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House GOP Undecided On Whether To Investigate 'Stupidity'
Well, here's a huge surprise: The right has found a whole new reason to repeal Obamacare, impeach Obama, and maybe bomb Iran, just for good measure (that last may only be John McCain, though).
You see, there's this guy named Jonathan Gruber who was one of the "architects of Obamacare," and a viral video of him at a conference last year shows him saying the most terrible things ever about how the law was passed, and insulting the intelligence of the American voter. Obviously, this means that Obamacare is an unworkable disaster that was passed under false pretenses, and so it has to be repealed. Here's Gruber's unspeakable slur on the integrity of the American voter, and his admission that Obamacare is a filthy lie:
"This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes," Gruber said. "Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the 'stupidity of the American voter' or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to getting the thing to pass.”
Did you see that? He called voters stupid!!! The same voters who showed up at town halls in 2009 with pictures of Barack Obama as Hitler (who they sincerely believed got his start by promising Germany a healthcare plan), who demanded at the government keep its hands off their Medicare, and who were absolutely sure that a plan to require purchasing insurance from private insurance corporations is a Massive Government Takeover Of Healthcare. Or as MSNBC's Josh Barro said Wednesday:
Public opinion on health policy is just completely incoherent. People think that we ought to have health plans that are cheap, that provide high quality coverage to everyone, that everyone should see whatever doctor they want, they don't want their premiums to go up, they don't want to pay for anything through taxes. Well, what people want is impossible and it's like with the budget, people say, we hate budget deficits, we hate tax increases and you ask them about any programs, they don't want to cut any programs.
Needless to say, that one made the rightwing website Newsbusters very upset, because Liberal Media, and how arrogant that Barro assume that people want any government programs at all. But for God's sake, don't dare call Americans stupid just because they really do want contradictory things.
Also not surprisingly, the White House is distancing itself from Gruber's comments, which were forehead-slappingly bad for their seeming confirmation that the administration is full of duplicitous elitists. In a statement to Talking Points Memo, spokesperson Jessica Santillo said, "Not only do we disagree with those comments, they're simply not true." She continued:
Transparency is a key goal of the ACA: consumers now have more access to information about their health insurance than ever before ... The Affordable Care Act was publicly debated over the course of 14 months, with dozens of Congressional hearings, and countless town halls, speeches, and debates.
The tax credits in the law that help millions of middle class Americans afford coverage were no secret, and in fact were central to the legislation.
Yeah, but what about thinking Americans are dumb? Obama really does think that, doesn't he? There's so much evidence! Another White House source added that while Gruber is often called an "architect" of Obamacare, he was mostly involved in developing the Massachusetts healthcare plan, and "did not work in the White House or play the same role in developing the Affordable Care Act." Honestly, you know, they barely even knew the dude. Why would they hire some guy with the same last name as the villain in Die Hard?
So now, House Republicans are of course texting -- yes, texting -- around the idea of hearings on stupid, according to Ohio congresscritter Jim Jordan, who says that he and his colleagues have been texting each other about Gruber like teenaged girls who just heard that one of the guys in One Direction broke up with his girlfriend (sorry, is that boy band reference out of date? We are happy to say we don't keep up):
Jordan said House Republicans have been sending each other a blizzard of e-mails and text messages this week, and he expects the interest in "bringing [Gruber] up here to talk" will gain traction as members return to Washington. House Republicans will gather Thursday evening for their first series of votes since the election.
"I just had a colleague text me saying, 'We've got to look into this!" Jordan said as he glanced at his phone outside the House floor Wednesday morning.
OMG! Did you hear what he said? Seems like a terrific reason to throw 4 million people off their health plans.
Sen. Jeff Sessions also has a very deep sad over Gruber's comments, saying that the videos had totally blown all of the goodwill that Republicans were bringing to the table:
In a furious gaggle with reporters, Sessions said Gruber's comments could make dealings with the White House more difficult, days after Republican leaders said they would seek areas of common ground.
"The strategy was to hide the truth from the American people," Sessions said. "I'm not into this post-modern world where you can say whatever you want to in order to achieve your agenda. That is a threat to the American republic... This is far deeper and more significant than the fact that he just spoke."
Damn, and they were so close to making nice. Still, it's good to know that a Republican rejects just "saying whatever you want to in order to achieve your agenda," and we're certain no one will ever find reason to quote that back to Jeff Sessions.
Of all the people you might assume would be salivating at the opportunity to hold some hearings on Obamacare and Why It's Bad, there's this, from The Hill:
Frederick Hill, a spokesman for the House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), told The Hill that he was not aware of any plans for a hearing.
Darrell Issa not jumping at the chance to investigate stupidity? Maybe the man owns a mirror after all.