The expectation that Obamacare will be overturned may also explain why so few college students are signing up for it — even those wearing Obama T-shirts at DC’s Howard University, as PJM’s Michelle Fields discovered yesterday:
Of course, the president was deeply involved, every step of the way, in the creation of his namesake Website and the underlying product it attempts to sell — and he focused his keen attention on its creation like that proverbial laser:
A new Government Accountability Institute (GAI) analysis finds that from July 12, 2010, to Nov. 30, 2013, the president’s public schedule records zero one-on-one meetings between Obama and Sebelius. Equally shocking, over the same period, the president’s calendar lists 277 private meetings with his other Cabinet secretaries (excluding full Cabinet meetings).
Given these startling findings, and the fact that the White House calendar did not reflect meetings prior to July 12, 2010, GAI researchers then performed a second analysis using another respected recorder of presidential activity, the POLITICO presidential calendar. The results: Just one April 21, 2010 entry was found listing a White House meeting between Obama and Sebelius—and even that was a joint meeting with then Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
The eye-opening calendar findings shed new light on some of the curiously worded statements Obama has uttered in the aftermath of the calamitous HealthCare.gov launch. For example, at his Nov. 14 press conference, the president said:
“I was not informed directly that the website would not be working as—the way it was supposed to. Had I been informed, I wouldn’t be going out saying, ‘Boy, this is going to be great.’ You know, I’m accused of a lot of things, but I don’t think I’m stupid enough to go around saying, ‘this is going to be like shopping on Amazon or Travelocity,’ a week before the website opens, if I thought that it wasn’t going to work. So, clearly, we and I did not have enough awareness about the problems in the website.”
Of course, we now know that contractors had, in fact, notified Sebelius months prior that serious problems persisted and that time was running out for proper testing. However, if Obama was not meeting regularly one-on-one with his HHS secretary to help navigate his signature legislative achievement safely into harbor, it’s hard to discern exactly what the president knew and when he knew it.
But hey, as his former secretary of State would say, what difference does it make? Certainly not much to the media. They’re far more interested in the Music Man than the false bill of goods he’s selling — using an Alfred Hitchcock-inspired analogy, Ace of Spades writes that the MacGuffin doesn’t matter to Obama’s acolytes in old media; only that the hero survives the crisis that befalls him:
Watching Chris Matthews interview Obama, I was struck by just how uninterested in policy questions Matthews (and his panel) were, and how almost every question seemed to be, at heart, about Obama’s emotional response to difficulties– not about policy itself, but about Obama’s Hero’s Journey in navigating the plot of President Barack Obama: The Movie.
As with a MacGuffin in the movie, only the Hero’s emotional response to the MacGuffin matters.
Again and again, Matthews and his panel focused not on weighty questions of state, but on what toll these important-sounding MacGuffins took upon the Star of the Picture, Barack Obama.
Matthews was not terribly interested in hearing about the problems with Obamacare, or how Obama planned to address them.
But he was very interested in learning how Obama was coping with the challenges.
Matthews didn’t care all that much about disputes over the budget. But he was keenly interested in Obama’s thoughts on his opponents in such struggles.
Read the whole thing; it’s a brilliant post. Of course, one reason why the MacGuffin doesn’t interest Matthews and his ilk at NBC, is that the underlying technology and the product it sells have been such enormous disasters. Because if the technology worked and the product was popular (two very different things, incidentally), the MSM would be all over the Obamacare Website like Wired magazine back in the mid-1990s when it routinely ran 5,000-word articles on the technology powering the Internet at the peak of its gold rush dot-com fever days, or the way the press covered the nuts and bolts of the X-15 and the Saturn V at the height of the space race.
Hitchcock’s best films are celebrated to this day, because he and writers scripted and storyboarded every scene to the nth detail, to the point where walking onto the soundstage, lining up the actors, and firing up the Arriflex was merely a formality for Hitchcock. Similarly, he may not have ever uttered the words, but legendary 20th century architect Mies van der Rohe has always been associated with the phrase “God is in the Details.” However, even as the Obama White House attempts to grab a sixth of the American economy, we have a president who doesn’t care about the details, a Health secretary who doesn’t care about the details, a former speaker of the House who doesn’t care about the details (“We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it”), and a media that doesn’t care about the details.
The country’s in the very best of hands, as the Professor likes to say.
Related: From Charles C. W. Cooke at the Corner: “Obama: I’m Not Incompetent, Government Is” — and we should follow the president’s advice and trust government for our medical needs…why?
As it happens, the president appears to know full well that the public sector doesn’t do things very well. He told Chuck Todd in November:
You know, one of the lessons — learned from this whole process on the website — is that probably the biggest gap between the private sector and the federal government is when it comes to I.T. ..
Well, the reason is is that when it comes to my campaign, I’m not constrained by a bunch of federal procurement rules, right?
So, again, why design your central achievement around a website and boast about how amazing it is going to be?
Perhaps my favorite excuse for Obamacare, however, is that none of this would have happened if the much more efficient states hadn’t forced the obviously incompetent federal government to get involved. Too much more of this sort of talk and Obama will be receiving invitations to address the Federalist Society.
Last month, Roger L. Simon described the president as “Barack Obama, Libertarian Manufacturing Machine.” As I joked last month, writing the caption for the illustration above Roger’s post, we are the Objectivists we have been waiting for!