Green Room

Facing health care oblivion, the Left finally wonders: “Who really is Barack Obama?”

posted at 2:38 am on August 14, 2009 by

Good question. If you accepted the formulation made by Kathleen Parker, stalwart and standard-bearing conservative, you’d think he was a “pragmatist” in “socialist times” — a smooth operator beholden to none, acting decisively and in accordance with what the “times” demand. Namely, socialism.

How’s that pragmatic socialist thing working out for the Left?

Well, let’s just say that being mentioned in the same breath as Dick Cheney isn’t quite the change BO would be looking for. Enter Greg Palast, who — after lambasting Obama for striking a secret deal with pharmaceutical companies that would, by his calculations, save a whopping 2% on the drugs Americans buy — wonders:

What else went down in Obama’s drug deal? To find out, I called C-SPAN to get a copy of the videotape of the meeting with the drug companies. I was surprised to find they didn’t have such a tape despite the President’s campaign promise, right there on CNN in January 2008, “These negotiations will be on C-SPAN.”

This puzzled me. When Dick Cheney was caught having secret meetings with oil companies to discuss Bush’s Energy Bill, we denounced the hugger-muggers as a case of foxes in the henhouse.

Cheney’s secret meetings with lobbyists and industry bigshots were creepy and nasty and evil.

But the Obama crew’s secret meetings with lobbyists and industry bigshots were, the President assures us, in the public interest.

We know Cheney’s secret confabs were shady and corrupt because Cheney scowled out the side of his mouth.

Obama grins in your face.

See the difference?

Yup. It’s heart-ache.

Take it away, Michael Brenner.

Let’s face the harsh reality — Obama has blown health care reform, big time. The opportunity of a lifetime has been squandered. The most recent revelations about backroom deals with Pharma and the other vendors of medical services drops the curtain on any hope of serious change in our costly and inefficient non-system. This is a painful admission to make. Not only does the country remain handicapped by grossly sub-par arrangements for health delivery, we also are burdened with a president who has been discredited as a progressive dedicated to a betterment of how we conduct public business….

It is Barack Obama who is to blame for this. For months, he stayed aloof from the out-of-control Congressional maneuvering based on a strange belief in some kind of bipartisan collective will emerging by osmosis. He never leaned the weight of his person and his office to elements of reform that has been touting as candidate and then President. He deceived the country by pursuing secret talks with the very lobbies who are the heart of disgraceful national health care situation. He entered into deals that were weighted heavily in their selfish interest rather than the national interest. In short, we have gotten from him the antithesis of what we were promised and expected — in the substance and process of policy both. We have instead a conventionally minded politician overly respectful of the status quo and deferential to those who control and profit from it, A man with no apparent fixed convictions.

That last part may be a little too harsh, because it’s clear that there’s at least one thing Barack Obama is fully and fixatedly convinced of: himself. The “opportunity of a lifetime” in health care is, of course, two-fold, because while there’s an ideological opportunity here for the Left to remake the health system — and like it or not, they think for the better — there also emerged a likely divergent political opportunity for Barack Obama to lasso a powerful interest group in the process. Two roads, one leading to Chicago-style politics, with a choice making all the difference.

And that’s the problem for everyone, Right and Left. It’s not “pragmatism” that drives Barack Obama’s agenda. It’s personal, political opportunism, cloaked and advanced in Leftist ideology insofar as it advances the President’s perpetual cult of personality. I don’t doubt that as a disciple of Saul Alinsky, follower of Jeremiah Wright, and colleague of Bill Ayres and Bernadine Dohrn, Obama holds the values of the finge Left. We see that clearly enough in his voting record and rhetoric. But when it comes to the hard choices, Obama is out for Number One, and if that takes saving a piddly 2% on drugs to reward pharmaceuticals for their ObamaCare support and indenture them to an Obama re-election bid, then that’s exactly what he’s going to do — even if he has to bankrupt America in the process, which the bills being contemplated in the House and Senate no doubt would do even without the pharma deal. With a true statesman missing at 1600 Pennsylvania, the health care bill has floundered badly, bearing with it a poisonous and destructive backlash against the American people among Obama hardliners in Congress — a reaction perhaps unparalleled in recent history in its contempt for the American people. It’s a tone fully of the President’s making and against which the President has spent little, if any, political capital to tamp down.

And yet, it’s but a symptom of the problem. The fact is the President has lent little to the cause of “reform” beyond the cache of his name, and given the debacles that are the stimulus, cap-and-trade, Cash for Clunkers, and others, the Congress certainly hasn’t filled the vacuum left by Obama’s absence of leadership. So long as Obama gets the accolades, the tribute, the leverage, or all three, the details can be worked out among the Congressional line workers and lobbyists. Rest assured that he’ll be there at the end to slap on a shiny Obama label, regardless of how costly, inefficient, and otherwise monstrous the underlying product might be (so long as it doesn’t expire before 2012.)

And so, here we are. No real reform, no real cost savings, no leadership, lots of new debt, at least one industry expecting a big payout for its support, at least one President expecting a big payback for his brand, and at least one country picking up the tab as the most expensive political theater in world history, serving the most expensive political celebrity of our time, goes on, and on, and on…

Which brings us back to the question posed in the headline:

Who really is Barack Obama?

Isn’t it obvious?

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Comments

Could it be……Satan?!?!?

/church-lady

cthulhu on August 14, 2009 at 2:48 AM

Fantastic post. Yes, he has an agenda to push, and it’s a bad one for America. But even it comes second to his personal ambition. Linked to you here.

Pundette on August 14, 2009 at 5:47 AM

Anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear should have known all along that he is an unprincipled opportunist because that’s what a pragmatist is.

single stack on August 14, 2009 at 5:58 AM

Absolutely great work on this article. I am thrilled that conservatives have such high level “talent” to articulate what The Messiah is doing to all of us. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of holding my ankles – I’m standing up and I’m fighting back……..this Prez has to go back to selling crack on Chi’s mean streets and we need Sarah Palin who is honest as the day is long…..

Cinday Blackburn on August 14, 2009 at 6:15 AM

Looking at it a little bit the other way, the left is starting to blame Obama’s strategy on this exclusively, because the other option would be to confront the idea that maybe their ideas aren’t favored by the American public.

Obama the opportunist is also the one who has walked back his actions in the War on Terror from the rhetoric he seduced the left with in 2007 and 2008. Gitmo’s not closed, troops are still in Afghanistan and the U.S. is still going to court for the right to treat terrorists as enemy combatants. And Obama may still think all those things are wrong, but he and/or his aides realize that to do all those things and then see a spike in terrorism or a new major attack on the U.S. would kill every social program they’re trying to pass. Same thing with health care — the back room deals with groups like big pharmaceutical and the insurance industry was the administration’s before-the-fact admission that this health care turkey can’t pass if there’s any serious opposition to it, so they tried to choke off the funding of any negative ads and special interest groups.

Obama’s obviously in love with his own wonderfulness, and thinks providing his cult of personality is enough to get all these liberal bills over the hump, while the grunts in Congress and elsewhere do the heavy lifting. That’s not working, but for the left to blame Obama’s execution over their own unpalatable ideas on health care reform that are being put into the bills Congress is writing, is just blame-shifting.

jon1979 on August 14, 2009 at 8:11 AM

I still, with an open mind, cannot see how intelligent people that have different ideological beliefs than myself can continue to blame “the right-wing terrorists, crazies, etc.” over the furor of HR3200. I don’t understand how these people think it is OK to let government dictate everything about your life. Don’t these people know that in the history of the world, governments mainly abuse the citizenry not aid it???

search4truth on August 14, 2009 at 9:30 AM

No, he’s not more opportunistic than ideological. That would be Clinton. If he were like Clinton, he’d have dropped this thing like a hot potato and be scrambling to finesse a grand compromise which would win him praise among the opinion-makers. Instead he’s doubling down on the attacks and coercion and hemorrhaging approval points.

What does it take to close the knowledge gap about Obama among conservative pundits.

rrpjr on August 14, 2009 at 10:47 AM

I refuse to read comments at HuffPo, are they eating him alive? I cannot believe he will be allowed to write anymore of these little ditties for them in the future.

di butler on August 14, 2009 at 12:34 PM

Could it be……Satan?!?!?

/church-lady

cthulhu on August 14, 2009 at 2:48 AM

He absolutely is satan.

Proof: If you take his name, Barack Hussein Obama, and substitute for those letters numbers that add up to 666, then when you add up those numbers representing his name, you get the number 666.

I rest my case.

Daggett on August 14, 2009 at 1:03 PM

Daggett on August 14, 2009 at 1:03 PM

i’ll see that and raise you the illinois state lottery “pick three” winning number on nov. 5th last year:

11/05/2008 Evening Pick 3 6-6-6

i have in in a text file that i copied from their “results” page (if you go there now, you will only find 2009 results, for some reason).

although, to be fair, those numbers were winners on a couple of other days last year too…

still pretty weird though, huh?

homesickamerican on August 14, 2009 at 1:48 PM

Actually, Obama is a died-in-the-wool idealogue strongly motivated by his own fantasies of himself.

This is the worst kind of national leader. One with a hardened agenda convinced that he is the man for the times. A self-made Messiah with a self-made message. He’s more than just full of himself; he’s convinced that he is the only man able to do this job at this time.

(You can tell he thinks that of himself because he says it constantly about the people he puts around himself.)

This kind of person cannot be stopped by logic or argument or even red-tape. He honestly believes he’s the Light Worker and any opposition only serves to confirm to him the “rightness” of his mission.

“Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”

(Of course, he must be opposed because his policies can be thwarted even if he insists on pushing back.)

The only way to stop this sort of fellow is by death or self-implosion – when all his efforts finally blow up in his face. He’ll be like a tornado against which we seem powerless. But rest assured, it will blow itself out sooner rather than later, albeit after much devastation.

I’m afraid that’s what we have to look forward to. I pray that mainstream America learns it’s lesson…

Ace ODale on August 14, 2009 at 3:08 PM

No, he’s not more opportunistic than ideological. That would be Clinton. If he were like Clinton, he’d have dropped this thing like a hot potato and be scrambling to finesse a grand compromise which would win him praise among the opinion-makers. Instead he’s doubling down on the attacks and coercion and hemorrhaging approval points.

What does it take to close the knowledge gap about Obama among conservative pundits.

rrpjr on August 14, 2009 at 10:47 AM

I think Prez Obama is entirely driven by EGO. He wants to “beat” the Clintons by getting healthcare passed when they couldn’t.He couldn’t care less what is in the bill,he has no ideas to present.

conservativegrandma on August 15, 2009 at 11:50 AM

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Allahpundit on August 15, 2009 at 4:04 PM