Catching up with politics of fraud on health care

Rich Lowry:

BARACK Obama raised near-millennial expectations last year. If elected, he'd transform the dreary realities of Washington with his blazing freshness. He'd win over Republicans with his engaging post-partisanship. He'd solve long-standing national problems with his nonideological pragmatism.

None of this overpromising was ever very likely to come to fruition. But Obama has now fallen down on a much more elemental test of leadership: He can't tell the truth about his signature initiative.

Obama's health-care push has been the most dishonest White House advocacy in recent memory. What he says about reform bears no relation to the legislation he wants Congress to pass as soon as recalcitrant Democrats can be bludgeoned into line.

Obama says no one will lose his private coverage; costs will be controlled; and the legislation will be paid for. Obama must know that these are all politically necessary things to say, and also that none of them describes Nancy Pelosi's handiwork.

Obama can't bring himself to grapple with "reality-based" health-care reform, because it belies too many of his most essential sound bites. In the campaign, Obama said, "We need to tell people what they need to hear, not what they want to hear." On health care, Obama knows that if he doesn't keep telling people what they want to hear -- regardless of the facts -- all is lost.

The left branded George W. Bush a "liar" for making assertions about Iraq's weapons that were supported by the evidence, but turned out not to be true. Obama is saying things that aren't even supported by the evidence. They are routinely debunked by the independent Congressional Budget Office, which doesn't stop Obama from continuing to say them. It's as if the CIA issued reports every other week in 2002 explaining that no, Iraq didn't have a nuclear program nor any stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons, and Bush kept warning of the nonexistent WMD anyway.


I get the impression that Obama is of the belief that his saying it makes it so. It is an irrational faith in his own words and opinions. The politics of fraud has worked well for him up to this point so why stop?


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