - Maybe they think it's something /they/ can fix, and they can be the heroes. And let's not forget, Bush Jr. had no problem expending Medicare, and Romney's Disasterchusets plan became the ACA's blueprint. Romney's reward? He became the Republican nominee, just in time for the ACA roll out. Could be for a "just in case" Obama doesn't get re-elected scenario to make sure ACA got implemented according to plan, could be coincidence, or I could be wrong.

    Romney doesn't seem too bashful about being another New England big government Republican. I'd dare call him the Republican Obama. As the next Republican likely would be too. Christie, anyone? The unfortunately unprincipled Rand Paul? Ted Cruz?

    And I'd have to agree with Gary North, if this isn't the cup of coffee that jolts people awake and snaps them out of dreamland, I'm not sure what would be.

    I also want to take the time to commend you and this blog, it's right up there in my bookmark listing along with LRC.

  3. Excellent (and entertaining) analysis - spot on as usual, BM. You have a real knack for cutting down the establishment in the most simple (the good simple) ways.

    1. Marc, thank you.

      I have learned by observing some of the best at this - Gary North, as one example, offers a great example of this approach: sarcasm, rhetoric, etc.