Obama: Democrats are running on some good new ideas this year -- like single-payer

Ninety-five percent of the headlines about his speech today in California will focus on his knocks on Trump, which is understandable. I teed that up myself last night. A war of words between 44 and 45 is completely irresistible as dramatic spectacle.

But this is the real news today. We spent the entirety of 2009-10 warning that ObamaCare was a trojan horse for single-payer. “Nonsense!” screamed the Democrats. “It’s the Heritage Foundation’s plan! It’s a private-industry solution to health coverage. It doesn’t even include a public option!” Right, said conservatives, but that’s not because you prefer a “moderate” program. It’s because that’s what you’ve calculated the electorate will accept at the moment. Condition Americans to believe that the federal government should have a greater role in health insurance and you’re 80 percent of the way home on “Medicare for all.” All you have to do is wait for ObamaCare to run into problems, then insist that the solution demands we move further left. Democrats play the long game on this issue.

And now here we are. “Medicare for all” is a good new idea according to the man for whom ObamaCare is named. “If you like your plan you can keep your plan” isn’t the biggest health-care lie he ever told.

On many major issues, American politics now is a game of (1) Republicans accusing Democrats of having far-left maximalist ambitions, (2) Democrats scoffing that Republicans are paranoiacs forever accusing them of being radicals, and (3) Democrats then turning around and pursuing far-left maximalist ambitions. “We want reasonable immigration reform,” they say. Then lefties push “abolish ICE” into the mainstream after Hillary Clinton essentially argued for ending deportations of non-violent illegals altogether. “We want reasonable gun control regulations,” they say. Then the rank and file begin clamoring for confiscation of all semiautomatics. “Stop calling us ‘socialists,’ we’re not ‘socialists,” they say. Then they nominate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Andrew Gillum.

I’m tempted to put abortion in this category, but that’s one issue where there’s really no Democratic subterfuge anymore, is there? They’ve abandoned the pretense of “safe, legal, and rare.” It’s “safe, legal, and whenever you want” and they really make no bones about it. Congrats to them for coming clean on that one subject, at least.

They used to be a party of lying radicals and increasingly they’re a party of honest ones. Obama’s “Medicare for all” gesture today is a jarring reminder. That doesn’t excuse the right’s own lurches towards fringiness, but let’s please be done with pretending that this is a one-sided development in American politics.

Here’s the sideshow stuff, of Obama going off on Trump and the GOP. He’s doing the bitter-clinger stuff again, basically. Play the hits, Barack. Exit question: How soon before Trump tweets about his birth certificate again? Over/under is 6 a.m. tomorrow.

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Jazz Shaw 1:01 PM on December 09, 2022