A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

The president “allows”?

Written November 15th, 2013 by Hasso Hering
A White House photo of President Obama speaking about the Affordable Care Act.

A White House photo of President Obama speaking about the Affordable Care Act.

We must have slipped into some other form of government while most Americans were busy doing whatever we were doing, such as peppering Facebook with what were planning to have for dinner. “On Thursday,” it said in the paper and in more or less the same words on TV, “Obama announced that he would allow — but not require — insurance companies to extend existing policies for a year as long as …” and so forth. “Allow”? But not “require”? Since when is it up to the president of the United States to allow or require anything other than what the law provides?
In the Associated Press story in which this appeared, there was no indication that this phrasing raised any eyebrows, not on the part of the writers, not on the part of their editors, and not among the other people quoted in the story. This should trouble citizens who care about our country and how it us run.
Just a few days ago, celebrations of Veterans Day echoed with giving credit to the men and women in uniform for keeping the country free. The implication was that because of them we’ve managed to hold on to a republican form of self-government against various external threats. The claim rings hollow when the chief executive can talk about allowing this and requiring that without provoking a strong protest, or even a big laugh. (hh)

9 responses to “The president “allows”?”

  1. Jenine Wills says:

    Shame on President Obama. He continues to cheapen his position by making unsubstantiated statements as though “make it so,” as an autocratic ruler, when in fact he was elected. If our Oregon representatives do not step up,, then they also are part of this terrible problem. I work in health care; people are scared and angry. This week the first came in telling us he had been cancelled by his insurance carrier; he is 64. Who will insure him? At what cost? Terrible mess this president made just so he could gloat that he was going to “make a change.” He certainly did. Shame on you, Mr. President.

  2. Greg Storms says:

    A functioning republic requires an educated and interested citizenry. I’m afraid we are failing on both those accounts. Large, powerful special interests have taken control of governments on many levels and unless a majority of the citizenry becomes aware and acts on this awareness we will drift further into fascism.

  3. STEVE GEDDES says:

    Are you saying that an administrative decision to “tweek” a law that was passed by both houses of congress, signed by the President, and approved by the Supreme Court is an indication that we have lost our representative form of government? I would consider the attempt by the extreme right wing of the Republican party to hold the country hostage via the debt ceiling and demand the repeal of a law passed by the majority five years ago a much bigger threat. There is no question, a law of this magnitude, impacting every citizen, and representing such a huge percentage of the economy, is going to encounter problems during the implemetation stage. President Obama spent an enormous amount of political capital to address the issue of the millions of Americans who were unable to obtain health insurance at all or unable to pay for it. Your 64 year old patient will only have to deal with the private insurance market for another and then he will be able to enroll in a government run single payer system. The Republicans opposed medicare “back in the day” too.

    • Hasso Hering says:

      I didn’t realize that laws are subject to being “tweaked.” If they can be altered at the whim of executives or administrators, maybe they ought to be written with more clarity. Or maybe the senators and representatives voting for those bills ought to read and understand them before they pass them. Just a modest suggestion. (hh)

  4. Theodore Salmons says:

    Yet again we see this president (small p on purpose) getting by with questionable at a minimum if not illegal actions. It wasn’t that many years ago when our country still had an investigative news media. Sadly for the most part those days are gone and it seems that our current media is for the most now a self appointed “Ministry of Truth” whose reports now merely seem to be re-written talking points from the White House’s daily brief. The old statement of “All The News That’s Fit To Print” has become “All The News That Makes The Our President Look Good”. Although I’m sure they’ll be back and gearing up to lie, distort and promote anything that will distract from the next conservative President that gets elected.

    • Hasso Hering says:

      Just a style note in answer to Mr. Salmons: The word “president” should always be written with a lower-case p unless it’s used as the title in front of the name, as in “When President Kennedy was assassinated, Lyndon Johnson became president.” Too many writers today, especially in government, capitalize words they think are important, such as Government or State, as though to encourage readers to stand up and salute.

  5. Jim Clausen says:

    I would beg to differ on your “rule” for capitalization Hasso.

    When reading the Bill of Rights or the Constitution one sees throughout each document the special use of capitalization concerning the words “State”, “President” and “Government”.

    The Founders were VERY aware of the importance of special capitalization when using these words and had definite reasons for doing so. They thoroughly recognized the importance of the title “President” and capitalized it throughout these documents. What they objected to was the use of “Honorable President”, or “His Majesty the President”, or any host of other possibilities. While recognizing the capitalized importance, they nonetheless discouraged a preceeding title.

    The word “State” was capitalized to reflect the importance of the individual states. They, as did I, would capitalize the word when speaking of an individual “State” while using no capital when speaking of a group of states.

    The Founders were VERY concious of special capitalization – that’s evident throughout their writings. The liberal media has diluted and suppressed these ideas and concepts – as they have with most things concerning our founding. Perhaps you’d reconsider your favoritism of the liberal media response in favor of the originators of the terminology – the Founders?

    Time to bone up on the Constitution perhaps?

    • Hasso Hering says:

      Sorry, Jim, but that’s baloney. The authors of the Constitution capitalized many nouns. In the preamble alone, the upper-case nouns include People, Order, Union, Justice, Tranquility, Welfare, Blessings, Liberty, and Posterity. This riot of capital letters continues in Article I with Powers, Year, Qualifications, Electors and Branch, along with Person, Age and Years, not to forget Taxes and Numbers. Hard to see how we are diluting anything by not following their peculiar orthography. (hh)


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