Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Friday, November 08, 2013

A President Trapped by Pyrrhic Victory

Seeking a friendly venue, Barack Obama apologizes for the defective health care rollout but ends up inadvertently bringing back the pain of his Pyrrhic victory three years ago.

In a Chuck Todd interview on MSNBC, the President says of the confused and discouraged, "I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me."

Too little too late. To pass his namesake bill, he engaged in what the New York Times then described as "a process that has at times seemed on the brink of anarchy": with tradeoffs, concessions and vote buying that ended up in the 2000-page bill that haunts him today.

Back then, Barack Obama made himself hostage to get the Act passed and is still paying ransom today, not only to the GOP but the insurance companies he left in charge whose antics are causing more problems than the website and that he is still trying to placate.

In the Todd interview, he equates those Democrats who wanted a public option with the wall-to-wall Republican opposition whose votes he never won. That mindset ended up in the stuffed sausage called Obamacare rather than a slimmed-down bill that might have started the process of health care reform without lobotomizing it.

On this issue as so many others, those who admire Barack Obama and sympathize with the lunacy he has had to endure for almost five year have to question both his temperament and judgment.

Coming in front of the TV cameras and sounding sane compared to Republican rants is not enough. The truth on so many issues is hard, and no amount of reasonable rhetoric will make it go away.

From here on, biting the bullet and speaking plainly and forcefully may be the best way to go.

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