Patterico's Pontifications


Obama: “They Have An Agenda”

Filed under: Government,Obama — DRJ @ 6:14 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Barack Obama objected to the influence of lobbyists in Washington as a Presidential candidate. For instance, during the Democratic primary in August 2007, Obama admonished Hillary Clinton for not admitting the threat lobbyists posed to her 1993 healthcare initiative:

“I disagree with the notion that lobbyists don’t have disproportionate influence. Look the insurance and the drug companies spent $1 billion in lobbying over the last 10 years. Now, Hillary, you were talking earlier about the efforts you made back in 1993. Well, you can’t tell me that that money did not have a difference. They are not spending that just because they are contributing to the public interest. They have an agenda.

Then in May 2008, during the general election, Obama skewered John McCain because he “can’t see or won’t acknowledge what’s obvious to all of us here today — that lobbyists aren’t just part of the system in Washington, they’re part of the problem.”

Now, today, Obama’s best hope to pass healthcare reform may be those very lobbyists he used to condemn his opponents:

A strong force, perhaps as powerful in Congress as President Barack Obama, is keeping the drive for health care going even as lawmakers seem hopelessly at odds.


The drug industry, the American Medical Association, hospital groups and the insurance lobby are all saying Congress must make major changes this year. Television ads paid for by drug companies and insurers continued to emphasize the benefits of a health care overhaul — not the groups’ objections to some of the proposals.”

Summing up: Obama opposes lobbyists, except when they support his agenda.

UPDATE 7/26/2009: In a significant change, the Obama administration will now allow lobbyists to meet and have telephonic discussions with government officials regarding economic recovery projects.” Now it’s the stimulus. Can healthcare be far behind?


23 Responses to “Obama: “They Have An Agenda””

  1. Another example of:

    “…that’s different™…”

    More to come, of course. And it’s interesting to watch the Left do the intellectual limbo to explain the hypocrisy.

    Short form: if a person with a “D” after their name does it, it is okay.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  2. Those groups are only doing so out of fear. They saw what happened to the automakers, and would rather have a hand in the demise of the system as opposed to simply letting the government take it over.

    JD (07b76c)

  3. Obama criticized what he said were tactics by opponents to block health care overhaul “as a way to inflict political damage on my administration. I’ll leave it to them to explain that to the American people.”

    When he says these things it makes his FAIL taste even more deliciouser.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  4. that popping sound you just heard was millions of irony meters all over the world, going into catastrophic failure all at once.

    Ear Leader couldn’t be funnier if he tried…… too bad it’s a destructive form of humor.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  5. wow. Baracka Obama is to fail what Skippy Gates is to charges of racism.

    The point of the proposal, however, was never to generate savings over the next decade.*

    ohnoes. Gosh if I were Barack Obama I would be so embarrassed how stupid my health care plan looked.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  6. Almost every issues has its lobbyists- when Obama says “lobbyists” he is most likely referring to a particular set of lobbyists who defend a particular set of entrenched interests: those in favor of the status quo on health care, those defending the privileges of a reckless financial industry.

    I don’t see how it’s hypocritical to work with lobbyists if the effect is to defeat the entrenched interests they represent.

    josef johann (400cf2)

  7. though it would be nice he laws could get passed without working with any lobbyists at all.

    josef johann (400cf2)

  8. cool idea. Hugo Chavez doesn’t work with lobbyists. Barack should ask him about that.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  9. I am not so sure they are working with him as much as they might be working against him. Unless he can get the house bill passed this week, the government option he really wants is dead in the water. After that anything Obama gets in terms of reform, he’ll grab and call it a victory. His polls are sliding, he doesn’t have the muscle behind him right now to ram anything down their throats. They’re going to ram the reforms they want and let him claim a victory. Anyway that’s my theory and I am sticking to it.

    Mary (1dc631)

  10. Josef, I know some lobbyists and they are by and large, very well informed people. Better informed than our legislators, I might add. My objection is not to them serving their constitutional function: petition the government for redress. I object to them writing the legislation. I also object when I suspect that they and the 25-year-old staffers are the only ones who have even read the bill.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  11. So, Josef, was Barcky not smart enough to explain that, because he never made any distinctions. Or, are you just looking for a way to make Teh One out to look good when it is obvious that he has danced all over so many of his promises?

    JD (bc26c4)

  12. Obama said:

    “They are not spending that just because they are contributing to the public interest. They have an agenda.“

    I think capitalism benefits the public interest but this confirms to me Obama doesn’t believe it can. I guess he thinks only community organizers and government do good things.

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  13. The biggest problem with the healthcare proposal is that the government will set minimum standards, and lobbyists are already at work making sure that their constituents are part of the “minimum”. This is a lot of what is making health insurance unaffordable already – that you can’t buy a plan stripped of things you don’t need.

    More discussion of the “5 Freedoms” you’ll lose here.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  14. Of course Da One has an agenda and it should be the goal of anyone who cares about the fiscal future of this country to oppose it.

    Joe (17aeff)

  15. Yeah Obama opposes lobbyists. Now how does he explain the hundreds of millions he raised from special interest groups, not to mention all those odd foreign contributions.

    No wonder he scrapes and bows to the Arabs.

    Thomas Jackson (8ffd46)

  16. Government spending and the number of lobbyists is directly related. Obama would be wise to reflect on that.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  17. In other words, you cannot stand at the trough all day, pouring in Giga-slops and yelling “Soooweeee” at the top of your lungs, and not expect pigs to show up.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  18. Summing up: Obama opposes lobbyists, except when they support his agenda.

    In other news: Water is wet, fire is hot, night is dark, and the sky is up…

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  19. As long as the Right to Petition the Government is in the Constitution, you’re going to have lobbyists.

    They are never going away.

    Techie (482700)

  20. “Those groups are only doing so out of fear.”

    Well actually, they are doing it out of lust to imitate our Canadian system.

    My dad needed an oxygen machine. Free! Canadian health care ‘gave’ him one. It was physically provided by a private company being paid by the government. It was a crappy old dinosaur that you Americans would no longer tolerate. Dad wanted a smaller one he could also use in his car. Internet research ensued, and cutting to the chase, the government was paying approximately 8 times the market rate to the private company for rental of the machine.

    The rate was set by some board of bureaucrats too damn stupid, corrupt and lazy to know or care that they were being flummoxed by the private company, which was raking in gigantic profits.

    Why should we Canadians be alone in suffering the ravages of socialism? I hope your Congress does pass Obamacare so you rich Americans can suffer too. You have gotten fat, lazy and stupid, apparently, and deserve a kick in the pants.

    Fred Z (f7d2b1)

  21. but there are good lobbyists and bad lobbyists.

    Good – those helping ME today
    Bad – those helping anyone else.

    the government was paying approximately 8 times the market rate to the private company for rental of the machine.

    Impossible under Obamacare. HIS plan only saves money. Perhaps we should give HIM to Canada to fix the problems.

    quasimodo (c6b42a)

  22. Until the government proves it can run Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA in an efficient, cost effective manner, there is not one single rational reason to think that they could manage the entire industry in such a manner.

    JD (3bd141)

  23. Lobbyists CAN be beat. CA voters proved that in May, to the bitter angst of politicians and the MSM.

    Peg C. (48175e)

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