It certainly has been looking dreary for the White House lately. The President’s signature legislative achievement – Obamacare – hit a real rough patch last month. After a difficult birth and three-and-a-half years of stepped implementation, the final, critical component was ready to launch. The state health insurance exchanges – the ‘marketplaces’ – were going live on October 1st. For the unfortunate half of Americans “living” in the tantrum-throwing infantile ‘red’ states, the federal government set up healthcare.gov to provide access to affordable insurance and health care.
There’s a scene in every scifi space thriller where the bad guy’s ship is about to blow up the good guy’s ship. The good guy pushes the big flashing GO REAL FAST NOW! button… and… nothin! Outta gas. Flat tire. The whosiewhatsit is kaput. And Our Hero looks to be out of options. Or, is he? In the movies, the hero is always one step ahead of the evil-doers. He has a spare battery in his utility belt. He finds some twine and a bobby pin. Or he’s just one of those incredibly lucky fellows.
Last month, the President’s team hit the GO REAL FAST NOW! button on the USS Obamacare. But the machinery started making clunky sounds, oil leaked, a black cloud of smoke rose over the whole enterprise. And the bad guys in the GOP/FOXmobile were catching up fast, guns a-blazin’.
As I watched Mr Obama at his press event today, I think I may have seen a gleam in his eye. He knows the website issues are real, but the media shitstorm is masking the underlying success of Obamacare right out of the gate. 100,000 signed up in October… almost 1,000,000 completed the process just short of signing up for a plan. 400,000 more people accessing state Medicaid services, and growing. Don’t hear much about all that, do we? But the President realizes the value of low expectations and being underestimated. He’s been there before.
He knows the website issues will get resolved, this month or next month. The holidays are upon us and will provide a giant distraction. With the new Obamacare policies taking effect on January 1st, there will be a huge spike in sign ups just around the new year. With another giant spike toward the end of March, when the open enrollment period ends.
He also knows that millions of Americans will soon be benefiting from Obamacare. Those stories have already begun percolating up through the media muck. As time goes on into 2014 and this lived reality of millions becomes the understood truth, the tables will turn. The GOP is so far out on the anti-Obamacare limb, it will have nowhere to go — so they will get more strident, as they do. As summer heats up the campaign season, Democrats will be climbing back on the Obamacare bandwagon. The President will have to clone himself to keep up with the demand for campaign appearances. And come November, the political media will be running to their online thesauruses for new ways to say LANDSLIDE.
Obama played the GOP like a fiddle in last month’s shutdown/default drama. He then took the fiddle and beat them over the heads with it.
I do not believe that man, in the space of three weeks, lost his political nerve over a website snafu. No, he knew the GOP would be out for blood and would come at him full force. I think what we are seeing now is the political master at work, again. (Along with his key lieutenants Pelosi & Reid). With the Republicans rushing at him from one side, and the bloodthirsty media coming from the other side, watch Obama sidestep out of the way at the last possible moment. He’ll find the fuse and bring his fist down on the GO REAL FAST NOW! button — and they won’t even know what hit them. I could almost feel sorry for little Johnny Boehner and his band of idiots. Not to mention the ugly cowardice of DINOs like Manchin and Landrieu. Real profiles in courage.
I could be wrong. But we won’t have long to wait to find out. In the meantime, Mr President, good luck. We’re all counting on you.