by: the Common Constitutionalist
The hot topic of the day usually attracts the commentary of Rush Limbaugh. Yesterday was no different when he spoke of a short video released showing Jonathan Gruber, leftist economics professor at MIT, commenting on the passage of Obamacare, saying: “This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies, okay? So it’s written to do that. In terms of risk-rating subsidies, if you had a law which said healthy people are gonna pay… if you made it explicit that healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed, okay? Lack of transparency is a huge political 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.”
Before I continue, it can’t possibly be a mystery how our “best and brightest”, emerging from elite schools like MIT, are so screwed up. Look at who is teaching them. This guy is an economics professor? Is the head of the department Paul Krugman?
Okay, back to it. It seemed as if Gruber was proud of how they pulled it off – as if he admired the administration for their mastery of deceit. Well, he should be proud of the deceit – he was part of it.
Gruber, who was a technical consultant to the Obama administration during Obamacare’s design, made clear during that panel captured on video that the individual mandate, which was only upheld by the Supreme Court because it was a tax, was not actually a tax.
Limbaugh said, “In other words, they had to lie to you, and they relied on your stupidity. They counted on your stupidity to believe their lies such as, ‘you get to keep your doctor and you get to keep your health insurance plan,’ such as, ‘Your premiums are gonna go down,’ such as, ‘No their not taxes!’ There’s no way they’re taxes. No, no, no. And you’re gonna get subsidies if you can’t afford it, so don’t sweat it. Everything’s gonna be fine.”
Rush went on to say that the voters weren’t stupid. They were repeatedly lied to. “There has never been majority support for this bill. That’s the one thing you must never lose sight of here. Don’t ever forget: they never did fool a majority of the American people.”
I used to think, “Voters must be that stupid. They must be. There could be no other explanation.”
I’ve since adjusted my thinking. I don’t think the average voter is necessarily stupid. It might be a bit of stupidity but I think it is much more a case of supreme non-interest.
It’s like a child who does poorly in school because he or she doesn’t “apply him or herself”. Almost every parent has heard this at least once. “Little Johnny is a smart boy, but he just doesn’t apply himself.”
Well teacher – it’s not little Johnny’s fault. Make your subject fun and interesting and little Johnny will learn. The problem is that American voters are not children and so there is no teacher to blame for their lack of interest. But simply saying how important voting is rings hollow with most low information, uninterested voters. The candidates are boring, the issues are stale, and the platform never changes.
The last time voters actually chose Republicans was 1994 when Newt and the boys presented voters with a positive agenda – “The Contract with America“. It was a reason to vote “for” the Republicans, not just a protest against Democrats. The “Contract” actually interested people and they wished to learn more about it. It was new, different… interesting.
In fact, I believe people voted for the “Contract”, not the candidates, and that’s fine. Whatever gets them involved.
So barring anything intriguing like another “Contract with America”, maybe someone should start a 2016 Republican Presidential Fantasy League. Maybe that will cause some interest in otherwise boring candidates and process.