Thursday, August 6, 2009

There's Nothing Fishy Going On In The White House - This Time

The Obama Administration has drawn some fire for this blog post concerning health care.

Here is the offending passage in question:

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

GOP Senator John Cornyn accused the Obama Administration of drawing up an "enemies list." Meanwhile, Rush Limbaugh said the White House was looking for "tattletales", "snitches" and "informants."

I don't like being in the position of defending the Obama Administration but I believe Senator Cornyn and Limbaugh are overreacting in this instance. All the White House has asked for is for information via e-mail or the web "about health insurance reform that seems fishy." If the Obama Administration had asked for a broader set of information then I think there might be cause for concern.

Whether we like it or not, the Obama Administration has a particular set of objectives - the reformation of health insurance amongst them. For a variety of reasons Obamacare is not resonating with the public. If I were in Obama's shoes and had a specific policy I wanted to implement that I believed was being unjustly maligned I might take a similar tack. It's politically smart because it is a way to keep his political base mobilized. It is the sort of thing we ought to do if and when Republicans regain power.

There are instances when Obama has acted in a heavyhanded manner (Sgt. Crowley immediately comes to mind.) However, I don't believe this is one of them. The worst thing conservatives can do is come off as irrational and paranoid. If the Obama Administration is drawing up an "enemies list" I need much stronger evidence than this blog post. On the heels of the birthers controversy, it is best for conservatives to stick to the issues rather than accuse the Obama Administration of doing something sinister when they are not. So there's nothing fishy going on in the White House - this time.

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