The Corner

Calling It Obamacare

When I first started calling it Obamacare, the president’s popularity didn’t make it clearly pejorative. I used the word because it was convenient: more succinct than any alternative. My editors at Time picked the headline “The Fatal Flaw of Obamacare” back in August 2009. I suppose it could have said, “of the health-care bill” or “of H.R. [whatever it was]” or “of the ACA” (assuming it had been so named by then). Only “Obamacare” is both short and (as a term) comprehensible. Also, I had the precedents of ClintonCare and Romneycare on my side.

If the new health-care law eventually becomes popular and then unquestioned, as liberals hope, they’ll be the ones seeking to keep it labeled “Obamacare.”

Ramesh Ponnuru — Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg View, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

Most Popular


The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More