Dana Milbank’s piece on the Gruber testimony is worth a read:  The Jonathan Gruber hearing was a zany coda to Darrell Issa’s tumultuous tenure.

His summary of the events are not that different than this report from Fox News:  Gruber apologizes for ‘mean and insulting’ ObamaCare comments and this one from The HillGruber grilled at marathon hearing.

Mostly it sounds like a child being take over to apologize to the neighbors for tp’ing their house.

It is unclear to me what the point was supposed to have been (save to further embarrass Gruber and to create cable news and talk radio fodder).

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. al-Ameda says:

    It is unclear to me what the point was supposed to have been (save to further embarrass Gruber and to create cable news and talk radio fodder).

    Exactly. This is a very low-grade Kabuki.

    Also, I’m shocked, absolutely shocked, that the Administration did not want to use the word “tax” to describe what could definitely be construed as a “tax.” No Administration has ever done that.

    Apart from that, I’m not sure that Gruber was wrong in describing the American people as stupid – periodic polling shows us that many, many Americans are generally stupid and uninformed on many issues, and on the basic facts of American history and our system of government. The problem is that he said it, and Republicans are predictably offended (as they are about just about everything.)

  2. CB says:


    “Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.”

  3. gVOR08 says:

    @al-Ameda: As you may have seen me say more than once, the electorate are a box of rocks.

    Scott Adams, the guy who does Dilbert, talks about “induhviduals”. His point is that nobody can be smart about everything. Everybody has subjects they are not interested in, and about which they know little. So everybody’s stupid about something. Most people take no serious interest in politics. If the average middle class white guy took half the time he spends on sports and spent it on current events, history, econ, etc. we’d have a completely different country.

    This leads to the question, how did Gruber at al mislead anyone when no one was paying any attention?

  4. Gustopher says:

    Gruber is this year’s Saul Alinsky.

    He means nothing to anyone, except a small group of conservatives who are trained to salivate on command at the mention of the name.

    Not sure why anyone wants all that conservative saliva, but whatever…

  5. Tyrell says:

    Think about this: the AHA is not the problem. It may not help the problem, but it did not start the problem. The problem is that Americans are over doctored, over medicated, over tested, and over specialized. A relative of mine is going to doctors at least once a week; called in all the time by the different specialists for pre – tests, tests, and follow up visits to tell them the results of the tests even after they have been told the results over the phone. The reason for all of this ? Money, of course ! The doctors are playing the Medicare system, knowing that it will pay for all of these visits and tests. I am not about to go in for just a chat. Multiple, overlapping tests. There is no one doctor that sees the overall picture. And all of this medication.
    And what is the reason for this thing with the doctor sitting there with their face lost in a laptop, entering information that who knows winds up where. Even some of the doctors don’t know where it all goes. Doctors tell me now that they have no time to talk to their patients. I have a solution: close the laptop and talk to your patient. Make a few notes on their chart the way you used to. Forget sending all this information in to some bureaucrat.
    Here is another example, and this took place way before Obama even got elected. Ankle sprain: emergency room visit winds up costing $1200. That is for 2 xrays, a doctor to look at them, $400 for a wrap that you can get at the local drug store for $20, and a prescription for pain medicine. I told my doctor about it and he just shook his head, and told me that it would have been about $120 at his office. He can’t believe that the hospital ripped people off like
    The AHA may have some problems, but the big problems were already there. I hope it does not make them worse. I do not know how it could get any worser.

  6. James Pearce says:

    Grubergate was not really pointless. It’s testament to how the GOP hunts for the slow animals rather than the fat ones, and it’s also testament to the utter spinelessness of the Democrats.

    No one’s going to pull the “advisers should be able to say reprehensible things” card that was so useful in other situations?

  7. Ken_L says:

    @James Pearce:

    I don’t agree it was pointless. It was a carefully orchestrated barrage of hysteria so intense that the media could not afford to ignore it, and it created uniformly negative perceptions of the Administration. Moreover, it arguably triggered internal Party dissent in the form of Schumer et al’s efforts to revise history.

    An outstanding little triumph for conservatives I’d say, with the added bonus of establishing a new low in political smearing as the norm.

  8. bill says:

    @Ken_L: well it was a seemingly well orchestrated effort to minimize it, and it should have been a “story” from the get go. you have one of aca’s architects blathering to public crowds about how they deliberately made what was essentially a huge tax on the middle class just a battle between right & wrong. the lies were deliberate and are now part of “settled law”- until someone can figure out a way to dump this pos.
    he is right about the voters being stupid, they choose to be for this very reason.