My daughter came home from tennis camp with a trophy when she was just five years old. She walked in the house and immediately dumped it in the garbage. When asked why, she simply said, “They gave one of these to everybody.”
About 12 seconds after he took the oath of office, Barack Obama got a trophy too. It was the Nobel Peace Prize. Even he knew he didn’t deserve it. But he accepted it anyway even though, as my then five-year old daughter understood, it’s embarrassing to accept an award you don’t deserve. But narcissists are rarely embarrassed.
I bring this up because President Obama has just won another major award. But this time he deserves it. For saying, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it,” President Obama has been awarded the Lie of the Year award, handed out by PolitiFact, the organization that monitors the veracity of what public people say.
And unless you’ve either been in a coma or have been visiting your cousin Lenny on Neptune you know that he didn’t just say it once or twice or ten times. We might, if we were feeling especially generous, simply forgive that as a few slips of the tongue. No, Mr. Obama said it over and over and over and over again in one form or another. My personal favorite is when he added the “Period” at the end of the lie. Nice touch, Mr. President.
And when millions of Americans got cancellation notices from their insurance companies telling them that contrary to what Mr. Obama had been telling them, they could not keep their healthcare plan – even if they liked it – then everyone knew he had his fingers crossed behind his back when he said what he said which wasn’t true.
So how did Team Obama respond when he got caught? Here’s how PolitiFact explains it:
“Initially, Obama and his team didn’t budge.
“First, they tried to shift blame to insurers. ‘FACT: Nothing in #Obamacare forces people out of their health plans,’ said Valerie Jarrett, a top adviser to Obama, on Oct. 28.
“PolitiFact rated her statement False. The restrictions on grandfathering were part of the law, and they were driving cancellations.
“Then, they tried to change the subject. ‘It’s important to remember both before the ACA was ever even a gleam in anybody’s eye, let alone passed into law, that insurance companies were doing this all the time, especially in the individual market because it was lightly regulated and the incentives were so skewed,’ said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.
“But what really set everyone off was when Obama tried to rewrite his slogan, telling political supporters on Nov. 4, ‘Now, if you have or had one of these plans before the Affordable Care Act came into law, and you really liked that plan, what we said was you can keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law passed.’
“Pants on Fire! 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.’”
Eventually, after his most loyal supporters – journalists – turned on him, he confessed, admitting he got it wrong. Thanks, Mr. President.
Most people, if they got caught repeating such a whopper so many times so publicly would do the right thing – get plastic surgery, change their name, and sneak out of the country. Perhaps that’s not a practical solution for the president of the United States, but I never got the impression that he felt that normal human emotion when caught fabricating something important: humiliation. Just a little would have been nice. But Mr. Obama is a man of immense self-confidence. And it’s creepy.
Despite the fact that everybody knows what a mess ObamaCare has become, the president’s courtier in the Senate, Harry Reid, has said that ObamaCare would be a big plus for Democratic senators facing re-election in 2014.
“I think it’s going to be good for them,” Reid told a Las Vegas TV interviewer. “By that time, there will be a lot of people on it that have already signed up. It’ll be fine.”
For this, Senator Reid wins his own award: “Optimist of the Year.” (Just so you know, because I’m a nice guy, I fought the temptation to give Reid the “Doofus of the Year” award.)
And we didn’t even get into “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Period!” There’s always next year.