Sunday, July 27, 2014

Obamacare Schadenfreude - The Gruber Files

I'm just going to guess that Jonathon Gruber is regretting his 15 minutes of fame.

Ann Althouse take the new White House Press Secretary to task for his slipperiness in the Gruber matter:
The White House played down the video on Friday, saying that Mr. Gruber had made clear in friend-of-the-court briefs that he supports the administration’s interpretation.
“His views on this are pretty clear,” said Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary. “I think that he described those remarks as a mistake. But I’d refer you to his explanation for why he said them. I think what is clear is that he, like Congress, intended for every eligible American to have access to tax credits that lower their health care costs, regardless of who is operating their marketplace.”
The Press Secretary Earnest isn't lying, but if you look closely at each of his remarks, you can see that he seems to know he's making a series of technically true statements that avoid asserting that Gruber is telling the truth now when he calls the 2012 remarks "a mistake." 1. Gruber's "views... are pretty clear."Check. 2. Gruber called his remarks "a mistake." Absolutely true. That's exactly what Gruber said. 3. Gruber's overarching goal has been to get health insurance tax credits to people. Again, Earnest is correct —cagily correct — because lying now about making a mistake back then is exactly what serves that overarching goal, just as saying what he said in 2012 served that goal.

Lying is a means to an end, and one can steadfastly adhere to one's end while changing your statements as needed to serve that end. That's what liars do! To justify their behavior by pointing to their dedication to a single end is only to explain the motivation to lie. Yet that's what Josh Earnest expects us to swallow.
Halbig’s Critics Hoist By Their Own Petards: Next Time, Read The Law Before Making It Law
This has not been a good week for defenders of Obamacare and their scorn for the legal arguments challenging whether the statute provides subdsidies for buyers of health insurance policies on the federal exchange. On Monday, a divided panel of the DC Circuit ruled in Halbig v Burwell that the statute only provides subsidies for purchases on the state exchanges (the Fourth Circuit reached the opposite conclusion). The reaction to Halbig from pundits on the Left – most of them not lawyers, and many of them obviously woefully ignorant of how courts read laws – can only be characterized as an unhinged meltdown. The latest news has only further undermined their position.
. . .
No, The Good Faith Of The Lawsuit Doesn’t Matter: One of the stranger arguments made against Halbig, not only by non-lawyers who don’t know any better but even in the opening lines of Judge Edwards’ dissent, is that the lawsuit is somehow illegitimate because the people filing it are not really trying to help the ACA, but are foes of the statute. Here’s a little secret: people who file lawsuits against federal laws are not usually big fans of those laws. Do you think the Guantanamo detainees who challenged the Military Commissions Act were really just disinterested scholars motivated by a concern for proper functioning of the military justice system? It’s the job of courts to determine the meaning of laws, not the motives of litigants.
The fact that a Federal judge put forth such an objection is proof of how little interest the facts are to liberals.

Another Stunning Admission in Gruber's Speech: The Public Option Was Single Payer

Many are familiar with Sen. Harry Reid's August 2013 statement that the public option was a "real good run" at single-payer. About a dozen lawmakers and progressive pundits have made similar admissions over the years, often when speaking to friendly audiences. However the major media, i.e. network and cable news outside Fox and major D.C. and New York print media have almost never touched this. Occasionally, a site would mention some of these factual outbursts, but this piece by Politico is a good example of the result. The clips get mentioned under a bland headline ("Mixed messages bolster GOP's case") and the story itself suggests these are fluke statements just waiting to be debunked.

There's even a quote in the Politico story from HCAN in which a spokesperson says the public option claims are part of a false "government takeover" narrative. The spokesperson says, "It’s not helpful, it’s not smart and it’s not the truth." Surely HCAN knows the truth right? They're the ones pushing the public option. Well, here's another HCAN spokesman in a less guarded moment admitting the public option is a strategic path to single-payer. Of course that statement never, ever appeared in any news story.

Somehow the major media never put the pieces together on this issue. As Gruber admits, Democrats did try to slide a pathway to single-payer into Obamacare without telling anyone. The proponents of this sneaky path to single-payer (Ezra Klein called it a "sneaky strategy") were so successful in keeping it quiet that the incompetents at Poltifact made "government takeover" their Lie of the Year in 2010. Stop and think about that for a moment. Politifact's Lie of the Year was true, at least so long as the public option was under consideration.
The real import of the Jon Gruber fracas
It would be much easier if (some) people would simply say “Of course this normally should be kicked back into the legislature for clarification. But I don’t want to do that because I don’t regard Republican control of the House, and how that control is used, as a legitimate form of rule.” One may agree, or not, but the nature of the case is pretty clear.
. . .
So, to return to the title of this post, the import of the Gruber fracas is to show that if he can be confused (more than once, at that, and is “confused” even the right word?) a lot of ACA supporters in Congress probably were confused too.

So given that across-the-board subsidies are not written into the bill formally, and given the importance of precedent, and rule of law, why not kick the matter back into the legislature for redrafting? Which brings us back to the first paragraph of this blog post…
From the comments:
All I can say is, if you’re going to pass a law with zero bipartisan support, you should be very careful in the drafting, since they aren’t likely to help you out if you muck it up. In this case, haste and arrogance is biting them in the ass.
5 More Typos We Found In Major Pieces Of Legislation
A major federal appeals court, however, did not just gut Obamacare because of a “drafting error.” But in keeping with the spirit of the always accurate and super intellectual argumentation we’ve come to expect from the Left, we here at The Federalist have identified a number of other huge drafting errors in major legislation.

Without further ado, here are 5 massive drafting errors in landmark legislation that had been completely missed until now:

1) The Bush tax cuts didn’t actually sunset after 10 years. They were permanent.

When the Bush tax cuts were initially passed in 2001 and expanded in 2003, they technically included a 10-year sunset in order to comply with budget reconciliation rules. But most of the people who voted for it and wrote it didn’t want a sunset. They wanted the tax cuts to be permanent. The point of the law was to increase economic growth. Why on earth would lawmakers not want to increase economic growth forever? We’re supposed to believe they only wanted more jobs and higher growth for ten years? That’s absurd.

2) The Iraq war authorization actually allows the U.S. to invade Canada.

But c’mon. The resolution was written by Republicans and supported by Bush, and they’re all dirty war mongers who love killing people, so it’s absurd to assume they’d only constrain their insatiable blood lust to a single Middle Eastern country. Ergo, watch out Canada. You might be next.

3) The PATRIOT Act allowed waterboarding of anti-war opponents.

Anyhow, the point is that waterboarding dissenters would have made crushing dissent a lot easier, which would’ve made war a lot easier, which would’ve made protecting America easier, which was the whole point of the PATRIOT Act.

Sure, they didn’t technically write that authorization into the law, but there’s really no other way to interpret their intent. And if you disagree, it’s probably because you’re a terrorist.

4) About that whole Second Amendment thing…

Finally we get to the real fruits of the Left’s labor of interpretation legislative intent. Yes, the Second Amendment mentions guns. Yes, it mentions the right to own and bear them. Yes, it says that right shall not be infringed. Yes, America was freed from oppressive British rule thanks to the ability of common individuals to fight back using their own weapons.

But c’mon: a right for people to own guns? That’s just absurd.

5) About that whole First Amendment thing…

Remember that time the Founders fought a war to ensure our right to freely express our religious beliefs? Well, you remembered wrong. It turns out they were only cool with speech approved by 21st century liberal politicians. I mean, the right to own a gun to protect yourself is one thing. But the right to say your thoughts out loud? Talk about absurd:
[I]n the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Democrats held a hearing on Tom Udall’s proposal to gut the First Amendment by allowing Congress to prohibit or restrict participation in political campaigns. The Democrats like to say that the amendment would reverse the effect of the Citizens United and McCutcheon cases, but in fact it goes much farther than that. The amendment, which is favored by Harry Reid and most Senate Democrats, would give Congress unprecedented power to limit debate on public issues in the context of elections. You really have to read the proposed amendment to understand how radical it is.
Thankfully, the constitutional geniuses who run the U.S. Senate have finally found a way to correct the first-ever American legal typo: just repeal the First Amendment in its entirety. With that out of the way, they won’t ever have to worry every again about people going to court to affirm the notion that words mean things.

At long last, America’s never-ending, speech-laden, typo-fueled nightmare might finally be over.

No comments:

Post a Comment