I read with interest your post, ‘Facts are stubborn things,’ citing “disinformation” about health insurance reform. To be honest, disinformation isn’t really necessary when it comes to HR 3200. The Democratic approach to the healthcare crisis is not only inept, it is unsound. Our current crisis in my opinion has been largely created by government entitlement programs.
And just in case any of the “Netrootsters” find my comments “fishy,” I’m addressing you directly with these remarks. That way you don’t have to spend government money finding me.
I’ll be honest. There’s a big chance I might let my concerns about HR 3200 slip during a “casual conversation” in a coffee shop or at the corner store. I talk to everybody—the diversity of our great country never ceases to fascinate me. I must share with you I talk to a lot of Democrats—most of my family and many of my friends and almost all my associates in the writing sphere pledge loyalty to your party. Many of them, by the way, don’t appreciate your health insurance approach either. And almost all of them are upset with your Party’s spending.
Mr. Phillips, are you acquainted with the Library of Congress? Amazing place. I’d really appreciate it if you’d visit the library and have a sit down with the United States Constitution. I assume you are on federal payroll, so I think it would be a great idea if you were to frame a copy of the Constitution and hang it above your desk. Because when you published your post, you made federal employee history.
You are the first federal employee I can recall to use The White House to so publicly and flagrantly trespass on the intent of our founders’ very first words in the sacred and technically legally binding document known as the Constitution. Here is one of the most egregious passages in your post: “There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.”
A number of media have run stories about your abuse of the first amendment. You didn’t get that far with me. You tripped over the very first paragraph in the Preamble. In the Preamble, “We the people” ordained and established the Constitution with a number of goals in mind. Among those goals: “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity…” At least one well-regarded conservative blogger believes you have abused a federal law.
Emails and private conversations are private. No government official, particularly an official working closely with the top executive in our land, should ever ask the people’s friends and neighbors to spy on behalf of partisan legislation. Your administration has shocked me before--questionable campaign donations and our president's own earmarks when he was in the Senate are real controversies blue chip media has ignored. But your little spy-on-your-neighbor project tops the list.
This may shock you, but Americans are not stupid. From the day laborer to the CEO, many of us are not ill-informed—technology has given us amazing tools for monitoring our government. We could not do that at key moments in our fiscal history, such as the time President Lyndon Johnson established Medicare and Medicaid. Both programs have moved consumers from the private to the public sector, increasing premiums and costs for those of us on private insurance plans. In addition, hospitals are required to provide medical care to people who come to our country under the radar, never bothering to observe federal law integral to maintaining our nation’s security. Federal programs have distorted the market. Furthermore, slack oversight has resulted in record fraud afflicting public programs. You don't have to take my word for that. It's documented by the FBI.
Healthcare is rightfully and logically the business of state government.
You may be miffed that your party cannot delude the populace with your own disinformation campaign. All politics is local as they say and you may be upset that constituents are actually trying to talk to the people they elect to represent them. And here’s a revelation. Once elected, that official is bound to represent voters from any political party, even if they are, as Dem California senator Barbara Boxer said, "well-dressed."
Democrats have done a poor job of explaining exactly what is in HR 3200—even our president’s news conference dispensed nothing more than rhetoric. If health reform fails, it will fail because your Party attempted to hoodwink the populace by passing a bill many in Congress admit they haven’t read.
Not one Democrat has talked about the constituency in the 45 million who do not obtain health insurance. Not one Democrat has talked about the long-term costs of HR 3200 or shared that the Congressional Budget Office has pointed out a negative impact on the vulnerability of minimum wage employees.
If our president wants to sell a plan to the people, he should have the bill on the teleprompter and use specifics. If our president wants to clear up “disinformation,” the smart tactic is to supply facts about HR 3200 rather than resorting to political rhetoric.
And above all, please remember, the Constitution provides ample restraints on what you and your Party can do to control private statements that seem “fishy” to you and the president. We are a free people.
Facts, Mr. Phillips, are “stubborn things” indeed.
Dear Mr. Macon Phillips at The White House blog: 'Facts are stubborn things'
by Kay B. Day
The US Report, Aug. 6, 2009