Paul Greenberg

Only now does Obamacare's namesake call the press to the Rose Garden, which is much better tended than his signature program, to acknowledge what everybody already knows: There are, well, a few problems with his signature program. Problems are now known as glitches in the specialized language used to minimize politicians' mistakes, however colossal. As if they were but technical problems. Just press 4....

Don't be concerned. Our president assures all and sundry that his administration may delay the deadlines in the law, just as he has ignored other laws that he found it inconvenient to enforce. With this president, law can be a sometime thing.

Putting off the start of Obamacare's insurance exchanges for individuals, just as he already has delayed it for businesses, was one of the proposals the president rejected when Republicans made it during their pointless fight over raising the debt ceiling. If the president had accepted it then, he might have avoided two crises -- not just the one now affecting Obamacare but the shutdown that shuttered much of the federal government for weeks.

Back then, the president denounced any suggestion that Obamacare be delayed as a Republican plot, throwing around the word "blackmail" with abandon. Now that he's considering that suggestion, the usual apologists for this administration will explain that Obamacare just needs a simple little fix that'll straighten out whatever's wrong with it in no time. Uh-huh.

On the same day the president finally acknowledged that his (not so) Affordable Health Care was in (more than) a bit of trouble, his administration also announced that it was going to have postpone its Spanish-language sign-ups for Obamacare. No habla espanol aqui.

Why? The usual "technical" problems. Technical is another one of those words that is now used to minimize presidential-sized misjudgments. And assign the responsibility for them so broadly that no one is held responsible for them. It's the updated version of Ronald Reagan's classic comment on the Iran-Contra imbroglio: "Mistakes were made." That way, there's no need to go into detail about just who made them. "The buck stops here" went out with a decidedly old-fashioned president named Harry Truman. (A man who had to answer to Bess Truman knew better than to offer any excuses.)

. .

The president says he's going to get the "best and brightest" to fix this latest screw-up in his prized program, which sounds suspiciously like a reference to the same kind of experts who bollixed it in the first place.


Paul Greenberg

Pulitzer Prize-winning Paul Greenberg, one of the most respected and honored commentators in America, is the editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.