- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 17, 2010

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

As the health care “debate” reaches its farcical end, consider four assertions the Obama

administration has made in its final attempt to persuade wary House Democrats to vote for the ungainly and loathsome Senate bill.

(1) “It’s within our grasp,” whooped President Obama at a health care pep rally last week in Pennsylvania. With his tie loosened and shirt sleeves rolled up, Mr. Obama tried desperately to recapture the glory days of his campaign, when people hung on his every word and invincibility swirled around him. Last week he even resurrected his signature campaign cry, “I’m fired up!” But this time, it sounded hollow, stale, empty and old.

What does Mr. Obama mean when he says, “It’s within our grasp”? Of course, on the surface, he means his vision of health care “reform.” But he’s talking about something else as well. Something bigger, darker and less visible to the naked eye.

He’s saying that the fundamental remaking of America is within his grasp. He’s saying total government control of your life is within his grasp. He’s saying the radical vision only dreamed about by his philosophical mentor, Saul Alinsky, is within his grasp. He’s saying that European-style democratic socialism is within his grasp. He’s saying that radical progressivism is alive and well and that its promise of a command economy, a smothering state and dwindling of individual freedoms is within his grasp.

That’s what he was really saying. Remember: Alinsky’s vision of moving America toward a radical model of wealth redistribution is Mr. Obama’s vision.

It’s within his grasp. He just warned you.

(2) “I think people have come to the realization that this is the moment, and if we don’t act now, there will be dire consequences for people all over this country,” intoned top White House adviser David Axelrod this weekend.

This is a perfect example of Mr. Axelrod’s fear-mongering, which he constantly accuses Republicans of using.

Further, to whom does Mr. Axelrod refer when he invokes “the people?” He cannot mean “the American people,” because big majorities of them have adamantly and continually opposed Obamacare in every way they know how: in elections and polls and town halls and tea parties. The people of the state of Massachusetts replaced the late, uberliberal Obamacare champion Edward M. Kennedy with a Republican for goodness’ sake. The American people have rarely spoken so clearly and consistently against a policy as they have against the Democrats’ health care proposal.

Buried in his assertion is the truth: Mr. Axelrod refers to the small cabal of Democrats in the White House and on Capitol Hill who believe there will be dire consequences forthemselves if they do not pass their bill. Whenever Team Obama members want to sell a proposition, (i.e., how “necessary” Obamacare is), they encase it in some sentence that refers to “the people” as a way of suggesting that “the people” support their agenda. On health care, as with much else, that’s simply not true.

(3) “If you average together the public polls, what you find is that the American people are split on the top line: ‘Do you support the plan?’ But again, when you go underneath, they support the elements of the plan. When you ask them, ‘Does the health care system need reform?’ three-quarters of them say yes. When you ask them, ‘Do you want Congress to move forward and deal with this issue?’ three-quarters of them say yes,” Mr. Axelrod said last weekend. Team Obama has pulled a fast one in order to try to discount the overwhelming polls against their plan by suggesting majority support for the individual components of it.

There are two glaring outrages with this argument. First, Mr. Axelrod implies that “the people” he often loves to cite are too stupid to know what’s in the bill, so they oppose it reflexively.

More importantly, this argument disingenuously presents the potential benefits of the bill without any reference to their costs. Framed that way, of course you’d get positive responses.

Example: In the run-up to the Iraq war, if you had asked liberals if they would like to see a tyrant deposed, democracy and freedom in Iraq, and an end to torture and rape rooms there, most of them would have replied yes. And yet most of them opposed the war.

Mr. Axelrod uses a tortured logic to suggest most people want what the bill provides. They do not.

(4) “How much higher do premiums have to rise before we do something about it?” Mr. Obama asks. This has been echoed by White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel: “For the public, it’s important to remind them that there are premium increases of 40 percent for as far as you can see if nothing is done.”

What they don’t tell you is that insurance companies are raising premiums now, in anticipation of the sweeping new regulations mandated by Obamacare. They’re trying to lock in higher rates before the government empowers itself to cap what they can charge. The very threat of Obamacare caused their pre-emptive strike.

As we behold the health care endgame, remember there is what Team Obama says, and then there is the unspoken subtext and the much more complicated truth.

Monica Crowley is a nationally syndicated radio host, a panelist on “The McLaughlin Group” and a Fox News contributor.

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