Dr. Gruber regrets

Listening to MIT Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber testify before the House Oversight Committee yesterday, we were treated to the full panoply of the Watergate variations. The text of Gruber’s opening statement is posted here, C-SPAN video of the entire hearing is posted with automated transcript here.

Gruber groveled. Gruber regretted. Gruber apologized. Gruber was sorry.

Gruber pleaded guilty — to vacuous offenses against taste, such as inexcusable arrogance and inappropriate language intended to impress his audiences.

At critical points, of course, Gruber couldn’t recall. He couldn’t recall if he had heard his friends in the Obama administration discuss the need to conceal the Obamacare tax on health insurance.

And he spun unadulterated BS purporting to explain his previously straightforward account of the unavailability of Obamacare subsidies in states that failed to set up their own exchanges. Now that the issue is pending before the Supreme Court and Gruber’s account could harm the cause, the truth must be concealed by a bodyguard of lies.

I thought that Rep. Mike Turner took one of the most productive lines of inquiry with Gruber. The CNS News account of Turner’s examination is “Gruber admits referring to Obamacare as a tax” (accompanying video below).

Here are a few key questions and answers courtesy of the CNS News account going to the deceptions with which the law was sold:

“Did you ever speak to anyone in the administration who acknowledged that to you or explained that to you or who assigned a problem to you with the construct of that ‘we have to draft this in a tortured way so that we make sure CBO did not score the individual mandate as taxes?’ And you are under oath, Mr. Gruber. Did anybody in the administration have that conversation with you?” Turner added.

“That was an inexcusable term used by—” Gruber responded.

“I’m not asking you about how you believe whether or not you should have said that or not. It’s a factual statement you’re making. Did anybody in the administration ever have that conversation with you?” Turner asked.

“I do not recall anyone using the word tortured, no,” Gruber said.

“Did they have the conversation with you that it had to be drafted in a way that the CBO did not score the individual mandate as taxes – anyone in the administration? Acknowledge it, explain it, or assign aspects to you within that construct. You’re under oath?” Turner asked again.

“I honestly do not recall,” Gruber said.

When Gruber says, “I honestly do not recall,” the “honestly” puts screaming exclamation points on his lying.

Gruber’s lying is of course intended to conceal the truths he proclaimed in the videos that have made him famous. The lying is also intended to protect all the achievements wrought by all the other lies with which President Obama and his crew retailed Obamacare. Gruber is a loathsome specimen, but Obama richly deserves him. Insofar as perfection is possible in human affairs, Jonathan Gruber is the perfect face of Obmacare.

UPDATE: Glenn Reynolds links to good comments on Gruber’s performance by Peter Suderman (Reason) and Noah Rothman (Hot Air).

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