When the media switched from website crashes to human stories of people being harmed by the government, even cheerleaders of the law started putting down their pom-poms.
Had the president and scores of congressional Democrats avoided specifics and promised only that lives would be made better by the law, the media would have granted a pass, as usual. But they went out of their way. Period. More than three-dozen times in the case of the president alone. Period. To ensure us that if we liked our plan, we would be able to keep it, no matter what. Period.
Partisans and their friends in the media could not explain this away. The big lie was exposed. The game was up.
President Obama tried to fall back on his personal charm and talk his way out of it. Acting like a person summoning memories of what humility was like from stories heard long ago, he offered something resembling as close to an apology he has in him. The “I’m sorry you didn’t understand what I was saying was the opposite of what I was actually saying, so it’s really your fault” line went over like a brick. But it was all he had.
It was so ineffective that it, and the damage the law was doing to people, left former President Bill Clinton no choice but to attempt to distance and differentiate himself, and more importantly his wife, from this law and this president. Having the first prominent Democrat call for a change to the law be named Clinton without it being Hillary, to still give the illusion of loyalty, was important for their future plans.
When one rat starts to leave a ship, the rest follow…
The chorus rose to the point of legislation being introduced, not only by Republicans but by Democrats as well. Action was coming, one way or another.
Never one to worry much about Constitutional constraints, the president pre-empted his detractors and pretended the law that was set in stone only six weeks earlier was made of clay and he changed it.
When asked about his repeated promise he said, “With respect to the pledge I made that if you like your plan you can keep it, I think -- you know, and I've said in interviews -- that there is no doubt that the way I put that forward unequivocally ended up not being accurate.”
The only way he could not have known it was if he didn’t want to know – if his staff was under orders or chose not to tell him. There’s no reason to believe he’d know on his own. He has no real-world experience in business or the private sector in general, but he does have a staff. The motivation for his lie is either willful deceit or willful ignorance. But neither excuses it.
On the website, what he said was telling. “I was not informed directly that the website would not be working as -- the way it was supposed to.”
The key word is “directly.” Either the president was remarkably incurious about the main consumer aspect of his proudest achievement or he was lied to. If he was lied to, the fact that no one has been fired is a disgrace. If he was incurious…
So, either the president of the United States has surrounded himself with people who deliberately keep him in the dark and/or lie to him, or he is an incompetent man in over his head so far that he’s frozen in ignorance, unable to muster the wherewithal to ask even the most basic questions on major issues. Or else he’s lying.
History will judge, but the present, between now and the end of his term, can’t be allowed to forget.