FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
The ShamWow presidency
The final, desperate days of ObamaCare signup before the individual mandate cutoff date have brought us one national humiliation after another. We had the Administration pretending to be our mothers and ordering us to purchase health insurance:
I decided to invest a few moments in correcting this ad for accuracy:
The campaign to treat us as a nation of children continues with a new White House website that uses animated GIF images of kittens, ducks, teddy bears, baby pandas, and someone falling off a bathroom sink while twerking to convince us that it’s time to buy one of Barack Obama’s overpriced, under-performing insurance policies. Punch line: the links from this kindergarten website to HealthCare.gov don’t work.
Even as Vladimir Putin is tearing up treaties both Russia and the United States signed and using thousands of troops to stitch the old Soviet empire back together again, President Obama is once again touting his March Madness basketball bracket picks, and tying them into his effort to sell insurance policies. The arrogant, Constitution-shredding imperial president is also a ShamWow salesman, bending the prestige of his office into these tawdry efforts to hawk what is, after all, still a nominally private product.
To describe all this as “unseemly” for the Leader of the Free World is putting it mildly. But of course, Obama has seen to it that the American president is no longer seen as the leader of the free world. The lion of liberty is curled into a fetal position, sobbing about the insufficient number of young and healthy people rushing to buy insurance policies. Prestige is a limited resource, and when it’s frittered away on Crazy Barry sales pitches to make college kids think baby pandas have something to do with the rational management of a trillion-dollar industry, there isn’t much left to convince Russia that the western Ukraine is off-limits.
It is the curious genius of Barack Obama that he found a way to simultaneously make American government bigger and smaller than it’s ever been. Of course he and his apparatchiks look upon us and see a nation of infants; they’ve been telling us to see ourselves as the helpless victims of various boogeymen for years. Naturally Uncle Sam sets aside his star-spangled rainments to slip into a Mary Poppins costume and take care of his itty bitty nieces and nephews.
Team Obama has reasons for thinking this is what everyone wants. We fell for his ridiculous re-election campaign, didn’t we? We re-elected the architect of double-digit unemployment and Solyndra corruption because his vastly more qualified opponent once accepted a binder full of women’s resumes from a feminist group, and there was something about a dog on the roof of his car, and he got caught on tape saying something mean about the people who just want to be taken care of by Mommy Government while others pick up the tab.
Dependency and government control are the opposite of maturity and responsibility. Those who wish to be managed, guided, and insulated from risk have little ground to complain when they politicians they empower speak to them as children. There is no logical reason why any healthy young person would voluntarily purchase an ObamaCare policy, so the eleventh-hour push is wholly based on tricking them into thinking all the cool kids are doing it. That’s not new – most of ObamaCare’s marketing amounts to the deliberate invocation of peer pressure – but it’s sad and funny to watch it shift into high gear as the clock runs down.
There will be more of this in the future, America, unless you spit out your pacifiers and send these people packing in a couple of good stiff electoral routs. Only a dignified electorate can insist on a dignified White House to replace this weird combination of vacation club, faculty lounge, and infomercial. Only by drawing sharp lines between private commerce and government power can we compel the political class to focus on its duties, rather than its ambitions. The executive branch of the federal government was not meant to be running last-ditch advertising campaigns for a product nobody wants to buy.