Michele Walk discusses the tactics of the Obama Administration in the wake of the healthcare debate.
Michele Walk, Associate Editor
Ideology: Moderate | Writing from: Boxford, MA
The health care debate has reached a fever pitch in Washington, and President Obama has proven himself committed to passing health care reform regardless of the cost to his poll numbers or taxpayers. The plan has been estimated to cost over one trillion dollars, yet another expense was recently revealed to be levied on taxpayers: healthcare reform-related propaganda from the White House. Last week, to fight off the growing opposition and battle supposed misinterpretation of the still to be finalized reforms, the Obama Administration hired a private company to send out spam emails urging recipients to support the President’s healthcare plans. The emails weren’t paid for by Obama personally, or a related political action committee; they were financed with taxpayer dollars.
In the words of Michigan Congressman Thaddeus McClotter, this is just the latest attempt by President Obama in his “rabid campaign to jam [a]…health care scheme onto an unwilling public by any means necessary.” Over half of the country – Democrats, Republicans and independents – are opposed to the current plan, and President Obama seems unrelenting in his quest to convince the public to support his reforms. Rather than respond to their concerns and alter the plans accordingly, Obama continues to “stay the course” and ignore the will of the people he has pledged to represent. This is an unfamiliar situation for Obama; during the campaign he was often able to charm citizens into agreement with a fell swoop of his elegant rhetoric. Times have changed, though. President Obama will need much more than lofty prose to bring back a country that shifts against him more and more as the days wear on. He is becoming desperate.
When the American taxpayer is footing the bill, desperate times do not call for desperate measures. Serving in office is different from campaigning – a lesson that President Obama has not yet learned. During the campaign he could spend almost as much money as he wanted without fear of rebuke from his supporters. Unfortunately for Obama, the same does not apply to the taxpayer-supported Federal coffers. Despite this, the President finds it prudent to use the hard-earned money of the American people to peddle his wares without their consent and against their wishes.
There is another crucial difference between campaigning and serving in office that President Obama seems oblivious. Campaigning is about convincing voters of the correctness of a candidate’s positions, but serving in office is about reflecting citizens’ views and responding accordingly. Over the past few months, the American people have been strongly and loudly voicing their concerns about “Obamacare” to pollsters and at town halls across the country. While there is certainly a good deal of unwarranted hysteria over the proposed reforms, legitimate questions and opposing views to the President’s proposed plans for universal healthcare do exist. Refusing to drop the so-called “public option” and failing to recognize that other ideologies could have legitimate objections to his plan do not speak to representation, but to stubbornness on the Administration’s part. Not only is Obama asking the American people to listen to him more than he’s listening to us, he’s also using our own money to forge another mouthpiece. Obama, apparently, never left the campaign trail.