In response to andiejen's comment:
In response to tvoter's comment:
In explaining the disastrous rollout of Obamacare, President Obama told Chris Matthews he had discovered that “we have these big agencies, some of which are outdated, some of which are not designed properly.”
An interesting discovery to make after having consigned the vast universe of American medicine, one-sixth of the U.S. economy, to the tender mercies of the agency bureaucrats at the Department of Health and Human Services and the Internal Revenue Service.
Most people become aware of the hopeless inefficiency of sclerotic government by, oh, age 17 at the department of motor vehicles. Obama’s late discovery is especially remarkable considering that he built his entire political philosophy on the rock of Big Government, on the fervent belief in the state as the very engine of collective action and the ultimate source of national greatness. (Indeed, of individual success as well, as in “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”)
This blinding revelation of the ponderous incompetence of bureaucratic government came just a few weeks after Obama confessed that “what we’re also discovering is that insurance is complicated to buy.” Another light bulb goes off, this one three years after passing a law designed to force millions of Americans to shop for new health plans via the maze of untried, untested, insecure, unreliable online “exchanges.”
This discovery joins a long list that includes Obama’s rueful admission that there really are no shovel-ready jobs. That one came after having passed his monstrous $830 billion stimulus on the argument that the weakened economy would be “jump-started” by a massive infusion of shovel-ready jobs. Now known to be fictional.
Barack Obama is not just late to discover the most elementary workings of government. With alarming regularity, he professes obliviousness to the workings of his own government. He claims, for example, to have known nothing about the IRS targeting scandal, the AP phone records scandal, the NSA tapping of Angela Merkel. And had not a clue that the centerpiece of his signature legislative achievement — the online Obamacare exchange, three years in the making — would fail catastrophically upon launch. Or that Obamacare would cause millions of Americans to lose their private health plans.
Hence the odd spectacle of a president expressing surprise and disappointment in the federal government — as if he’s not the one running it. Hence the repeated no-one-is-more-upset-than-me posture upon deploring the nonfunctioning Web site, the IRS outrage, the AP intrusions and any number of scandals from which Obama tries to create safe distance by posing as an observer. He gives the impression of a man on a West Wing tour trying out the desk in the Oval Office, only to be told that he is president of the United States.
The paradox of this presidency is that this most passive bystander president is at the same time the most ideologically ambitious in decades. The sweep and scope of his health-care legislation alone are unprecedented. He’s spent billions of tax money attempting to create, by fiat and ex nihilo, a new green economy. His (failed) cap-and-trade bill would have given him regulatory control of the energy economy. He wants universal preschool and has just announced his unwavering commitment to slaying the dragon of economic inequality, which, like the poor, has always been with us.
Obama’s discovery that government bureaucracies don’t do things very well creates a breathtaking disconnect between his transformative ambitions and his detachment from the job itself. How does his Olympian vision coexist with the lassitude of his actual governance, a passivity that verges on absenteeism?
What bridges that gap is rhetoric. Barack Obama is a master rhetorician. It’s allowed him to move crowds, rise inexorably and twice win the most glittering prize of all. Rhetoric has changed his reality. For Obama, it can change the country’s. Hope and change, after all, is a rhetorical device. Of the kind Obama has always imagined can move mountains.
That’s why his reaction to the Obamacare Web site’s crash-on-takeoff is so telling. His remedy? A cross-country campaign-style speaking tour. As if rhetoric could repeal that reality.
Managing, governing, negotiating, cajoling, crafting legislation, forging compromise. For these — this stuff of governance — Obama has shown little aptitude and even less interest. Perhaps, as Valerie Jarrett has suggested, he is simply too easily bored to invest his greatness in such mundanity.
“I don’t write code,” said Obama in reaction to the Web site crash. Nor is he expected to. He is, however, expected to run an administration that can.
Read more from Charles Krauthammer’s archive, follow him on Twitter or subscribe to his updates on Facebook.
There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why... I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?
I would rather have a President that stretches us, that calls on all of us to better things then what we had for the 8 years preceding Obama.
Despite the rocky rollout of the website, we ARE going to have univerisal health insurance in our country. Other Presidents have either tried and failed OR did not give a damn.
In the 1960s. JFK said we were going to the moon. He made that a goal for our country. And we did. Those of us who saw the llive moon landing will never ever forget it.
Someday people will look back at this period. People who will then take health insurance as a given in the U.S. And the reason for that most of all will be this President. President Obama.
Getting to the moon was hardly easy. But we did it. This has not been easy. But it will finally get fixed. It is the law of the land. And people will became to take it all for granted sooner, much sooner, then later. Provision by provision by provision.
History is not made by the people or the party that says NO. History is made by other people. People who say Yes we can.
It is one thing to stretch, it is another to be totally clueless and incompetent in doing so. Or maybe more accurately putting your selfish need for political power before what it right for the rest of us. I am somehow thinking that Obama knows how fd up government agencies are. Maybe he was ignorant of the total extent of it?
Obamacare is going to be a HUGE wake up call for most Americans. They are going to experience government power over their lives first hand. Plus they are going to see how much it is going to cost them to pay for a progressive utopian dream of "universal healthcare", which of course Obamacare is NOT. It is just insurance, not healthcare.
Those of us with brains know that WE end up paying for ALL of government: taxes, fees, increased prices to compensate businesses for their taxes and for some way to pay off the national debt (inflation, taxation, or default and disaster).
For all that we do not get an itemized bill from the government. When you pay your taxes it goes to the Treasury. You don't pay a bill to WIC or the B2 bomber program. And for those who pay the benefits are indirect like national defense and interstate highways.
Now with Obamacare you are going to get a bill - a whopping increase in your healthcare insurance. And you know what that increase is going for: coverage you don't need or want, subsidies for a huge portion of the population (even a family of four can get a subsidy with income up to $80K or some ridiculous figure) and for covering pre-existing conditions and for chilfren up to 26 to enroll within their parent's plan. Plus you have huge deductibles and huge co-pays for drugs and no lifetime cap on out of pocket.
With Obamacare - you pay AND GET PUNISHED
This is going to be a Dr. Chivago moment - it will be clear to millions that THEY ARE TAKING OUR STUFF!
I can only hope the uproar results in forcing a solution not chaos.