A man named Rich Weinstein is the latest hero of the new media. About a year ago, his health insurance coverage was cancelled because of Obamacare’s broken promises. A replacement plan would have cost him twice as much. Upset, he turned into a citizen journalist on a mission. His diligent efforts over the past year have resulted in a suddenly huge political and media firestorm.
Weinstein had been an Obamacare supporter, because he had believed in the plan, as it had been so adamantly pitched by Obama and by Democrats — but having lost his health coverage, contrary to Obama’s repeated, solemn vows (“…you can keep your plan. Period.”), he felt utterly betrayed, and annoyed that the media wasn’t really doing its job regarding it all. He started looking for hard evidence as to exactly why the law indeed turned out to be the colossal sham which Republicans have argued it to be all along. He patiently watched and listened to countless videos of the masterminds behind Obamacare pontificating about their plans and designs. He eventually found the evidence he was seeking.
Weinstein’s relentless scouring of video archives unearthed a series of rather damning clips which have, after initial stages of being posted only in blog comments and Tweets, finally broken out like prairie fire all over the ‘web. They repeatedly show top Obamacare spaz, M.I.T. economist Jonathan Gruber, flapping his hands around while excitedly describing the shameless, calculated strategy of chicanery and precise fiscal fraud he and his socialist cronies used to foist the ironically-named “Affordable Care Act” on an electorate “too stupid” to otherwise appreciate the 2,000 pages of wool which was being pulled over their eyes. The videos also show Gruber unintentionally giving ample ammunition to those about to present the next viable challenge to Obamacare before the Supreme Court, regarding the illegality of the massive numbers of federal subsidies issued in violation of the law’s text.
When “Grubergate” first broke into my field of awareness earlier this week, I was instantly reminded of the writings of Renaissance-period Italian political philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli. Considered a founder of modern political science and ethics, Machiavelli is best known for his masterpiece titled “The Prince.” Its basic message was that in politics and government, those who are determined to succeed in acquiring and maintaining power, and in wielding it responsibly, really have no choice but to toss foolish, idealistic morality out the window, and get on with the grown-up business of deliberately deceiving the public, and acting ruthlessly wherever necessary in order to govern well. Machiavelli essentially said that wise rulers have to be supremely cynical, using everything from what we today call polite “spin” to outright brutality, in order to keep the masses mollified and under their control, lest opponents thwart one’s plans and/or rivals take one’s power away.
For Machiavelli, and obviously also for countless others in contemporary politics, business, and even romantic intrigues, naive scruples must take a back seat, even to whatever distasteful corruption may be deemed necessary to achieve one’s rationalized goals. “The end justifies the means,” or, “BAMN — by any means necessary!” (as in, the trademark rallying scream from the seething mobs of the current administration’s leftist community organizers, unions, and race agitators).
One thing is for certain in the debate over our federal government’s involvement in health care, as to whether Machiavellian philosophy applies: Jonathan Gruber obviously believes and acts as if it does, as do the entire Obama administration and Democrat party.
As if things couldn’t get any more cynical, now that he’s been virally exposed as one of the chief con-artists behind the ACA scam, the diabolical Dr. Gruber is doubling down on the double-talk: Despite now offering a meaningless half-apology for his manically-delivered comments on how he and his colleagues deliberately tricked people about Obamacare, he’s now accusing Republicans of having a “master strategy” for trying to “confuse people” about the law.
Did you get that? The guy who got caught (the videos were taken at closed-door conferences and never meant for mass public exposure) admitting that he intentionally hoodwinked, flim-flammed, and bamboozled voters in order to allow a cabal of left-wing radicals to take over 1/6 of our nation’s entire economy — our health care system — now lashes out and says that those who are shining the disinfecting sunlight of truth on the whole rotten stinking Obamacare mess are “trying to confuse” the public. My, oh my.
Then there’s that truly creepy psychopath, Nancy Pelosi. Staying rigidly in character, she blatantly lied right in front of the cameras as if it’s the most natural thing for her to do (it is): In a video from within just the last 48 hours, with the tsunami-scandal of Grubergate having broken wide open, Pelosi defiantly insisted that she doesn’t know who Jonathan Gruber is, and that he had nothing to do with writing the Obamacare bill — yet lo and behold, there she is in a different video from 2009, bringing up Gruber by name, singing her high praises of his work on the fiscal details of Obamacare, and directing the press to pay attention to him!
Sigh. This is all just a mere snapshot of the kind of treachery and unprincipled falsehood we’ve seen coming from our elected officials and their agents for as long as any of us can remember. Some are much worse than others, of course.
One wonders: Although generally viewed as a character shortcoming, is lying actually just necessary on the part of anyone who wants to prevail in politics, business, or relationships? Do voters, customers, and lovers really favor only the candidate, salesman, or partner who tells them merely what they want to hear, rather than the cold, hard truth? Perhaps it really is as Jack Nicholson’s character, the commander of the marine base at Guantanamo Bay in the Tom Cruise film A Few Good Menfinally bellowed from the witness stand. Maybe we just can’t handle the truth.
The fact is, everyone should know that deception sometimes is actually necessary, and morally the right thing to do: If ISIS members show up your door and ask you where your wife and children are, there’s plainly something severely wrong with you if you think telling the truth is the best policy at that time. Hypothetical discussions of all kinds of less glaringly simple “gray areas” can follow from such a stark and extreme example.
As for using deceptive strategies and tactics to gain power and advantages, we all know the old saying about how nice guys finish last. The usual way of interpreting that is to say that docile, non-cunning people are really just losers who get left in the dust by the domineering meanies with the sharper elbows. It occurs to me that a different way to interpret it is to say that guileless, non-conniving people are probably going to out-live (hence, “finish last” in a much different sense) those who are always in hyper-stressful, cutthroat competition for the top.
Speaking of folk wisdom and trickery/hustling, there’s also the old tale about nail soup, a.k.a. rusty nail soup or stone soupwhich illustrates a positive, creative, and benevolent aspect to some con-artist type behavior. Look it up if you can’t remember it, or if you’ve never heard it. Though involving deception, the con is creative because it results in something that didn’t exist at all before it was undertaken, and beneficial to all concerned because of the nourishment and enjoyment they would otherwise not have experienced.
Of course, most reading this are likely to concur when I say that Obamacare itself is horrible and wrong in various ways, and that its “architects” and agents who lied about it and rammed it down our throats are beyond merely sleazy. The reasons, well-known already, are far to numerous to detail in the space I’m allotted here. Gruber’s Obamacare-cheering defenders and apologists, however, take the Machiavellian attitude, saying that it’s because we can’t handle the truth that Gruber and Obama and all those other Ivy League geniuses have to lie to us stupid rubes, allegedly for our own good.
Believe it or not, I’d rather pay cash out of pocket for some nurse’s aide with a training certificate from a trade school to take my vitals while frankly telling me that I’m a dumbass disgusting fatbody who needs to wise up, work out more, and eat healthier, for my own good, than have prevaricating Ivy League princes with doctorate degrees presume to insist that they know best, and that all I need to do is get in line, stop opposing Obamacare, and sign up for a stolen subsidy.
Compared to the likes of Harvard Ph.D. Jonathan Gruber and the two Harvard-educated lawyers trying to run our lives like brilliant royalty from the White House, we on the political right may be folksy and relatively unsophisticated, but we’re not so fatuous as to fall for their lies.