Because Obama Said So

Andrew Green was at it again last week. To borrow from President Obama, Green’s Second Opinion post “would be laughable if it were not so irresponsible and cynical.”
As with a previous health care editorial Green is guilty of the very sin he projects on to those he disagrees with. Green takes Obama’s pronouncements as if they were the Word of God, and paints any opposition as illegitimate and outside the realm of civil discourse.
Nowhere did Green address the preposterous misdirections, sweeping contradictions, and grand evasions in Obama’s speech. Green can bang a spoon on his highchair all day about Rep Boustany’s response, but his Moses (or Ezra Klein) at the burning bush act belies the rotten core of his argument. For example, Green writes:

The president pledged not to sign a bill that adds a dime to the deficit. Mr. Boustany argued against a deficit-swelling health reform plan. The president said he was taking immediate action to limit medical liability lawsuits.

One would think Green had seen the multiple reports that Obamacare would create a Grand Canyon like chasm between spending and revenue, or at least try to square the circle of ringing up $900 billion bill, without cutting Medicare benefits or raising taxes, or—adding to the deficit. As for medical malpractice, Green’s definition of “immediate action” is a bit looser than the rest of us. Obama merely stated that he would have his DHHS Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius to initiate “demonstration projects.” That is hardly “immediate action” ushering in medmal reform.
Green’s epic battle against the straw men doesn’t end there:

The element of the Republican Party that wants to defeat Mr. Obama’s health reform at all costs had a good August. They could take advantage of an information vacuum to spread untruths that caught on among a segment of the population. But their credibility is wearing thin. After hearing these same elements of the GOP warn against the socialist intent of Mr. Obama’s speech to schoolchildren, only to watch the president champion the very American ideals of education, hard work and ambition, who are people going to believe about death panels, the future of Medicare or the possibility that government dollars would fund abortions? By setting out to defeat the president at all costs, Republicans have been arguing against strawmen instead of trying to color health reform with conservative ideas….

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Green had to take a huge leap over a vast swath of his own ignorance (or ape White House talking points) to write those words.

Conservatives didn’t object to Obama’s school speech itself. The objection was to the Department of Education’s creepy lesson plans disseminated before the speech, containing exercises that recommended teachers ask their to students to “write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president.” Perhaps Green is unfamiliar with the American hostility to such “dear leader” indoctrination.
Fear over federal taxpayer dollars funding abortions is well founded. Instead of relying on the word of Obama, Green should have bothered to review the House bill’s markup session—as The Heritage Foundation’s Robert Moffit did—had Green done so he would have seen amendments that specifically prohibit federal money from funding abortions were voted down, whereas amendments requiring federal funding for abortions passed.
Furthermore, Moffit notes that the committee gutted amendments designed to protect consumer choice, protect current health coverage, and add health savings accounts to the government’s definition of a qualified health benefits plan. This puts the lie to Green’s claim that Republicans are fear mongering instead of seeking to, “color reform with conservative ideas.” Partisan Democrats were never going to incorporate conservative ideas into the reform effort.
Green was right that Joe Wilson’s outburst of “you lie” was shocking. However, Green once again takes Obama at his word that he “debunked the falsehood that the health reform plan would cover illegal immigrants.” The house bills do not specifically prescribe health coverage for illegal immigrants, but nor do they specifically proscribe it. Republican amendments designed to do so were voted down by Democrats on strict party line votes. One would think that Green, a veteran state house reporter, would smell such a fetid legislative loophole.

It’s quite ironic that after the president supposedly “debunked” that falsehood, the Senate felt the need to add a proof of citizenship requirement in it’s own health care bill. Wilson was out of line shouting at the president during a joint session of Congress, but he’s right on the substance.

I initially took Andrew Green’s elevation to the Sun editorial board as a welcome change, as I always considered him at fair reporter. However, as an editorial writer, Green is so in the tank for president that his arguments have absurdly devolved to “because Obama said so.”
Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

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