Green Room

A New Definition of Chutzpah

posted at 5:57 am on August 16, 2009 by

You’ve probably heard the definition of chutzpah: A boy who’s convicted of murdering his parents and begs the judge for leniency on the grounds that he’s an orphan. Now we’ve got an example that’s almost as… well, audacious.

A few months ago, President of the United States Barack Hussein Obama said this about his grandmother:

President Barack Obama said his grandmother’s hip-replacement surgery during the final weeks of her life made him wonder whether expensive procedures for the terminally ill reflect a “sustainable model” for health care.

The president’s grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, had a hip replaced after she was diagnosed with cancer, Obama said in an interview with the New York Times magazine that was published today. Dunham, who lived in Honolulu, died at the age of 86 on Nov. 2, 2008, two days before her grandson’s election victory.

“I don’t know how much that hip replacement cost,” Obama said in the interview. “I would have paid out of pocket for that hip replacement just because she’s my grandmother.”

Obama said “you just get into some very difficult moral issues” when considering whether “to give my grandmother, or everybody else’s aging grandparents or parents, a hip replacement when they’re terminally ill.”

Which is why he now wants the government to take more of a hand in those decisions. Which is why, apparently, we should listen to him.

Then yesterday, during his “townhall” meeting in Colorado, Obama said this:

“I just lost my grandmother last year. I know what it’s like to watch somebody you love, who’s aging, deteriorate and have to struggle with that,” an impassioned Obama told a crowd as he spoke of Madelyn Payne Dunham. He took issue with “the notion that somehow I ran for public office or members of Congress are in this so they can go around pulling the plug on grandma.”

And thus, we have a new definition of chutzpah: A President of the United States who complains about the expense of alleviating his dying grandmother’s suffering, and who then uses her death as evidence of his compassion.

You may not have run for office specifically to pull the plug on grandma, Mr. President, but you’re obviously not going to let her get in your way.

P.S. Speaking of hip replacements, Biden’s a pretty swingin’ guy.

Recently in the Green Room:

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

Grandma got run over by Obama

faraway on August 16, 2009 at 3:31 PM

+100! said she as she wipes the martini off her monitor.

katy the mean old lady on August 16, 2009 at 5:26 PM

I like the way Obama says he doesn’t know the cost of a hip replacement, but that he would have paid for it “out of pocket” because she was his Grandma. So I’m thinking that means “those evil insurance companies” must have paid for it. Sound like if you’re looking for compassion you might be better off without the government’s help.

texabama on August 16, 2009 at 5:26 PM

With all respect, JIMV, I don’t think they’ve settled this at all. The Left will try to find a way to slip back in what they want. This is not Clinton.

rrpjr on August 16, 2009 at 5:28 PM

I remember how he complained about his dying mother having to battle those evil health insurance companies by phone, while on her death bed.

It made me wonder why Mr. Bigshot Harvard Lawyer couldn’t make those phone calls on her behalf.

atheling on August 16, 2009 at 5:36 PM

So we are going to let a federal agancy with all the compassion we’ve come to expect from the Post Office make these decisios?

Fred 2 on August 16, 2009 at 5:36 PM

No, this is chutzpuh: digging grandma up from the grave and running her over with a bus.

I presume grandma had a say in whether or not she got the hip replacement – she was not comatose? It was something they discussed as a family? Was grandma perhaps hoping to beat the cancer and live?

Queen0fCups on August 16, 2009 at 5:47 PM

Grandma got run over by Obama

faraway on August 16, 2009 at 3:31 PM

Faraway, would you mind if I used that and wrote some lyrics to the tune?

Red State State of Mind on August 16, 2009 at 5:59 PM

He would have paid for her hip replacement out of his own pocket? Really? Where’s all his generosity when it comes to the Kenyan branch of the family, living in their huts on 12 cents a day? Sounds kind of racist to me.

/s

califcon on August 16, 2009 at 6:29 PM

Several comments:

a) There’s a lot of months between April 29 and August 15. Something could have changed.
b) Grandma Dunham was white. Why waste money on old whitefolk?
c) Obama’s kids are not in public schools, and with good reason. Public schools are to education what public medical care is to health.

unclesmrgol on August 16, 2009 at 7:20 PM

I remember how he complained about his dying mother having to battle those evil health insurance companies by phone, while on her death bed.

It made me wonder why Mr. Bigshot Harvard Lawyer couldn’t make those phone calls on her behalf.

atheling on August 16, 2009 at 5:36 PM

Above his pay grade?

hillbillyjim on August 16, 2009 at 7:38 PM

Schadenfreude on August 16, 2009 at 4:17 PM

Is that you, Ethel?

hillbillyjim on August 16, 2009 at 7:40 PM

“I would have paid out of pocket for that hip replacement just because she’s my grandmother.”

Why doesn’t he help his impoverished relatives in Africa at all?

itsnotaboutme on August 16, 2009 at 7:58 PM

It’s verbal sleight of hand. Nobody is saying the government wants to pull the plug on grandma, we’re saying the government will refuse to hook her up to begin with.

Kafir on August 16, 2009 at 8:02 PM

an impassioned Obama told a crowd as he spoke of Madelyn Payne Dunham. He took issue with “the notion that somehow I ran for public office or members of Congress are in this so they can go around pulling the plug on grandma.”

I will believe you Mr Prez if you :
1. Get rid of Dr Death Ezikiel , publically denounce him and the philosophy he represents
2. You yourself appear in an ABC infomercial, and say clearly in English ( not Harward gibberish) that you will not impose the draconian wishes of your czars/advisers/ WH puppetmasters, not now, not ever .
3. And while you are at it, why not repudiate Pelosi and Hoyer, and apologise to the American people .

Until then, we will keep believing the truth about your intentions, based on your own words and by the company you keep . And the more you try to clarify them by bringing your dead family-members into the discussions, the more we will know how right we are about your motives.
And BTW, isn’t this the same grandma who was a “typical white woman”?

macncheez on August 16, 2009 at 8:07 PM

But, did he give any clue at what age he and Michelle will become a burden to society?

Uh, with date trips on AF1 to Chicago, Paris, … heck, the whole term of office seems like an extended vacation/campaign … they already have.

“I don’t know how much that hip replacement cost,” Obama said in the interview. “I would have paid out of pocket for that hip replacement just because she’s my grandmother.”

Easy to say, after the fact. So, what did he contribute to her? …

IrishEyes on August 16, 2009 at 9:00 PM

She was just another white person. It is not her country anymore

bill30097 on August 16, 2009 at 9:23 PM

I will believe you Mr Prez if you :
1. Get rid of Dr Death Ezikiel , publically denounce him and the philosophy he represents
2. You yourself appear in an ABC infomercial, and say clearly in English ( not Harward gibberish) that you will not impose the draconian wishes of your czars/advisers/ WH puppetmasters, not now, not ever .
3. And while you are at it, why not repudiate Pelosi and Hoyer, and apologise to the American people .
macncheez on August 16, 2009 at 8:07 PM

I’m sorry, but I won’t believe him even if he does these things. We have seen by his short time in office that everything he says has a statute of limitations. You know, like even in the campaign when he said he was not in favor of NAFTA and at the same time had staffers call the Canadians and tell them that it was just campaign talk. Or the time he said he would not permit earmarks, or the time he talked about transparency in government, or the time he said he would never raise taxes on those making less than $250,000/yr or the time he said he welcomed ideas from Republicans and told us to shut up, or the time he said he wasn’t for single payer, or the time …..

Christian Conservative on August 16, 2009 at 9:26 PM

It made me wonder why Mr. Bigshot Harvard Lawyer couldn’t make those phone calls on her behalf.

atheling on August 16, 2009 at 5:36 PM

What and interrupt the Ayers-Obama hotline on his blackberry?

Geochelone on August 16, 2009 at 10:04 PM

or the time he said he wasn’t for single payer, or the time …..

Christian Conservative on August 16, 2009 at 9:26 PM

The time he said that discussions about healthcare reform bill will be telecast on C-Span? We can keep going till the cows come home next week. But as one townhaller lady said a few days ago, they have woken up a sleeping giant. And this time we will make sure the giant doesn’t go back to sleep again.
We know their playbook ( Das Kapital, Rules for radicals etc), we know their players ( Axelrod, Emmanuel, Pelosi, Reid, all the Czars), we know their arm-twisters ( Acorn, Tides, SEIU etc ), we know their inspirations ( Jeremiah Wright, Frank Marshall, Khalidi, Ayers Dohrn, Alinsky), we know all their dirty secrets and secret dirt.
How difficult will it be to start PREDICTING their actions from now on ?
It just took 8 months !

macncheez on August 16, 2009 at 10:33 PM

This quote needs to go viral.

LibTired on August 16, 2009 at 11:43 PM

But, did he give any clue at what age he and Michelle will become a burden to society?

Lockstein13 on August 16, 2009 at 3:27 PM

January 20, 2009.

baldilocks on August 17, 2009 at 12:13 AM

You know what else is chutzpah? Demonizing special interest groups to push health care reform while getting them to bankroll your ad campaign.

zmdavid on August 16, 2009 at 7:42 AM

I am getting chutzpah suspicious. Drudge had a link to a Bloomberg article Obama Campaign Ad Firms Signed On to Push Health-Care Overhaul

This year, AKPD and GMMB received $12 million in advertising business from Healthy Economy Now, a coalition that includes the Washington-based Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America

Other members of HEN: AARP, AMA, SEIU, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline

SEIU, famous tee shirted bullies of Townhalls, describes itself on its website as

The largest healthcare union, with more than 1.1 million members in the field, including nurses, LPNs, doctors, lab technicians, nursing home workers, and home care workers

The largest property services union, with 225,000 members in the building cleaning and security industries, including janitors, security officers, superintendents, maintenance workers, window cleaners, and doormen and women

The second largest public services union, with more than 1 million local and state government workers, public school employees, bus drivers, and child care providers

SEIU has everything to gain if tens of millions are added to insured rolls. Not only healthcare, but service workers, cleaners and swabbers will be needed galore, and with a new bureacracy, so many more public service employees.

12 Million ad ‘donation’ is not a lot of money for Pharm to keep the Obama chomper off its back, but SEIU cleans up if we nationalize. Question, do the members of HEN contribute equal amounts to the ad campaign or do the reluctanct members pony up the most bucks?

How do AARP members like their money going to make ads promoting National Health?

The AMA is another animal. It doesn’t run scared, not does the AARP, so obviously the big bots at those orgs want the full socialized potato

When the SEIU was flab whacking the white haired seniors at the Townhalls, where was the AARP? In back of the SEIU bus making pots of coffee?

Is Pharm being made to join HEN and contribute in a shakedown? Pharm stands to gain volume sales if we nationalize. On the other hand, would national Health force Pharm to lower prices to what the new monopoly will pay? Likely Pharm was made to eat the bitter pill

$12 million is chump change in lobbying, but the ad copy will not be for Pharm, it will be for SEIU, AARP and the PC leadership of the AMA

The immediate result of Nationalizing Healthcare will be the SEIU becoming the most powerful union in America

entagor on August 17, 2009 at 1:52 AM

I’m lost,is Obama saying when grandma breaks a hip it’s like a horse with a bad break? Solution, a shot to the head.

Jeff from WI on August 17, 2009 at 6:19 AM

Spot on, Treacher.

Also note – Obama cared so very much about his grandmother that on October 31st, days before she died (and when he knew she was gravely ill), he flew to Chicago to take his daughters trick-or-treating.

That always struck me as a very odd way of prioritizing time with his family. If Halloween is such an important holiday to the Obama family, why couldn’t Michelle take them so he could be with with his dying grandma?

Remember that he did visit her before Halloween (after announcing to the world that she was dying), but instead of immediately taking off to be at her side, he dilly dallied for days with no sense of urgency, and then had one brief trip to be at her side.

All of which leaves me to wonder if he gave the doctor orders to… pull the plug on grandma.

Buy Danish on August 17, 2009 at 6:56 AM

Some grandmothers are more equal than others.

jukin on August 17, 2009 at 9:10 AM

P.S. Speaking of hip replacements, Biden’s a pretty swingin’ guy.

I see what you did there.

Daggett on August 17, 2009 at 9:33 AM

Comment pages: 1 2