Read my lips. You can keep your health plan.


Barack Obama has presided over five years of a sickly economy, a doubling of the food stamp rolls, a contracting labor force, high unemployment, towering deficits and shrinking respect from both allies and enemies around the world. It’s a performance far worse than that of George W. Bush.

Yet while President Bush’s approval ratings headed straight for the cellar early in his second term, President Obama’s have, to a large degree, defied gravity.

Until now.

Americans were willing to let Bill Clinton slide on the charges that got him impeached. The country largely yawned at the Iran-Contra scandal of the second Reagan term. That’s because both Clinton and Reagan were presiding over robust economies.

Barack Obama is not. Which is too bad for him right now.

Against the backdrop of a persistently weak economy, the country has limited patience for the kind of gross incompetence as exhibited by the laughable-if-it-didn’t-have-the-police-power-of-the-state-behind-it Obamacare website rollout.

Moreover, Americans just now are in no mood for bad news as it impacts them personally. Thus, President Obama is in for a very rough ride as it pertains to the seven to 14 million people who have or will soon get cancellation notices from their health insurance companies.

Until Obamacare went “live,” most people viewed the debate on health care as purely political and mostly abstract. After all, health insurance economics may be an arcane topic for most people but everyone understands that eBay, Amazon, FedEx and all have functioning websites. (Amazon alone gets 70 million visits per day.)

Now it’s real. And the reality is causing heartburn for the Obama administration that will likely persist until the president’s term ends. That represents a jarring change of circumstances for the White House and by extension, the Democratic Party.

Until just now, President Obama has been able to float above the fray. His aloof style and almost sullen coolness were lauded by his supporters (which includes most of the media) as a sign of his high intellect and far-seeing vision.

No matter what happened – Fast & Furious gun running, massive corruption at the IRS, the wiretapping of Fox News reporters, death by terrorism at Benghazi – the president would simply speak from his perch at 30,000 feet and somehow avoid becoming connected to whatever ugly reality was down on the ground.

It took the Obamacare website fiasco to yank the president back to Earth.

The entire Obama persona – the hands-off relationship with Congress, the almost non-existent relationship with most of his cabinet, the aloofness, the Final Four brackets, the shooting of hoops. the playing of golf – are all suddenly looking a lot less like cool and a lot more like incompetence.

But the real bad news for Obama is that the dysfunctional website may actually be the least of it.

Six years of hopeful promises – including one promise in particular – are now coming home to roost on the White House lawn. The president is now seen as having broken a clearly stated and oft-repeated promise and the breaking of that promise is directly impacting real people with real names and real faces that are showing up on TV.

The promise embodied in, “Read my lips, no new taxes,” came to bedevil George H.W. Bush and the Republicans.

For President Obama, and the legacy he leaves for his Democratic Party successors, it will be, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan. Period.”

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Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of ATW Media, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The TEAM FM in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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4 Responses

  1. Linda E. Montrose says:

    The thing about telling people they could keep their health coverage meant nothing to obama then because at the moment those words rolled out of his mouth, he KNEW it was a lie! But a lie that he figured no one would blame him on! He had measures set into place at the time he got up in front of the whole nation and said that if people liked their coverage they could keep it, to insure that was not going to happen. obama knew the restraints and burdens he places on insurance company’s through obamacare would make it impossible for the companies to keep on as in the past. obama KNEW the insurance companies would be dropping coverages on people and having to increase their prices in order to stay in business. ALL this was planned from the inception of obamacare! Health coverage was NOT the intent of obamacare in the first place, just as many of us tried our best to warn people about! Now reality is hitting these people right between their eyes that the only one who has been lying here is obama! When you play in poop, the smell is going to get on you no matter what you do and right now, the stench up there in Washington is over powering! Every bit of it radiating right from around obama and his cronies!!! obama never figured on getting blamed for this shakedown of the American people. But obama is the one that owns the whole mess and should be held accountable for it!!!

  2. Ken Reynolds says:

    The problem is that most Americans, these days, cannot see through a snake oil salesman.

  3. R. Eagleman says:

    Most people do not want to believe that their president is a snake oil salesman, or even worse, someone who wants to destroy our country and our way of life. The main influences in his life have been Communists, Marxists, or those who feel victimized by our society and want reparations. The millions of Americans who voted for him could not have possibly looked at his credentials in the same way as they would if he weren’t Black; basically we are witnessing the performance of our very first affirmative action president. Although, I must admit, he is a very effective liar, his background of associations and accomplishments would have disqualified someone of another race. Our collective guilt feelings over the slavery in this country years ago have adversely influenced much of our rational thinking, so as a result, we now have a younger, more eloquent Rev. Al Sharpton running our country (into the ground I might add). Many of the Liberal pundits remind us that the A.C.A. was affirmed by the Supreme Court and the 2012 election; therefore it is legitimate. Let us also remember that one person, Justice Roberts, had to interpret the mandate penalty as a tax, so that the law could be considered constitutional, even though it is still being referred to as a penalty by Obama and his surrogates. Also, let us remember the suppression of the Tea Party contributions and voters by the I.R.S. had a very significant influence on the outcome of the 2012 election. Of course these are basically the same tactics that he has used throughout his political career in Chicago. We can only pray that those who have blindly supported this man will finally realize what is happening to the U.S.A. and to the best health care system in the world. If you are deceived once, shame on him. If you are deceived again and again, shame on you!

  4. RL. Dones says:

    We are being punished for re-electing Geo. Bush and running Mitt Romney instead of insisting on a true conservative

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