Jewish World Review April 17, 2014 / 17 Nissan, 5774
And they call it ... success!
By Paul Greenberg
There are times when the master politician has to be a master illusionist. And there are too many times when he doesn't fool anybody, perhaps not even himself, and some little
But the show must go on, as it did last week when the chief executive and ringmaster of this star-studded production bid a long overdue adieu to his loyal servant and scapegoat, the Hon.
But one of the qualifications for the job of Great and Powerful Oz is to put the best face on even the worst of debacles, which the equally Hon.
This is the kind of continuing collapse an experienced illusionist will know how to deny no matter how many firewalls on this ship collapse or interior compartments fill with bilge. So last Friday our president, looking straight at the TV camera and an increasingly skeptical nation, hailed the wonders Ms. Sebelius had performed with Obamacare: "Under Kathleen's leadership, her team at HHS turned the corner, got it fixed, got the job done." Mission Accomplished!
Don't believe it? Why, said the president, "the final score speaks for itself," which must have been a vague reference to the 7.5 million people signed up for his Signature Debacle at last announcement. What a shiny, splendid, glittering number!
Just don't ask too many pesky questions like, "How many of these folks already had insurance before, but had their policies canceled and will have to pay higher premiums now?" "How many exceptions, delays, waivers, 'protected classes' and escape hatches in general have been necessary to paper over the holes in this tub, and how many are yet to come?" And, perhaps most relevant and troubling of all, "How many of the young and healthy are signing up for this wondrous program in order to offset the older and sicker being covered, and so keep this whole Rube Goldberg contraption afloat?" Answer: There isn't one. Nobody knows, or at least dares not guess. Better to just dance and prance around the wonderful wizard who's brought all this to pass.
Surely someone as intelligent as our president can see through all the hooey he feels obliged to peddle, but being a master politician, i.e., a Wonderful Wizard, entails certain sacrifices, beginning with one's own dignity. After all, the president's slightly exaggerated version of events, to quote a character in a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, is "merely corroborative detail, intended to give artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative."
And yet some of us can't help but remember, indelibly, other highlights of
It only seems like an eternity that the country has been waiting for this not so Affordable Care Act to click in and work. But remember this: The system never crashed. It couldn't be allowed to, not in the merry, merry land of Obamacare, aka Denial.
In the Rose Garden last week, everything was coming up roses, of course. And like roses, Obamacare requires lots of fertilizer to produce those pretty blooms, however illusory.
It's quite a show. It's just not much of a health-insurance program. Somebody get a hook and repeal-and-replace this farce, cutting out the army of patronage used mainly to expand the
But would those simple fixes be too down-to-earth for this master illusionist, even as his latest and greatest illusion fades?
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
Paul Greenberg is the Pulitzer prize-winning editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
© 2014 TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC.