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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Obamacare for Israel

To understand how President Obama is trying to sell out Israel, says Andrew McCarthy, you have to look at how he pushed Obamacare.
Obama is an Alinskyite, though, a practical radical. Ineffective radicals are so blinded by ideology, so intoxicated by their own sense of righteousness, that they refuse to gauge the public sensibilities. Alinskyites are no less committed to their ideology; indeed, only a person who has completely bought into his ideology can maintain the patient discipline necessary to implement his utopia incrementally. That discipline is what makes the Alinskyite effective. Such an operator understands that you must always check the public pulse: Figure out how far you can push people, but never push so far that you lose political viability. Without power, radicalism is a dead end. The race is not to the swift but to the electable.

So Obama tweaked his health-care positions, pretending he’d never said the things he’d said, massaging his message depending on the sensibilities of his audience. He shrewdly banked on a press corps willing to be enlisted to his purposes, and on the natural tendency of decent people to give likeable politicians the benefit of the doubt, to assume they are not being lied to.

The public did not want an all-out government takeover, so Obama claimed that wasn’t where he was coming from. The public does not want to underwrite insurance for illegal aliens, so the number of uninsured Americans described in Obama speeches suddenly shrank by 10 or 20 million when people started to catch on to his ambitious intentions. The public is far more worried about costs than about the uninsured, so Obama couched his plan’s astronomical spending in the rhetoric of fiscal discipline — presto, tens of millions of people would get a new entitlement that would somehow cost Americans less money. The public was promised a workable, affordable system, so the administration now issues thousands of waivers from Obamacare’s onerous terms, lest the dreaded emperor-has-no-clothes moment come before the 2012 election.


That is the formula for understanding Obama on Israel. In the hard-core Left from which the president hails, Israel is no less reviled than the health-insurance companies. As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proudly boasted in his speech to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, “America has no better friend than Israel.” That would be reason enough for those consumed by a blame-America-first mentality to loathe Israel. Palestinian Muslims live on global largesse and complain that it’s not enough, epitomize the culture of victimhood, and lionize terrorist “martyrs” who are no more savage (though a good bit more competent) than the iconic Bill Ayers and his Weather Underground. In short, the Palestinians check all the Left’s boxes. Even if Obama’s circle of Chicago friends did not include the rabidly anti-Israel Ayers and former PLO mouthpiece Rashid Khalidi, there would be little mystery about who is assigned the hero’s role and who is the villain in the president’s estimate of this long-running drama.

But Obama could not say such a thing and remain politically viable. He knows that. Anyone who watched the rousing bipartisan ovation that washed over his bête noire, Netanyahu, in Congress on Tuesday would know that. This is an ardently pro-Israel country, and Obama’s Palestinian sympathies are no more representative of where Americans stand than is the longing for single-payer health care. Just like leading from the rear, governing from the fringe is a skill. It is necessary to dissemble.
Read the whole thing. He is spot-on.

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At 1:31 AM, Blogger Sunlight said...

Another interesting approach to the title of this post, "Obamacare for Israel", would be an overall report on Israel's healthcare system. I would be interested in reading about the history (kibbutz/collective?) and, as you are getting bigger, etc, whether the thing is going to go bust financially. It may be that because you are coming to the free market from a collective start, people are more cooperative about "mandates". It looks like Israel's population is similar to Massachusetts'. There obviously are issues with compelling people to buy stuff with the US Constitution, but it could actually be a positive topic to be doing analyses between the US and IL of technologies, costs, payment methods, medical "tourism", senior living, etc. etc. When do you think there might be enough of a lull to look into this stuff. It would definitely build on the foundation of Bibi's speeches and interviews...

At 2:31 AM, Blogger Ariadne said...

Carl, people are reporting on the Elder's blog that yours is down.

At 6:24 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Its here, isn't it? And I've been forced to post by name/url the past days since Google's Blogger Dashboard went down.

As for Obama's hostility to Israel, we're not going to see it change but since he is running for re-election, American pressure is off the table.

For now.


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