Obama’s Michael Dukakis moment

posted at 9:28 am on June 25, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama got ABC to move their news division into the White House in order to make the big pitch for his egalitarian, everyone-gets-treated-equally ObamaCare push.  Instead, Obama fumbled into a Michael Dukakis moment that exposed him as a hypocrite.  ABC itself leads with Obama’s response that he wouldn’t stay within his own plan for his family:

President Obama struggled to explain today whether his health care reform proposals would force normal Americans to make sacrifices that wealthier, more powerful people — like the president himself — wouldn’t face.

The probing questions came from two skeptical neurologists during ABC News’ special on health care reform, “Questions for the President: Prescription for America,” anchored from the White House by Diane Sawyer and Charles Gibson.

Dr. Orrin Devinsky, a neurologist and researcher at the New York University Langone Medical Center, said that elites often propose health care solutions that limit options for the general public, secure in the knowledge that if they or their loves ones get sick, they will be able to afford the best care available, even if it’s not provided by insurance.

Devinsky asked the president pointedly if he would be willing to promise that he wouldn’t seek such extraordinary help for his wife or daughters if they became sick and the public plan he’s proposing limited the tests or treatment they can get.

The president refused to make such a pledge, though he allowed that if “it’s my family member, if it’s my wife, if it’s my children, if it’s my grandmother, I always want them to get the very best care.["]

Oopsie!  So ObamaCare for thee, but not for me?  Hope and change, baby!

In 1988, Michael Dukakis blew a question about the death penalty when asked about whether he’d want it if his wife Kitty had been raped and murdered.  Dukakis said no, but addressed it clinical legalese rather than absorbing the opportunity to address the emotional impact of violent crime, and his candidacy cratered.  In this case, Obama did a reverse Dukakis.  He went with the emotional argument, and effectively rebutted his own proposal and its egalitarian purpose.  It’s a moment of sheer hypocrisy, caught in the modern amber of video.

If ObamaCare isn’t good enough for Sasha, Malia, or Michelle, then it’s not good enough for America.  Instead of fighting that impulse, Obama should be working to boost the private sector to encourage more care providers, less red tape and expense, and better care for everyone.

Update: RCP has the video of the exchange.


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