Competence, Care, and Christie
The issue isn't health care anymore, if it ever was. Competence is the issue. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) rollout speaks for itself; mismanaged as theory, legislation, and now policy. And the president and his party own this pig. Obama and the Democrats were proud to have it called "Obamacare."
Alas, the knee-jerk reaction on both sides of the political aisle is more lipstick. The ACA never had public or bipartisan support, yet now the taxpayer and milquetoast Republicans will be asked to throw more money at a very expensive hog wallow. The only folks likely to flourish under Obamacare are contractors, insurance companies, and a vast new government bureaucracy. The door to this animal farm will cost a cool billion dollars by itself, half of which will be borrowed. If this is the price of the internet portal, the exchange website, imagine what the farm and packing plant will cost? Sky's the limit!
We are not abusing metaphors here. The real mud and money is yet to fly. Liberals, social democrats, progressives, and crypto-Marxists cannot let the ACA or Barack Obama fail. A failed black president is every Democrat's worst nightmare. Even Chris Mathews, who often dismisses Obama critics as racists, is now sounding the accountability alarm.
Not that Obama is in fact black, but that's the way his acolytes chose to define him. The race issue might make some folks squirm, but race has been an issue with Obama from the start. Heretofore, Obama, with the help of apologists, has played the race card to his advantage. Unfortunately, where performance matters, race isn't an excuse for incompetence. After five years of rhetoric and campaigning, the president seems to have forgotten that he is the chief executive too.
With Obamacare, the president is in danger of reinforcing a progressive stereotype; the triumph of form over substance; talking the talk, but failing to "walk the walk." Everybody thinks affordable health care is a good idea. To date, Obama policy seems to be the enemy of that idea.
Somehow the election of a black man was thought to be reparations for historic injustice, another civil rights milestone. Little consideration was given to Obama's background, mentors, ideology, experience, or performance. Now those deficits have come home to roost. He was glib, he was photogenic: and, best of all, thought to represent a triumph of diversity.
Obama was the guy that would show the world that America had redeemed itself from the legacy of slavery and subsequent discrimination. Ironically, America's first black president is the standard bearer for the very political party that sponsored slavery and Jim Crow to begin with.
Yet, irony is the least of worries now.
Just when you thought domestic politics couldn't get any worse, the healthcare implementation fiasco might just be an opening salvo. Democrats will have to pull out all the stops to get Barak Hussein's bacon out of the fire. Money, media, mendacity, and mud-slinging are not likely to be restrained any time soon.
The Clintons are already putting some distance between Hilary and any impending meltdown. And the mid-term congressional and 2016 presidential elections are again in play. Other than Hurricane Sandy, Obamacare might be the best thing that ever happened to Chris Christie too -- and the prospects for a White House episode of Jersey Shore.
G. Murphy Donovan writes occasionally about the politics of national security.