Memorial Day: Obama and the Faculty Windbags' Waterloo
The first Memorial Day I can remember was just a few years after the end of World War II. I was in second grade and my teacher, Miss Frank, told us, choking back her tears, what it meant. Her beloved brother had died just a few years earlier, training another young aviator in taking off from the deck of a carrier. Something went wrong and they both plunged into the sea and their deaths. My classmates and I had then still vivid memories of separation from our fathers, uncles, and brothers, and war deaths of our own loved ones. Memorial Day was sacred.
In recent years the day’s meaning has often been lost in the holiday atmosphere of an early summer’s three-day weekend. But I do not think this will be one of these years, for the Veterans Administration scandal has legs and this one (of so many administration scandals) cannot be swept under the rug. Every Memorial Service will remind those who care -- and most of us still do -- that their government is often managed by callous bureaucrats who seriously, even fatally, withheld medical care for those to whom we owe an eternal debt. It touches so many families and reminds those of us not still in the Woodstock cannabis haze the dangers of putting important functions in the hands of a government without workable checks, a diligent honest press, and honorable officeholders.
It also underscores the incompetence of this administration, the president’s utter refusal to listen to reason, and his party’s refusal to play by the established rules of Congress.
As Roger Simon said:
Many have wondered about Barack Obama’s prolonged silence concerning the disastrous situation at the Veterans Administration hospitals and then his odd detached demeanor (well, maybe not that odd for him) when he finally did discuss it at a press conference.
The answer is simple. His lifetime dream of a free public (single payer) healthcare system for all just disintegrated in front of him. Forget the wildly ambitious and pervasive “Affordable Care Act,” the government couldn’t even handle the health of our wounded servicemen, acknowledged for years to be by far the group most deserving of medical attention in our country. With veterans dying while waiting lists are falsified, it’s hard to see government healthcare as anything but incompetent, disgraceful and quite possibly criminal.
Government has failed utterly. Does anyone have any doubt that Halliburton or even the dreaded Koch brothers could have better handled the health of our wounded warriors? Probably almost any business would have. There at least would have been some accountability. (It’s interesting to see the quaint Bernie Sanders, the one self-described socialist in the Congress, as opposed to the closeted ones, being the most outspoken defender of VA malfeasance and urging us not to “rush to judgment” on a three page bill.)
To be sure, efforts are already under way to switch the topic to demonizing the insurance companies. (Obama has already demonized doctors, accusing them of performing unnecessary surgeries to pad their bills.) Executive pay for insurance companies is a recent target of those who wish to deflect blame for the shortcomings of our nation’s health structure and to blur the impact of the mounting VA and Obamacare scandals. (See this [link corrected] by a misnamed group which consists of maybe 18,000 people who have something or other to do with health care and love socialized medicine.) Once again they’d have you believe that it’s everybody else’s fault but the administration’s.
I think though that at Memorial services everywhere tomorrow this ongoing propaganda war is going to fall short of its goal. The curtain hiding the wizards behind ObamaCare from view has been pulled aside by revelations of the callous treatment of our nation’s warriors. If the government cannot manage this program why did Obama and his party expect it to do better on a grander scale? What possessed the luftmenschen wizards who crafted Obamacare to ever think otherwise?
The administration and the academic geniuses that wrote and fostered ObamaCare and the press that helped hide its built-to-fail nature can no longer protect either it or the president. Even his usual public-relations stunts like just dropping in for a neighborhood D.C. Little League game (in which his press spokesman Carney’s kid was a player) or wandering about town with his suit jacket draped over one shoulder like a super cool Frank Sinatra wannabe is not going to bail him out of this one.
A glance at the Drudge Headlines Friday gives a hint of the ongoing nature of the scandal, a scandal Obama was well aware of and did nothing about -- not even now when the administration pretended that a few weeks’ earlier retirement of a key official constituted a firing for cause.
REPORT: Al Qaeda at Gitmo treated better than veterans...
FLASHBACK Obama 2008: VA to be 'leader of national health-care reform'...
Employees caught falsifying records...
Emails Reveal More Miami VA Scandal...
This week Noemie Emery offered up the most brilliant review of how and why ObamaCare, the darling of “the famed academic-artistic-and-punditry industrial complex” spells its final demise.
As she observes (and you really must read her entire article to fully comprehend the errors of Obama, ObamaCare, and the implications for the President and his party:
The Affordable Care Act looked for advice to academics, not governors, and proposed the state takeover of an industrial complex responsible for one-sixth of the gross national product based not on what had been proved to work through experience, but on what some intellectuals had guessed might work. If a camel is a horse designed by a committee, this camel was a 2,801-page non-bestseller filled with labyrinthine riddles that nobody seemed to know how to solve. To insure approximately 18 million out of 300-plus million Americans (they confessed the plan would still leave 20 million uninsured), they proposed to spend trillions on a reengineering of the entire system that would in time cause 80 to 100 million of the currently insured to lose and to seek new insurance.
Doubtless, Obama and crew had fully expected their project to be popular, owing to two tenets of liberal theory -- that a crisis always makes people more open to large and expansive federal government and that people never turn away from free stuff.
The Obamacare debate appeared designed to create opposition where it never existed, and provoke it where it had already occurred. The Democratic leadership bent many arms and even broke a few to push the first draft of the bill through the House, winning no votes from the Republicans while losing 34 of their own. In November, Virginia and New Jersey, which had gone for Obama by 6- and 15-point margins, elected Republican governors in vote swings of 18 and 12 points. In December, Democrats muscled the bill through the Senate as a Christmas Eve present, having spent millions to bribe their own members to defy their constituents. In January, Massachusetts, in a special election to fill the seat of Ted Kennedy, elected Scott Brown, who had run on a pledge to be “the 41st vote” against Obamacare.
With public resistance now unmistakable, Obama exploited a loophole in the Senate rules to negate the will of the country. Meanwhile, Nancy Pelosi thought it a good idea to provoke the crowds by any means possible, striding through the Capitol grounds with an enormous grin and a gavel the size of a Louisville slugger, surrounded by Black Caucus members who tried to replay the bridge scene at Selma and later charged the protesters with flinging racial slurs at them, which no one else ever seemed to have heard. Having been provoked, and then slandered, the protesters became even more angry. It’s no surprise that anger was key to the 2010 midterms, in which Democrats lost 63 House seats, and much of their chance to make any more mischief. Public opinion did count, after all.
Emery concludes, rightly I believe, that “intellectual liberals” seizing upon what they thought would be their best chance to upset the established order, blew it. And every revelation of the shortcomings at the VA only reinforces the impossibility of extending the federal government further into every aspect of American life.
As for the faculty lounge lizards, her advice is especially sound. She says one conclusion to be drawn from this is that:
“...people who shine in the faculty lounge ought to stay in it, that novelists have not been good judges of political horseflesh, and that if you really believe you belong to an aristocracy of the intellect, you most likely do not. The intellectual salons include a whole lot of windbags, and would have excluded a number of very effective real-world practitioners, such as Truman and Reagan and Ike. “
Obama is just not smart enough to be able to tell windbags from sages, but voters can. This Memorial Day they will undoubtedly reaffirm their resolve that the faculty windbags must be confined permanently within their lounges and out of public life forever. Political figures that don’t grasp this development might well start picking their retirement homes.