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Who’s in Charge Here?

October 31st, 2013 - 8:34 am

NBC News

Michael O’Brien:

Even Democratic allies of the administration question why Obama didn’t know about the serious problems, and express concern about his personal response.
“I think he might have been better off by standing up and saying this happened up on my watch and take responsibility for it. I think that’s better than saying he didn’t know,” said veteran Democratic strategist Bob Shrum. “I think people expect the president, on his signature program, to be on top of it.”

“The president’s certainly got some work to do in getting people focused on his agenda,” added Democratic operative Jamal Simmons, who floated the idea of the administration bringing in an adviser from outside Obama’s close-knit inner circle to shake-up internal thinking. “Mainly it just seems that the White House has been reacting to issues as they arise and not getting out there and setting the agenda.”
David Axelrod, a former top aide to Obama, told NBC News that the president needs to be vocal in his response.

I’m of two contradictory minds on this. One, they thought it would work; they really did. The other, they’re trying to crash the system alá Cloward-Piven. The way HHS wrote the insurance regulations suggests the latter. The White House’s reaction suggests the former.

There’s a third possibility which just came to mind, suggested by something Roger L. Simon wrote a year or three about. I don’t have time to find a link, but Roger’s in-person impression of Wiggleroom was of somebody who didn’t really believe in much anymore. He was steeped in revolutionary Marxism at home and faculty room Marxism at school, but real-word experience had discredited Marxian thinking and left Wiggleroom with… not much to replace it. I’m paraphrasing broadly here, but that’s the gist of what Roger was left with after meeting the man.

So suppose then that ObamaCare is just the result of a sort of reflexive statism endemic to an intellectually exhausted progressive lefty. The left had always wanted to centralize health care, so they did just that in the only politically possible way at the earliest possible moment. Not much thought then was given to practicality or workability of the law itself — just to whatever was politically doable in the moment. And the President, whose own fingerprints are actually nowhere to be found on the law bearing his name, happily signed the thing thinking it was some sort of grand achievement. That it turned out to be a mess doesn’t require any conspiracies; it merely requires a left-thinking President without a philosophical core, doing whatever was political expedient to achieve somebody else’s dream.

It all fits, and even passes Occam’s Razor.

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All Comments   (7)
All Comments   (7)
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No, Donny, these men are nihilists, there's nothing to be afraid of.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think you're more or less correct, Stephen, with one additional wrinkle.

The onerous insurance regulations may have been designed to fail (or maybe they simply don't care whether they succeed), but the exchange website was certainly intended to work.

Imagine if you will: a slick government-run portal, smoothly and efficiently serving up the lovely options the government has forced those evil insurance corporations to provide. Maybe the insurance companies profit, maybe they don't.

If the system crashes, who are the people going to turn to for help? The failed corporations? Or the purveyors of that slick goody-distribution website? So, if the corporations profit, you get corporatism. If they fail, you get socialism. Either way, the right sort of people are in power. There's your philosophical exhaustion.

Sadly for the dream, the website crashed before the insurance companies did.

So, there you go. Malice AND incompetence AND intellectual exhaustion.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think that's a great description.

People at the top who know nothing and can do nothing, other than give speeches. And a small crowd of marxists, flat out commies, true-believers, fellow travelers, with a legion of incompetents.

Reality is spanking them (and us). And this is only one of the idiotic things they've done.

I tell my kids, I'll never be able to retire. I'll probably die early of a malady that would otherwise be fixed today. It's enough to drive you to drink.

Oh...that's right...it does. Hope they don't bring back prohibition, since the state will have to pay for alcohol related syndromes.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
They won't bring back prohibition. They'll just tax it under Obamacare to the point where it's financially impossible to drink. Think what's happened to cigarettes but on steroids.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Stephen,

You wrote: "That it turned out to be a mess doesn’t require any conspiracies; it merely requires a left-thinking President without a philosophical core, doing whatever was political expedient to achieve somebody else’s dream."

And that's the best case scenario!
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
If he is really a Marxist (and, frankly, I don't think he has the brains to really understand Marxist theory), then he does not believe that any human institution is worth saving. It's all crap, and any replacement will be 'better' than the original institution.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The way HHS wrote the insurance regulations suggests the latter. The White House’s reaction suggests the former."

The circle gets squared if you consider that Obama and his White House 'rrhoids really did (stupidly) think it could work -- they based it on Romneycare and that rolled out fairly sort of mostly okay.

Meanwhile Sebelius and her crew had their eye on single-payer, thinking that was Obama's longterm plan and knowing it was the party's.

So you have the White House trying to make it succeed and HHS trying to make it fail. Huh -- what could possib ly go wrong with that?

So, maybe Geraldo is right. Maybe mere incompetence can't explain it, maybe it was sabotaged, by O and S working at cross purposes without realizing it.

Tasty, tasty schadenfreude.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
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