Now why on earth would an American exercising his freedom of speech be concerned about recriminations? Oh, right, we’re living in the Age of Obama, where speaking your mind subjects you to harassment by the Obama zombies and the IRS.
Well, his name is public, so he and anyone with the same name can expect an IRS audit. All coincidental, we’re sure.
The man who changed the ObamaCare debate was at a gas station when I reached him, and he wasn’t dying to talk.
“I really want to stay out of the limelight,” said Rich Weinstein, a Philadelphia investment adviser. “This is not about me.”
But it is about him in the sense that if not for one slightly obsessed citizen, we wouldn’t have the videos of Jonathan Gruber saying the health care law was deceptively designed and its passage depended on the stupidity of the American public. And it is about his frustrating struggle to get that information out to the media.
Still, Weinstein would not be coaxed into an on-camera interview, or even provide a photograph. He doesn’t want his 15 minutes.
“I think people are going to look for a target. I don’t want to be Rich the Plumber,” he told me.
Weinstein is up front about the fact that his motives were personal. His insurance policy was canceled, he says, because of the Affordable Care Act, and his premiums wound up doubling.
Doesn’t he realize it’s for his own good? Weinstein began finding videos some time ago but found no takers from the media, including Fox News, but eventually got the word on on Twitter, and the rest is history.
He finally posted a comment on the web page of the Volokh Conspiracy, a group of conservative lawyers whose blog is hosted by the Washington Post. A conservative activist picked it up, and Forbes wound up carrying a piece by contributor Michael Cannon, dubbed by the New Republic “Obamacare’s Single Most Relentless Antagonist.”
It wasn’t until shortly before the midterms that Weinstein found what came to be known as Gruber’s “stupidity” video. He plastered it on his Twitter feed days later, sometimes inserting the names of journalists to try to grab their attention. This time, the news was quickly picked up by Fox, the Daily Caller and other media outlets (but not the broadcast networks or major newspapers).
But even then, Gruber was sounding cautionary notes on Twitter:
“Did first 2 interviews ever- both with orgs on the left. Hope I’m not turned into a crazy or sound ‘stupid.’ Videos speak-o for themselves”
And: “Just to be clear, I don’t actually live in my mom’s basement wearing a tin foil that!”
Again, he needs to prepare for the leftist onslaught. That’s how they roll.