Newest Obama Smoke Screen: ‘Gives’ Drug Lobby ‘Seat at Table’

by Warner Todd Huston | August 7, 2009 2:09 am

The LATimes is once again trying to sell another Obama healthcare fairy tale to an unsuspecting public. This time, ABC is reporting that Obama has “given a seat at the table” of the healthcare debate to former Louisiana congressman Billy Tauzin who now represents some powerful drug companies. The Times is reporting this as if it is meaningful news. Unfortunately for all concerned it is not.

For the Times, Tom Hamburger starts off mentioning how Obama lambasted Tauzin and his lobbying interests during the recent presidential campaign but that he’s done an about face by inviting Tauzin to the White House on numerous occasions to discuss his industry’s needs concerning the healthcare policies Obama is trying to ram down everyone’s throat.

Since the election, Tauzin has morphed into the president’s partner. He has been invited to the White House half a dozen times in recent months. There, he says, he eventually secured an agreement that the administration wouldn’t try to overturn the very Medicare drug policy that Obama had criticized on the campaign trail.

Hamburger quotes Tauzin as telling the press that the deal he’s made with Obama is secure. “The White House blessed it,” he said.

But as I’ve noted before, Obama’s “deals” are empty of any standing as the so-called deals he’s made thus far have resulted in no actual benefit to anyone… except Obama’s false reputation as one who will “listen to all sides.”

Several powerful Congressmen have already said that since they were not included in any of Obama’s supposed deal making sessions with healthcare industry lobbyists, then they don’t feel any obligation to honor them. Further, since the White House has not actually participated in any of the actual legislation, since the administration has left all the details — and I do mean all of them — to Congress he has no real way to add his purported agreements to any legislation.

So, in truth this LAT report is meaningless. So why try to sell it? Well, it does serve several purposes, none of them as news.

First it burnishes Obama’s false reputation as the man that will “listen to all sides.” If he seems< to be dealing with friend and foe alike, why it seems as if he is a centrist looking only for what works. Does it matter if this is a smoke screen that is achieving nothing in reality? Apparently not.

Second, it serves as cover for more of the Old Media’s sycophancy for Obama. In this case, the Times can appear as if it is scolding Obama for his hypocrisy, but at the same time the folks at the Times know it is actually playing right into the false perception that Obama is a centrist. ABC gets to look as if it is spanking Obama but is at the same time burnishing his fake reputation so ABC gets to look as if it isn’t in the tank for Obama even though they are.

Of course, it is hypocritical of the president to have spent nearly four years lambasting what he then considered those eeeevil lobbyists and is now pretending at making deals with them. On the other hand, Obama knows full well that these deals are utterly meaningless. And, after all, he’s been caught lying dozens of times on dozens of issues, so why should he let a little charge of hypocrisy slow down his socialist juggernaut?

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