Obama’s Chicago-style Politics of Reward, Punish, Blackmail

Karl Rove’s “ObamaCare Rewards Friends, Punishes Enemies” is a must-read.  The title, of course, hearkens back to Obama telling Latino voters to “punish our enemies.”

In the rest of that sentence, Obama–perhaps inadvertently–shared his own philosophy of politics:  He told them to think of the election in these terms:  “‘We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us'” [emphasis in original].  At the time, we all focused on the “punish our enemies” portion of this statement.  But the entire thing reveals a calculating, cynical, and unethical stance.

We know that there had been, by early December, 222 waivers issued (who knows what that’s up to now), and we know that those went mostly to unions and other Obama supporters/contributors, including those whose support for that monstrosity of a bill was baffling at the time..  What Rove suggests is that this administration is likely to cross a line into potentially-illegal and certainly corrupt activities:

The AARP and other Medigap providers can require a waiting period before seniors with pre-existing conditions have to be covered. Insurers covering those under 65 cannot.

The AARP is also exempt from the new law’s $500,000 cap on executive compensation for insurance executives. (The nonprofit’s last CEO received over $1.5 million in compensation in his last full year, 2009.) It won’t pay any of the estimated $14 billion in new taxes on insurance companies, though according to its 2008 consolidated financial statement, it gets more money from its insurance offerings than it does from dues, grants and private contributions combined. Nor will it have to spend at least 85% of its Medigap premium dollars on medical claims, as Medicare Advantage plans must do; the AARP will be held to a far less restrictive 65%.

It’s not hard to connect the dots. The Obama administration is using waivers to reward friends. On the flip side, business executives will be discouraged from contributing to the president’s opponents or from taking any other steps that might upset the White House or its political appointees at HHS.

In light of the past two years of Obama’s horrendous hyper-partisanship, petulant attitude to anyone who disagrees with him (from the U. S. Chamber of Commerce to Fox News to American citizens, up to and including his own “sanctimonious” base), long list of backroom deals/bribes (including illegally offering jobs for political gain), and petty, dishonest attacks on any and all “enemies,” I think that Rove might well be on to something.  Using health care waivers to “leverage” opponents into . . . not being opponents (?!) is a despicable abuse of power.

Mr. Issa may want to add to his already-lengthy investigation list, and I would add an investigation into the long list of illegal foreign contributions that flowed into Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.  How many foreign friends is Obama “rewarding”?  What form are these “rewards” taking?  And are these nations and individuals friends of America or only of Obama? 

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cross-posted at Potluck

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8 thoughts on “Obama’s Chicago-style Politics of Reward, Punish, Blackmail

  1. I am not real hot to trot on investigating Mr. O. He's got his lawyers, we got ours. He is a lawyer himself, and probably believes that he is compliant with the law. He will argue that, if pressed to.

    If we start investigating every previous administration once we gain control of congress, where does it stop? Once we lose congress (and we will, is the Pope Catholic?), then the left, their Justice Department and their lawyers will be investigating the GOP. And around and around it goes.

    Just leave Barry alone, vote him out and let history do the rest.

  2. @Kerry, yes, there's a loooooong list of activities that Mr. Issa is investigating. YAY!

    @Fredd, I would agree if we were talking about investigating a previous admin. We are not. Much to my chagrin, BO is still president (if not still a lawyer).

  3. Fuzz:

    I still think that once congress changes leadership (not administrations, my error), criminalizing the previous congress and its leaders is a dangerous game.

    That's what banana republics do: hang the previous government from the rafters.

  4. @Odie, heh

    @TCL, yes, I agree, the czars must go, in this admin and in every other admin. Czars fundamentally undermine checks and balances between powers.

    @Trestin, barely

    @Fredd, so you are suggesting that Congress and presidents/admins have immunity for anything they decide to do while in power? I have a feeling the Chicago thug machine and progressives bent on using any means necessary to subvert and topple America would heartily agree.

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