President Obama is rather fond of presenting himself as a champion of the people — the only choice for the average citizens who, through “no fault of their own” and having “played by the rules,” are screwed over by a bleak and unjust system. Heroic language was a mainstay during his campaigns of 2008 and 2012, and it continues to be deployed today. “Millions of Americans who work hard and play by the rules every day deserve a government and a financial system that do the same,” argued Obama during the State of the Union in 2012. “It’s time to apply the same rules from top to bottom. No bailouts, no handouts, and no cop-outs. An America built to last insists on responsibility from everybody.” Through an ill-disguised desire to “fundamentally transform” the place, he would be the man to build that America.
Among those whom the president has explicitly deemed to be losing out “through no fault of their own” are illegal immigrants who were brought here as children, federal workers who were furloughed during the recent government shutdown, and “homeowners facing foreclosure.” Oddly enough, however, he has yet to mention the millions of responsible and admirable Americans who for years purchased health insurance on the individual market and who are now being thrown off their plans — through no fault of their own, of course, but by him and his central political achievement.