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As spotted by Bryan Preston at the PJ Tatler, Politifact, the leftwing “fact” “checking” organization, awards Mr. Obama their “Lie of the Year” today for his repeated claims that “If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan”:
“If you like your health care plan, you can keep it,” President Barack Obama said — many times — of his landmark new law.
But the promise was impossible to keep.
So this fall, as cancellation letters were going out to approximately 4 million Americans, the public realized Obama’s breezy assurances were wrong.
Boiling down the complicated health care law to a soundbite proved treacherous, even for its promoter-in-chief. Obama and his team made matters worse, suggesting they had been misunderstood all along. The stunning political uproar led to this: a rare presidential apology.
And a rare admission from Politifact that the president has been lying, since they’ve been working very hard at dissembling on his behalf since 2008, by smearing his critics on the right:
In 2009, [Politifact’s Lie of the Year] was “death panels.” In 2010, the Affordable Care Act was a “government takeover of health care.” In 2011, the GOP supported a budget which would “end Medicare.” Finally, in 2012, the Politifact “Lie of the Year” was a claim by Mitt Romney that Chrysler had moved Jeep production to China.
Last month, Time-Warner-CNN-HBO’s Mark Halperin came clean on the death panels; “Chrysler moves closer to restarting Jeep production in China,” the Detroit Free Press reported in April of this past year.
The fact that it took until 2013 for them to identify “if you like your plan” as a mammoth lie is proof that the media’s collectively either out of its depth in analyzing policy — even when scores of conservative policy experts were willing and able to help them identify problems with the law — or uninterested for political reasons in recognizing the law’s flaws until they’re so glaring that they can’t plausibly be ignored. This really is the Lie of the Year, and outfits like PolitiFact are entirely complicit in it.
The speed at which the coordination between the leftwing White House and its complicit palace guard in the MSM steamrollered the country played a huge role in the creation of this moment, which was made immediately clear to the nation once the cancellation notices started arriving in the mail (not to mention the occasional audit as well). Coupled with the right’s repeated warnings that Obamacare would be a disaster upon implementation, and the left plugging their ears as they moved forward constructing the Krell Machine.
In January of 2009, the left looked at the first Democrat presidential candidate to win over 50 percent of the vote since 1976, and internalized into groupthink the notion that as Newsweek (then-owned by the Washington Post) exclaimed, “We Are All Socialists Now,” and the country would remain that way for the next 40 years, as James Carville also boasted at the time.
But in the mid-1960s, at what the left viewed as a similar moment, after JFK’s assassination helped Lyndon Johnson to clock Barry Goldwater in 1964 by a 22 percent majority, LBJ was no amateur, as Bill Clinton reportedly dubbed Mr. Obama. In the past, broad sweeping bills that dramatically changed the warp and woof of the land didn’t make it to the floor of Congress unless they had bipartisan support, if only to provide cover if things went pear-shaped. As PJM’s Rick Moran wrote back in August at the American Thinker, even at the zenith of the Great Society, “There was a national consensus for Medicare in 1965, but LBJ still made a supreme effort to make the program a bi-partisan undertaking”:
But at least one veteran of the launch of Medicare — Joseph Califano, one of LBJ’s top domestic aides at the time — isn’t too surprised with the fallout of the decision to move ahead on Obamacare without GOP support.
Even though LBJ had huge Democratic majorities in 1965, he insisted that “we have to shoot for half the Republican votes, because if we don’t, they’ll drive us crazy — they’ll kill us on appropriations, they’ll kill us with the Republican governors,” recalls Califano, now the founder and chairman emeritus of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. It was a different GOP back then, but LBJ still managed to win half of the House Republicans and nearly half of the Senate Republicans.
“I don’t know if Obama’s problem was the incalcitrance of the Republicans or his inexperience — probably both,” said Califano. But whatever the reason for the failure to get Republican buy-in, he said, “they’ve got a hell of a difficult couple of years ahead.”
“I won,” said Obama. The implication of that statement was that he didn’t need Republicans to govern. He has proven that time and time again over the years, refusing to compromise with those few Republicans who were willing to go along with some of his agenda.
Now he’s in trouble and he needs the GOP to have a successful roll out of Obamacare. Why on earth should they accommodate him? He insulted them, belittled them, called them crazy and extreme. What kind of arrogant person would expect the opposition to help after all that?
“Obama and the Democrats have sown the wind. Now let them reap the hurricane,” Rick presciently concluded back in late August, foreshadowing the horrors to come just a couple of months later. And it really has been a storm of that magnitude, the speed of which has astonished the far left, both in DC and in the MSM. “It used to be it took a decade or more for the results of bad social policy to manifest — which gave big government elites & their media allies plenty of time to put out plausible sounding excuses to paper over the failure and deflect any fallout onto others,” Brian Cates writes at his Draw and Strike blog. Not this time around:
The difference with ObamaCare is that Obama & his administration have gone about passing & implementing this disastrous new policy so quickly with such a high level of deception and such abject incompetence that there isn’t any gap in time of a few years in which to spin the increasingly evident bad results.
Never before have the progressives driving for social change gone for it with the speed – and the outright deceptions — that the Obama administration has. Which means the bad results are cropping up immediately and in a way that it’s impossible to paper them over or shift the blame onto others.
Those who tried to warn the country what ObamaCare would actually do had to endure almost 5 years of ridicule, mocking and name calling for trying to sound the alarm. They were called racists and far worse. And now it’s evident they were right all along.
Progressives have done more to destroy their carefully crafted illusion of competency with this ObamaCare trainwreck than the GOP establishment ever did.
Tech writer Bruce Webster adds that “I believe what we are witnessing will turn out to be the single largest and most catastrophic government policy failure in US history, as well as the most public IT failure in world history”:
I believe that over the next several weeks, the ‘cold equations’ of Obamacare as it actually exists and is currently implemented – as opposed to the magic thinking version on the Left — are going to lead to more and more unavoidable disasters — train wrecks, in the metaphor that Jim Geraghty has been using since before Healthcare.gov went live. Vastly more Americans will have both their bank accounts and their personal health damaged than those that will benefit under Obamacare.
This did not need to happen. There have been multiple points all the way back to 2009 when a different course could have been pursued, one founded in reality-based reasoning about math, software, and social change. Instead, we are witnessing the mother of all train wrecks. To paraphrase a famous passage from the Reagan Administration’s famous scathing report on the US educational system issued 30 years ago (A Nation at Risk, 1983):
If an unfriendly foreign power attempted to impose on America the disastrous health care system that is unfolding today, we might well view it as an act of war.
I fear the worse is yet to come.
And it will.
Update: “PolitiFact rewrites its own history in Obamacare ‘Lie Of The Year’ decision.” Winston Smith could not be reached for comment at the Ministry of Truth.