Monte Kuligowski
Why Obama should lead the charge to repeal Obamacare
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By Monte Kuligowski
November 21, 2010

There's been a lot of ink spent on the rigidity of Obama's political ideology. Little doubt remains that the 44th president is a left-wing ideologue in the strictest sense of the term. The lessons on pragmatism from President Clinton, many conclude, will not be embraced by Brazen Barry.

Bill Clinton toyed with the idea of a federal healthcare scheme and after its sound rejection, followed by a midterm thumping, the president moved to the center of the political spectrum. In so doing, Clinton saved his presidency and cooperated with Republicans in lowering taxes and bringing about a notable degree of welfare reform.

It's been stated, and for good reason, that Obama will not move an inch to the center. Most likely, he will engage in his perfected art of saying one thing and doing the exact opposite. We likely will see Obama calling for show meetings with Republicans. We might see Obama demands for bipartisanship; Obama speeches on bipartisanship; and Obama summits on bipartisanship. The White House propaganda machine will likely work to reestablish the myth of Obama as the great bipartisan, and dare they try, even post-partisan uniter of all people.

Of course, as we've already learned, to Obama bipartisanship means agreeing with Obama.

If he continues on his stubborn course he will likely guarantee his defeat in 2012. Remaining an inflexible ideologue, armed with naked rhetoric, would provide a plethora of opportunity for Republicans. Political gridlock would give the opposition party plenty of time for Congressional investigations of the Obama administration and select Democrats wading in corruption. An investigation of those who oversaw Freddie and Fannie and caused the collapse of the U.S. economy via the mortgage crisis comes to mind for a starter.

The Republicans would also have opportunity to introduce bills which would get the support of the majority of voters; but the veto pen of President Obama. Repeal of Obamacare would likely be a bill of top priority. The opposition party would effectively have two years to produce material for campaign ads for the 2012 presidential and Congressional races.

The Republicans also have the ability to withhold funding for Obamacare while waiting for 2012.

Even if the Republicans (and sensible Democrats) fail to derail Obamacare and eventually repeal it, a good possibility exists that the law will be struck down by the federal courts. The individual mandate is a real constitutional problem and we must not forget that the bill was rushed through in such frantic fashion that the Congress forgot to add a "severability clause." That was a huge oversight. The legal consequence is that if any part of the law is found to be unconstitutional the entire law is likely to die.

Consequently, Obama might want to take the high road and lead the charge to repeal government controlled health care. I know it's his signature achievement; but repealing it could be his signature moment of restoring credibility.

I can almost hear the reader laughing, because it's just so unlikely. Presently, Obama is solidifying his persona as an arrogant, out-of-touch president. His explanation for the midterm shellacking is that (1) he didn't do a good enough job communicating the virtues of his policies; (2) the voters acted irrationally; and (3) it was the economy stupid — if only he had loaded the country down with another trillion in "stimulus" debt the jobs would have materialized!

If the president were to escape from his close-minded tunnel of narrow vision and accept reality there might be enough impressionable moderates out there to revive his presidency. Imagine Obama having an Oval Office broadcast from which he, without a teleprompter, looks America in the eye and acknowledges the will of the people.

Imagine Obama admitting that he gets it and in the best interests of the country, announcing that we need to scrap the ill-conceived healthcare law and start from scratch with actual bipartisanship. No more secrecy and backroom dealing; no more votes on Christmas Eve at the midnight hour and no more deceit.

Imagine Obama apologizing for his bully and bribery tactics. Mr. Obama might want to specifically apologize for proposing a plan (the Cornhusker Kickback) to bribe Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) into voting for Obamacare. Of course, he would also need to apologize for buying Sen. Mary Landrieu's (D-LA) vote (the Louisiana Purchase) with $300 million in taxpayer dollars.

Imagine Obama apologizing for disregarding his promise of transparency. Or, for signing thousands of pages of government control and undetermined bureaucratic powers into law without any lawmaker on record as having read the bill. Obama would have to apologize for his long list of misrepresentations, including the myths that we could keep our doctors and current healthcare plans; that costs would go down not up; that abortion would not be funded; and on and on. Obama might even want to apologize to Joe Wilson for having to apologize for his truthful outburst.

Yes, it would be difficult for any man possessing Obama's level of baseless arrogance to humble himself.

But the "dude" president would have nothing to lose. There is a good chance that Obamacare will be shot down one way or the other anyway.

With that in mind, if Obama were to yield to the American people, admit mistakes, hit the reset button and put together a coalition of true bipartisan support, he would probably regain his savior status with the hope and change crowd.

Chris Matthews might even get a new thrill going somewhere in his body.

© Monte Kuligowski

 

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Monte Kuligowski

Monte Kuligowski is an attorney and writer whose legal scholarship, including "Does the Declaration of Independence Pass the Lemon Test?" (Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy), has been published in several law journals... (more)

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