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Obama's Flashy, Self-Contradictory Speech

Posted on September 10 2009 1:00 pm
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We’ve always thought that Barack Obama’s speeches are a bit like the “shock and awe” bombing campaign of Iraq War notoriety—designed to overwhelm and paralyze the mind with clever turns of phrase and tone of voice, rather than strategically defeat with fact and truth. Yesterday’s last-ditch defense of his health care plans was no exception. In fact, if you get caught up in the speech, and the finely-crafted individual lines, you might think the President was quite effective. He probably hopes that’s exactly what happened to a majority of Americans last night.

But as finely crafted as some of the individual lines were, when you analyze the speech as a whole, it didn’t hang together. It almost made us wonder if it was written by several–*gasp*–speechwriters who didn’t communicate with each other. Many of his claims are self-contradictory, even nonsensical.

The NewsReal editors already have an excellent editorial exposing the more egregious lies from Obama’s speech. But we doubt Obama doesn’t expect to be called out on his lies. After all, he doesn’t offer any facts to back up his claims when he calls out his opponents. For most of last night, he looked like a man delivering like a primary speech, an orator obviously used to giving vague speeches in front of adoring crowds who expect no more than platitudes and generalities. Sorry, Mr. The One, but the rest of us tend to ask for a little more proof than that. But it’s not the outright lies we want to focus on; rather, we wish to point out a few of the more ridiculous examples of Obama’s doublespeak.

The bland generalities of his speech were bad enough, but when Obama did deign to descend into the world of fact, he seemed rather adrift without a paddle. On the one hand, Obama says:

“I have no interest in putting insurance companies out of business.  They provide a legitimate service, and employ a lot of our friends and neighbors.”

But just a few paragraphs earlier, in describing what “his plan” (A quick aside: which plan is that, any of the five in Congress, or just some nebulous idea that has no connection to the realities of the bills as currently written?) will require insurance companies to do, he says :

“They will no longer be able to place some arbitrary cap on the amount of coverage you can receive in a given year or a lifetime.  We will place a limit on how much you can be charged for out-of-pocket expenses…and insurance companies will be required to cover, with no extra charge, routine checkups and preventive care…That makes sense, it saves money, and it saves lives.”

So, you have no interest in driving insurance companies out of business, you’ll just force them into business practices that will do exactly that. As we’ve already blogged about, this is changing what insurance companies do at a basic level, and we’ve already shown his claims that this will save money are false.

So, to sum up, he wants to make insurance companies pay more and charge less, but says they’ll stay in business. Maybe he’s already chosen the next industry to which he wants to offer a huge bailout? Or maybe the problem is that Obama doesn’t know how businesses work in the first place. After all, he thinks the government option – which he is still pushing full-bore for — will be more competitive

“by avoiding some of the overhead that gets eaten up at private companies by profits, excessive administrative costs and executive salaries.”

Um, Mr. President, profits are not overhead. Profits are what you earn after overhead, labor, etc. are taken out of your earnings. We don’t know what would be worse — if Obama and his speechwriters don’t know this, or if they’re too lazy to care.

Worse, but perhaps unsurprisingly, Obama plays politics with the timing of his plans. After spending much of his speech railing against the great crisis in healthcare, telling us how urgent it is that we fix it immediately, he tells us that his great idea of the insurance exchange “ will take effect in four years, which will give us time to do it right.” Hmm. Why four years, Mr. Obama? After all, health care is in such a crisis, right? It wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that four years gives you just enough time to be re-elected, would it? Of course it does, and the President knows it. As we’ve also written, the Democrats could do anything they wanted, right now, if they weren’t afraid of losing power.

Finally, and worst of all, Obama goes to great length to decry the “death panels” as a vicious lie while in the same speech praising the creation of “an independent commission of doctors and medical experts charged with identifying more waste in the years ahead.” Funny how much “independent” can sound like “accountable to no one.” This panel, presumably, would point at a practice, call it wasteful, and the government would swoop in to eliminate or outlaw it. And in a world where doctors and hospitals are under the thumb of such unelected bureaucrats, you know what inevitably happens? They are forced to abide by arbitrary rules that limit “wasteful” care.

Where your health care decisions may one day be made.

Where your health care decisions may one day be made.

Obama likes to use anecdotal stories to back his claims. Well, let us share another. In Britian, where independent commissions of doctors and medical experts make rules about what is and what isn’t “wasteful” treatment, stories like this one happen. These are the kinds of arbitrary lines that get drawn when government – either directly, or through enacting these kinds of so-called “reform”—decides it knows best how to manage health care. Note the callous disregard for this baby’s personhood. Note the jaded, cynical doctors’ insistence that they “don’t have to [help].”

America is often criticized for having a high infant mortality rate. But those who do so rarely stop to ask themselves why this might be. They’re so sure it’s because of our evil medical system, without the government in charge. That must be it, right? We ask them, then, to explain why Canada, with its government run health care, also has a rather high rate of infant mortality.

Here’s the difference. In America, or Canada, little Jayden would have counted as a live birth, a person worthy of medical attention. Even if he hadn’t made it, doctors would have done their best to save him. He would have been looked at as a baby worth trying to save, rather than as an expense not worth the risk. But in Britain, both to save money and to make their numbers look better, Jayden was a miscarriage. The only miscarriage we see is a gross miscarriage of justice. Think that won’t happen here? Remember, Obama himself has had a brush with denying pre-term babies medical care.

When you think about your position on Obama’s healthcare plans, don’t get caught up in the flowery rhetoric and nice-sound platitudes about American individualism, freedom, and choice. Look deeper, and see the cracks in the logic. See the dangers lurking well-disguised in the weeds. See what’s really there, and not what the man behind the curtain wants you to see.

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