American Elephants

The Consistently Divisive Rhetoric of President Obama by The Elephant's Child


Have you seen pictures of Obama lately? He looks haunted, and his rhetoric has slipped into overdrive, as he told employees at a Ford Motor Company plant that Republicans are willing “to send our economy into a tailspin.” The House had just voted to deny 2014 funding for Obama’s primary legislative accomplishment, ObamaCare. “They’re actually willing to plunge America into default if we can’t defund the Affordable Care Act” the formal name for ObamaCare.

“They’ve tried to repeal or sabotage this — more than 40 times they’ve had these repeal votes. Every time they fail,” said Obama. In fact Obama has signed seven bills that Republicans passed to change unpopular or unworkable portions of the ObamaCare mess.

Obama defended his network, saying it is getting health-care services to millions of Americans, and he charged that the GOP wants to stop Americans from getting health care services.

There’s part of the problem. ObamaCare does not offer health care services. It is a vast, messy,  intrusive “health insurance” plan that does not control costs and offers no assured access to medical care. Many doctors refuse to take on Medicaid patients because the government does not pay adequately for their services. We already do not have enough doctors to serve the population. That means that those who are now forced on to Medicaid — all those newly part-time workers —will have long waits to get care.

The theory is that all the young healthy people who sign up will not use medical care much, and their over-payment for services will help pay for the greater use of medical care by old people. It remains to be seen if they will. Or they can just pay a fine that is cheaper than a year’s insurance and count on the emergency room if the worst happens.

Obama is enraged that Republicans would disagree with him. He reads, it was just reported, only the New York Times, and has no real understanding of the positions of the other party.  Richard Epstein, who knew him at the University of Chicago, said he would never participate in the lunchtime faculty debates, he was always too busy. “The problem with keeping to yourself, is that you don’t get to hear strong ideas articulated by people who disagree with you.  If you don’t put your idea out to be shot down, you’re never going to figure out what kind of revision you need.” You have probably noticed that , for Obama, everything is always about him. He described Republican efforts to defund ObamaCare as “Republicans trying to mess with me.”

The American people hate ObamaCare. That’s the ones who are paying attention. A surprising percentage think ObamaCare was ended by the Supreme Court, don’t know what it is, and don’t know that it is the law of the land and about to go into effect. Wait till they find out.

Democrats passed the law, claiming that health care costs were spiraling out of control, and they had to do something to stop it. This was specifically false, Health care costs began declining back in 2006 when Barack Obama was still am unknown senator from Illinois. Health care costs are driven by technology. A great fear about ObamaCare is that as it becomes imperative to cut costs, and it will — life-saving technology and innovation will decline.

Democrats’ great illusion is that (because they are smart) they can administer the health care of everyone in the country with rules and regulations and make it better and cheaper. Republicans understand that you cannot take the American health care system (which is outstanding) and add a vast government enterprise with hundreds of new agencies and bureaus and employees on top of it, and make it less costly and more efficient. It cannot be done.

Government has no skill in administering health care systems. Look closely at the Indian Health Service, and The Veterans Administration’s Health Care Services. The federal government’s resume leaves a great deal to be desired.

The incentives are all wrong in ObamaCare, and that matters. Because ObamaCare shelters consumers from the cost of health care, consumers are apt to rush to the doctor for every little thing. You will get over a cold in roughly 7 days without a doctor’s attention. When consumers know how much things cost, they use the health care system more sensibly. The incentive for the medical profession is to get adequately paid in spite of the regulation,  So farewell to  the nice family physician who really was concerned about your health.

In contrast to Obama, Republicans don’t want to shut the government down. They would like to negotiate some cuts to spending, for enormous amounts of waste need to be ended. But Obama has said flatly that he will not negotiate. An odd understanding of the office of the presidency.

2 Comments so far
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The biggest part of the problem is that Obama only knows how to be negative. You’ve never really heard Obama make an affirmative argument for anything specific, and even his empty little platitudes of “hope and change” were all connected to some thing that was wrong with “the other side”. All of his rhetoric is agressive, never concilliatory. Obama talks to everyone from a condescending pose, never as an equal (indeed, according to Obama, there is no one smarter, more savvy, more learned, more talented, more eloquent than him). He is, in fact, everything that Romney was accused of being in the last election… aloof, out of touch, unable to relate.

The result of all of this is that Obama is just not effective. I just saw a chiron on one of the TV news channels talking about a “crisis of leadership” in the Obama administration (I disagree… in order for there to be a crisis in leadership, there would have to be leadership in the first place, no?). Every time he tries to talk about something in support of it, polls invariably show support disappear. World leaders ignore him. He has no working relationship with Congress. He is becoming increasingly selective about the reporters that are allowed to ask him questions (and even then his staff frequently vets the questions… mustn’t ask the president anything embarrassing, you know), and as things are starting to turn against him, his language and demeanor gets even more hectoring, angrier, and snarky.

And we have slightly more 1200 days of this to go.

I’ll admit, there is a part of me that is looking at the prospect of Obama having the three most miserable years of his pointless life over the next little bit, but the grown-up in me (I only let him out occasionally) knows that there is a great deal someone like Obama can do in the position he holds… especially since he still has managed to put true believers in positions in his administration that will help.


Comment by Lon Mead

I hate what Obama is doing. I think in trying to derail ObamaCare, we are doing him a favor. It is an unworkable law that will at some point collapse of its own weight, and cost far more than current estimates, while ruining lives in the meantime. I think it is that bad a law. His defense is to describe it the same way it was described in the beginning, without any awareness of its failings.

I think the EPA is doing dreadful damage and needs be stopped. We may be in for brownouts or blackouts of the grid. All his efforts to stop a nonexistent global warming will be useless and cost billions. And he will continue using taxpayer money to reward his bundlers and backers. As far as he knows that’s just how politics is done.

I believe he has not the slightest idea what a government can do to create a favorable climate for creating jobs, and would reject those ideas anyway. He is too steeped in radicalism and his own infallibility to consider changing course. I am troubled by those who just support him unconditionally, assuming that anyone who opposes his ideas is racist, without looking at what his ideas are accomplishing. I’m worried about weak foreign policy, and what it might inspire. Other than that…the namecalling and anger is not helpful. He is our elected president.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

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