War on Women alert! Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid just called a female leukemia patient a liar. He evidently believes countless other women across the country who have reported unsatisfactory experiences with ObamaCare are liars, too.
You'd think Democrats would learn the importance of throwing a blanket over Harry Reid until they squeak through a tough election. This is not the desirable Face of the Party for such a... delicate moment. I doubt many imperiled 2014 Democrats - such as Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina, who dodged her own press conference to avoid answering questions about ObamaCare - are going to embrace Reid's tactic of claiming all the ObamaCare horror stories are false. "You're all lying scumbag tools of the Koch Brothers, now vote for me" is not a winning campaign slogan. Neither is "I sign off on monster bills I don't understand, and that's why you must return me to Congress."
Notice that Reid bases his broad claims upon one case, which has become the focus of much attention for weary ObamaCare defenders looking for something to rally around. The leukemia patient he refers to is named Julie Boonstra. Her story has already been "fact checked" about ten thousand times more thoroughly than anything the current President of the United States ever said or did. She appeared in an ad made by Americans for Prosperity - hence Reid's Koch Brothers fulminations. The ad is sharply critical of Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI), who is running for the Senate, and has been threatening action against media outlets that run the AFP spot.
Part of Boonstra's story is indisputable: she was indeed promised, over thirty times, by one Barack Hussein Obama that she would be able to keep the insurance plan she liked, but ObamaCare wiped it out, and getting new coverage wasn't easy, thanks to the lousy computer system Obama will end up blowing about a billion dollars of our money on, once the A Team finishes fixing the B Team's fixes to the C Team's unmitigated disaster.
Boonstra's more explosive claim is more difficult to sustain. She said her new Affordable Care Act plan made the medicine she needs to live "unaffordable," but the fact checkers - using those calculators they kept packed tightly away in mothballs when Obama was dumping one whopper after another on voters - say her monthly premiums declined enough to offset the higher out-of-pocket costs. There remain some questions about the cost and availability of certain medicines. You'll notice a lot of phrases like "might," "probably," and "could well" appearing in the fact checks.
Boonstra says this unpredictability is one of the things she finds distressing about ObamaCare, but let's be blunt: the AFP ad said "unaffordable," not "unpredictable," and nobody should be surprised by how much hay Democrats are making out of the difference.
Nor should anyone be surprised that she's getting the kind of scrutiny Obama's human props never receive - if memory serves correctly, the White House eventually began refusing to identify the props, because even the minimal interest our mainstream press displayed in verifying their claims proved too much of an annoyance. The press seems generally content with this arrangement, politely sparing ObamaCare supporters the kind of treatment Julie Boonstra is getting.
Fair enough to point that out, but please, let's stop acting surprised that such double standards exist, or waiting for some cosmic referee to throw a yellow flag on the play. No one who remembers the fate of the plumber who dared to ask Barack Obama a tough question should be shocked by the cross-examination of this leukemia patient. She says she intends to keep speaking out, so in a few weeks we'll know more about her than we know about the President of the United States, possibly including the release of some records she thought were "sealed."
Yes, conservative groups and unhappy ObamaCare sufferers, you must live up to a level of rigorous accuracy vastly higher than anything faced by the people who gave us this multi-trillion-dollar boondoggle. No, it's not fair. Stop waiting for fair. It's not coming.
As for Reid's larger "all of the horror stories are untrue" strategy, maybe that is the only way for Democrats to escape accountability for what they have done. They've got to break America on the rack. They've got to make us formally renounce the evidence of our senses. This isn't about anything resembling persuasion or democracy any more - remember, the official Democrat Party position is that ObamaCare is a super-duper-ultra law that's even harder for elected representatives to modify or waive than the Constitution itself, although the imperial President can do so at will. (That power will be instantly and completely rescinded if his successor is a Republican, of course.) The Democrats can't win by convincing you to like ObamaCare; they win by surviving the backlash, preventing voters from focusing resistance enough to win a steep uphill battle for repeal.
The game is now all about suppressing dissent, forcing everyone to Embrace Teh Suck. Not long ago, Democrats were swearing up and down that hardly anyone was losing their insurance; before that, they said Healthcare.gov worked great, its only real problem being an unexpectedly heavy traffic load caused by its incredible popularity. They tried claiming nobody would lose their jobs because of ObamaCare, and when that fiction became impossible to sustain, they said it was awesome that fewer people will work because of the ACA - why, that was one of its delightful hidden goals all along! The will of the public can be subdued by pushing it to accept things it knows are untrue. Can Democrats survive 2014 by putting voters on the table until they swear to God they see five lights?
Update: Further warmth from Harry Reid, who longs for the days of McCarthyism, provided he gets to be the one deciding who is "un-American."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Wednesday that the conservative Koch brothers are "un-American."
Responding to ads being run by a Koch-backed group against Obamacare, Reid said the ads go too far and that Charles and David Koch are trying to "buy" America.
"It's too bad that they're trying to buy America, and it's time that the American people spoke out against this terrible dishonesty of these two brothers who are about as un-American as anyone I can imagine," Reid said on the Senate floor.
On the other hand, money from that Yankee Doodle Dandy George Soros is just wonderful, positively dripping with good-old fashioned patriotic virtue. Not that anyone should try confusing Harry Reid with facts, but the Koch Brothers are not even in the top 10 political donors. To be specific, they're Number 59. Eighteen of the donors ahead of them on the list are labor unions that donate heavily to people like Harry Reid.
Update: Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) of the House Ways and Means Committee fires back at Reid:
Just when I thought the Leader of the Senate couldn???t possibly become more out of touch with the American people, he regrettably proves me wrong. By claiming that all of the tragic stories currently unfolding from coast are coast due to Obamacare are somehow fake, Harry Reid is attacking the integrity of countless victims of a terrible law that he helped force onto a country that never wanted it.
Having heard from so many of my constituents about the personal consequences that the health care law is having on their lives, I cannot help but find Mr. Reid???s remarks profoundly insulting. Perhaps if he truly believes what he has said, he could pick up the phone and console those in my District injured by the law ??? from a mother and daughter in Hermitage to a small business owner in Fairview to a waitress in Butler ??? and convince them that all their higher premiums, reduced hours, and cancelled plans are just the products of their imagination.
Otherwise, he should reconsider his offensive charge and confront the brutal effects that Obamacare is having on our nation and work with my colleagues to forge a solution.