Obama is still ‘staring into the Mouth of Hell’

The title quote, by National Journal’s James Oliphant, is by way of  assuring liberal readers and presumably himself that the worst is over for the President, who he writes “couldn’t resist spiking the football over the Affordable Care Act” last Tuesday.

A rather curious fever has broken out on the left, making writers delirious, prompting them to cobble together self-assured paragraphs like this one:

After all the negative drum-beating about Obamacare, it’s tempting now for the administration to taunt the Sarah Palins and Mitch McConnells of the world — and, yes, the news media, too. The White House has been staring into the Mouth of Hell for months as the law’s implementation woes dragged down President Obama’s approval rating and threatened his second-term agenda. With the announcement that more than 7 million Americans have signed up for health insurance, it might feel like the long Obamacare winter is finally over. The sun is shining, birds are chirping. You can almost see Julie Andrews spinning around in the Alps.

“The long Obamacare winter is finally over”? A man who has lied repeatedly about this law claims a day after its deadline that he has not only reached, but surpassed, his projected goal, and pundits on the left are not the slightest bit skeptical or hesitant about taking his word for it?

Are the Oliphants suddenly oblivious to revelations made in the days since Obama’s Rose Garden victory lap, such as a RAND Corporation study that reveals that barely 858,000 previously uninsured Americans have acutally paid for new policies?” When Obama glibly and haughtily boasts, “There are still no death panels, Armageddon has not arrived,” it’s likely that he himself recognizes the foolhardiness of that claim. If death panels are going to become a reality — and there’s as much reason as ever to assume that they still could — it wouldn’t happen this early in the process. The law officially became a reality for all Americans a mere six months ago, when the first enrollment period began. How it will play out in the months ahead — whether the breakdown of the 7.1 million who allegedly signed up will include enough healthy young people to avoid adverse selection — is a big unknown.

I can understand why writers on the left want to believe Obama’s latest bald-faced claim and pretend it’s all green lights from here on in. It’s been tough on them, grappling with the reality that the first black President is the bumbler the right has long portrayed him to be. Oliphant even writes that “reaching the enrollment mark … allows the president and his senior aides to take a breath and move on — and maybe the media … will do the same.”

That’s wishful thinking, which is not part of the job description of a professional journalist. The law may yet be salvaged, if (big if) Obama is willing to work with Republicans to iron out its many wrinkles and add features that will genuinely bend the cost curve downward. But pretending that Obama and Obamacare are suddenly golden is the sort of willful self-deception that helped get America into this mess in the first place.

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.


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