mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
ACA Fail Fractal
Public Trust in the Time of Gruber
Features Icon
show comments
  • rheddles

    Gruber’s bi-partisan. He has also sunk any chance Romney might have had for a 2016 run.

    • Tom

      If he has, perhaps we should not despise him so.

  • stan

    Gruber is just standard issue left-wing sleaze. Dishonest, corrupt, arrogant to the point of hubris, and smug in his own ignorance. See also Michael Mann, Paul Krugman, Al Gore …… the list goes on for pages.

  • S.C. Schwarz

    Watergate type scandals can only happen to Republicans because the bulk of the media are obvious and unashamed liberal partisans. This particular story is too delightful be be ignored but what brings down an administration is when the media seizes upon stories like this and hammers hammers hammers on them day after day and week after week. That will never happen to a democratic president. Therefore the best response is Nancy Pelosi’s: “Who is Jonathan Gruber?”

  • qet

    I would like to think that these revelations will have staying power with the electorate, but they won’t. The majority of US voters in blue concentrations don’t care what their rulers think of them so long as they keep promising them free stuff and acting like they’re taking it away from old straight white men somewhere. The mainstream media and cultural outlets are just ignoring the whole thing and I predict that if 12 months from now you take a poll in, say, San Francisco and NYC, 40% or more of the respondents will have no idea who “Jonathan Gruber” even is. A sizeable majority of them, however, will “know” that Obamacare is an unqualified success because, for the “sophisticated” ones, NYT, Vox, Slate, Salon, WaPo, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert will have told them so, and for the rest, various celebrities will have Tweeted it.

    • Clayton Holbrook

      Perhaps voters in blue concentrations actually agree with Gruber. Voters are just “stupid” anyways to them. One those everybody else but surely not me and my persuasion deals…

      I bet even Pres Obama himself sees the recent electoral thumping as failures of Democratic candidates to strongly endorse his policies, a dissatisfaction of the way the country is heading pinned wrongly on the Dems, and/or just a dumb and perhaps even racists electorate. Respect and humility is not the m.o. of this political cohort.

  • Fat_Man

    “Like Bernstein, the media and many Democrats do not fully understand just how corrosive this story is for them.”

    Yes, they do. That is why they are working so hard to kill the story or spin it into insignificance.

  • Anthony

    “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage.” Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?

    WRM may be overstating Gruber’s misdirection – Congress uses budget gimmicks all the time to hide the true cost of bills and to limit political fallout. Moreover, deceptive policy making is not a black and white situation (red and blue situation) but something intrinsic to process – and this is not an attempt to redirect ire from Gruber’s comments. In particular, we ought to be more alarmed about that (but partisan perspective often muddies rationality). On the whole, “legislative debates would be more honest if more political reporters acquired a working knowledge of policy (I guess the same can be said of general public). Until that end, as both Democrats and Republicans take advantage of voter ignorance hypocrisy will remain a big part of politics – blue or red.

    • Corlyss

      Oh, go on. Redirect. Gruber’s sin was telling the truth. The public is too ignorant and too lazy and too busy to bother learning what they need to know about public policy. BUT, and it is a big BUT, the public never was on board with Obamacare. What it was on board with was taking care of their neighbors who couldn’t afford insurance. Even that position, altruistic as it might have been, was the product of complete or virtually complete managed ignorance about the true state of health insurance, health care, and how underserviced a given portion of the population was. If only that were the only thing the public were stupid about, I wouldn’t care. But they’re so ignorant about so many major issues that cost them and this nature a fortune annually.

      • Anthony

        You said it comprehensively. Now, how can we (where we are) engage the public despite our differences?

        • Corlyss

          Beats me. I try to inform those whose ignorance makes them vote for what they think will treat the problem they think exists, only to be greeted with hands over the ears and shouts of “I’m not listening.” That is the other policy position I encounter a lot from former friends who pride themselves on their shiny open-minded, tolerant, liberal credentials.

          • Anthony

            Don’t stop (former friends or naught) because beneath that irascible edge you have quite a bit to impart.

          • Corlyss

            Thanks, Anthony. Much appreciated since we spar a lot. “Irascible” is my middle name. I try not to let it show in face to face dialogs, but I have been threatened with expulsion from local planning and zoning commission meetings for grumpy candor.

        • Andrew Allison

          I fear that it may be a lost cause. The takers now outnumber the givers and, as well-illustrated by the ferocious defense of unsustainable pension benefits by unions, are not going to give up their benefits until the till is empty. Is it really conceivable that the pensioners are unaware that their pension promises cannot be met in even the relatively short term? Or more likely that they just don’t care as long as they get theirs?

          • Corlyss

            Spot on, Andrew. That was the whole aim of the Obama presidency from the inception of the idea that he could actually get elected with a lot of word-salad and gloppy baffle-gab, i.e., stuff people wanted to hear. His aim has always been the same as it was for the Europeans who cooked up their welfare state: namely, to make conflict impossible among them as long as there was no money to spend on a military. The way to make sure there was no money was to start giving generous benefits to some targeted group and then wait for nature to take its course. Eventually the entitlements would apply to everyone, regardless of need (vid. social security and medicare). As those outside the circle clamored for inclusion, the public fisc would never be able to keep up with the demand. And now we have passed the tipping point at which the those with no skin in the game (who don’t pay taxes) exceed those who contribute. And meanwhile on both continents, the government is busy stamping out critics and competitors within their own borders and expanding the numbers of people on entitlements.

          • Corlyss

            “No sooner was the ink dry on the ACA before these warnings began to prove correct. Many of the law’s financing mechanisms started to unravel, while pressure mounted to expand its new spending programs. ” – Charles Blahous, one of the public trustees of Social Security.

    • Boritz

      “legislative debates would be more honest if more political reporters acquired a working knowledge of policy”

      The problem with this position is the assumption that political reporters spew misinformation out of ignorance rather than dishonesty in the service of ideology.

      • Corlyss

        I am inclined to agree on the ignorance and the malice. I know from my earliest days in federal procurement during Viet Nam, journalists like scandal and they hate boring stuff. They always have considered procurement boring and too complicated to get smart on in 5 minutes. It takes professionals to write about it. It really is interesting because the DoD procurement budget is one of the ways Congress implements social policy, which as long as the Dims have been in charge, has always been to rob Peter to make Paul feel good about himself. Thus affirmative action programs proliferated thru the procurement policy. Some day I’ll tell you an amusing story about what happened when Congress in the 80s decided to give minority small businesses in the oil/gas business a 10% premium for their supplies to DoD, you know, gasoline and jet fuels of various kinds. At any rate, journalists never bothered to get familiar, but if some twit found a SF 1034 with $700 for a hammer, they were off and running with a SCANDAL!

  • Jerome Ogden

    The Gruber fiasco is the perfect “move-on, nothing-to-see-here” example. The
    MSM pravdas have barely mentioned Gruber, for fear, no doubt, that
    it may tarnish Obama. Had the same contempt for us rubes in fly-over country
    been revealed of an advisor to a Republican president, the MSM lynch-mobs
    would be braying for impeachment.

    Obama may be the worst president in modern times, but the liberal loblolly
    boys of the MSM will still get a tingle up their legs whenever he bloviates on his
    love for the common man, or anything else. They will protect their ideological
    soul mate at all costs, even from himself. They’ll just ignore his gaffes or
    outright lies, as they always have. And they’ll never stop attacking anyone

    who tries to diminish the augustness of the Chosen One.

  • Corlyss

    “Many in the media and in the Democratic party don’t understand how toxic the Gruber revelations could be for the blue model.”

    Excuse me, but you guys simply don’t get it. Dims don’t care whether they are believed or not. Most Americans are skeptical of politicians. Dims don’t depend on public trust to get elected. They’ve been sharpsters, cheats, liars, and hooligans since the Big Bang. What keeps the public in thrall to the Dims is the MONEY!!!! As long as the Dims continue to slice and dice the electorate and increase the money voters get from them, they are golden.

  • ljgude

    Comrades! If you have read WRM’s description of versions Liberalism going back to the Glorious Revolution you will recall that the Republicans were the establishment when it came to late 19th early 20th century Liberalism – Liberalism 4 from memory. The depression created the need for reform and the old world view changed. FDR brought a new version Liberalism – Liberalism 5.0 or 5.1 – that created the Blue Model and relegated Republicans to second class status. The Democrats became The Establishment. In government. In academia. In the press. Even in our New Age Robber Barron – the Lords of Silicon Valley. Today the establishment is slowly collapsing. No one knows how to invent the new version of Liberalism that WRM calls for – we just know that the Blue Model is dying. Like Republicans who kept trying to go back to the world before 1929, today’s the Democrats have doubled down on Blue Era policies. So Gruber is just another incident in the collapse of a worldview that has outlived its usefulness. So the Establishment will carry on producing Grubers whether it is led by Hillary or Jeb until the new arises. This is the way a worldview ends – not with bang but a whimper.

    • Josephbleau

      As in the old airborne joke, I quivered a bit with Obama, at first.

      • ljgude

        Don’t know the old airborne joke, but I think I might get the drift. As in Obama painted such a beautiful word picture of a world that sounded a lot like the elusive Liberalism 6, but turned out to be Liberalism 5.2 Rev. 43 AKA European Social Democracy with Dimmi features.

  • John Stephens

    I can honestly say that my opinion of the Democrats, and of the Blue model in general, is no lower now than it was before I ever heard of Professor Gruber.

  • Josephbleau

    One major difference in issues of this sort now vs the past is that naked power grabs used to be very remote and invisible to the public in the short term. The internet has changed this by magnifying the speech of representatives of different viewpoints. thus the recent attempt of Obama’s FCC to crush internet freedom, learning from the Ayatollahs.

  • FriendlyGoat

    People who like having their bosses being able to fire them at any time for any reason or no reason, AND who want the health insurance for themselves and their families tied to the boss’s discretion, AND who want to undergo medical underwriting to buy any other coverage in event the boss has a hissy fit——ARE stupid. We’ve have millions and millions of them for decades running, regardless of what Gruber says about anything.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    This really is a big nail in the Obamacare coffin, and it comes at a time when both the Supreme Court and Congress will be looking to get rid of it.

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service