Get PJ Media on your Apple

Roger’s Rules

Obama and the Limits of Schadenfreude

November 20th, 2013 - 8:12 am

The word of the week seems to be “Schadenfreude.”  We have Obamacare, or, rather, what appears to be the unravelling of Obamacare to thank for that.

“Schadenfreude”: “hurt,” “damage,” “detriment” plus “joy.”  Is there any more perfect German word?  Taking malicious glee in the misfortunes of others. It is not an attractive emotion, though it is (to allude to a German philosopher who knows all about these things) a human, all-too-human one. I’m not sure what aspect of the mess is producing the most glee. The display of technical incompetence on the part of those who spent some $650 million of taxpayer (i.e., your and my)  money creating a web site that doesn’t work. That was pretty nice. The fact that construction of the site was given to a former  classmate of Michelle Obama in a no-bid contract is a nice touch.

And who hasn’t enjoyed the spectacle of the site crashing whenever Kathleen Sebelius holds a media event to demonstrate how easy healthcare.gov is to navigate. Nice!  Then there is the sideshow of Democratic lawmakers having apoplexy as they begin to realize the extent of this debacle — the millions (yes, millions) of folks who have found a letter notifying them that their insurance has been cancelled because of Obamacare, the thousands of doctors who have been dropped from various insurance plans. Ouch and double ouch.  Then there is the central drama revolving around President Obama. “If you like your insurance plan, you can keep your insurance plan. Period.” He said that, or variations of that, over and over again. This video complication capture 36 separate occasions when the president publicly made that promise—a promise, we now know, he knew he could never keep, had not intention of keeping, didn’t want to keep anyway, since the two-fold goal of Obamacare is to destroy private insurance and bring all us plebs under the wing of an all-encompassing “single-payer,” i.e., the federal government.

The revelation of Obama’s lies, his obvious confusion and the hunted-look he has exhibited at press conferences while his approval rating is in a death spiral (it dropped to 37%, the lowest of his presidency, in a CBS poll released this morning). All of this is, for the opponents of ObamaCare, ample ground for malicious glee, and I at least can deeply empathize with the blogger who wrote that “if schadenfreude had calories, I’d weigh 300 pounds.

There is, of course, a dark side to this story, which Jonah Goldberg neatly captures at NRO with a column called “Obamacare Schadenfreudarama.” He begins by paraphrasing Oscar Wilde: “You’d have to have a heart of stone not to laugh at the unraveling of Obamacare.” Except, as Jonah goes on to note, “tt is no laughing matter that millions of Americans’ lives have been thrown into anxious chaos as they lose their health insurance, their doctors, their money, or all three. Nor is it particularly amusing to think of the incredible waste of time and tax dollars that has gone into Obamacare’s construction.”

Jonah is right that the unrolling, and subsequent unravelling, of Obamacare has provided hours of entertainment for the politically mature. “If you can’t take some joy,” he writes, “some modicum of relief and mirth, in the unprecedentedly spectacular beclowning of the president, his administration, its enablers, and, to no small degree, liberalism itself, then you need to ask yourself why you’re following politics in the first place.” Too true, too true. Consider:

 The hubris of our ocean-commanding commander-in-chief surely isn’t news to readers of this website. He’s said that he’s smarter and better than everyone who works for him. His wife informed us that he has “brought us out of the dark and into the light” and that he would fix our broken souls. The man defined sin itself as “being out of alignment with my values.” We may be the ones we’ve been waiting for, but at the same time, everyone has been waiting for him. Or as he put it in 2007, “Every place is Barack Obama country once Barack Obama’s been there.”

A little Schadenfreude is certainly in order. The news today that Obama was briefed last spring about possible widespread failures when the web site went live may seem to deepen the glee even as it deepens the malice. After all, the president has all along acted surprised by the technical failures bedeviling the roll-out of  healthcare.gov. But now it turns out that the surprise, like so much else about the president, was feigned.It was part of his campaign of mendacity, i.e., lies.

Those are harsh words.  But they accurately describe a harsh reality.  In the end, what’s happening in Washington is no laughing matter.  Sure, I feel a frisson of glee when contemplating the train wreck that is Obamacare. Jonah Goldberg,  like many others, is right to invoke the operation of nemesis following ineluctably upon the career of hubris.  But behind the folly, laughter, and ridicule is something that gives me pause. One of the most disturbing aspects of this entire affair is the stench of lawlessness that surrounds it like a miasma.  President Obama carps impatiently that he will simply direct insurance companies to reinstate the policies that they, in an effort to follow the law, have been required to cancel. He says that he will direct that application of the law be delayed a year — but he says nothing about where he is supposed to get the authority for such actions.  The president’s response to the embarrassment of the eponymous legislation he shoved down the throats of the American people is one of the most disturbing occurrences of his administration. Since Magna Carta in 1215, a test of legitimacy has been the extent to which the sovereign is subject to the laws of the land.  Obama is not a sovereign, exactly, but he acts as though he were above the law, that the law (like taxes) were something to be imposed on the rest of us but which he and his magic circle of apparatchiks could ignore or “delay” or partially implement at their pleasure.  The law is binding upon us little people, and upon insurance companies, which would be severely penalized should they fail to abide the provisions of that intricate legislation.

I suspect that one of the reasons Obama’s approval rating is in free fall is because of his obvious surprise and petulance in his public encounters over the disaster of Obamacare.  He has made some grudging half apologies, but it is clear that the only thing he is sorry about is that he cannot — not yet, anyway — simply decree what happens with health care in this country.  He believes himself above the law and is impatient about finding a means of achieving that discretion.  For our own good, of course. Many observers on the Right have long known this about Obama.  Suddenly, though, it is out there for all to see. The American people don’t like tyrants, even smooth-talking, Harvard-educated ones. The great trek away from Obama and what he stands for — above all, government unlimited — has begun.  The journey will not be pretty, but I think it is all but certain to continue.

Also read: Obama’s Poll Panic

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
The best news I've heard recently is that in Elementary schools, whenever anything goes wrong, the latest response is to say, "Thanks, Obama!"

The children have gone from singing praise songs to mocking Dear Leader.

This is good news indeed.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
The reason Obama is in free fall is that the Propaganda Machine can't cover the turd in the Kool-Aid bowl this time.

The low information/misinformed/disinformed voter...just got a good, long swallow forced down their throats.

Curse John Roberts while you begrudgingly thank him, I suppose. He (inadvertently?) made sure the easily duped got an up front and personal look at the real effects of Marxism on the people.

As much as I might love to Twist and Schaude with the rest of us who have been warning that people are going to get "transformed"....good and hard...like any good lesson, the one that sticks...is the one that sticks it to you hardest.


The bumbling, fumbling, stumbling, crumbling act...is quite hysterically funny with all the radical Weathermen doing daily pratfalls...but the after effects of Typhoid Barry are not funny.

Our Constitution is worth saving...it might have taken the wreckage of one sixth of our economy to prove it.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
So here's a thought I have not heard elsewhere. Big 0 may be in for a serious further poll crash come January. Why? Well, for one big reason, over the next six weeks, 300 million Americans will gather with families. How many of us, say two years ago, would be there with any number of dewey-eyed Obamatrons who were not shy about being such? And how many of us just pretty much shut up about the subject, because a joyful family gathering was more important than getting into an argument with Hopey-Changeys?

Ah, but now..... NOW people WILL start speaking truth, and the Hopey-Changey's will retreat into the corners. And like with totalitarian collapse, the true tipping point occurs when people begin to realize that they are not alone! Now they have "permission", if you will, to call it as it is because 0 has so totally screwed the pooch that it cannot be ignored. And his supporters will have not the smallest shreds of sand to stand upon. And the quiet "peace-in-the-family-ers", and the genuine middle-of-the-roaders, will still be quiet, but they will be watching. And realizing that they can withdraw their support without being a rotten horrible person.

And thus a cascade begins.......
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (68)
All Comments   (68)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
I'd be much more freude if I wasn't among those schaden by this disaster.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
If you do not know what an organizational psychopath is, you desperately need to read Dr. Robert Hare's book "Snakes in Suits." Psychopathy is a personality disorder, and results in a personality that thinks he (or she) ought to control whomever and whatever he wishes. The psychopath creates a false and attractive personality to cover for his narcissistic and anti-social behaviors, and enlists enablers and dupes to carry out his programs.

International Socialists psychopaths typically enlist ethnic minorities to accomplish their aims before betraying them. National Socialists enlist the racially pure to accomplish their aims and then betray them. Every psychopathic system in history has failed catastrophically and now it our turn. It was not a good idea to elect a Marxist psychopath to the presidency of the USA. It would be a worse idea to elect a RINO, because RINOs have compromised American Republic values for nearly 100 years.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
2014, 2016 will soon be here. The Tea Party conservatives are not going away.

Libs, be very afraid.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, Mr. Kimball. And I do believe if you scratch the surface a bit more, you'll find relatives of Valerie Jarrett are also on the payroll of that no-bid contract.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
We are now in very serious times. It's good to see the phony Obama halo disappear, but the United States has been placed in a world of confusion, trouble, and rising costs by Obamacare that it will take years if not decades to overcome.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
We allowed this. We are too busy to do the research and vote in the right person who will take care of us and our CONSTITUTION...
Stop electing liberal marxist!!
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
I dont think it is shadenfreude as much as it is satisfaction at being proven completely right, after not being believed for years. Its kind of like the NASA engineer who kept warning people that the O rings in the shuttle were unstable at low temperatures, and nobody beleived him, and said he was getting mentally unstable. When the shuttle disaster happened, due to his warnings being ignored, I doubt he was happy, but I suspect he felt vindicated at being proven right, when so many other experts said he was wrong.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Let's see: 1) It started with "we have to pass it, to see what's in it" Pelosi. then a triumphant march down Capitol Hill steps to nowhere. 2) Upon signing, immediately Obamacare was funded for 10 years with taxes, charges and other "hidden" conscriptions; 3) Then We The People, after reading all gazillion pages of "legalese" found out there were 21 (or more) new taxes, further guaranteeing "porkulus" and benefits to Congress and Senators (you know We the Elite People of culture of corruption in all of Washington DC)...then the waivers! 21 alone in Pelosi's district, spreading across every union worth it's hew and cry and related Progressive New Left Activist organizations and "Big Businesses!" across these fruited plains!!! Even WashingtonDC Elites got into this "waiver" waffle! Then there are the IRS new hires and Sibelius' "Crooked Navigators!" This is what "Crony-Capitalist's" always desired...sweet-heart deals. Exposed for what they are...out-and-out CROOKS: the Judiciary, the Legislature and now the Executive.
Liberty amendments, now! The stench from WashingtonDC is creating a new form of "carbon tax!" Pray. Amen. God Bless America's Excellence. Join a Tea Party, urgently.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sorry to say we have to fight for our freedom, again.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
The "stench of lawlessness" has been on Obama right from the start, including the sleazy way he got elected in Illinois, by getting accomplices to release private records. Also sleazy land deals and a make-work job for Moochelle.

Our Mussolini for Morons thinks he has the right and authority to rule by decree, because he's just SO GOOD, so transcendently righteous and holy.

The aura of a Mussolini eventually fades, when the wreckage piles up.
.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Our joy is great because it is now the liberals screaming in shock and horror at what Obamacare is doing to them. Conservatives read the law and did their screaming four years ago, so we've had a long time to prepare ourselves for this disaster.

O/T fact: God cannot lie. Anything God says becomes true by the power of God's word. "Let there be light" and there was light, etc. Obama is not a liar, he's a man who thinks he's God.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Dave, Oct 2012 the libs Booed God and Booed Israel in Charlotte at the DNC! I was shocked.
So, the left is Godless, and we need to stop letting them in Washington.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
The website debacle is a blessing in disguise for the corrupt LYING DemocRATS and INCOMPETENT LAZY LYING Obozo if it had not been such a TRAIN WRECK then the REALITY of what a complete DISASTER Obamacare really is would have been much more visible. So DemocRATS should be thanking their lucky stars that the real CATASTROPHE that is the "AFFORDABLE" Care Act (what a bizarre MISNOMER that will be shown to be) has not yet hit the public.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
1 2 3 4 5 Next View All