John Bolton

John Bolton

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Saturday, November 09, 2013

How Deep Will Obama Dig His Hole?

Speeches and campaigning won't overcome Obama's credibility gap until he can be honest with the American people!

Most Americans are trusting people. They take someone at their word until they have reason to believe that person is not being honest with them. The same applies to the President of the United States who by virtue of the office he holds commands a degree of respect and trust. But only if he upholds the highest standard of veracity. Obama has consistently failed to meet that standard. Thus, it's no surprise respect and trust in him are rapidly declining.

Twenty nine times on recorded video Obama made the sweeping and emphatic promise “if you like your health-care plan, you will be able to keep your health-care plan, period.” The total number may be as high as 40. And, on the White House web site, in a post titled "Facts are Stubborn Things" Obama's broken pledge is still prominently displayed. Responding to intense criticism Obama is took the old Washington sidestep and revised history last week when he said "what we said was you could keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law was passed.”

The problem is that he never said that and millions are finding out the hard way that what he said was not true. That includes many supporters of Obama like Cathy Wagner in Colorado:
Wagner and her husband retired early. She was a nurse for 35 years and championed Obamacare, until she received a letter from her insurance company saying it was canceling her policy.

“I was really shocked … all of my hopes were sort of dashed,” Wagner said. “’Oh my gosh President Obama, this is not what we hoped for, it’s not what we were told.’ “

She was shocked further to learn that for the same coverage she would pay 35 percent more and have a higher deductible.

“Our premium for next year is going up to over $1,000 a month for two of us and we’re two fairly healthy individuals,” Wagner said.
In response to the furor Obama told Chuck Todd of NBC News: "I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me." Not good enough says the editorial in the Hartford Courant:
President Obama lied, misled, misspoke — however you want to frame it — when he said that if you liked your health care plan, you could keep it, period, under his Affordable Care Act.

In fact, plans are getting canceled that are not compliant with the ACA's requirements of certain minimum benefits. This is a cruel surprise to many policyholders.

Mr. Obama said Thursday that he's sorry Americans are losing their insurance plans he'd assured them they could keep, but he didn't say he was sorry for making those promises.
Readers may recall the utterance of then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who famously declared "we have to pass the bill so you can find out what's in it." Thanks Nancy!

Squirming through the uncomfortable interview on NBC, despite the softballs of reporter Chuck Todd, Obama added:
PRESIDENT OBAMA: We tried to find a proven model -- we've seen it work in Massachusetts -- that would be as undisruptive as possible, and in good faith, tried to write the law in such a way that people could keep their care. Although, we really believe that ultimately, they're going to be better off when they're buying health care through the marketplaces. They can access tax credits, and they're benefiting from more choice and competition. But obviously, we didn't do a good enough job in terms of how we crafted the law.
Readers may recall the utterance of then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who famously declared "we have to pass the bill so you can find out what's in it." Thanks Nancy!

But both Obama and Pelosi were warned before the law was passed about the consequences we are now witnessing. In the big dog and pony show called a "White House Summit" on health care GOP Whip Rep. Eric Cantor (VA) warned Obama in very clear and direct terms. Cue the video to the 1:38 mark:

Notice Obama's rude and dismissive body language and how he talks to other people during Cantor's presentation. When Obama responds he chides Cantor for presenting the bill text as a prop. But it was that very point Cantor was attempting to make about the unknowns in the bill that are now coming back to bite Obama. It's a shame he didn't actually listen to what Cantor had said.

Obama is in trouble and he knows it. The latest Pew survey matches what polls are showing across the board. On issue after issue his approval is taking a deep slide.

What's Obama's reaction to all this? Will he start actually listening to Republicans? Nope. In a recent column Charles Krauthammer reports that Obama's strategy is to go out and campaign hard to defend himself. As if Obama hasn't already given enough speeches (54 and counting) on the subject of health care. From Krauthammer's column:
“I’ve got one more campaign in me,” [Obama] told grass-roots supporters Monday — a series of speeches and rallies, explains the New York Times, “to make sure his signature health care law works.” Campaigning to make something work? How does that work? Presidential sweet-talk persuades the nonfunctional Web portal to function?
Krauthammer asks at what points does "rhetoric trump[] reality" in Obama land and concludes: "Who will tell Obama that lies so transparent render rhetoric not just useless but ridiculous?"

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