His party completely decimated under his watch, Obama is now signaling that he’s going to stick around and help the Democrats still more. Part of this “help” is apparently his ongoing presence on the national stage as a stalwart warrior against President-elect Trump. Having long ago anointed himself as the arbiter of “who we are” as a nation, Obama has made it clear that, much to our collective chagrin, retiring from the spotlight is not on the table.
While this plan could ultimately backfire as Democrats grapple with—as they eventually must—the real reasons for their near-total destruction under Obama, in the near term, Obama’s gigantic ego and unrelenting delusions about his own import and moral authority are bound to provide us many hours of entertainment.
For example, in a truly snort-worthy announcement to his fawning fan club at Vox, Obama stated that if the Republicans come up with a better alternative than ObamaCare he will actively support it in public, including active, public support for the repeal of his signature health insurance law.
(I’ll wait while you absorb the absurdity of this claim.)
Following a long, typically rambling and (also typically) often incoherent mini-speech, Obama states to Vox:
They have said absolutely, adamantly, that they can do it better. I am saying to every Republican right now: “If you can in fact put a plan together that is demonstrably better than what Obamacare is doing, I will publicly support repealing Obamacare and replacing it with your plan.”
But I want to see it first. I want to see it first. And I want third-party, objective people — whether it’s the Congressional Budget Office, or health care experts across the ideological spectrum, or Vox, or —
Ah, yes, the objective people at Vox are exactly the ones we need to measure the worth of Republican health care reform measures.
In this same interview, Obama claims to have asked for Republican input in ’09 and received no response from the GOP. I’m not sure he realizes that this was only seven years ago and that we can remember quite well what happened. Or that it’s all on video for us to review at our leisure. For example, remember the Blair House “health care summit”? The famous “The election’s over” line from that sums up Obama’s openness to “compromise”; to him, it means, do it my way or get out of the way. (Indeed, he’s said that, too, to Republicans who’ve tried to offer suggestions to him.)
There is, in other words, only one way to read his comments to Vox about accepting Republican suggestions for health care reform and actively supporting them to the point of publicly calling for ObamaCare’s repeal. The only suggestion he will accept to replace ObamaCare would be his own, up to and including the single payer he mentions earlier in his Vox response.
In fact, if you look at how this law evolved — and I’ve said this publicly before, if I was starting from scratch I would have supported a single-payer system, because it’s easier for people to understand and manage. And that’s essentially what Medicare is — a single-payer system for people of a certain age — and people are very satisfied with it, and it’s not that complicated to understand how to access services.
Rather than offering a true olive branch or any signal that he understands what has happened with both his party and his own failed presidency, Obama is simply grasping for post-White House power and influence over policy, attempting desperately to remain even vaguely relevant.
He sees himself not only as the arbiter of “who we are” but as the arbiter of what works, what can work, and what cannot. He wants to call the shots, insert himself into a conversation that is essentially about fixing everything he got wrong and continues to get wrong.
While the Obama-obsessed press laps up Obama’s fair-mindedness facade, Obama himself has to be thrilled at the idea of establishing his post-presidency persona as the lone adult voice in the room. After shutting down Republicans whose elections to Congress should have assured them legitimate seats at the table, Obama wants to cling to his highchair long past his sell-by date and demand that he remain the center of attention and driver of domestic policy.
The trouble for Obama and for his glittering image of himself is that we’ve heard it all before. We didn’t buy it then, either. And we certainly aren’t buying it after January 20th.DONATE
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