“When you repeat something of substance you know not to be true, you’re lying,” writes former Romney strategist Stuart Stevens regarding Obama’s broken if you like your plan, you can keep it pledge. “And that’s the simple reality: one of ‘the most memorable’ promises of the Obama presidency was simply a lie.”
“Why did he do it? The obvious answer,” Stevens says, is that Obama “didn’t tell the truth because he feared the consequences of telling the truth. If people knew they might lose their coverage, it would have made the Affordable Care Act more difficult to pass.”
But this theory isn’t just coming from Stevens who — let’s be honest — may justifiably have an axe to grind (he did lose to an election to Obama based, at least partly, on this lie).
If Obama feared telling the truth might doom his legislation, history implies that wasn’t an irrational fear.
Consider this excerpt from the Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty’s latest piece:
“Obama ‘was sort of overlearning the lessons of Hillary Clinton’s time on health care. What destroyed Hillary Clinton’s plan was that people became convinced they were going to lose their health care,’ said Elaine Kamarck, who was a White House aide at the time and now heads the Brookings Institution’s Center for Effective Public Management.
“‘The one lesson that was learned about messaging was that you had to guarantee people that nothing will change,’ she said.”
The ends justify the means.