Earlier this week, MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski tried to call the HealthCare.gov helpline and got an operator. That's right: an operator! The call went through! MSNBC, the unofficial AV department of the Democratic Party, had a scoop. The network tweeted out the big news along with a link to the video: "Mika called the Obamacare hotline and got through with no problems -- right on air. WATCH."
It's a sure sign that the bar has been lowered to curb height when spinners are touting the exciting news that phone calls actually go through. Someone picked up the phone! Quick, hang that "Mission Accomplished" banner. Never mind that you simply cannot buy insurance from the exchanges over the phone. But the fact you can get someone on the line to tell you that is, I suppose, progress of a kind.
A few hours later, the head of the DNC, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, went on MSNBC to insist that criticisms were overblown because she actually knew a young man in her state who signed up.
This, too, is progress given that the first -- widely publicized -- young man to enroll, Chad Henderson, actually never signed up. And many of the members of the studio audience for this week's Rose Garden infomercial hadn't been able to sign up yet, either. Still, there's an old saying: "The plural of anecdote is data." Now we've entered the era of, "The singular of anecdote is data, too."
This can only go on for so long until the Democrats cut and run from a program they've invested nearly their entire political identity in. Already you can see the thought bubble over some of their heads: "We lost control of Congress for this hot mess?"
Ah, but Obamacare is more than a website, don't you know? The president himself said so in his Rose Garden infomercial. And that is absolutely true. But so is this disaster. In fact, for critics of Obamacare the square-wheeled "rollout" of HealthCare.gov was a gimme. Put another way, it's been like watching a rival football team face-plant on the way out of the locker room.
Still, the barely holding conventional wisdom on the right and left is that the website will get fixed eventually, the glitches will be de-glitched, and one day we'll all look back and laugh at the fuss. That's possible. But with every passing day it's less likely. And if more Democrats join the movement to delay the individual mandate (Republican Sen. Marco Rubio already has drafted legislation to do exactly that), the whole thing could start to unravel almost overnight.
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