BLOGS FROM SIDNEY

Lame Spin

Editor

OBSCURING THE FOREST ONE TREE AT A TIME

Blog From
February 7th, 2014

If you have a huge mess on your hands, you can (1) clean it up, (2) hide it, (3) deny it exists or (4) blame someone else. With the Obamacare debacle, or the ACA Con (apologies to the Aga Khan), the White House has only one of these doors available to it.

Door #1 gets a thumbs-down since ‘clean’ for this massively complex muddle means tear down and start over.  But, the President has dug in his heels. The law is here to stay, regardless of its adverse political impact in the mid-terms or the number of delays he must unilaterally impose.

Doors #3 and #4, while perennial favorites of the Administration, don’t stand a chance of being sold to voters at this late date. So, it’s Door #2 by default. The White House has chosen to try a particular version of the default door – hide the mess in plain sight. For this strategy, it gets the latest Lame Spin Award, which it can share with all of the President’s staffers.

How do you attempt to hide a mega shambles in plain sight? If you work in the White House, you obscure the big, dirty forest by fixating on one tree at a time. As each problem surfaces, you act as if it’s the only one that exists. And in that process, you down play each of them in turn or put them off until some time in the future.

We’ve all seen the President use this tactic: You can’t keep your reasonably priced plans, but I declare them to be substandard so you should be happy to pay more. The law is the best thing since sliced bread but large pieces of it must be delayed, in some case, until after I’ve left office. The debt isn’t the only thing that I’m leaving for future generations.

The latest pitch, talking up the benefits of working less, is, even for this Administration, way off the red-white-and-blue charts. The heady experience of sitting on your couch while your hard-working neighbor pays for your newfound freedom is foreign to the American experience.

It’s one thing if you work hard and save your money so you can take some time off to try other things. But cruising on your neighbor’s income, leaving less for him/her and his/her family, amounts to government-sanctioned theft. It is a very far, and demoralizing, cry from helping those who need a hand up.

At some point, as the President runs out of delaying tactics, fixating on individual trees will snowball into a game ofwhack-a-mole. Neither he nor anyone in his Administration has the dexterity to keep those pop-up pests in their holes.


 





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