Democrats prepare to run against ObamaCare
Politico has an article about how the “patience” of Democrats is wearing thin, as the November 30 deadline for full HealthCare.gov functionality draws closer. Despite all the goalpost-moving they’ve been doing over the past couple of weeks, it sounds like it will be very difficult for the Administration to spin away from a failure to meet that deadline. It will be the event that triggers full-blown panic among congressional Democrats:
Some Capitol Hill Democrats are preparing to launch broadsides against President Barack Obama if the Affordable Care Act website isn’t fixed by the end of the month.
That will come in the form of more aggressive scrutiny in Republican-led oversight hearings, open advocacy for further delay in the enrollment deadline and individual coverage mandate, and more calls for a staff shake-up in the White House.
“The president and his team have repeatedly assured us that the system will be working by Dec. 1. That’s when I start looking at what we have to do in our oversight function to hold the administration accountable for making it work.” Rep. Bruce Braley, an Iowa Democrat who is running for an open Senate seat said Thursday, adding that he’s contemplating whether to ask the president to fire members of his staff. “I’m thinking about those options. But my biggest concern is fixing the system and making it work.”
Oh, so that’s when you’ll start taking your oversight responsibilities seriously, Rep. Braley? It’s all a big political game to you, with clownish Democrats pedaling their unicycles through the hearing chambers and doing everything possible to obstruct oversight, until December 1st hits and the public goes nuclear. At that point, your ambition for a Senate seat, and the Party’s need to avoid a wipeout in the midterm elections, will finally inspire you to hold somebody accountable. Have I got that about right?
The entire Politico article should enrage every American. The Republican National Committee should consider sending the article around to drum up support for their cause in 2014. It’s agonizingly clear that this whole thing is a political game for the entire Democrat Party, which is working on a backup plan that will involve hilarious attempts to somehow distance themselves from the disaster they foisted upon the American people. Rep. Braley is grudgingly willing to admit that he’s angry at President Obama for putting the Party in such a tough spot. Isn’t that adorable?
A key component of their effort is Senator Mary Landrieu’s (D-LA) bill, which would kill ObamaCare stone dead, and possibly destroy the private insurance industry, in a suicide pact that would force insurance companies to offer the plans Barack Obama has marked for extinction, even though such plans no longer make business sense due to ObamaCare’s mandates, and their continued existence at compulsory bargain prices would drain every profitable customer away from the ObamaCare exchanges.
The thinking behind this legislation is anyone’s guess – is Landrieu trying to create a fig leaf that vulnerable Democrats can vote for, or claim they would like to vote for, in a desperate effort to construct some flimsy political cover… combined with hopes that it will never get out of the Senate, or Republicans would kill it because of the havoc it would wreak? Or is she hoping to unleash a Ragnarok that brings both ObamaCare and private-sector insurance crashing down in flames, allowing Democrats to stand in the wreckage and proclaim that the hour of single-payer socialized medicine is at hand?
Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), who has introduced his own plan to give people other health care options, recently said he thought the appropriate time to act was after Thanksgiving break.
“Let’s just wait and see what happens. We’re gonna — we’re gonna take two weeks off. I’m gonna visit with my five children together for the first time, 16 grandchildren, 44 people for Thanksgiving dinner. Let’s talk about that for a while,” Reid said last week.
That’s nice. Let’s just leave American citizens twisting in the wind for a few more weeks, while these Democrat con artists enjoy a nice Thanksgiving dinner, wait to see if the public chokes on a missed November 30 relaunch deadline for Healthcare.gov, and plot a political strategy before skipping home for Christmas and New Year celebrations.
Leave it to Vice President Joe Biden to inject a bit of low comedy into this outrageous story of political fizzbin – the nonsense game Captain Kirk of Star Trek was known to play with his enemies in order to confuse them into a stupor, so they could be more easily ambushed:
White House officials, from the president on down, insist they don’t have to prepare a contingency plan — at least not in terms of the flawed website; it will be operating for the “vast majority” of consumers by the end of the month, they say.
“The truth is, we’re going to fix it,” Vice President Joe Biden said last Monday, adding a self-conscious appeal to a higher power for help. “God willing,” he said.
But the president’s promises don’t carry the same weight they once did with Democrats on Capitol Hill, and they’d like a little more to fall back on than Biden’s casual appeal for divine intervention. Soon, Democrats say, it won’t just be Republicans who are using high-profile hearings to tear into Obama administration officials.
Democrats, anxious to separate themselves from Obama before the 2014 midterm election, are gearing up to use Capitol Hill hearings to point out examples of waste, fraud, abuse or just outright incompetence to try to persuade constituents that they aren’t responsible for the bungled rollout.
The big-city lawmaker predicted oversight hearings are “going to be ugly” come next month. “The more we find out about this implementation of the ACA, the worse it looks. The Congress did our job. We passed the ACA. It’s up to the administration to implement the law.”
Looks like the hearings will be as “ugly” as they have to be, in order to help congressional Democrats laughably position themselves as tough critics of the disaster they couldn’t wait to vote for back in the day, even though it wasn’t fully written yet. They’re hoping their voters, and increasingly rebellious independents, can be persuaded to forget everything they said and did in 2010.
A lot of eggs are being placed in that November 30 basket. The Administration hopes that anything close to the promised website repairs will give it some good-news mojo, or at least stop the bleeding from one headline after another about front-end disaster. Considerable effort has been invested in keeping everyone involved with the horrendous website launch quiet, a public-relations tourniquet designed to slow the drumbeat of failure stories and help the White House declare a joyous new day has dawned when the improved website formally relaunches. You’ll be amazed how many stories abruptly become “old news” at the beginning of December, with Obama flacks loudly wondering why anyone cares about dusty tales from the murky reaches of forgotten history, i.e. October.
Conversely, congressional Democrat seem to think anything that can’t be spun as a triumph on the last day of November will be the last straw for a critical mass of the public. Even if the website gets up to speed, the other problems with ObamaCare will remain – indeed, many of them will get considerably worse – but the sheer absurdity of enforcing a law with non-functional infrastructure, a law Americans literally cannot comply with even if they want to, is too much for the public to swallow.