OUR GREAT SPEAKER
It’s not with joy we write this, or even perhaps disappointment. But last night, while watching the evening news and listening to President Obama say that mistakes were made in launching the Affordable Healthcare Act, that he was unsatisfied and was going to make sure it was fixed, we lost it.
The immediate cause of the President’s speech once more was that something he had envisioned and promised had not come to useful fruition. In particular, people cannot apply nor apparently be approved and begin to receive at the end of the year what the Affordable Healthcare Act promises…because, through no fault of the plan itself, the mechanics of enrolling online, for example, are so screwed up that the entire affair is an embarrassment.
As all of America knows, one cannot get online, follow instructions, fill in blanks with needed information, ask questions, or indeed make the website Healthcare.gov work, period. Individual states are having more success, which is reassuring, at getting the uninsured to enroll.
With a speed that surprised even us, we started to shout at our television set. This is a fairly rare occurrence.
“If we were the President who had made a point of making Affordable Healthcare the center-piece of his administration’s record, we would have sat on it days, months, years to make sure it worked, not only the plan itself but the enrolment procedure.
“If we were the President, we’d be checking in every single day, every hour, to find out what was happening, what wasn’t, how the roll-out could be improved, how the web-site could be made more navigable. These would not be tasks delegated to others, these would be thing we would do as President personally, perhaps with a dozen other people involved as a task force.
“With something like this, struggled and fought for, voted into law by the Congress, sanctioned by the Supreme Court, we would make damned sure that we personally would work day in and day out to be absolutely certain that when the plan was launched, it was launched properly, speedily, and effectively. And so would any American businessman worth his salt.
“This is not something one delegates too others, not if one cares about fashioning one’s legacy, not if one cares about really achieving something that matters to millions of Americans.
“To come before cameras now and tell us it will be fixed, that something went wrong (but he doesn’t know what), that patience and alternate approaches to the problem are both required and necessary.
“No one is more frustrated than I am,” he told us, and then proceeded to give us all a telephone number to call to break into the system and get our questions answered.
“You know what? We are more frustrated than President Obama! Too often he has produced ideas or plans which after introducing, he blithely throws to Congress or another governmental body to solve. Having made his proposal, he apparently feels his job is done. He withdraws and becomes merely a witness to ineptitude, not a problem solver.
“We think the results are finally in. Obama is the most inept chief executive we can remember. Even George Bush could keep his eye on the ball.
“Worse, to present us with a program where “something has gone wrong,” i.e., in effect ducking responsibility for not overseeing the roll-out himself, is irresponsible and frankly chicken.
“This President’s coin of the realm is words, period. He’s a sensational speaker. He may even be a solid thinker. But as an actor, as someone truly involved with the nation and its problems, with wanting to solve them, he’s a complete dud. How could someone so smart, so well educated, so motivated to “do good” that he decided to run for President in the first place, be such an irresponsible, unknowing politician, putting himself squarely in the middle of the gang in Congress for ineptitude?
“Enough! We shout. Give us a man who dares get his hands dirty, who stands for what he says he does, who isn’t afraid of intragovernmental warfare, who isn’t afraid of trying to follow an idea to its logical conclusion.
“He may be cool and sophisticated, but he’s also chicken.”
And not content with shouting all of this at the messenger, my television set, I rushed right on to realize others were just as bad.
“If Obama is running alone down the road to safety, all of Congress is on his heels, not chasing, but trying to exit even faster from responsibility and governing.”
Well, one can’t go one indefinitely. This is not a filibuster. This is where one takes a drink and tells oneself to calm down, the end of the world is still some way off. We hope.
But every word we shouted at our Toshiba was deeply felt, surprising, and final. We voted twice for this man. We’re getting off the train. We have had it with this guy and 2016 can’t come soon enough for us.