Monday, October 21, 2013

The goal is to foster the public perception that President Bystander has just recently been alerted to how badly his administration has failed here, and that he's furious. He'll explain how shocked and appalled he is, then assure the public that he's kicking some ass and whipping things into shape. "No excuses," and all that. This is an absolute crock for a number of reasons (which we'll get into in a bit), but it's a significant rhetorical shift. The administration can no longer credibly pretend that everything's hunky dory, nor that the exchanges were merely overwhelmed by heavier-than-expected traffic. The truth is far uglier.

As public anger mounts over these substantive broken promises (as opposed to design flaws and "glitches"), will Obama feign surprise over his program's deleterious consequences, too? - Guy Benson/Townhall

The Huffington Post is right: This trainwreck poses a mortal threat to Obama's statist vision. The federal government isn't especially suited to overhaul major segments of the economy. Big government promises do not magically morph into actual solutions. Obama can pretend to be caught off guard by all this in an attempt to mitigate the damage -- but it won't work, for two reasons: (1) Professing surprise at one's own incompetence isn't exactly a confidence builder; it compounds the problem, and (2) conservatives have been predicting these precise problems in excruciating detail for years now. Even if people aren't aware of the White House's machinations and in-house red flags, they'll intuit how implausible it is that the president couldn't have seen any of this coming.

Why Obama Should Be Freaked Out Over Obamacare - Ron Fournier/National Journal

The Tea-Party Plan to Delay/Defund Obamacare Was Not Only More Realistic, It Was More Compassionate - David French/National Review

...Not only did the tea-party plan have a chance, it was far less cynical and far more compassionate than the Republican alternative. The Republican alternative to the tea-party plan boils down to this: Let the people suffer (also called ”let Obamacare implode”), then they’ll come to us, we’ll win a buch of elections over several cycles, then we’ll make it better.

Well, step one is working (if that’s the right word to use). People are suffering. Over the weekend, NBC News reported that 460,000 Americans in just two states (California and Florida) face insurance-plan cancellations as they’re being driven to the non-functioning exchanges. That’s ten times more people facing cancellations in just two states than have (allegedly) enrolled in Obamacare plans nationwide.

Imagine being a middle-aged man or woman, staring at a cancellation notice, and desperately trying to sign up for new insurance through a website that doesn’t work. How would you feel?...