MIT Professor Jonathan Gruber’s comments regarding the “stupidity of the American voter” necessitating legislators to craft the Obamacare law in such a way that voters wouldn’t understand its impact, have sparked outrage, mostly from conservatives. But while Americans are focusing on comments that Gruber has now retracted, they should also pay attention to the real misinformation that he has been peddling about the signature health care legislation all along.
“He called you stupid,” writes Ron Fournier for National Journal. “He admitted that the White House lied to you. Its officials lied to all of us—Republicans, Democrats, and independents; rich and poor; white and brown; men and women,” and that “the law never would have passed if the administration had been honest about the fact that the so-called penalty for noncompliance with the mandate was actually a tax.”
“Liberals should be the angriest,” said Fournier. He said that he has “to admit, as a supporter, that Obamacare was built and sold on a foundation of lies. No way around it.” We say, welcome to Obamaland. It’s not just Obamacare, it’s pretty much everything they are selling. But it’s good to see someone from the mainstream media acknowledging this, however belated it may be. Actually, Fournier has been one of the more honest members of the liberal media. Hopefully, this will help inform his judgment on other issues as well, such as the IRS and Benghazi scandals.
But Gruber’s initial comments about this legislation’s authors deceiving voters haven’t generally received attention in the mainstream media. Most have ignored it. Howard Kurtz, host of the Fox News Channel’s “Media Buzz” went on “The O’Reilly Factor” and called it a “virtual blackout,” and “inexcusable” how the media have ignored this story. Others are trying to spin it to help the Obama administration. The Washington Post, for example, has praised Gruber as “the man who’s willing to say what everyone else is only thinking about Obamacare.” And New York Times writer Josh Barro went on MSNBC and justified Gruber’s comments, saying, “So, the public puts politicians in a position where the only thing they can do to make the public happy is lie and so, people lied.” Apparently, the ends justified the means for Barro. Anything to get the President’s signature health reform through Congress.
As Rush Limbaugh said, imagine how the media would have reacted if a former George W. Bush adviser had said they had lied about weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq, because Americans were too stupid to otherwise support going to war to remove Saddam Hussein from power.
Gruber backed away from his “stupidity of the American voter” contention in an appearance on “The Ronan Farrow” show on MSBNC, saying he spoke “off the cuff” at an academic conference and “inappropriately.” But this isn’t the first time he’s used that excuse.
“I think what’s important to remember politically about this is, if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits,” Gruber said to a small audience in 2012 during a controversy that erupted this July, according to The Washington Post. “But your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill.