It Turns Out That Democrats Were Responsible for the Watergate Coverup

The Washington Post has a very good article on failures of Obamacare exchange implementation.  The Left is finding the article to be convincing evidence that the failures were all ... wait for it .. the Republican's fault.

Every single failure, save one, in the article (we'll come back to that one in a minute) was due to the Administration's fear of Republican criticism.  So results were hidden, bad decisions were made, and key steps were delayed until after the last election.  All because the Obama Administration appears to incredibly thin-skinned about criticism.

But blaming these decisions on Republicans and other Obamacare opponents is absurd.  One could easily say that the bad decisions made by the Nixon administration to cover up Watergate and other campaign shenanigans were driven by a fear of political reprisals by Democrats, but no one would be crazy enough to blame the Democrats for them.  It reminds me of the folks who wanted to blame failures in the Vietnam war on the anti-war movement.  But that is exactly what is going on here, and the amazing thing is just how many people seem willing to enable and support this incredible evasion.

The one other example that Republicans are supposedly to blame is latched onto by Kevin Drum, among others, quite eagerly.  Apparently, the PPACA legislation, which was written entirely by Democrats and passed without a single Republican vote, failed to actually provide financing for an enormous new organization to build and run the exchanges.  And, amazingly enough, Republicans refused to fix the Democrat's problem with the Democrat-written legislation in a law they hated and wanted repealed.  So the Obama Administration had to build the exchanges within the existing CMS organization, which botched the implementation.  And for THAT, apparently Republicans are to blame for it all.

Of course, beyond the just bizarre "buck stops anywhere but here" mentality, there are other problems with this logic.  First, it is hard to believe that a brand new greenfield organization run entirely by Obama's policy folks and completely without any systems experience would have done better than an organization that at least has some health care systems experience.  Further, would the schedule really have been aided by having to start an entirely new organization from scratch?  Finally, it is clear from the article that a large part of the reason for moving the work to CMS was not just money but a desire to avoid transparency, to bury and hide the work.  Even had the financing mistake** not been made, one gets the sense that Obama might have buried the effort inside CMS anyway.

In fact, this is the overriding theme from the entire article.  Every decision made for the Obamacare implementation seemed to be driven by political expediency first, avoiding transparency and accountability second, and actual results last.  It is well worth reading yourself to see what conclusions you draw.


** I am not entirely convinced it was a mistake.  Remember, the Democrats were scrambling to make the PPACA seem budget neutral.  They might easily have left out key bits of financing they know they needed, thinking they could hide the appropriation later.   A plan that died when Scott Brown was unexpectedly elected.



  1. mlhouse:

    The rationalization is just amazing. When I first read the piece I could not believe that even the biased, left wing journalists of our day could write such gibberish.

  2. Zeev Kidron:

    If only this bright public "servant" would have been in charge things would have been grand. Same justification communist the world over used for years to justify why Stalin was at fault, not the system itself. Trust good moral people to be elected and/or appointed and then do the right thing and be disappointed. Or trust a system whereby even not so good and moral people (like most of us are) can't do harm.
    Milton Friedman said it much better but I can't find the exact quote at this moment.

  3. Andrew_M_Garland:

    Liberals/Progressives reject the idea of unavoidable consequences. They admit that some consequences are unintended, but they deny responsibility for them.

    They think that they are responsible only for the consequences which they wanted, if these happen at all. The bad consequences are caused by those other people, and can be removed by tweaking their plans and by more control over everyone. They believe that their plans would succeed if only everyone would agree with and support them.

    They believe with religious certainty, that because they dearly want a better world, run by themselves, it follows that they will create a better world, eventually, after a few temporary intervals of turmoil and destruction. The glorious end justifies breaking a few eggs, or a whole lot of eggs. They can't just give up, that would be wrong.


  4. Andrew_M_Garland:

    The problem with Obama, Progressives, and other lovers of big government is that they all have a plan to restore America to greatness. Or, more accurately, to bring it to its first greatness. They have many plans. If one doesn't work, they have lots of others to try. They proclaim that no one is more intelligent or deserving of doing this work than they are. Eventually, they will try plan after plan until they find one that works, no matter how long it takes or how much it costs.

    ObamaCare is a huge wish, with every problem identified in 2,500 pages of detail. Unfortunately, the solutions presented are all of the form "The Director of Health and Human Services shall determine the answer, and appoint the boards which will determine the answers, and conduct the studies which will determine the answers." All in the glorious future.

    In the meantime, everyone should shut up and join in the effort. Any dissent may derail the entire operation. We are all in this together, especially those who will be paying for it.

    They think, "why have power if we won't transform the world?" Surely this is worth the temporary comfort, wealth, and maybe a few lives of the little people. They aren't lying in their view. The "truth" is a political construct, useful to get to one type of world or another, and usually not knowable or trustworthy. The quest cannot end because there are stones in the road.

    Leading the People - If You Don't Agree Now, You Will Later


  5. Canvasback:

    The way the Post puts it, the Administration was like a bunch of kids hiding what they were doing in an upstairs bedroom so the grown-ups wouldn't find out.

    I hope desperately that Obamacare fails - no good can come from it. And I will not create an account.

  6. marque2:

    It was designed to fail. The exchanges were designed to make giving health insurance by private corporations untennalbe. The legislation about doubled the price of private insurance, and all the mandates and spending restrictions make it difficult to operate at a profit. In 2 - 3 years when all the insurance companies bailed out, and Hospitals started going under, the government would jump in and save us from what the government created, and we would be happy to accept single payer.
    Look at what the government did to student loans to look for the model - the legislated so banks could not make any money on Student loans, banks stopped lending, Government - instead of changing the rules back took over, claiming they could save us because the government doesn't need an "evil profit" Government is spending much more than private industry, and is on the verge of a trillion dollar default. Nice!

  7. marque2:

    "We are all in this together, especially those who will be paying for it."
    It takes a village!

  8. irandom419:

    Found out that Watergate was a failed attempt at exposing the use of prostitutes by the progressives, but anyway can't take that seriously after Benghazi. Finally, an answer to the cry that the Republicans are ruining it. Basically, we made them implement as originally envisioned and that is bad. I found the financing stuff hilarious that they needed $5E9, but only got $1E9 to implement 3 servers for the whole country.

  9. DensityDuck:

    I remember how the ACA was going to be passed because we just had to pass SOMETHING to fix this problem and even if there were things that we didn't like we'd just fix it later by passing more laws.

    Like this is a software release and it's OK to ship a beta version and patch in the full functionality later on.