I don't know how President Obama could get more surreal. At this point, it's hard to tell whether he's more dishonest or delusional.
At Obama's news conference Thursday, CBS' Major Garrett pressed him, essentially, to admit he'd flagrantly lied when he promised Americans that with the advent of Obamacare, they could keep their health care plans and their doctors if they liked them.
Though Obama did pay lip service to admitting he shouldn't have made the promise "unequivocally," he quickly degenerated into a disjointed string of meaningless verbiage involving nuances, grandfathering, great-grandfathering and whatnot, all designed to confuse us and excuse himself. Besides, he insisted, many congressmen made the same "sincere" pledge that he made concerning keeping their plans. "They did it, too, Mommy."
The unequivocal truth is that Obama made the claim unequivocally not through excess passion born of selfless magnanimity but as a calculated maneuver to sell his unpopular plan. It was not, as he stated, sincere. Had he not made the claim unequivocally, he wouldn't have been able to cram the bill through, even with the unconscionable level of arm-twisting he engaged in.
It's beyond offensive that he blithely waved off his premeditated lie as a bare misstatement.
Obama not only was not forthcoming in accepting actual responsibility for his fraud but mouthed a number of other specious arguments to distract from his culpability and blame his opponents.
Like a jet fighter pilot sending out chaff and flares to divert a heat-seeking missile, Obama tried desperately to disguise this colossal failure as mostly a website problem. How many times did he use the term?
His propaganda ministers were careful in the words they chose for him. Obama said he "fumbled the rollout." Fumbles are, by definition, accidental. Plus, he deserves credit for the good things he's wrought. "There are a whole bunch of things about (the rollout) that are working really well which people didn't notice ... because they weren't controversial." Controversial? Try nonexistent.
Having changed the subject, he clumsily positioned himself as an outsider again, just as frustrated and injured by the technical problems caused by his executive incompetence as the rest of us. Even here, he didn't fully concede the full-on failure of the website. He took pains to describe how complex the task his IT team has undertaken, thus implying it is understandable they are having so many problems. (That should make some late-night skits.)
Obama also blamed the website problems on the lack of government IT procurement overall. Never mind that this mini-despot doesn't need to depend on government procurements. He just orders what he wants -- in this case, hundreds of millions. But I guess that isn't enough for this mind-blowing complexity. But hey, if you were allowed to say anything you wanted without fear of contradiction for five years, you might say ludicrous things, too.
Obama further comforted us with the dubious assertion that a million people have accessed the website but just haven't gotten around to picking their plans yet.
After discharging all his chaff, fighter pilot Barack prepared his sidewinder missiles to fire back on Republicans, without whose obstruction Obamacare and its rollout would presumably be running swimmingly. After all, progressives have been trying to make this happen for a hundred years, and he is not about to let mere catastrophic failure disrupt his signature socialist achievement.
If it just weren't for the shutdown... And if every state governor would follow the lead of Ohio Gov. John Kasich and just sign up hundreds of thousands of more people into Medicaid, all would be wonderful. ... And if Republicans hadn't refused to offer their own ideas (which they have), we wouldn't be suffering through this rollout.
Having regained his confidence through the sheer power of his own rhetoric to convince himself, he shifted to his usual righteous indignation mode. No matter what kind of problems we may be experiencing, he assured us that he isn't going back on his promise of providing affordable care to everyone. No, America the ugly is the only rich nation in the world that doesn't guarantee its citizens health insurance.
He went right back to using his fraudulent number of 40 million uninsured (after having been shamed into backing away from it before) and saying he won't walk away from their chance to get health insurance for the first time.
I can't get over the fact that no one, especially in news conferences, challenges his false premises about the uninsured or points out that his beloved Affordable Care Act, even if it works as planned, will leave millions of uninsured, giving the lie to this entire sordid scheme.
But in my estimation, the most disturbing announcement Obama made during his news conference was that he will allow "insurers to continue offering individual insurance plans for another year even if they do not comply with the law's rules for minimum benefits."
Have Americans gotten so numb to his glib violations of the Constitution that they don't even flinch anymore when he presumes to unilaterally change his formerly sacrosanct "law of the land" through administrative order?
This must not stand.
If Republicans, collectively, have any moral courage left, they will not yield to his lawless "fixes" or cooperate in legislatively salvaging this law, not for partisan reasons but because anything that helps save this law helps destroy America's health insurance and health care system.
David Limbaugh, brother of radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, is an expert in law and politics and author of new book Crimes Against Liberty, the definitive chronicle of Barack Obama's devastating term in office so far.