Instead of using this space to pretend the newly released CIA "torture" report confirms that the United States is the most evil nation in the history of the universe, I'm going to address Jonathan Gruber's confirmation that he believes we're all stupid.
Assuming you are not under any rocks or haven't been in an underground bunker without access to media, you will have heard that Gruber, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the principal architect of Obamacare, made some unflattering comments about his fellow Americans.
At a panel event last year, discussing how the administration was able to secure passage of the Affordable Care Act, Gruber openly admitted that the administration deceived the American people in numerous important respects about the legislation, bragged about the administration's lack of transparency in the process and outright called the American people "stupid," which I think is arguably the least of these three sins, though it's the one getting the most airplay.
Read Gruber's own words: "You can't do it politically. You just literally cannot do it. OK? Transparent financing and also transparent spending. I mean, this bill was written in a tortured way to make sure (the Congressional Budget Office) did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. OK? So it's written to do that. In terms of risk-rated subsidies, if you had a law which said healthy people are going to pay in — you made explicit that healthy people pay in and sick people get money — it would not have passed. ... Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically, that was really, really critical to getting the thing to pass. ... Look, I wish (health economist) Mark (Pauly) was right (that) we could make it all transparent, but I'd rather have this law than not."
This week, Gruber, tail between his legs, desperately backpedaled before Congress, pretending that he didn't mean a thing he said, that he had only acted arrogantly in an effort to portray himself as a very smart cookie.
He told Congress: "I'm not an elected official, nor am I a political adviser. ... I behaved badly, and I will have to live with that, but my own inexcusable arrogance is not a flaw in the Affordable Care Act. The ACA is a milestone accomplishment for our nation that has already provided millions of Americans with health insurance. ... It's never appropriate to make oneself seem more important or smarter by demeaning others. I knew better. I know better. I'm embarrassed, and I'm sorry."
This is truly insulting, for now he's also treating us as stupid, not just his fellow Obama voters. When he attributed the passage of the bill to the "stupidity" of the American voters, he was necessarily talking about Obama voters, because the rest of us weren't going to be persuaded to go along with this socialist scheme no matter how ornately he dressed it up with deceit.
But by telling Congress that he didn't really mean any of what he said, he and those in the administration he colluded with on this, including Obama, are playing us non-Obama voters for fools, as well. Reread his comments to the panel. There's no escaping his clear meaning.
He revealed that the administration was very calculating in getting the bill passed. His comments on the panel weren't throwaway remarks. They show that the administration deliberately and premeditatedly mischaracterized the nature of the mandate to the CBO (as a penalty and not as a tax); otherwise, by Gruber's admission, the bill would have died.
We non-Kool-Aid drinkers knew this at the time, so this is not news to us. Gruber also doubly reaffirmed the administration's intention to deceive when he said that he wishes it could have passed the bill by being open and honest about it (transparent) but that the bill would never have passed had the administration been honest. It's right there in his words, spoken before he got in trouble, not after. Obama and company made a conscious decision to lie because they'd "rather have this law than not."
So while people are making a big fuss over Gruber's calling Americans stupid, they ought to be far more outraged that he admitted the administration purposefully lied to us. This is the real story, and it reveals, once again, the character and mentality of this entire administration, for Gruber was speaking not merely for himself but about the entire administration, beginning with Obama.
No one wanted this socialist law more than Obama, and he has shown in every way imaginable that he went to extreme lengths to get it enacted — and he has done the same to keep it in force. We always knew that Obama's end-justifies-the-means mindset and dogmatic ideological fervor led to his corruption and lawlessness, but now we have his principal Obamacare architect admitting it — and then lamely lying to Congress after the fact in an embarrassingly failed effort to deny he meant it.
This is all disgraceful and underscores how imperative it is that Obamacare be fully repealed and that the newly elected GOP Congress get a backbone and stand up to this cadre of scofflaws.