“When I was quite a young boy . . . I got to know what umbleness did, and I took to it. I ate umble pie with an appetite. I stopped at the umble point of my learning, and says I, ‘Hard hard!’ When you offered to teach me Latin, I knew better.”
Jonathan Gruber probably walked away from the Tuesday’s House Oversight Committee hearing with some smug satisfaction that he had endured a dragging over the coals without really being responsive to the committee, while projecting himself as completely contrite. But Americans, who contrary to Gruber’s assumption are far from stupid, surely saw through his humility act.
Republicans achieved their mission, showcasing Gruber – or more accurately, allowing him to showcase himself – as the slippery shyster behind the Obamacare fraud that was perpetuated on the American people.
Responsive he wasn’t. He wouldn’t divulge what taxpayers paid him and refused to provide documents related to his pay or his work on Obamacare, though he is going to be subpoenaed for all of this. And he refused to even get into whether the administration, as he claimed in videos, intentionally deceived Americans by presenting the Obamacare mandate as a penalty and not a tax and obscuring that Obamacare was a wealth transfer from the healthy to the sick.
But his artful dodges revealed his artifice.
The most telling moment came during questioning by Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., who repeatedly tried to get Gruber to fess up to the deceit behind Obamacare. Gruber dodged the question by using his preconceived strategy of apologizing until a threatening question went away, saying he was “glib,” “hurtful,” “trying to make myself seem smarter,” used “inexcusable language,” had “inexcusable arrogance,” and was “trying to conjecture on political topic on which I’m not an expert.”
But note in the video below how his determined repetitions begin to make his apologies sound utterly inauthentic.
There he is, Uriah Heep himself, slathering on the humility. Dickens knew of the Grubers of the world 160 years ago.
Yes, Jonathan should never have been trying to speaking Latin, or the language of politicians!
And then there was the obvious lie, coaxed forward by Chairman Issa, that Gruber didn’t mean what he said when he clearly and emphatically stated in 2012 that citizens of states that don’t set up exchanges would not receive their Obamacare subsidies.
“The point I believe I was making was about the possibility that the federal government, for whatever reason, might not create a federal exchange,” Uriah peeped.
Well, let’s go to the videotape. Gruber was unequivocal in 2012 that states without exchanges wouldn’t have access to subsidies, and he was clear that he expected the federal exchange to be set up, even if the feds might be slow-walking it a bit.
This is critical, because the biggest threat to Gruber’s Obamacare scheme is now a case headed to the Supreme Court that could, as the law states it must, deny subsidies to those living in the 36 states that did not set up exchanges. That would be it for Obamacare.
As a bonus insult, still assuming the American people to be stupid, Gruber tried to reinterpret Obama’s repeated false statements that people could keep their plans and their doctors.
“I interpreted the president’s statements to mean that the vast majority of Americans would not be affected by the Affordable Care Act,” Gruber said. Except, Obama didn’t say “the vast majority.” And the minority left after you take out the “vast majority” in our vast country could include millions of people, so Obama would still be trying to suggest something was inconsequential that actually was not.
There was a moment, though, that we saw a small crack in the facade, got a view of the arrogance burning beneath the veil of fake humility. It was when Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, requested documents from Gruber related to his work on Obamacare.
“Do I have documents? I have all sorts of documents,” Gruber responded. “I have a piece of paper in front of me.”
He just couldn’t resist Heeping some condescension onto his unworthy inferiors.