Oh, I understand Obamacare “architect” Jonathan Gruber only too well.
Over the decades of my career, I met many Grubers while I worked for and/or consulted with many large, international corporations. Often, in the course of their work, my colleagues would agree on “solutions” which to my way of thinking were either wrong-headed, unethical or in some other way “not right.”
I objected on factual, ethical or legal grounds, if there were any. The usual response was along the lines of “Shh. Don’t be so negative. Don’t rock the boat; our client CEO approved it; or, who cares, it’ll be fun to do and there’s profit to be made.” I also was well aware that my own adversaries would paint me as a pain in the corporate ass.
“The CEO approved it.” That one was my favorite. Because I knew it was probably only conditionally true that the CEO actually approved these ideas. Some people read approval into anything a CEO might do, including blinking, fiddling with his pen, or sipping water. When I had access to the CEO or other corporate officer, I would present my objections. Reasonable CEOs would reconsider. They have stock-holders and boards to answer to, and little Mainstream Media to protect them. Missteps they may make, however minor, almost always make big business news.
In the case of Mr. Gruber and his “consultation” with the White House on Obamacare, it appears that POTUS, in his role as CEO of America, and not Gruber, was the driving force behind getting this legislation passed, no matter what. By his own admission, Gruber was obviously more than pleased to go along with the direction to cook the numbers, given by the President’s simple wink and nod. Perhaps the President was fiddling with his famous pen. Gruber’s public rationalization for doing something he clearly understood to be at least “unethical” was the same as what I encountered among my own business colleagues. Hoodwinking the American public? Does that sound ethical? Gruber’s rationalization was “The CEO approved it.” His reaction at that critical moment, in the Oval Office, wasn’t along the lines of “No, Mr President, that won’t work.” Or “That’s not true, sir.” No. Either he was intimidated by the Office, or more likely, he was one of those who saw the opportunity to score a ton in personal profit as far outweighing personal ethics. And then, there are all those bragging rights. “We” screwed the stupid American voter... aren’t we the clever ones? Hahahahaha!
Maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on Mr. Gruber. It’s just the way things are today in America. Money talks. Big money screams louder than anything else. I am told it’s nice to be rich. Everybody seems to want to be a celebrity today, famous or infamous, what difference does it make. Only old fools like me care about arcane standards of right and wrong. And, hey, for the likes of Gruber, fame, fleeting as his may be, may be more important to him than his personal reputation.
Senator Rand Paul suggests that “we” (whoever that may be) should try to get our money back from Mr. Gruber. I have no objection to that. As far as The White House has doled out your tax dollars to its friends and cronies...websites which don’t work, for example...Gruber’s share is a drop in a mighty big bucket. I would like to see us get it all back.
But money is inanimate. It’s the unethical mindset of contemporary America which is at issue. The Gruber Syndrome, not barbarians at the gates, is what brought down Rome.