So the government shutdown continues. Although promises to make furloughed federal workers whole with back pay raises the question when is a “furlough” just another taxpayer-paid vacation?
But as long as the panda-cam at the National Zoo is shut down and parking lots are roped off at national parks, we’ll accept for the sake of argument that the shutdown is real.
But the president really did promise that nothing would stop Obamacare from being implemented — not Tea Partiers in the U.S. House or government shutdowns, NOTHING.
That is unless you consider the dreadfully flawed technology, especially the software, which was to link eager would-be consumers of health insurance to the government that has promised them everything but delivered not so much.
The website that was supposed to direct citizens of 36 states (happily not including Massachusetts, which had a few glitches of its own but nothing like the federal meltdown) pretty much crashed as people tried to set up their online accounts so they could access insurance policies through health care exchanges [...].
It was, in short, a nightmare. One that demanded at least a first round of fixes on Sunday — the first time the Obama administration admitted that this just wasn’t working. Another round followed in the wee small hours of Tuesday morning.
Experts who examined the system for The Wall Street Journal found a number of coding problems and what they called flaws in the “architecture” of the system.
Jon Kingsdale, who helped set up the Massachusetts system and served for a time as head of the Connector authority, warned that the feds may be able to weather this October failure, but “this all needs to get fixed by November or they won’t be able to process the volume they’re going to get.”
Of course, putting the law on hold for a year, especially putting the individual mandate on hold as the Obama administration has already done for the employer mandate, would have been a sensible thing to do.
But then when has “sensible” ever entered into the thinking of this administration?
Here’s a simple strategy the each and every GOP House member should be following: first, block out the GOP “consultants” and “pragmatists,” because the advice consultants are offering is to surrender (a sure way to alienate the base), and the “pragmatists” aren’t being terribly pragmatic, acting as they are to ensure that the Cruz / House strategy fails rather than working to win the American people over to it by explaining it clearly and with conviction). Second, call a press conference daily. And not just in DC: House members should be on the phone with the local media in their districts and states — all delivering a singular, straightforward message: “The President and the Democrats want to continue government funding on autopilot despite a debt that keeps growing. On top of that, they want to force you into a health insurance system that they can’t even get operational, and yet are demanding you join anyway.
“But not all of you. The President has decided that some people are worthy of waivers — meaning the individual mandate won’t apply to them for a full year — while others are not. That is, he has granted waivers to his friends and cronies while denying them to the rest of the American people.
“Now ask yourself: if ObamaCare is so wonderful that we all really need to accept it, why are Obama’s friends and clients seeking to avoid it?
“Despite what you may have been told, here is what the House GOP is ACTUALLY asking: 1) that the waivers Obama has given his big corporate pals and his union buddies be extended to ALL Americans, who are presumably equal under the law. Frankly, given the problems with the software, this is a practical as well as an ethical compromise. 2) that the very Congress who demands you follow this law not grant themselves an exemption from it — while asking you to subsidize their own gold plated health care plans.
“To be clear, the government ‘shutdown’ (which really only applies to 17% of the non-essential government functions) is a product of the President and Harry Reid’s refusal to accept those two conditions on a continuing resolution. Or to put it another way, they refuse to negotiate with those who are pushing for equality before the law and resisting the special privileges of a ruling class that passes laws they then elect not to follow themselves.
“Rather than compromising, however, Obama and the Democrats have decided to punish you for your presumptuousness: rather than agree to a deal that would prove fair to everyone, they have decided to fill your lives with inconvenience, to cause you misery, to show you just what happens when you defy your federal government. They have punished vets, elderly home owners, hoteliers, restauranteurs, park visitors, travelers — and the list goes on. And they needn’t have: during other government shut downs, no other President has done any such things. And the American people are taking notice.
“Because what Obama and Sen Reid fail to realize is that, in doing so, they are showing you just how much the federal government, when it desires to, can cause you pain. And that’s because it is too big and too insinuated into our lives. This was not what the Founders and Framers had in mind when they constructed a Constitution built around limited and enumerated federal powers.
“A government that is big enough to shut down views of mountains, open air monuments, and entire oceans, is a government that can demand of you nearly anything. And now they want to control your health care.
“So imagine: if anyone in the future tries to stop the federal government from overspending, and the government can threaten in return to close to access to health exchanges, what recourse will you have then?
“We are fighting now because now is the time to fight. For you, and for your liberty. And despite everything you’ve heard from those who are pushing Obama’s agenda, the failure to compromise is his and the Democratic Party’s.
“We have passed or introduced appropriation measures to fund veterans, the parks, the National Institutes of Health, the FDA, and any number of other parts of the government. The Democrats have voted to block those measures until they get everything they want, which in this case amounts to the RIGHT to pick and choose who must follow a law and who doesn’t have to.
“That’s not fair. And that’s not right. And it’s certainly not the American way.”
Get that message down to state and local level, and stop worrying about how the press will frame things, and you win. It really is that simple.
So. Chop chop!