Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sadly, "Incompetence" Is The Least Of The President's Problems

Via Memeorandum

Writing in the LA Times, Jonah Goldberg opines on Why 'Obama-care' is failing. Being a kinder person than I, Goldberg chalks it up to incompetence:

Imagine if President George W. Bush, in his effort to partially privatize Social Security, had insisted that the "time for talking is over." Picture, if you will, the Bush White House asking Americans to turn in their e-mails, in the pursuit of "fishy" dissent. Conjure a scenario under which then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) derided critics as "evil-mongers" the way Harry Reid (D-Nev.) recently described town hall protesters. Or if then-House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Texas) had called vocal critics "un-American" the way Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) and Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) did last week, or if White House strategist Karl Rove had been Sir Spam-a-lot instead of David Axelrod.

Now I'm not asking you, dear reader, to do this so that you might be able to see through the glare of Obama's halo or the outlines of the media's staggering double standard when it comes to covering this White House. Rather it is to grasp that the Obama administration has been astoundingly incompetent.

I agree that the Administration’s handling of health care has been monumentally incompetent, however, I would argue that it is incompetence borne from dishonesty and ego.

Barack Obama is not a humble man. He believes that if he says it, it makes it so. He believes the “One” hype and that his personal charisma is enough to guarantee consensus. In the real world, it takes more than an upturned chin to convince a country to overthrow its health care system.

On the other hand, Obama is smart enough to know that if he presents the public option honestly that it will not fly. It is fundamentally dishonest to say that under a public plan:

* You can keep your private insurance
* You can keep your doctor
* You will see NO change in your current care
* You will save money
* There will be no rationing

To imagine that the American public would willing swallow that swill is hubris on steroids.

Goldberg correctly points out that there is no single coherent health care bill. The entire fiasco has been “Amateur Night at the White House.” But Obama was banking that his glow would blind the public to the lack of details until it was too late.


Stonegatherer said...

What people don't seem to get is that:

"You can keep your private insurance"

actually means that you can keep you insurance until your employer kills it.

Annette said...

I am an expat living in Costa Rica which has had a public option since 1941; anyone and everyone can get care. And private insurance has stayed viable every step of the way. That's where the weathy and middle class get their care. Costs in the private sector have gone down because it knows anyone can move to the public option at will.