Dear Mr. Obama,
I hope you’ll forgive me for not using your proper title. Problem is, I respect the office too much to say the things that must be said, to address them to the president. So an unadorned “Mr.” will have to do.
Word is, you told some of your donors — at a $35,800-a-plate dinner — that you might need a second term to re-fix health care.
Really? Is that really what you want to do with a second term? You want to revisit that legislation? Legislation so unwanted, it caused Massachusetts voters to install a happily married Republican in Ted Kennedy’s old seat? Legislation so unpopular that the fledging Tea Party — an organization so inexperienced it thought nominating Christine O’Donnell was a pretty good idea — managed to flip Congress by a near-historic margin?
Want to know how it got so bad?
Harry Reid cobbled your bill together in backroom deals with names like “the Cornhusker Kickback” and “the Louisiana Purchase.” Things got so bad on the House side, that Nancy Pelosi threatened — with that patronizing smile — to simply “deem” the Senate version passed: “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” Remember that? And when challenged that the individual mandate might not be constitutional, Pelosi laughed and asked: “Are you serious? Are you serious?”
Yes, we are serious. So is the Supreme Court.
I want you to remember something else, Mr. Obama. Before Pelosi finally managed to manhandle the bill through her side of the Congress, the economy was picking up steam. At the end of 2009 and the start of 2010, we enjoyed months in a row of 250,000 new jobs or better. Seems like a long time ago, doesn’t it? Then you got your bill signed into law in March, and in April job creation fell off the cliff. GDP growth has declined, too. We’ve spent most of the last two years just kind of sputtering along the bottom.
And to revisit all that — that is your plan, if the Supreme Court overturns Obamacare?
Now, I realize that I’ve based this letter on second-hand reports from a fundraising event at which you first confiscated everybody’s cameras and cell phones. And I know Jay Carney was trotted out dutifully to deny everything. So maybe I shouldn’t get so worked up.
On the other hand, it does seem all of a piece, doesn’t it, Mr. Obama?
When the economy was hurting, you put another $850,000,000,000 or so on the national AmEx, and told us that would fix everything, that unemployment wouldn’t go any higher than 8%. Convinced your work on the economy was finished, you went to work on your health care law — and you wouldn’t let go. The polls told you to do something else. Many of your political allies told you that you were on the wrong track, that there would be this “pivot” to jobs. And yet you persisted.
All of which makes me think that, given the chance to do it all over again, you most certainly would.
And why? To defend a law that will explode the deficit, reduce people’s access to private insurance, offend large religious minorities, and create a new army of IRS officers? You want us to give you a second chance to do all that?
Mr. Obama, if the Supreme Court does strike down this law, you should get down on both knees and thank them.
And then you ought to stay there a while and beg us all for forgiveness.