Monday, November 10, 2014

Whatever Works

This video is from a conference on the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) a couple of years ago, but it's been resuscitated lately and is making the rounds on the internet. It consists of fifty two seconds of one of the architects of the law, Jonathan Gruber, essentially admitting that he and his colleagues deliberately misled the American people about the act in order to get it passed into law.
Mr. Gruber affords us an excellent illustration of political pragmatism. If you have to lie and deceive in order to get your law passed then it's right to do so.

Of course, we know that the creators of Obamacare aren't the only ones who deceived us. The president himself insisted on numerous occasions that the ACA would lower premiums and that people would be able to keep their doctors, but we know now that he knew at the time that none of that was true.

The law was passed only because the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress as well as the White House and because the American people were persuaded by such as Mr. Gruber and Mr. Obama that they were being told the truth about the law when, in fact, they weren't.

If anyone doesn't understand why the Democrats took such a drubbing in 2010 and again last Tuesday, they need only reflect on the utter loss of confidence among a growing segment of the American electorate in that party's ability to tell us the truth.

Speaking of last Tuesday's election, the most serious consequence of the massive defeat suffered by the Democrats, perhaps, is what it has done to their "feeder systems" at the state level. Republicans now have complete control — the governorship and the legislature — in 23 states. Democrats control only seven. Democrats hold 18 governorships, but only a handful are in the most populous states.

The implications of this for the Democrats' future may be dire. State houses and governorships are the spawning grounds for future candidates and at that level the party is being eviscerated because of dissatisfaction with the people at the top. As a result there are few Democrats who look like future candidates at the national level.

Indeed, other than Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, and maybe Andrew Cuomo. There seem to be few heavy hitters on the Democrat bench, and unless the party can turn things around at the state level there'll be fewer still in the years after 2016.

All of which tempts me to risk a prediction. If Hillary fails to get elected in 2016, either because she doesn't run or is defeated, I predict that one of the most attractive candidates in the Democratic Party in 2020 will be the newly elected governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf. Everybody likes the guy, even the people who won't vote for him. He's a very successful businessman and offers, on the surface, at least, a moderate alternative to the extremist progressives who head the party today. If he manages to work fairly well with his GOP legislature and wins a second term in 2018, there'll be a lot of interest in him for 2020.

You heard it here first.