Yup, that’s the same video that led off the previous post. Be warned: I may write about this video until everyone here is sick of it, because I might keep writing about it until I see it on MSNBC , discussed on the Daily Kos and examined by Talking Points Memo. I try to keep emotionally detached from the issues I write about (though my favored style of expression may suggest otherwise), because emotion is not conducive to careful and dispassionate ethical analysis. This video, however, enrages me.
It enrages me because it betrays the thinking of an arrogant elite so certain that its wisdom regarding the best policies for the nation that it justifies abandoning the promise and the integrity of democracy as our nation’s Founders devised it. The need for a fully and fairly informed citizenry is at the core of Madison’s structure, and the root of many of our enumerated rights. This is why free speech is essential, and why an unfettered, uncensored press has been given unlimited license. If our elected leaders, however, decide that the proper and effective way to govern is to deceive the public, to hide the truth, to garner public support of measures that the public misunderstands by design, and to gain and retain power through fraud, artifice and lies, there is no democracy, no genuine republic. Such a government reflects the cynical and anti-democratic values of Lenin, Mao, Hitler, and Big Brother. And like these dictators and liars real and metaphorical, Jon Gruber—and make no mistake: his words reflect exactly the culture of the those he worked with in the White House—sees nothing wrong with this. The ends justify the means, you see, and after all, they are better than us. We’re stupid. They need to deceive us for our own good.
It is fascinating to think that Mitt Romney lost a Presidential election in part because he was surreptitiously taped expressing the opinion that 47% of the public is so corrupted by government benefits and dependence on big government control over their lives that they would never oppose Democratic candidates. That may have been an expression of disrespect and a gross generalization (he was right), but it is infinitely less offensive than Gruber’s expressed belief—and Gruber, unlike Romney, said what he did knowing he was being recorded. He sees nothing wrong with lying to deceive the American people, and not only them, but the Congressional Budget Office and members of Congress! It was all justified, because they knew what was best, and an informed electorate, not being manipulated and lied to, would never support such a measure.
So this is why climate change data is simplified and hyped by Al Gore and the Democratic Party’s environmental fascists. This is why false or misleading statistics about gun deaths, the salary gap between men and women, and sexual assault continue to be used to support legislative proposals long after they have been decisively debunked. This is why the President refused to say what his executive action regarding immigration would be before the election, why Susan Rice lied about Benghazi on five network news shows, why Lois Lerner refused to testify about the IRS scandal, why the Justice Department won’t cooperate on Fast and Furious, and why President Obama and scores of surrogates, Senators and Representatives swore to us that if we liked our health care plans and doctors, we could keep them–period. They did all of this because , as Jon Gruber says, they know we are stupid, or at least enough of us to fall for their lies again and again, and then forgive them, forget, and swallow the next batch.
I have to know: if you are not enraged by this method of governing, why aren’t you? I am sending an invitation to the many progressive readers and commenters on Ethics Alarms, past and present, asking them to either condemn this governing philosophy, or explain why it is acceptable to them. Maybe I should term it a dare. My personal belief is—I know this is harsh—that anyone who remains a supporter, enabler and defender of the President and his party as it is currently led in the wake of Gruber’s revelation is either astoundingly naive, or lacks integrity, and should be heretofore regarded as an enemy of liberty, freedom, and the American system of self-governance.
Usually it takes an unusual trauma to make someone reverse ideological poles. David Horowitz was a liberal, until the Black Panthers killed his girlfriend. Ariana Huffington was a conservative, until her conservative husband betrayed her. Dennis Miller was a liberal, until his career faltered and he needed a new gimmick. If I were a dyed blue supporter of Barack Obama and his minions, and learned that this was how they really thought and operated, and if I were not stupid and not corrupt and had any integrity, I believe I would switch poles then and there. Of course, I have suspected this was the mind-set of at least a large percentage of those in the administration from the beginning…because I am not a progressive, and I am not stupid. All the signs were there, for those objective enough to see.
When I hear back from Ampersand, Ethics Bob, tgt, Patrice, Beth, Liberal Dan, Jan Chapman, Karla and others, if I do, what will they say?
Will they argue that..
- …this was just Gruber talking, and he doesn’t speak for the Administration? That’s what Josh Earnest will say—bet on it. Anyone who believes that is as stupid as Gruber says they are.
- …that every administration is like this? If every administration is like this, why is this the first time such a vivid admission of an anti-democratic approach to governing been verified? And so what? It’s still intolerable.
- …that Gruber is right, and the ends justify the means? That is a decisive reason to keep such people out of power.
- …other rationalizations justify the way the ACA was passed, such as #1-4; 6-8; 10, 11, 13, 14, 22, 25, 28, 29, 31-34, 38, 41, 42, 44 and 45. That’s twenty-four out of the forty-five unethical rationalizations on the Ethics Alarms list, all applicable here. Go crazy.
Or will they agree that this is unconscionable, and must be condemned, punished and stopped?
UPDATE: Here is Prof. Turley’s post on the video. He notes that the University of Pennsylvania, its original source, tried to take down the video once it began to cast a bad light on Gruber and the Administration. Nice. The progressive/liberal institutions protect each other, and even each other’s misconduct: it resembles a conspiracy. Turley is a supporter of the goals of the ACA, but writes, “While I have long supported national health care, I was critical of the sloppy drafting of the ACA, the federalism conflicts contained in the individual mandate provision, and the unsupportable claims made by the White House in selling the Act.”