Editor's note: This column was co-authored by Bob Morrison.
The side-by-side comparisons of President Obama’s statements then and now are devastating. Especially the “period.” Period here is no punctuation mark. It’s a way of underscoring the word of the President of the United States.
"If you like your health care plan you'll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away no matter what."
June 15, 2009
"And I am sorry that they, you know, are finding themselves in this situation, based on assurances they got from me."
November 7, 2013
For him to have made such unqualified assurances to the American people—not once but dozens of times—and for us to learn that he always knew that promise could not be kept—will haunt his presidency. He has impeached himself.
The president’s word has been called “the coin of the realm.” Well, we don’t have a realm, and we have far fewer coins these days. But the point is made: His word has value. Or had value.
Of course, many opponents of this president will raise the specter of impeachment. The legislative process for enactment of ObamaCare was surely debauched by these knowingly false assurances. Of that there can be no doubt.
But we can set aside all talk of impeachment. In the latest campaign book, Double Down: Game Change 2012, by Mark Helperin and John Heilemann, we learn that President Obama never gave serious thought to dropping Joe Biden from the ticket. Small wonder. Joe Biden is Mr. Obama’s best insurance against impeachment.
Few noted it at the time he was selected, but the very choice of Joe Biden by then-Sen. Barack Obama was evidence of his inexperience. Obama had not hung around the Senate cloakroom long enough to discover what his colleagues thought of Joe Biden. In his nearly forty years in the Senate, not one of his fellow Democrats had ever suggested making Joe Biden their Senate leader. They all knew him too well.
We need to remember 1998. President Bill Clinton had unquestionably lied under oath. We had abundant evidence—too abundant—of his lies about “that woman, Miss Lewinsky.” He lied in a federal court deposition. For anyone else—especially for a businessman charged with sexual harassment—that act would be a felony.
In a Senate then nominally controlled by Republicans, with a president unquestionably guilty of perjury, we could not get a conviction and removal from office. Hint: Never try to impeach a president when gasoline is 99 cents a gallon.
So what should we do? Should we just meekly let this president and his minions get away with it?
Not in the least. There should be an unending chorus of opponents calling for REPEAL of ObamaCare. Columnist Charles Krauthammer argues that Mr. Obama himself is “toxic.” That may or may not be. His Gallup poll numbers are heading South, to be sure.
Delay ObamaCare is even the new cry of Democratic senators and congressmen. That’s funny. They could have had their delay if only they had crossed the aisle to join their Republican colleagues to vote for the delay. But they lined up in lockstep with the Obama administration, even though warned by outgoing Sen. Max Baucus that the rollout of ObamaCare would be “a trainwreck.”
The media is still happy to hang the blame for the 17-day government shutdown on the Republicans, and never on the Democrats who today are pleading for a delay.
The cry has to rise up from the American people, from sea to shining sea:
The president must work to regain the trust of the American people. If he really is sorry to have deceived us, he might start by taking down the false promises that continue to be made on the White House’s own website.
We might have a lot more confidence in government competence if the Obama administration could get even its own website up to date.