Liberals try to convince themselves and others that Jonathan Gruber is a nobody; that he had absolutely nothing to do with crafting Obamacare; and that the right-wing media are just trying to capitalize off some old YouTube videos where he said some things that were taken out of context. They say his 15 minutes of fame should be up.
But he’s not just some nobody. He is one of Obamacare’s (and Romneycare’s) key architects. And until recently, when these old videos surfaced, he was well-respected in his circle of ivory tower buddies. Since the footage has surfaced, all the people who had previously spoken highly of him suddenly are distancing themselves from him, sometimes calling him stupid for saying the things that he said.
But they don’t actually think he’s intellectually stupid. They think he’s politically stupid for being so candid. He broke the first rule of politics, which everyone knows is to lie like a dog. Now they all have to disassociate themselves from him and act like what he said wasn’t true at all.
Even Obama spoke highly of Gruber, calling him one of the “brightest minds from academia and policy circles.” The Daily Caller reported:
Then-Senator Barack Obama said in 2006 that he had “stolen ideas” from Jonathan Gruber, the Affordable Care Act architect at the center of controversy for a series of remarks he made about how the landmark health law was pushed through Congress.
Speaking at the launch of the Brookings Institute’s Hamilton Project, newly surfaced video shows Obama list Gruber as one of the sharpest minds in academia.
“You have already drawn some of the brightest minds from academia and policy circles, many of them I have stolen ideas from liberally, people ranging from Robert Gordon to Austan Goolsbee; Jon Gruber; my dear friend, Jim Wallis here, who can inform what are sometimes dry policy debates with a prophetic voice,” Obama said.
Gruber, who helped craft the controversial law, was heavily criticized last week after video of him surfaced saying a “lack of transparency” and the “stupidity of the American voter” were “really critical” in moving the landmark legislation through Congress.
In another video shot in 2013, the Obamacare architect said, “The American voters are too stupid the understand the difference.”
He has since apologized for his comments as members of the Obama administration have distanced themselves from his work.
Now, when Obama was confronted with Gruber’s comments, he first said that he had “just heard about this.” Uh-huh. “Jonathan who?”
“The fact that some adviser who never worked on our staff expressed an opinion that I completely disagree with in terms of the voters is no reflection on the actual process that was run.”
I agree that what Gruber said was political suicide. Maybe it was hubris on his part to see how close he could get to the truth, how brazen he could be in his elitism before anyone noticed. In politics, the truth is like a disease. But unlike a disease, it’s not at all contagious.