Jewish World Review Nov. 19, 2013/ 16 Kislev, 5774
Can this presidency be saved?
By Paul Greenberg
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Everybody knows this president is in political trouble, even the president himself. For he faces a growing crisis of confidence, and it's got his name all over it: Obamacare.
Day after day,
Thursday the president offered a hazy, temporary fix for only one part of this fine mess he's got us all into, and maybe only because it's the part that's drawn the most fire for now: forcing millions of Americans to give up the insurance they have now and still want. But other snafus are sure to be revealed.
Even if the president manages to change this law by executive fiat, as has become his wont, it remains a political, administrative and logistical nightmare. His glib assurances that some kind of Technical Surge will turn this political albatross into a political asset ... resound ever more hollow.
Millions of Americans may actually have believed his promise that they could keep their private insurance if they liked it. But that was before all those cancellation notices began arriving -- and even more may now be on the way.
The president has assured all those anxious policyholders that they really will be able to keep their insurance -- for one (1) year. After that, who knows? Which is why his latest attempt to assuage their anger might suceeed, but for only one (1) year. It'll be a year of uncertainty and anxiety, for what happens after that? The president may wind up not easing this confidence of crisis in his presidency but prolonging it.
If you think this is a political crisis, it's nothing compared to the rebuke administered to another smooth-talking president a couple of decades ago. Remember the congressional elections of 1994? They were dubbed the Republican Revolution, and for good reason. The
The political turnaround that fateful year was more than dramatic; it was historic. Talk about a change: Before those midterm elections in 1994, Republicans hadn't held a majority in the House for 40 years -- not since the
Elections have consequences, as this president was fond of reminding the country when he was riding high after his electoral sweep in 2008. The consequences of those congressional elections back in '94 reverberated far and wide. And our political class got the message. To cite just one example: The day after the election returns were in, a Democratic senator from
While they were sweeping the congressional elections that year, the Republicans also won control of 20 state legislatures from the Democrats, giving them a majority of those legislatures for the first time in half a century. All told, the
The reaction of the president who was so thoroughly rebuked in 1994 --
Reversing course 180 degrees after those midterm elections, Democrats joined Republicans in reforming a welfare system that had been creating an underclass of dependent Americans generation after generation.
That's just what Republicans have been pressing for in
This president needs to do more than just delay this crisis of confidence; he needs to end it. He can start by listening to
It'll be instructive to see how this administration reacts to this growing crisis. By apologizing (profusely) for just this one defect of so many in his prize program, the president has made a good start. It's not easy for a proud man convinced of his own superiority over us lesser mortals to face up to a great mistake. The question now is whether the president can finish the job and turn this whole, sinking craft around.
Note to Republicans: Resist the temptation to gloat. It's not becoming or useful. Remember that, when a president is in trouble, the country is, too. The president has sounded Retreat; he's offering one small step back toward a free market -- and a free society. Encourage him to take many more such steps, till Obamacare as a whole begins to fade away. Save all those I Told You So's, for now is the time to test the president's sincerity, not dismiss it. For this isn't the end of the Obamacare story. It is bound To Be Continued.
JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.
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