Don't be the Obamacare frog

It's being widely reported/rumored that President Obama will offer his own health care insurance reform plan next week, including naming certain items he insists on having in any bill that he'll sign.  It's not clear whether a "public option" (i.e. effective government takeover of the industry) will be one of those items.

It's a smart move by Obama, and a necessary one to save his already-floundering presidency.

By taking the apparent leadership on the issue away from Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, and by rebranding some of his desired policy changes as his own rather than Congress's, Obama stands a good chance of stemming the recently inexorable tide of declining job approval poll numbers for himself, and maybe for Congressional Democrats as well.

The question now is whether anyone will believe him.  Of course, the liberal left who long ago drank the Kool-Aid, who see Obama as their political messiah, will, wide-eyed and drooling, follow wherever he leads them.  And Republicans will generally assume (correctly) that he's just trying a detour to the same half-socialist, half-fascist destination.  The critical swing group remains the independent voters who have been the main source of Obama's drop in popularity in recent weeks.

But here's the real key.  The left are masters at implementing their agenda piecemeal, getting through bit by bit until they've implemented a European-style welfare state which only a few who were paying attention saw being built under their noses.  They have, until this Congress, particularly understood the importance of that strategy when it comes to health care.  For example, that's why they've slowly but surely expanded SCHIP programs, which were supposed to cover low-income children, so they now cover moderate income children and adults in many places.


This piecemeal strategy is often described by the colorful analogy "boiling the frog."  For those of you who haven't heard it, here's the idea:  If you want to boil a frog, you can't just try to drop a frog in boiling water.  He'll simply jump out.  The key is to put the frog in cool water and heat it slowly enough that by the time the water gets too hot for the frog to survive, he hasn't noticed because the change was so gradual and, voila, you have boiled frog.

Obama will try to put the prettiest face (his) on a "new" health care reform bill.  It will contain some of the same key provisions of the widely detested HR3200, but he'll re-word what they mean, wrap them in soft language, and try to get the public to buy into the building blocks of full-blown socialism without the public understanding that fact.  He'll try to explain why the major provisions are good for the country, why the current system is unfair and inefficient (which it is, but not because there is too little government involvement), and why he's going to "make the system work" for us...because he cares.

It will be classic "boil the frog" politics...again, the expertise of the patient left, with incremental socialism having been the precise strategy laid out by the Fabian Socialists in England in the 1880s and beyond.  That mantra was picked up by Barack Obama's political inspiration , Saul Alinsky, an evil man if ever there was one.  (Thanks to Ike for reminding me of this ARTICLE from last year about Obama and Fabianism.)

Melanie Phillips, writing in the UK's "Spectator" newspaper in an article entitled "Revolution You Can Believe In", describes Alinsky, and therefore Obama, like this:

His creed was set out in his book ‘Rules for Radicals’ – a book he dedicated to Lucifer, whom he called the ‘first radical’. It was Alinsky for whom ‘change’ was his mantra. And by ‘change’, he meant a Marxist revolution achieved by slow, incremental, Machiavellian means which turned society inside out. This had to be done through systematic deception, winning the trust of the naively idealistic middle class by using the language of morality to conceal an agenda designed to destroy it.

During the campaign, it was remarkable to see so much of the public willing to turn a blind eye to the evidence of Barack Obama's influences, evidence which, while circumstantial, is stronger than that frequently used to obtain convictions in a court of law.

From the Stalininst Frank Marshall Davis to the anti-White, anti-Semitic Jeremiah Wright to the proud terrorist Bill Ayers to Saul Alinsky, a man who said you may have to destroy an economy to get people sufficiently dependent on government, Barack Obama's history and voluntary associations are with people whose views, statements, and actions are ones which the average American would find repugnant and occasionally criminal.

If it had been anyone but a smooth, hip, black guy, those associations would have caused aspirations for high political office to have been stillborn.  But Obama was Teflon then, and he hopes to be to again as he tries to boil the healthcare frog.

Although most of my regular readers won't be fooled into sitting in the water as it begins to boil around them, I encourage you to give others the intellectual ammunition to stand up to what will likely be an aggressive push by an effective communicator to market his snake oil as a panacea.

  • Ike
    Comment from: Ike
    09/04/09 @ 07:34:18 am
  • Steven E. Kalbach
    Comment from: Steven E. Kalbach
    09/04/09 @ 09:05:57 am

    Do you really think he will say anything different than what he has been saying throughout his staged town halls across the country? I don't. I think it will be the same thing he, Pelosi and Reid have been parroting all along. They do not want to address this issue from a free-market stand point period. My jaw would drop if he came out for opening insurance access up as any other insurance and implementing a looser pays tort system. I would speechless if he explained that insurance is not pre-paid medical care or parroted an expansion of the HSA. In my opinion, people should continue to object as strongly as they are now. His speech will change nothing.

  • Comment from: Rossputin
    09/04/09 @ 09:23:15 am

    Steven, I agree with you as to the likely content of his words. But this will be the first time in a while that he (or should I say He) has addressed the nation on the issue. He'll be trying to show that he's taking more leadership rather than leaving it to Pelosi and Reid. The key, I think, is that as Charles Krauthammer put it today, this is Obama's first speech as a mortal: Whereas a few months ago, most people, including independents but not conservatives, were generally inclined to believe him or at least want to believe him, I think that's flipped. I think most people except the left wing of the Democratic Party are now inclined not to believe him. While I do think this speech will give him a small bump up in poll numbers, it is not without its risks. If he does what you say and just repeats the same liberal lines (lies) over with just a silkier voice, the public will see through it. If he tries to tone down what he claims to want, our side will have to make sure people understand the idea I was trying to convey in this article, of socialist incrementalism.