The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Bad numbers (both in terms of enrollment and cancelled policies), bad news (in terms of any reasonable methods for reversing the bad things that have already happened), and bad faith (in terms of poll numbers indicating that the public's trust of the president is at an all-time low) have begun to mount for Obamacare. As a consequence, we seem to be getting increasingly strident talking points from Democrats in a futile attempt to deflect blame for this monstrosity. Ardent Obama supporters (think: Debbie Wasserman-Schultz), suggest that the failure of Obamacare is due to GOP "sabotage."

Peggy Noonan comments:
The new talking point it that ObamaCare was damaged and fell due to Republican “sabotage.” Republicans on Capitol Hill refused to vote for it, refused to like it and support it. They tried repeatedly to repeal it and defund it.

And all this is true. But it is not sabotage. This is opposition. The Republicans thought the ACA a bad piece of work, a bad bill that would make things worse, not better ... .

As I remember it, the Democrats on Capitol Hill got the bill they wanted. They were heady, back in the majority, with a new and popular president, and they didn’t much care about GOP support. They wanted the credit: It was their bill. They wrote it in a way no Republican could support. And they got no Republican support. When Paul Ryan, who had emerged as the Republican point man, attempted to come forward with ideas, he was rebuffed.

The new president—and this was a key historic moment—decided not to act on the accumulated presidential wisdom of the ages, which is: Get the other party in on all big things. Give them a stake in it, use them for cover, show you have bipartisan juice, that you are truly national and not only the leader of one party, show you can wield your mighty power across the aisles. Get them bragging they passed it, with your leadership. Make them co-own it so that when certain parts don’t work, and certain parts won’t, they have deep motives to help you fix it.

Instead, a perfect storm of misjudgment, immaturity and lack of historical perspective, and a perfect storm of shortsighted selfishness (it’s all ours, it’s not even a little bit yours) brought forth a perfect storm of a health-care disaster.
I'm not a Republican, but I stood with the GOP in 2009 when they argued that Obamacare was "a bad piece of work, a bad bill that would make things worse, not better." The events of the past six weeks indicate that they were absolutely correct -- in every detail. And now, the Democrats are scurrying away from the legislation that they created, rammed through congress without a single GOP vote, and then celebrated their "achievement" in the same way a small child celebrates applying finger paint to the wall of his bedroom with no understanding of upcoming consequences.

The "perfect storm" has arrived for the Dems and it truly is the confluence of "misjudgment, immaturity and lack of historical perspective" coupled with arrogance. Obamacare is a hidden transfer tax on the young and on the middle class. It is doomed to fail, and it will.

Update (11/14/13):

Jonah Goldberg brings up an interesting point:
During the government shutdown, Barack Obama held fast, heroically refusing to give an inch to the hostage-taking, barbaric orcs of the Tea Party who insisted on delaying Obamacare. It was a triumph for the master strategist in the White House, who finally maneuvered the Republicans into revealing their extremism. But we didn’t know something back then: Obama desperately needed a delay of In his arrogance, though, he couldn’t bring himself to admit it. The other possibility is that he is such an incompetent manager, who has cultivated such a culture of yes-men, that he was completely in the dark about the problems. That’s the reigning storyline right now from the White House. Obama was betrayed. “If I had known,” he told his staff, “we could have delayed the website.”
It is inconceivable that Barack Obama or his most senior advisors had no inkling that the Obamacare website was in deep trouble long before the shutdown. If Obama is the master political strategist that his supporters claim he is, why on earth did he not acquiesce to GOP demands for an Obamacare delay and the use the delay to blame them for "obstruction" and at the same time, hide the catastrophic flaws in the website and in the ACA itself?

It's really a good question, but the answer is not the either/or that Goldberg proposes. Barack Obama suffers from both hubris and arrogance and he's also an incompetent manager (3s hire 2s). That's a toxic mix.