Prodded and Punk’d


The Obama administration picks advisors based on ideology, which is why comedian Bill Maher would be the perfect “Choice Czar.”  Maher lacks the diplomacy and finesse of Harvard professor turned Regulatory czar, Cass Sunstein, but in principle, they both adhere to similar methods.  Sunstein employs the tactic of nudging, while Maher’s advice to Obama on how to deal with those who continue to reject the public option, “…they’re stupid. Just drag them to this.”

In his book, Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness Cass Sunstein said, “In many cases, individuals make pretty bad decisions.”  Thus, human beings are in need of what he describes as, “libertarian paternalism,” where choices are made for the masses by brilliant “choice architects” like Nancy, Harry and Barry.  Sunstein assessed that the public is, “systematically biased…toward our notions of what everyone else thinks.” Judging from the line at the Mac store, there may be a measure of truth to that statement.

According to Cass Sunstein, Obama agrees and “believes in doing law in a way that’s realistically based on human behavior.”  Thus, in order to control America and take the Nancy State to a whole new level of institutionalized paternalism, Americans who don’t appreciate being dominated or proscribed to need to instead be methodically prodded along.  Or, in layman’s terms, hoodwinked into believing their actions and decisions are the result of individual choice.

So, in hopes of discouraging a freethinking America, nudging has become a Washington DC pastime.  If Americans remain resistant to getting the H1N1 vaccine there is always the Tickle Me Elmo technique.  Fabricate a shortage and suddenly panic sets in and those who might have otherwise skipped buying the toy, take to storming Toys R Us. Tickle Me Elmo then becomes a must have Christmas gift even if you’re childless or if people are trampled to death in the process.

Motor Vehicles, though unlikely as a resource, can be utilized as a nudge zone if organ donations are on the decline.  The feds can poke the public by defaulting the option on a driver’s license to sign over your kidneys.  If you fail to opt out, someone on dialysis gets a new lease on life if making a right on red makes you a statistic.  The implementation of “mandated” policies, where government makes choices for you, insures fresh surpluses of organs from those who would otherwise be buried with corneas.

As nudging becomes engrained in the political playbook, it appears as if Sunstein has been tutoring the Speaker of the House on how to elbow people away from negative impressions associated with the controversial public option toward believing alternatives that don’t exist, actually do! Of course Democrats do all this with best intentions and to insure that the “stupid people”, “…wind up with better public and private policies.”

Left wing liberals must believe that if “competition” and “consumer” show up in a title Americans will buy anything. Based on the recent proposal to change the name of the public option to the competitive option, Democrats in Washington obviously concur with Bill Maher that most people are so dim-witted that merely changing the name makes the original legislation indistinguishable to the average citizen.  Someone should wax poetic and throw off the intellectuals in the Obama administration by asking, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would [still] smell as…” fetid.

Presently, the people of this country are being nudged toward accepting a form of health care that the preponderance of evidence shows Americans radically oppose for any purpose other than competition and price control. Therefore, American sentiment is being manipulated, no, nudged by polls that continue to insist, 77% support the public option.  Yet, Democrats in DC still lack votes within their own party to pass a health care bill that includes a choice they claim “the American people” desperately want.  So what’s up with that?

Nudging tactics work to the benefit of manipulative politicians because “choice architects” remain unimpeachable by designing policies that assure responsibility fall solely on those they seek to manage. Washington plans to benefit from the same practices the credit card companies they regulate use when charging for a service and then continuing to charge if consumers don’t opt out. Paying $16.00 per month on a Visa statement, because of failing to “opt out” of a free credit report? Who’s to blame? Ask magazine marketers, opting out is an “option” few people avail themselves of.

In response to largely unfavorable opinion polls and based on the events of the past few days it appears as if the ultimate libertarian patriarch in the White House comprehended the need to prod the dense toward the definitive goal of a single payer system. So, under the probable tutelage of Cass Sunstein, “choice architects” Pelosi and Reid incorporated, “…small and apparently insignificant contextual details,” to the title of the bill in hopes of majorly affecting American perception and behavior.

While Barry maintains a low profile, Nancy and Harry circumvent Americans who continue to rebuff government run health care by campaigning for a bill that includes the perfect nudge.  The proposal Reid plans to bring to the Senate floor “… will include a public health insurance option that individual states could decline to participate in,” defaulting on a state-by-state basis to “opt out,” which they are unlikely to do. Subsequently, liberals in Washington will remain cosseted from culpability when Americans, bleeding out in health clinics, crammed with illegal aliens, recognize they’ve been both prodded and punk’d.

Polls continue to show that 87% of the American population is satisfied with the health care they presently have. Regardless, the expectation in Washington remains high that a name change from public to a consumer competitive option will provide the gentle nudge needed to accomplish what Cass Sunstein and soon to be appointed czar, Bill Maher insist is essential to haul the majority of brainless people to the public option.


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