Michael Kinsley’s definition of a gaffe is when a politician gets caught telling the truth. As of this writing we’ve seen four videos surface of Obamacare Architect Jonathan Gruber. Pejman Yousefzadeh gives a good summary of what was revealed through the first three videos. By now you’ve read these gems:
“If you had a law which said healthy people are going to pay in — if you made it explicit that healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed, OK? Just like how people — transparent — lack of transparency is a huge advantage. And basically, you know, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever. But basically that was really, really critical to getting the thing to pass.”
“It’s a very clever, you know, basic exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter,”
Yousefzadeh goes on to offer Ian Tuttle’s analysis of the remarks:
And despite its pragmatic, do-what-works rhetoric, the progressive Left is convinced not only of its own intellectual superiority but of its accompanying moral superiority. Among progressives, stupidity is sin.
Gruber’s comments are a perfect illustration of this belief. The “stupidity of the American voter,” of which he is obviously disdainful, is not an ignorance of facts. If Obamacare proponents had believed that was the case, they would simply have sought to explain the legislation, trusting that more information would be persuasive. The obfuscation in which they engaged would not have been necessary.
No, Obamacare proponents were certain that Americans could not be persuaded, no matter how much information they absorbed. The voters were incapable of recognizing that Obamacare was in their own best interests — or, to put it another way, they were (and remain) morally deficient, a failing impervious to reasoned argument. Their stupidity was a sin, against themselves and each other. Gruber and company were the messiahs they did not know they needed.
And adds more from Avik Roy:
On Tuesday, it came out that MIT economist Jonathan Gruber—Obamacare’s architect—had said that he and his Democratic colleagues had concealed the health law’s true costs from the public in order to take advantage of the “stupidity of the American voter” and pass the bill. Gruber then went on MSNBC and claimed that his comments were “off the cuff” and should be disregarded. But two new videos have emerged: one in which he says that “Americans were too stupid to understand” Obamacare’s main tax hike, and another in which he boasts of Obamacare’s “exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter.”
It’s clear from these videos that Gruber’s cracks about the intelligence of the American voter weren’t a spontaneous “off the cuff” outburst, but rather a regular punch line in his stump speech to audiences around the country.
The most important part of that excerpt is, of course, the first sentence of the second paragraph. Remember that when Jonathan Gruber makes apologies regarding his comments, he is not apologizing for the fact that he made them. He is just sorry that he got caught. The distinction is crucial.
I know I’m excerpting too much for a post that almost warrants just a “Read the whole thing” link without further comment, but Yousefzadeh wraps it up nicely with:
Of course, most liberals don’t appear to be angry as a result of Gruber’s comments. To be sure, they would be angry if the comments came from the starboard side of the political divide, but since it comes from their side . . . well . . . outrage takes a back seat to trying to bury the story by not talking about it.
Hearings are being discussed. And why shouldn’t they be? Contrary to the beliefs of some, the Bush administration never lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. But the Obama administration lied a lot about Obamacare, and the chief architect of Obamacare boasted about how successful all of the lying was.
As I mentioned at the top of this post a fourth video has now emerged. It’s not as damning as the previous three, but introduces a new crack in the façade of competence. Ed Morrissey at Hot Air offers:
“Barack Obama’s not a stupid man, okay?” Gruber said in his remarks at the College of the Holy Cross on March 11, 2010. “He knew when he was running for president that quite frankly the American public doesn’t actually care that much about the uninsured….What the American public cares about is costs. And that’s why even though the bill that they made is 90% health insurance coverage and 10% about cost control, all you ever hear people talk about is cost control. How it’s going to lower the cost of health care, that’s all they talk about. Why? Because that’s what people want to hear about because a majority of American care about health care costs.” …
Gruber said the measures in the bill that attempt to lower costs constitute a “spaghetti approach” — throwing everything against the wall to see what sticks. And while preferable to the status quo, Gruber said he could offer no guarantee that any of the measures would work.What are the Obamacare trade-offs
“The only way we’re going to stop our country from being a latter day Roman Empire and falling under its own weight is getting control of the growth rate of health care costs,” he said. “The problem is we don’t know how.” Experts “know what the problem is,” he said. “Our providers are paid enormously high. In the 1950s surgeons are middle class guys like professors…Now they live on the Hamptons, the Cape, they’re like investment bankers.”
Remember how Barack Obama insisted that the bill would “bend the cost curve downward”? Gruber tells his audience at nearly the same time that they have no idea how to do that, and that the bill was the equivalent of spitballing.
Perhaps Gruber was a forgotten son out to avenge his father’s death at Nakatomi Plaza…
And Hot Air’s Noah Rothman summarizes how the media is unsurprisingly circling the wagons around covering for Gruber.
And as I was finishing writing this post video #5 hit. You know the Massachusetts model, that vast success that labeled everyone who voted for Romney as a hypocrite for supporting him and not Obama? Apparently…
Ted Kennedy and smart people in Massachusetts basically have figured out a way to rip off the feds for about $400 million a year.”
But back to the title of this post, why is any of this surprising? We already know that leftists think that women are stupid. When they’re not telling women that they lack the intelligence to weigh in on issues that don’t involve their genitalia, lefties are telling them that their too stupid to manage a $9 per month expense. They oppose voter ID laws, because of course anyone who can’t figure out how to get a photo ID could only vote for one party.
Personally, I’d rather be insulted in the name of honesty than to have someone point up at the sky and tell me it’s raining while they’re peeing on my leg. So the left has disdain for average Americans? Tell me something we don’t already know. What I really hope will become the story is question as to why is the mainstream media choosing to ignore this story. Here is one theory. The question in my mind is will Republicans take advantage of this golden opportunity to launch a full scale attack on the left’s PR wing better known as the MSM?
To close on a happier note, @Vodkapundit had a pretty sharp analysis of Gruber’s remarks:
What everyone misses about Gruber is his implicit admission that the American people are too smart for his craptaculent legislation.
— Stephen Green (@VodkaPundit) November 12, 2014
Cross posted from Brother Bob’s Blog