"Lamar was proven right." That's the tagline at the end of one of Senator Lamar Alexander's political ads. It follows a clip of Alexander and President Obama arguing over the cost of the Affordable Care Act. Alexander says premiums will go up. The president says it's "not true." So who's right?
The Congressional Budget Office report on the health-care law says that premiums have gone down under Obamacare for comparable health insurance to that available before the law was passed. However, when you factor in people who didn't have health insurance and therefore were paying nothing prior to the law's passage, then yes, their rates have gone up — from nothing to something. In states that have opted in to the federal plan, rates have gone down, and the number of people who now have health insurance has dramatically risen. In other states, not so much.
So Lamar wasn't "proven right." In fact, a Washington Post "Pinocchio Test" of the ad says, "Alexander mixes up so many apples and oranges here that the ad is a virtual fruit basket," and gives Lamar "two Pinocchios." Meaning the ad has a high bull caca quotient.
Meanwhile, Alexander's primary opponent Joe Carr is running ads condemning Alexander for supporting Obamacare. Oy.
And then there are Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey's well-funded attack ads on three Tennessee Supreme Court justices, ads that link them to supporting, yup, Obamacare. The Tennesse high court has never issued a ruling of any kind on the subject. It's a lie so blatant and low-down I'm amazed Ramsey can look at himself in the mirror.
Obama and Obamacare have become the ultimate stinkbombs for GOP candidates. Want to smear your opponent? Accuse him of supporting the president and/or the Affordable Care Act. It's the new "He wants to take away your guns."
And let's not forget the "endorsementgate" brouhaha, as Flyer writer Chris Davis dubbed it. Ninth District Democratic congressional candidates Steve Cohen and Ricky Wilkins have spent the past two weeks sniping at each other over who is endorsed by the ACSFME union. This week, the ante was raised when a rogue fake "ballot" emerged wrongly suggesting Wilkins was endorsed by President Obama. The Democrats, unlike the Republicans, are actually seeking to be connected with the president.
I'm beyond weary of seeing and hearing this stuff. Thursday can't come soon enough. No more signs, at least until October. No more duplicitous, hateful ads for a blissful couple of months.
I'm so confident that the entire electorate shares these sentiments, that I'm preparing a bumper sticker: "Bruce Was Proven Right."
Exactly seven years ago this week, I wrote a column decrying a proposal by city engineers to turn the Overton Park Greensward into an 18-foot-deep "detention basin" designed to stop flooding in Midtown. The engineers claimed we'd hardly notice the football-field-sized bowl. "Except," I wrote then, "when it rains hard, at which time, users of Overton Park would probably notice a large, 18-foot-deep lake in the Greensward. Or afterward, a large, muddy, trash-filled depression."