OPINION: Pelosi’s ‘Courage’ Award Should Be An ‘Obstruction’ Award

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Harlan Hill Contributor
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will have to take a quick break from running her political obstruction campaign in Congress so that she can be feted by her fellow liberals for demonstrating political “courage” with her efforts to advance her party’s ideological agenda.

The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation recently announced that Pelosi will be the recipient of its 2019 Profile in Courage Award for her efforts to impose socialized medicine on America and help Democrats retake the House of Representatives in the 2018 midterm elections.

“The 2019 Profile in Courage Award goes to Speaker Nancy Pelosi for putting the national interest above her party’s interest to expand access to health care for all Americans and then, against a wave of political attacks, leading the effort to retake the majority and elect the most diverse Congress in our nation’s history,” the foundation wrote.

Come again? Expanding the size of government and winning elections are both indisputably in “her party’s interest,” though there are tens of millions of Americans who would take issue with the claim that either of those things is in “the national interest.”

Giving Pelosi a courage award for putting “the national interest above her party’s interest” is almost as comical as giving the Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama, who accepted the award before actually doing anything about peace.

“It would be like giving someone an Oscar in the hope that he would one day make a good motion picture,” the late Christopher Hitchens said of Obama’s peace prize. “It’s a virtual award. It’s for good intent.”

Of course, assuming that the House speaker had “good intent” when she shoved Obamacare down the country’s throat would be a stretch.

It’s important to remember that the disastrous healthcare law forced Americans to buy health insurance by imposing penalties on those who failed to comply with the mandate — a draconian requirement that Trump wisely eliminated. Likewise, instead of making healthcare more affordable, Obamacare ended up raising insurance premiums across the country.

“Enrollment in individual-market coverage is now declining, despite tens of billions of dollars in federal subsidies,” the Heritage Foundation concluded in a comprehensive study last year. “The number of small firms offering health benefits to their workers dropped by 24 percent between 2012 and 2016. Premiums for individual coverage more than doubled between 2013 and 2017, and rates rose again in 2018.”

Those devastating and predictable outcomes were hardly in our “national interest,” but Obamacare did create a new constituency for the Democratic Party by turning healthcare into a federal entitlement. Indeed, campaigning on preserving that entitlement was a major part of the Democrats’ electoral strategy in 2018.

Scoring ideological victories that you expect to benefit your own political party isn’t courageous. Of course, neither is campaigning to help your party win an election, especially when that outcome enhances your own personal power, yet the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation seems to think it was a singular act of political courage.

It’s also something of a stretch to suggest that the new Democrat House majority has acted in the national interest under Pelosi’s leadership.

Are we supposed to forget that she is leading a nakedly partisan obstruction campaign to derail President Trump’s efforts to address the problems facing our country? Are we supposed to forget that her House committees are preparing to continue a political witch-hunt against the president even after he was cleared by the special counsel investigation?

In the end, the only award that Pelosi deserves to receive in 2019 is for partisan obstruction — not national “courage.”

Harlan Hill is president of the Logan Circle Group and an advisory board member for the Trump-Pence 2020 re-election campaign.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.