By Jeffrey Lord on 1.17.13 @ 6:09AM
Hollywood, medicine, taxes, guns, and Harry Reid: consequences and double standards.
So there was Quentin Tarantino yukking it up with Barack Obama.
The Hollywood director was on stage with the-then Senator Obama at a 2008 Hollywood rally laughing away as Obama dismissed charges that he was a thorough-going leftist. Why, said the Senator, you can’t imagine the things my opponents will say.
“It’s the typical response against a movement for change,” said Obama.
“There is always some reason that they will try to convince you not to believe what you feel in your gut. They will try to bamboozle you, and hoodwink you, run the okey-doke on you.”
And ole Quentin, sharpie that he is, was reported as having “hooted and applauded,” laughing right along with the then-presidential candidate.
Until last week.
When the liberal Obama-supporting film director angrily discovered his First Amendment right to make the films of his choice was suddenly under attack.
When an interviewer, that would be Krishnan Guru-Murthy of the UK’s Channel 4 — in theory interviewing Tarantino about his latest, the Oscar nominated shoot’em up Django Unchained —
asked Tarantino “Why do you like making violent movies?”… the conversation quickly jumped the rails.
“Why does Judd Apatow like making comedies?” the guileless director responded, breezily describing movies as a fantasy. Guru-Murthy kept prodding when the light suddenly went on for Mr. Hollywood.
“I don’t want to talk about the implications of violence,” Tarantino abruptly snapped.
Then came the hammer. (And we will highlight the relevant parts of Obamaquences in bold.)
Guru-Murthy: “….and the Vice President is talking to people in the movie industry today about violence in response to…”
QT: “And you know where I stand on it.”
GM: “Which is that there is no relationship.”
GM: But you haven’t said why you think there’s no relationship…
QT: It’s none of your damn business what I think about that.
GM: Well…it’s my job to ask you why you (garbled)
QT: And I am saying no. And I am shutting you down.
GM: But you have a responsibility, the filmmaker should, to explain a little bit (garbled).
QT: No, I don’t have any responsibility to you to explain anything I don’t want to.
GM: Well not to me. But to your viewers, to your fans.
QT: They know where I’m coming from…..
And so it went for just over eight minutes.
Three cheers to Quentin Tarantino for defending his First Amendment rights. Which is exactly — and instinctively as an American — what he did when he responded to this lovely Englishman that “It’s none of your damn business what I think about that” and “No, I don’t have any responsibility to you to explain anything I don’t want to.”
But there’s more going on here than just this back-and-forth between a British interviewer and a Hollywood director.
The other day, The American Spectator’s David Catron wrote an eye-opening piece — this one here “A Pimp for Obamacare Feels the Pain.”
In which Catron, a professional in the health care revenue business, tells the tale of an anonymous but vociferous liberal doctor who was one of a handful out there in blogland supporting Obamacare.
The crux? Here’s Catron:
Among them was an ER physician who writes under the nom de plume “Shadowfax.” This particular “docblogger” stands out in my memory because he was peculiarly uninformed about the nuances of the issue and yet utterly dismissive of anyone, including other physicians, who attempted to make him understand that he would one day regret advocating an increased government role in medicine. I occasionally crossed swords with him myself, but it was an exercise in futility. Like most soi disant progressives, this self-satisfied sawbones couldn’t imagine that he might be on the wrong side of this or any other issue.
This unshakable belief in his own infallibility regarding government-administered health care was partly due to his hopelessly naïve view of Medicare, which he called “the most successful government program ever.” Never mind that this “success” had produced a $38 trillion unfunded liability, it was somehow “more efficient than private insurance.” Imagine my surprise, then, when I looked at the byline for this scathing piece bemoaning the depredations of that very program. The outraged author of “Medicare made the rules and now punishes doctors for following them” is none other than the redoubtable Shadowfax.
“Shadowfax” as the liberal doctor billed himself, has
…finally discovered what I and others told him years ago: Medicare rules are, as he apparently now realizes, “arbitrary and disconnected from reality.” He has also noticed that, when a physician runs afoul of these bureaucratic vagaries, the government is the judge, jury, and executioner. The immediate cause of his disillusionment is Medicare’s trick of performing a superficial audit of a doctor’s billing practices and, based on a hopelessly flawed statistical sampling method, accuses him of fraud.
Shadowfax querulously explains: “You get a letter from the Medicare … telling you that you’ve been reviewed, found guilty of upcoding, and this finding, based on a handful of charts, is extrapolated back several years.” The term “upcoding” is industry jargon indicating that a provider has submitted a claim using codes that produce inappropriately high payment. It’s rarely done deliberately, assuming it has actually occurred, but that doesn’t matter. “The result is a large demand for reparations, usually in the mid-to-high six figures. The physician group can either write a check or lawyer up and argue it chart by chart.”
So. One liberal Hollywood director angrily reacting to an attack on his First Amendment right to make his films the way he wants to make them. One liberal doctor furiously complaining about the government intruding on his practice of medicine.
The other day, Rush Limbaugh brought this one to the attention of his audience. It seems that among the stunned out there who are discovering the Obama mantra of “tax the rich” has just resulted in a rise in the payroll tax for the “non-rich” was one blogger over at the Democratic Underground. Wrote the furious liberal:
What happened that my Social Security withholding’s in my paycheck just went up? My paycheck just went down by an amount that I don’t feel comfortable with. I guarantee this decrease is gonna hurt me more than the increase in income taxes will hurt those making over 400 grand. What happened?
Good question. And there is an answer to the fury of the three liberals cited here — the Hollywood director Mr. Tarantino, the doctor “Shadowfax” and the Democratic Underground taxpayer.
What these three have just experienced in their own hands-on lives— and most assuredly they will not be the last — is what we will call here “Obamaquences.” Defined as discovering up-close-and-personal the hard core effects of the Obama presidency.
These liberals are suddenly furious about their First Amendment rights (Tarantino), Medicare rules (the doctor Shadowfax), and the government simply confiscating part of a paycheck as a result of Obamanomics (the liberal taxpayer.)
Suffice to say, the reaction of these three are a drop in the ocean compared to what’s coming.
Let’s be clear here. To say that there are consequences for one’s actions is one of the oldest, if frequently the most ignored, pieces of human wisdom. Anyone and everyone winds up dealing with the consequences of actions they have taken in their personal and professional lives. Everyone has heard of the drug addict who wishes they could rethink that first interlude with whatever drug led them down the path to addiction. Having that first date with the attractive woman/man who turned out to be a disaster as a spouse. Taking the great job that wound up as a sentence with the boss from hell. And so on.
The problem with these kind of mistakes when they are made on the macro-level in government is that millions wind up paying the price. Millions who inevitably think back years later and ruefully if not angrily wonder “why did I ever vote for so-and-so?” when the results of their earlier political decision comes home to roost like the Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s proverbial chickens.
But is there one exception to the rule of Obamaquences?
The Rule of the Liberal Double Standard?
Wouldn’t you know that exception is wonderfully illustrated by none other than Harry Reid. And yes, Barack Obama.
The other day, Bob Tyrrell did a very astute column titled “What Crime Has Harry Reid Committed?”
Tyrrell points out the obvious: The law requires Congress to pass a budget. Reid has refused to do so. Consequences? None. Zip. Senator Reid can just willfully ignore the law — and no big deal.
The second glaring example?
The NRA has put out a commercial asking, “Are the President’s kids more important than your kids?” It points out the obvious. Here is President Obama scoffing at armed guards in schools — while his kids are protected by armed guards at their school.
No one is saying the Obama kids shouldn’t be protected — but what about the rest of America’s kids? Obviously, for liberals, one can only assume the safety of your kids is no big deal.
In other words: there will be no Obamaquensces for Harry Reid or Barack Obama. They can violate the law (the budget law, in Reid’s case) or flagrantly have one standard for the Obama kids while rejecting it for yours — and nothing happens.
At this moment one of the nation’s bestsellers is the final volume of William Manchester’s three-volume history of Winston Churchill. As the story goes, author Manchester, in failing health (and he eventually died), tapped a friend, journalist Paul Reid, to finish his book when it became impossible for Manchester to do so. Reid has done this in magnificent style, Winston Spencer Churchill: Defender of the Realm 1940-1965 as was noted here by our own Bob Tyrrell as being a superb book. Manchester would be proud.
What does this have to do with Obamaquences?
As one reads the detailed and terrifying account of the Battle of Britain — the literally murderous days in 1940 when Hitler’s Luftwaffe appeared repeatedly and en masse over the skies of Britain, London in particular — one can only be astonished at the wide and emotional support for Churchill. Why? Because it was only a handful of years earlier that Winston Churchill was a thoroughly reviled man, not the least by his own set of back-to-back Conservative prime ministers, Stanley Baldwin and Neville Chamberlain.
Churchill earned this approbation because he insisted — with considerable precision not to mention an alarmed common sense — that the Baldwin/Chamberlain policy of appeasing Hitler would eventually bring grievous consequences to the British people.
No one listened.
And the day finally arrived.
The consequences showed up.
As Manchester/Reid describe with brutal clarity, the assault on Britain that Churchill had warned of for years began on July 10, 1940, as 20 German medium bombers, escorted by two-dozen fighters and forty Messerschmitts began with an attack on shipping in the English Channel — just off the famed white cliffs of Dover. The assault would soon move inland, and be widened from military targets to civilians. On September 7, a thousand Nazi planes darkened the skies over London in what came to be called “The Blitz.” Docks were destroyed, ships sunk in the Thames, the civilians in the East End running for cover as bombs literally rained down setting their homes and neighborhoods ablaze. Hundreds were killed — and that was only the first day of attacks on London. By the end of the first week of this 5,000 East Enders fled London, “their possessions fit into kerchiefs and pillowcases.”
The Nazi attacks kept coming, mercilessly. Three bombs smashed into Buckingham Palace, just missing the King and Queen. During September alone thousands of tons of bombs descended on to the sudden hell that was now London. Fires were everywhere. Bombs — 2,200 pound naval mines — were parachuted down onto the city. London’s rail system was mostly destroyed, gas lines were demolished, as was the city’s main sewage pipe, making of the Thames River an open sewage system. Shards of glass were everywhere. Now incendiary bombs were being dropped by the thousands, 70,000 in one night alone, making of a city built with brick and wood an inferno.
One day in early December, after the House of Commons had been hit, a Member of Parliament showed up to survey the damage. To his shock he discovered Churchill, sadly wandering the rubble. The MP was instantly struck by the irony. For almost a full decade Churchill had stood in this very building issuing warning after warning after warning of what lie ahead for Britain and for London if Hitler were not stopped. In return he was mocked, ridiculed, ignored, and at one point threatened by party leaders with the loss of his seat in Parliament if he didn’t stop opposing first Baldwin and then Chamberlain. The two men and their entourages Churchill briskly dismissed as “the appeasers.”
Now, here was Churchill, surveying the literal wreckage of the House of Commons. A rubble that was a direct result of all those years in this very place when he had done everything in his power to warn of the consequences that lie ahead. Walking amidst the ruin, with thousands of his countrymen literally dead in their own homes, Churchill was surveying the consequences he had well predicted.
Chamberlain? He lay dying of cancer, with the full knowledge he would forever be disgraced in history. Of his predecessor and fellow appeaser Stanley Baldwin? As the bombs reigned down on London a furious critic wrote:
…what can this man think in the still watches of the night, when he contemplates the ordeal his country is going through as the result of the years, the locust years, in which he held power?
The once popular prime minister was now so unpopular that Churchill quietly noted “it would have been much better had he never lived.”
What does this have to do with today?
Barack Obama is rapidly on his way to becoming the Neville Chamberlain or Stanley Baldwin of America.
A wildly popular leader whose spectacularly bad judgment was once hyped and hailed as great vision — only to have the inevitable consequences of these spectacularly bad policy choices come crashing down around him.
Not to mention all the rest of us.
Quentin Tarantino isn’t laughing anymore.
Nor is Shadowfax the doctor.
Nor is the liberal taxpayer.
They will not be alone.
Jeffrey Lord is a former Reagan White House political director and author. He writes from Pennsylvania at email@example.com.
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