The hypocrisy, back-tracking and flip-flopping of this administration is getting annoying. As a guy who doesn’t have a tremendous amount of free time to devote here at America’s Right, the constant presence of previously denounced plans becoming the proposal du jour and vice versa is a lot to keep up with. We’ve seen it with promises of transparency. We’ve seen it with promises of “not a single tax increase on the middle class.” We’ve seen it with the detainee abuse photos, as well as the overall positions on Iraq and Afghanistan.
In this case, it’s health care. As you can see from the Obama/Biden advertisement above, the Obama campaign went after John McCain’s campaign for allegations that they would support cuts in Medicare and Medicaid in order to pay for health care policy. According to a Bloomberg report released today, however, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman and Chief Tax Cheat Charlie Rangel admitted that the health-care legislation currently being drafted by House Democrats include $600 billion in tax increases . . . and $400 billion in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.
And, when it comes to previously denounced proposals now adopted and advocated by this administration, it doesn’t stop only with the Medicare and Medicaid cuts. Cue the vice president, so long as his shoe is no longer in his mouth:
Yes, that was vice presidential candidate criticizing John McCain’s campaign for planning to tax health care benefits as income. No, that wasn’t just “Joe being Joe” — such an argument was the focal point of the Obama campaign’s attempt to distinguished between McCain’s plans for health care reform and his own. After all, Obama even went so far as to call McCain’s health care plan the “ultimate Bridge to Nowhere” in another advertisement.
Yet, less than a month ago, the Obama White House announced that it was open to the very idea the Obama campaign criticized throughout the campaign . . . taxing health care benefits as income. On May 18, I had this to say about it:
In fact, from what the president said during this past weekend’s commencement address at Arizona State University, it looks as though he’s already setting up the mechanism by which to rationalize it — why else would he argue against his own policies and say that this nation’s debt is unsustainable? He’s setting up the need to find the money somewhere.
Every single Republican official from Capitol Hill on down to your local municipal building should be informing everybody they know about this recent 180-degree shift from President Obama. Every concerned American citizen should be doing so as well; it doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican, Democrat or Independent — if you want your elected representatives held accountable for the promises they make, this should be at the top of your list of things to talk about.
Am I surprised that this president would go back on his word? Of course not. Being surprised would insinuate that his word means something extraordinary, and given the discrepancy between what he’s said and done in terms of transparency, tax policy and more, the word “worthless” comes to mind.
Being unable to take a position and stick with it is a telltale sign of a serious dearth of principle. Former President George W. Bush, for all of his faults, at least made real decisions and stuck with them. No waffling. No hoping the press won’t notice.
And speaking of the press, it will be interesting to watch just how deep they cover this reversal. The video is there for anyone who wants it (and this certainly wasn’t the only example). My guess is that they’ll rationalize the change in heart and the tax, all in one, just because the president would have liked it that way.
And, golly, I didn’t see much press coverage of the 180-degree, hypocritical shift in the media in the three-plus weeks since Obama and his budget flunkies made such statements and announced such plans. Then again, the same thing I wrote about Obama’s flip could be said about the decision by the mainstream press to leave this sea change well enough alone:
Am I surprised? Of course not. Being surprised would mean that objectivity actually means something to the media. I’m just as surprised that the media did not cover this issue as I am that Barack Obama went back on his word.