Obama's Lie

Barack Obama is given to the long view, which comes in handy for a man at his particular nadir in this particular moment. More than the vexing and inexplicably botched launch of the Affordable Care Act, the president has been undone by ten words uttered enough times so as to feel exponential: If you like your health plan, you can keep it. This is the first time that reasonable people have caught the president telling an explicitly incontestable untruth, however small a percentage of insurance policies it may actually apply to, and therefore our wince-threshold with Obama is distinctly lower than with those who so often have said so many preposterous things about him for the past five years that long ago we exhausted winces in favor of twitches and spasms, until our outrage finally became catatonic. Accusations ever louder and ever growing of “socialist” and “Kenyan” have become background noise. The liar who lies once and badly—assuming the worst, which is that he knew better—commands our attention.

Obama’s winter of discontent coincides with real winter, as well as the worst poll numbers of his presidency, a weary if not dispirited interview on the cable-news channel most identified with him, and an appearance in Africa on behalf of Nelson Mandela that was exemplary in every way except for how it conveyed his otherness to those disposed to perceiving him as Other. Winter and its surrounding holidays are made for long views during which the president might take stock, ruminating on the most significant evidence of his deteriorating position, which is polls that show him losing the confidence of the young, who can be at once fitfully forgiving and rabidly less so. In his interview he wasn’t asked directly about The Lie; he may soon wish that he was, so that he can address it before its impact settles in further. But the answering will be delicate whenever he gets to it—an explanation not an excuse that, as surgically as rhetoric allows, dissects the thought process behind aggressive prevarication. The president’s hope may be that people will forget, and on some conscious level they might. On another level they never will; the lie will always be a bug in the machinery of our bargain with him, and so needs to be fixed if it can. After that, with three years of his presidency left, he needs to start laying claim to the moral unquantifiables of our politics, to become tribune for even lost causes such as the most lost of all: the disintegration of what not so long ago still hoped to be an egalitarian republic into a craven and bitter oligarchy. 

Nonetheless some remain a long way from giving up on Barack Obama. This includes even those who have found his management skills wanting, who have been baffled by his inability to communicate on the small things as well as he does on the big, who are disconcerted by his drone policy and disappointed by his failure to nationalize the banks on his first day in office and dismayed by his presidency’s worst and most dishonest moment—botched websites notwithstanding—which was his signing of the baldly unconstitutional National Defense Authorization Act. But as the mainstream media seizes the opportunity to legitimize itself by proving it can be as tough on Obama as the rightstream media, and as the left masturbates the erogenous zone of dissatisfaction it has felt that the president really isn’t the radical his enemies claim he is, it’s also true that a man is measured in no small part by his enemies. Obama has the worst enemies anyone can have, and they’re enemies who have drawn a line in the sand on him from the beginning, hating him for all the reasons that others have been for him. In short, whatever his failings, the president has been made the embodiment of things bigger and better than him, and his political survival is tantamount to the survival of those things. It would be good to remember this, since the long view is not just for presidents but those who choose them.  

Comments

Come on, be honest. It wasn't a LIE. A LIE means you know the information you are giving is untrue. He just didn't think long-term enough to know that this would be the result.

It absolutely was a LIE. He knew that his statement wasn't true in Feb. 2010! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKO868Vbizs

Ah, so you are just saying that either he just doesn't care enough to understand the ramifications of his own actions or he is stupid. Thank you! I had never thought of it like that.

When he said it in 2008, it was an aspiration - it wasn't a lie.

When he said it in 2009, it was (possibly) still an aspiration, since the real rules hadn't been written yet.

When he said it in 2010, and 2011, and 2012, it was a lie. His administration had developed estimates that most Americans in the individual market wouldn't be able to keep their policies. His administration wrote the rule on grandfathering as narrowly as possible in order to force as many people as possible into the exchanges.

I find it incredible that Mr. Obama wasn't aware of this situation. If he generally was unaware that his most knowledgeable advisers had determined his statement wasn't true, and that his trusted subordinates had worked hard to ensure it would be as far from true as possible, this reflects very badly on his ability to run the White House: he doesn't let the truth get to him, and he doesn't get his subordinates to follow his instruction. But, even if you think that he was honestly unaware that most people affected by Obamacare couldn't keep the policies they wanted, it was still a lie to confidently and authoritatively assert something that he knew would be important to his viewers without bothering to find out if it was true.

His statement would be no more honest than it would be for me to say "I have won tonight's Powerball jackpot, and I will give you $10 million if you support me" when I haven't actually checked the Powerball numbers, and I'm not even sure I bought a ticket.

It is amazing to encounter attempts, such as this article, to torture logic as necessary to hide obama's staggering ineptitude and unrelenting, blatant lies on a daily basis to the American public.

While those of us on the left do not approve of everything the President is done, he was and is a far better choice than the alternatives. For those on the right, their distorted worldview and made up history will always paint the President as the most evil man to ever be President the rest of us know better.

Thank God the country has "those of us on the left" to determine the far better choices and alternatives, than those many, many Americans with "their distorted worldview and made up history." What would we do without the all-knowing left telling us what is best.

I have met Obama's enemies, but I'm not one of them. I was two years behind him at Harvard Law School, donated money to his primary campaign, and get his daily emails. But I'm more than disappointed in him--I'm baffled.

I had five children and ten years work experience when I went off to law school, and I kept telling my bright young classmates that they really didn't know what they were talking about. Phrases like "That's not how it works" kept rolling off my tongue, which didn't make much of a difference in class. But now that Barack and I are both twenty years further downstream, the kinds of things I used to say to my progressive friends keep coming back to haunt me.

I'm writing this comment because I'm half dead from trying to install Moodle on my website today. It's open source code, and I'm digging through 12,000 files to find out why it crashes on launch. Unlike my President, I do write code--and unlike my President, I know that a dead website means I get NO MONEY. Doesn't matter how many hits I have on the front end... I need PayPal to ring the bell at the back end or I don't get paid.

So what am I (and well-meaning Americans like myself) supposed to make of all this? Still not sure. This article hasn't helped AT ALL. Telling me that Obama has enemies doesn't help a single person who is now uninsured.

After the successful bin Laden attack were told that Obama painstakingly checked every detail of the plan and even added an additional helicopter. Seems that is the last act that Obama paid any attention to. He knew nothing about Benghazi, the IRS, etal, and especially Obamacare. Monroe was on top of the Monroe Doctrine, General Marshall checkout out Marshall Plan, even Ferris had the details on his Ferris Wheel. But Obama wasn't informed about his Obamacare. Uh, sure.

What garbage. As a conservative, I don't hate Obama. I find him unbelievably incompetent until I remember he has no business background and no history of professional accomplishment other than being a politician for a relatively brief period before convincing the majority of those who voted he should be the President. Viewed in that light, his inability to accomplish anything of note is not surprising at all. That people still think he can is what amazes me the most.

Sycophants continue to regurgitate the line: "you may be paying more but you will get a beter policy." But Obama's repeated statements in 2008 were that we would all SAVE $2500 on our premiums. And that doesn't include the issue of the skyrocketing deductibles.

The ACA is hardly going to be universal coverage. There will probably be a net loss of insureds after January 1.

leftcoaster wrote
>Come on, be honest. It wasn't a LIE. A LIE means you know the information you are giving is untrue.

So, you're saying that he's just stupid? I don't disagree with you, but, it'd hard to be *that* stupid.

How about the lies that the ANTI Obamacare people have been telling, and CONTINUE to tell when they have been debunked? There are no "death panels" in the ACA; the REAL death panels are in the private insurance companies (who will, unfortunately, still have SOME power to deny coverage, but not nearly as much as they have had). There is no government "interference" in your health care, only a change in how you pay for it, IF your existing coverage goes away. This is not "socialism" like Medicare or Tricare or the VA or the active duty military doctors (like MASH); it is regulation to help pay for a private product. The insurer gives some of its ABSOLUTE control as far as not writing ANY policy, even if no other insurer will do so either, to protect a human being, and in exchange, the insured gives up his or her ABSOLUTE choice to buy only what he or she thinks his or her needs are currently, and has to buy SOME policy that is rated independently of gender and covers (almost) everything needed to maintain health and life.

Actually, a "socialist" system would be fairer to all and would be closer to real universal INSURANCE; with only ONE big risk pool covering everybody. But this is a LOT better than what we had previously, at least for those who were previously denied coverage. And those people have their LIVES at risk, not just a few dollars of a premium rate.

Ultimately a "socialist" system would solve the MALPRACTICE crisis (and I hope that Obama has someone reading this, because no one else I have read brings up this point). How?

In the first place, by making a finding of gross negligence unnecessary to get medical help that alleviates, repairs, or makes tolerable the damage (assuming it does not cause instant death, which most medical errors do not). If you suffer permanent injury because of a medical procedure, the fact that the doctor may not have been negligent or incompetent has nothing to do with the fact that you will suffer for life, or die early, without expensive and long term ADDITIONAL treatment. Currently, the ONLY way to get that treatment paid for is to TRY to prove your doctor did something WRONG, even if you know good and well that it happened despite your doctor doing everything right. And the likelihood of that happening is more of a lottery than a true proceeding of justice. And if your doctor gets off, RIGHTFULLY, you are still stuck with the bill. But doctors have to practice defensive testing and pay high insurance rates because someone who may OR MAY NOT not actually need the money gets a good attorney and an innocent doctor has to pay anyway. And doctors who get sued often because they DESERVE it stay in practice because there is no mechanism to get them out.

With a single payer system, on the other hand, that one payer sees ALL the bills and ALL the results, and can zero in on those providers who really should NOT be in practice, then go after them in court, whether the patient does or not. Meanwhile, the patient who needs more medical (or prosthetic) help gets it WITHOUT having to sue. If the patient was injured by just plain bad luck; or by an action that has been believed to be correct up until now (but will be listed as a mistake by the profession in the future); or by the doctor not knowing of a new discovery that has not become common medical knowledge yet; or by the doctor making a "once in a career" slip; or by a doctor who is always careless, drunk, or on drugs; in ALL of these cases, the patient gets the extra help. And the doctor with a bad record gets kicked out of practice (or denied future payment, and has to go into "concierge" practice, trying to get patients who have the resources to check up on WHY the doctor doesn't take insurance). And good doctors will not have to pay the higher rates and will be able to lower their rates, bringing down the total cost of health care, which should spiral down to even lower rates for the single payer insurance (paid with general tax revenue), etc.

But for now, take note that the SHORT TERM disruption to the insurance market is only the result of insurance companies who opposed the plan to start with making business decisions for political purposes, to make the plan fail. When they start to make profits from being IN the marketplace, while delivering better service for the money, that will change.

You are delusional. Obamacare has no more to do w. healthcare than rape has to w/ sex. Both are only about power. There was no need to impose the colossal burden of O'care on the country. Small reforms to our system could have been made; instead, many ins. cos. had dropped pre-existing condition before O'care. People w/o ins got free healthcare as under Hill-Burton hospitals have to provide it and med professional write of unpayable bills. Most of the uninsured are not uninsured for long, usually it's between jobs. Of course, Obamanomics has created few jobs and destroyed many more, just as O'care has cancelled millions more ins. coverage that it has created. W/ all the money wasted on O'care, fed & state, every uninsured person could've had their premiums paid and given a mansion w/ an Olympic-sized pool. O'care is the biggest disastrous social upheaval since China's cultural revolution.

I wouldn't get too excited about single payer.

"Telling harsh truths about the NHS is a bitter but necessary pill"
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/nhs/10513696/Telling-harsh-truths-about-the-NHS-is-a-bitter-but-necessary-pill.html
"Take the scandal of cancer treatment in Britain. Figures from the Department of Health suggest that up to 10,000 deaths a year could be avoided if patients were diagnosed at the same earlier stage as other countries. ... Britain is second worst in the developed world for survival rates in breast, bowel and cervical cancer."
"In Sweden, however, a lot of things are done differently. GP clinics can be run as companies and charge about £20 per visit. They compete for patients, and advertise. The patients, through the market, are in control. Hospitals such as St Göran in Stockholm are run by profit-seeking companies and are used to providing better service for less cost. So Sweden, by some measures the most socialistic country in the free world, has no qualms about private clinics serving state patients."

"The private sector in the English NHS: from pariah to saviour in under a decade" http://www.cmaj.ca/content/173/3/273.full

"Across the world, universal healthcare is in poor health" http://news.yahoo.com/column-across-world-universal-healthcare-poor-health-182558667.html

"France and U.S. Health Care: Twins Separated at Birth?" http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/03/france-and-us-health-care-twins-separated-at-birth/254033/

"While we are fond of comparing ourselves to France, a place that was ranked as having the best overall health care system in 2000, according to the World Health Organization, there's a huge difference between the United States and France that has little to do with the health care safety net. We Americans are three times as likely to be obese as the average French person -- and obesity is related to just about every chronic disease imaginable." -Sanjay Gupta, http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/02/opinion/gupta-health-optimize/

Here's a peek into the nightmare world of government-run medicine:

"My son and his Croatian wife just had my first grandchild in Croatia where they live. Excellent prenatal care, competent and high-tech labor and delivery and even twice weekly home visits by an RN for weeks following the birth. Not a penny out of pocket. No worries about co-pays or deductibles or procedures & drugs not covered in a restrictive policy. All from Croatia's socialized healthcare, funded by a value-added tax on everything purchased in the country. Can anybody in the United States even imagine anything so wonderful?"44856355

"funded by a value-added tax on everything purchased in the country."

Note that Croatia at least didn't `fund' it by redistribution or charge it on a national credit card to be paid by the unborn....."everything purchased" means everybody pays.....

Cost of medical care & Rx in 3rd world countries are dirt cheap, relative to advanced countries.......it's why lots of Americans retire to Guatemala, Mexico, etc.......ask why is it dirt-poor Cuba can afford to `exports' medical teams throughout Central and South America....one reason is their doctors aren't paid much....there are far too many dissimilarities between a Croatia and the US. Why not compare our military vs. theirs? How much foreign aid and world policing do the Croatians do? Did they rush hospital ships to help after the Indonesian tsunami? Send heavy equipments and helicopters to Pakistan after its big earthquake? Have 10 to 20 million illegal immigrants needing everything?

If Croatia is so great, they would be fighting off illegals!

You may be a ThinkingDem but you're not thinking too clearly. The biggest flaw in your dissertation is that you seem to place almost no value on individual liberty and choice of a free people. The notion that people can make determination of their own individual needs and don't wish to place their destiny into the hands of bureaucrats. This is what made our society great and why so many in other parts of the world dreamed to be here. Obamacare will harm millions more people than it will help. MILLIONS more!! There is no acceptable excuse for the lack of foresight to these consequences but the blindness inherent in all liberals like yourself is that inability to see what price had to be paid in order to achieve your debatably noble ends. I do hope someday however, you will realize the value of your freedom before you have lost it.

I knew Obama was lying the first time he made those statements, and I knew he was still lying the 30th time he made them to all of the American people. There are memos in the White House that his policy team knew he was LYING, but his political team decided he should continue to LIE. So if I knew, his entire White House knew, how is it possible that the smartest man in the room didn't know? Well Obama clearly is only the smartest man in any room when he is the only man in that room. And secondly he clearly knew he was Lying and defrauding the American people he just didn't care. It served his purpose and I'm sure his Marxist notion of the Greater Good no matter how many millions of individual suffered. I'm sure Stalin thought the Gulags were fully justified by the Greater Good as did Mao and Pol Pot. Obama is the most arrogant, dishonest, corrupt, and Incompetent President in all of U.S. history. However, he remains, UNFORTUNATELY, President for 3 more years. Let's hope we can survive somehow?

I have to agree with you. Personally, I thought it was obvious that virtually all policies, individual or employer based, would be canceled to fit the broad interests of the Democrats. So I knew Obama was lying for a long time. I kinda thought it was obvious. So I've been surprised at how many people were shocked, shocked that policies were canceled.

This is an interesting perspective: the President is the living embodiment of the causes he supports, and must therefore be supported no matter what, because his failure means the failure (and death) of his causes. Perhaps this explains his persistent 40% approval ratings - there may be 40% of the population that thinks this way.

I'm tempted to say that this reveals a fundamental difference between conservatives and liberals. When conservatives were faced with a flailing and apparently incompetent Republican President, they disapproved of his performance. When liberals are faced with a flailing and apparently incompetent Democratic President, they nevertheless approve of his performance because they can't imagine abandoning their leader.

But that would probably be too harsh.

"This is the first time that reasonable people have caught the president telling an explicitly incontestable untruth, however small a percentage of insurance policies it may actually apply to.."

This is just dis-information. It isn't an "untruth", it is a lie. It isn't a small percentage of policies, it is virtually every policy in the private market this year. It will be virtually every policy in the employer market next year.

The broad recognition of the BIG LIE is the end of Obama as a political force. Whereas Bush Sr.'s "read my lips, no new taxes" cost him re-election (weakened him sufficiently for Perot to take away a lot of votes, almost mine as well), Obama's BIG LIE led to his re-election. You can bet a lot more than the number of `hanging chad' ballots in one state (Florida in 2000), would NOT have gone to Obama, NATIONWIDE.

Obama's second term is, in essence, illegitimate........perversely like Dan Rather's "It's accurate.....even if it's faked".

Let's cut to the chase, ignoring all the trashy comments. OK? When the Act was passed it included a clause which did in fact allow insurance companies to keep the existing insurance policies in force, but not sell new ones after a stated date which did not include the various improvements. They would also have to advise insurees that the old policies did NOT include those improvements and that, in selling new ones, they would have to also explain that this policy had to include the improvements subsequently. Caught with these "tough sells" they opted to cancel. In fact he did not "lie", insurors did.

You'd make a good Communist. The Obama administration needs liars like you. If you're unemployed, maybe you could call themm

Let's cut to the chase, OK? If a Democratic president turns out to be a blatant serial liar, it's just fine because, after all, he's a Democrat. It's never about the truth, about power.

Very fashionable to call Obama a liar or anything else they can manufacture. Don't try to make sense with these people. Maybe they can get sick, go without insurance and no one cares. That is the karma they deserve and shall get. Hope the insurance cartel is really messed up right now so they can't run to the bank with their profits. Motto is they want to be "free to die" or the old system back. haha I'd like to see Wall Street and the NSA under similar regulations as the ACA. Maybe then we would have a respectable US again. But how could we do what the rest of the world does for half the price? They really don't pay more in taxes.
They regulate. Once we knew that word.

The liar who lies once and badly—assuming the worst, which is that he knew better—commands our attention.

Once, you say?

"PolitiFact counted 37 times when he’d included no caveats, such as a high-profile speech to the American Medical Association in 2009: "If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what."

Sorry, but when you tell the same lie 37 times, you're a liar. That's right, Barack Obama is a liar. Period. Spin it however you want. If you feel the need to excuse and defend a liar because he's a Democratic liar, try to have the courage to say so.

I hope those who are blessing and amplifying Obama's lies right now aren't surprised by what happens the next time the Republicans get into power, or complain about it.

I don't hate Obama, I just despise leftists. I have not much sympathy for the pie-in-the-sky I believe in rainbows and unicorns variety, but I truly despise those like this author who know full well what they are about.
Leftists - which equals just about all Democrats these days, are willing to trade this country's greatness for their own power. The will destroy freedom, individual liberty, and the rule of law in their avaricious quest for it.
I haven't decided which variety Obama is yet, although I suspect it's the latter, but regardless the effect is the same. Destruction of our first principles and a grinding slide into slow growth, poverty, and inequality for our the nations young people.
It truly is maddening.

Please, please, please, count me as an enemy of Obama. I've never like Communists.

Obama is a documented liar.

Liars don't just line once - they lie and lie and lie..........................

HE just happened to repeat this lie so many times that the mainstream propaganda machine can't ignore it as they do with every other word that comes out of his mouth.

Thank you President Obama for shaking up the health care cartel who cherry-pick healthy people and those with employers who will pay large amounts of money for their workers for health care. We are 50% inflated over the rest of the world with bad results. Millions are now getting health insurance some for the first time in their lives. Never does the media report on those who die and suffer without access to care. Instead they rant about lies as if the entire vulture capitalistic health care cartel is not an offense to human decency.

Poor poor Americans are sending the insurance companies laughing all the way to the bank. The ACA was passed 3 years ago. The insurance companies had the rules, but pretend they can't read. They cancelled all of you. What a surprise. Usually your premiums would be going up 15% because they use the threat of sickness and death to be able to manipulate you out of your money. Let's pretend the old system was wonderful and worked perfectly run by those "businessmen" who knew how to make a buck. They spent billions making sure they defeated any threat to that profit. President Obama is termed out in 2 years leaving about 10 million right now who are better off then they were 3 years ago without "pre-existing conditions", on parents plans or never had access to health insurance before. Time for some righteous anger about how good "conservatives" are and have been. No one believes that. Chant "lie" all you want, but death panels from the vulture capitalists is more accurate.

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