The Beltway Lies of the Obamacare War


“In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies,” said Winston Churchill.

What is the truth behind the Beltway lies about these crazy Republicans crashing our government?

Twice in the last week House Republicans have voted unanimously to fund the U.S. government.

If national polls are to be believed, those House Republicans are doing exactly what America wants. A majority of Americans oppose a government shutdown. And a majority oppose Obamacare.

Who, then, is preventing the government from being funded?

Harry Reid and Barack Obama. Neither will accept any continuing resolution that does not contain Obamacare. Both will shut down this city rather than accept any such CR.

It is Harry and Barry who are saying: If we don’t get full funding of Obamacare now, we shutdown Washington until the House delivers.

The battle, then, is over this question: Will the next great liberal entitlement program, Obamacare, with its manifest failings and flaws, be imposed upon the nation — against its will?

The House says no. The Beltway says yes.

Few disagree that, in any national plebiscite, Obamacare would be buried in a landslide. Few disagree that if Obamacare were put to a vote of the Congress today, it would fail in both houses.

Why, then, is it radical for the House to use its power of the purse to defund a program America does not want?

Why is it statesmanship for Obama to say he will shut down the entire government if any resolution to keep it running contains even the slightest tweak to his cherished program?

What these questions suggest is that this is at root a political and ideological war, and the Beltway has assembled its usual bodyguard of lies and liars to conceal that truth.

Consider this keening from the Washington Post yesterday about the terrible consequences of a government shutdown:

“[W]e would hope that Mr. Boehner would have compassion for thousands of moderately paid breadwinners who would find themselves in very difficult circumstances. We would hope he would be troubled by how a shutdown would disrupt research at the National Institute of Health and safety inspections at the Food and Drug Administration.”

About this lugubrious passage, several questions:

Since Reid and Obama have both said they will block any CR that does not contain Obamacare in its pristine form, why are they not charged with some responsibility for a shutdown?

Answer: The Post is not interested in conveying the truth about this conflict, because in this battle it is as much a political ally of Obama as Debbie Wasserman Schultz. But it is a more effective ally, since some still presume it is being truthful and objective.

Assume that today John Boehner came out and said at a press conference: “I have taken note of the Post’s concerns about an interruption of service at NIH and the FDA. I share those concerns. Therefore, at my direction, the House will vote this afternoon to fully fund both agencies.”

Anyone think the Washington Post would celebrate Boehner’s compassion and statesmanship the next morning?

Of course not. All this weeping and gnashing of teeth about the terrible consequences of a government shutdown is designed to whip up political animosity, direct it at House Republicans, and break John Boehner. Failing that, it is to foist upon the House Republicans full responsibility for a shutdown that the House has voted twice to avoid.

What this battle confirms is that, on major national issues that pit social and populist conservatives against Big Government liberals, the Beltway press corps invariably acts like a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democratic National Committee.

More problematic, there is a slice of the Beltway right — the contributions bundlers and kennel-fed conservatives, the summer soldiers and sunshine patriots, the George McClellans — that prefers prancing, parading and posturing to the actual fighting.

With them the excuses are always the same. We can’t win. We have been beaten on this terrain before. The press will kill us. The White House has a microphone we can’t match. We will only hurt ourselves in the polls and throw away our great opportunity in the coming election. Besides, our corporate contributors don’t want this fight.

Some “conservatives” even cynically suggest that the GOP let Obamacare take effect, as it will prove such a disaster there will be a backlash against it in 2014 — and from that we can benefit.

With Reid’s refusal to accept the House CR with the one-year suspension of Obamacare, a shutdown seems certain.

Every Republican should be out front, on TV, radio and in print this week with a simple message:

“We have twice voted to fund every agency and program of the U.S. government (save Obamacare) in a single CR. We will proceed now to pass CRs for each department and agency of the U.S. government, separately and individually.

“And if Harry Reid’s Senate refuses to pass a single one of those CRs, who then is shutting down NIH and the FDA?”


image: Shutterstock 

Pat Buchanan


Patrick Buchanan is a conservative political commentator and syndicated columnist and author of several books, including Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?.

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  • John

    Perception is reality. The perception is the opposite

  • That Was Then

    Why are you politicking on a Catholic website? What do your views have to do with Catholic teachings? Every other civilized country has accessible public healthcare so that people can get treatment when they need it. In my country, I am so thankful for that. My teen son was diagnosed with a chronic health condition last month and spent a week in hospital Had I been living in your country, our family would be financially ruined.

  • Concerned Catholic US citizen

    We cannot allow politics to be separated from out beliefs, and the truth of what is happening here in the US needs to get out in any way possible.

  • Tom Dundee

    Abortion at will is funded under 0bamacare, despite the promise that it would not cover the murder of 1.2 million babies a year. Is that Catholic enough for you?
    However, you are not living in this country and since you do not say which country you are living in, I cannot complete my comment.
    That said, you are not living in this country and therefore will not pay the taxes to implement this program.
    We have insurance, and are ‘insurance poor’. We are in the group of people that will pay more for insurance under 0bamacare than we did with our current insurance. We will be paying about $2000 more this year than last year.

  • Tom Dundee

    While the outcome of the 0bamacare law will determine the future of the United States, it is intellectually dishonest to use this particular quote. I am not certain of the context of the above quote, but I will hazzard a guess that it arose out of World War II or it could have been World War I, both of which saw 3 years of heavy combat before the US entered the conflict.
    The truth, using the plans for D-Day as an example, was attended by much more than a bodyguard of lies out of critical necessity. Should that have ended in a catastrophic disaster for the Allies, I would not even want to guess at how long the war would have continued or if it would have. I am sure that most of the Jews in Europe would have been killed in Hitler’s death camps.

  • To: That Was Then;
    This IS NOT “politicking”…it is participating in the fashion of “justice” for God’s creation…

  • That Was Then

    Yes, your country needs a fully accessible public health system, not a patchwork of very expensive and confusing insurance options that still manages to leave many people unable to afford or utilize medical services.

    I have done some more reading on Obamacare, and it is no improvement on what currently exists. The fattened health insurance companies don’t want any changes unless it feeds them even more money.

  • Therese

    This NOT politicking. Our Catholic faith requires that we be informed and active in politics because that is putting our faith in to action. It is a convenient lie that these two concepts should be separate that pro-Obamanites use to try and shame us in to acquiescence. Government control of our health is not the best solution. Obamacare was planned and passed while refusing any and all input from any republicans. There are other, better solutions to the healthcare needs – the concept of subsidiarity would be an excellent start.
    Obama was NOT elected by a landslide – he squeaked in. He has ignored half of our citizens at every turn. He is the biggest mistake this country has ever made.
    You don’t tell us what your country is, but I will be willing to bet it is a socialist mess that promotes individual irresponsibility funded by government control. Chances are very high that you and your fellow citizens have contracepted yourselves out of a future TAX-PAYING generation that will subsidize your dependency into your old age. Who will still be around to take care of your son when the system caves in?!?!?!

  • That Was Then

    Contraception, like other drugs, is not paid for by our public health system, actually. Basic care such as access to doctors’ services and hospitals, is. If your child is sick, you don’t lose your house because of it. How is it irresponsible to have sick children, exactly?

    If you are lucky enough to have a private work health plan here, then most drugs are covered to some degree, just like in the U.S. That would include contraceptives. Following your argument, the only people having children are the poorest with no access to healthcare. That could be why the infant mortality rate in the U.S. is so high, compared to countries with some form of socialized healthcare.