MSM: ObamaCare was Obama’s biggest mistake

posted at 7:30 pm on September 5, 2011 by Karl

On Sunday’s The Chris Matthews Show, the HuffPo’s Howard Fineman and the WaPo’s David Ignatius both identified Obamacare as Pres. Obama’s biggest mistake. On Twitter, some on the right — including some I consider to be very sharp — consider the comments an interesting admission, or worthy of mockery. There is more to the comments than that.

Consider the actual quotes:

HOWARD FINEMAN, HUFFINGTON POST: Chris, on things under his control, not the wars so much because they were built in, his decision to spend all of his political capital in a year and a half of his time on the healthcare reform law I think was his biggest political mistake.

MATTHEWS: Wow. Smart statement.

***

DAVID IGNATIUS, WASHINGTON POST: I would agree with Howard. The idea of launching a major change in social legislation without having a consensus in the country and in Congress about what that should look like was a mistake. That’s just not how a president makes good policy.

Note what is not said. Neither believes a government takeover of the healthcare sector was a bad policy. Rather, they believe it was a political mistake and that it is “bad process” to pass legislation without consensus. The establishment media took an entirely opposite position when it counted. When the debate was raging, the media never tired of writing about how everyone was going to love Obamacare after it was passed.

The comments from Fineman and Ignatius reflect two things. First, they are a belated recognition that Obamacare is truly unpopular. Second, they reflect a need to get themselves on the record against passing big, controversial legislation now, before the 2012 election. Should the GOP thump Obama and the Dems next year, they want to be able to point to comments like this when they oppose anything like the House GOP budget, entitlement reform and so on.

It’s just another iteration of the “Neutral Story Line.” The establishment media rejected the idea that it was wrong to legislate gigantic societal change when Democrats had big enough majorities in Congress. Now that the GOP may end up in control, it’s a bad idea… until such time as the Dems win again.

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No shirt, she lock.

Dhuka on September 5, 2011 at 7:34 PM

No sh!t

Electrongod on September 5, 2011 at 7:36 PM

It’ll be a bigger repeal when its repealed. go down in history as one of the worst political blunders of all time.

Now, lets get a guy in the White House who can win, and will finish it.

swamp_yankee on September 5, 2011 at 7:36 PM

Dhuka on September 5, 2011 at 7:34 PM

Oh, I like your statement better.

Electrongod on September 5, 2011 at 7:37 PM

It’s the usual “communication” problem. We didn’t explain it clearly enough in word of one syllable to the knuckle-dragging, Bible-clinging sheeple what a wonderful laws their betters had drafted for them.

Same with Obamacare. It was rushed through before the sheeple could be indoctrinated into its wonderfulness, including the social necessity of “cost control.” Once Palin used the term “death panels,” the sheeple reacted emotionally, rather than seeing why some life is “not really living” (too expensive to keep around), and enlightened “experts” on the panel would determine this.

And then the GOP started complaining that it would cost too much and kill businesses. But not, according to the liberals, if those who had “made enough money” paid their “fair share.”

Liberals cannot accept any flaws in their philosophy, which has the status of revealed truth to them. It’s always in the particular implementation.

Wethal on September 5, 2011 at 7:37 PM

OBAMA is the biggest MSM mistake!!

Hoffa introducing Obama is Obamas biggest mistake.

PappyD61 on September 5, 2011 at 7:38 PM

So is ObamaCare repeal-able or not? If so, when are they gonna start voting publicly to roll it back. If not, where is the list of names of folks (besides That Person in the White House) we can vote out and replace until we get some people in office who are strong enough and smart enough *to* repeal the sucker?

NahnCee on September 5, 2011 at 7:39 PM

Speed to get there was the problems not destination. And they know it. As they love the destination but could have waited a little more.

The old boil frog thing. O turn the burner to 10 and knew the frog would hoop out when it could stay on 3 and then have nice frog soup when it is still cooks to death.

tjexcite on September 5, 2011 at 7:42 PM

What happens if the Supremes decide it is constitutional and the GOP takes the Senate and WH, then tries to repeal it?

a capella on September 5, 2011 at 7:44 PM

It was doomed when the public option / single payer was neutered out. It’s just a bungling mess of useless regulations now.

mythicknight on September 5, 2011 at 7:47 PM

MSM: ObamaCare was Obama’s biggest mistake

Okay, well A good way to remedy that mistake would be to repeal it!

Chip on September 5, 2011 at 7:47 PM

What happens if the Supremes decide it is constitutional and the GOP takes the Senate and WH, then tries to repeal it?

a capella on September 5, 2011 at 7:44 PM

Constitutional has nothing to do with being repealable.

It can be repealed, arguably through budget reconciliaton, which doesn’t require 60-vote cloture in the senate.

Wethal on September 5, 2011 at 7:48 PM

What happens if the Supremes decide it is constitutional and the GOP takes the Senate and WH, then tries to repeal it?

a capella on September 5, 2011 at 7:44 PM

It gets repealed….with the right person in the WH.

Electrongod on September 5, 2011 at 7:48 PM

OBAMA is the biggest MSM mistake!!

Hoffa introducing Obama is Obamas biggest mistake.

PappyD61 on September 5, 2011 at 7:38 PM

Already a classic: One Big Ass Mistake America!

Chip on September 5, 2011 at 7:49 PM

Constitutional has nothing to do with being repealable.

It can be repealed, arguably through budget reconciliaton, which doesn’t require 60-vote cloture in the senate.

Wethal on September 5, 2011 at 7:48 PM

I understand that. I’m talking about political will.

a capella on September 5, 2011 at 7:53 PM

Who will be able to afford health care after it kicks in?That affordable BS was a bold face lie.

docflash on September 5, 2011 at 7:54 PM

Karl: Was media bias always to the left? Was there ever a time when the media bias was to the right? Does anyone know?

I know that journalism was very partisian in the early part of the Repubic with vitriol on both sides.

RedSoxNation on September 5, 2011 at 7:57 PM

Perhaps this is the crack in the wall that will allow the rest of the MSM to jump right on through and start piling on BO. Maybe they will start with his blatant lies in Michigan today. He said he was with labor, how did that work out in Wisconsin with the teachers’ unions? He must have worn out his Guccis with all that walking.

Meh

herm2416 on September 5, 2011 at 7:58 PM

It’s a fact not an admission, If Sir Putzalot had not been so radical out of the gate, the dems might have held the House and Senate. He killed the whole operation when the public reacted with shock in 2010.
Now he threatens to lose the other 2 branches and they will be left with just the Supremes…

KZnextzone on September 5, 2011 at 7:58 PM

No, the MSM’s biggest mistake is being implicit in getting this clown elected.

Blake on September 5, 2011 at 7:58 PM

So, forcing EPA regulations that stop hiring, no oil drilling permits issued, higher fuel standards, regulation after regulation strangling the private sector, no policies that promote business growth, halting kids selling lemoniad, fining business, halting coal burning power plants, no nuclear power plant construction, while promoting green energy companies while many of those gov’t subsidized green energy companies fail had nothing to do with Obowma’s failed presidency?

Could it possibly be inexperience at running or working at ANY business?

dthorny on September 5, 2011 at 8:02 PM

In other news, rain it thought to be wet.

MikeA on September 5, 2011 at 8:04 PM

his decision to spend all of his political capital in a year and a half of his time on the healthcare reform law I think was his biggest political mistake.

-
I thought he was laser like focused on economic recovery and JOBS…
-
Oh… wait a tick… The widely unpopular, and totally oppressive (just waiting to be mismanaged) government takeover of Health Care was how he wasted his first 18 months as prez… You don’t say.
-

RalphyBoy on September 5, 2011 at 8:10 PM

Second, they reflect a need to get themselves on the record against passing big, controversial legislation now, before the 2012 election. Should the GOP thump Obama and the Dems next year, they want to be able to point to comments like this when they oppose anything like the House GOP budget, entitlement reform and so on.

Does anybody believe that they would support any GOP initiatives in any case, regardless of how sweeping they might be? Besides, this is the age of The Internet Is Forever. Each of these guys has a long pixel-trail supporting ObamaCare before today’s backtracking. This shit just doesn’t work anymore. Everybody knows that these guys are paid political hacks, not good-faith reporters or analysts.

holygoat on September 5, 2011 at 8:10 PM

Sorry boys….
You don’t get to criticize it now like you didn’t help make it so.
All lefties own Obamacare as if it was a burning tire around their neck.

NeoKong on September 5, 2011 at 8:12 PM

Karl: Was media bias always to the left? Was there ever a time when the media bias was to the right? Does anyone know?

I know that journalism was very partisian in the early part of the Repubic with vitriol on both sides.

RedSoxNation on September 5, 2011 at 7:57 PM

The Left will try and tell you that Bush “controlled” the Democrat Media Bias in the run up to his liberation of Iraq. Even the NY Times believed him!

Del Dolemonte on September 5, 2011 at 8:20 PM

Mathews’ reaction was incredulity and realization, all in one. How schadenfreudig to see Nancy’s hammer pulverized. May the witch be too.

Breitbart was right, Obama lost his re-election in the summer of 2009.

This week the Fool in Chief will ask for more money, for ‘infrastructure’. Right, more dough for those who might have given up to go out and vote. NO MOTRE! Go to Hell!

Schadenfreude on September 5, 2011 at 8:21 PM

Unexpectedly… they left that out..

But, I’m still trying to figure out what CNN is doing and how far they’ll go with it…

I think someone up high in the CNN leadership has realized that they went too far into the tank with The Won, and if he goes under (which all signs point to), so will they most likely…

They don’t want to follow MSNBC down they drain…

So, they’re treating Palin more fairly, broadcasting her live in Iowa and NH today, and sponsoring a Tea Party debate on the 12th. Is CNN really trying to make a hard run to the center, toward the more independent, non-GOP establishment and recapture audience from Fox?

IMO, I think they’re testing the waters to see what it will do for viewers…

If so, this would allow Palin to get her message directly to the indies and Dems (who watch CNN and not Fox) and give her a chance to deal with those negatives. Just considering her speeches “news-worthy” enough to broadcast adds credibility as a serious contender and not just a ditzy, dangerous snow-billy….

Meanwhile, I almost choke each time I hear Wolf Blitzer hand out a compliment as weak as it might be…

OnlyOrange on September 5, 2011 at 8:22 PM

laser focus on jobs.

maineconservative on September 5, 2011 at 8:22 PM

Sorry boys….
You don’t get to criticize it now like you didn’t help make it so.
All lefties own Obamacare as if it was a burning tire around their neck.

NeoKong on September 5, 2011 at 8:12 PM

May they get singed for life.

Schadenfreude on September 5, 2011 at 8:22 PM

Then why during a recession of epic proportions are we wasting hundreds of billions of dollars implementing a lose lose lose unconstitutional entitlement program?

Does the Obama campaign believe Americans have forgotten the reason they voted in unprecedented numbers of Republicans last year?

Speakup on September 5, 2011 at 8:26 PM

This SCoaMF has made so many mistakes, it’s hard to choose which one was his biggest.

ColumbusConservative on September 5, 2011 at 8:28 PM

We’ll see another embodiment of this come January 2013 when the MSM falls back in love with the filibuster.

When the Dems filibuster major entitlement reform, they won’t be “The Party of No” or “obstructionists” or “putting party before country.”

Instead, the filibuster will once again reflect the “genius of American democracy” where “the Senate is the saucer where the hot brew of the House cools” and “the rights of the minority are protected from being trampled by the majority” and “tyranny of the majority” is prevented.

Hypocrites.

SwampYankee on September 5, 2011 at 8:29 PM

The Right was drumming this very meme into America’s consciousness, or trying to, against progressive MSM resistance. This was how the Tea Party arose. But at the time liberals like Fineman fought us at every step. We were mere astroturf, as Pelosi charged. Now they make the same pronouncement we did like it is perceptive breakthrough revelation.

paul1149 on September 5, 2011 at 8:30 PM

Sorry boys….
You don’t get to criticize it now like you didn’t help make it so.
All lefties own Obamacare as if it was a burning tire around their neck.

NeoKong on September 5, 2011 at 8:12 PM

The burning tire around the neck is an apt metaphor. It’s called necklacing or, as the Brazilians more accurately call it, microondas, from our word, microwave. The idea behind it is to pour some gasoline inside a tire, roll it on the ground to make sure the inside is evenly coated, slip the tire over the shoulders of the target so it rests at chest level, and ignite the gasoline. Legend has it that it began in Africa, but some it started in Haiti. The Brazilians also lay claim to it, who knows. Apparently, it gets pretty hot yet not so hot that you die right away. They say it can take up to twenty minutes. Not that I would suggest such a thing at all for the vermin to which you refer, but your reference to it reminded me of this little known practice.

TXUS on September 5, 2011 at 8:40 PM

It was doomed when the public option / single payer was neutered out. It’s just a bungling mess of useless regulations now.

mythicknight on September 5, 2011 at 7:47 PM

Or, in the alternative, we could have put in place real reform of the system under which health care is purchased. That is;
1. Sale of HI across state lines/nationally
2. Allowing for “catastrophic only” coverage
3. Tort reform
4. Make all billing documents available to the patient: currently, you don’t see the bill, and can’t be an agent in preventing overcharges.

These ideas were never in the room, since the R’s were shut out of the negotiations.

massrighty on September 5, 2011 at 8:41 PM

Karl: Was media bias always to the left? Was there ever a time when the media bias was to the right? Does anyone know?

I know that journalism was very partisian in the early part of the Repubic with vitriol on both sides.

RedSoxNation on September 5, 2011 at 7:57 PM

You’ve sorta answered your own question. Newspapers used to be much more identifiably partisan — and comfortable with it. The current media establishment’s overall lefty bias stems in part from the demise of righties like Hearst and McCormick and from the the left’s institutional effort to “professionalize” journalism, both with credenialism (j-schools controlled by lefties) and the phony veneer of objectivity. The fact that the broadcast media was essentially a cartel captured by the left was also a major factor; it was a technological moment that allowed a small number of people to capture the major influence. Indeed, the cartel nature of broadcast news was likely contributed to the phony veneer of objectivity (the cartel had to at least appear fair, lest the political opposition to the cartel build).

Karl on September 5, 2011 at 8:42 PM

Karl: Was media bias always to the left? Was there ever a time when the media bias was to the right? Does anyone know?

I know that journalism was very partisian in the early part of the Repubic with vitriol on both sides.

RedSoxNation on September 5, 2011 at 7:57 PM

The Left will try and tell you that Bush “controlled” the Democrat Media Bias in the run up to his liberation of Iraq. Even the NY Times believed him!

Del Dolemonte on September 5, 2011 at 8:20 PM

Actually, yes. During the late 19th and early 20th Century, major newspapers (the MSM of the day) were conservative publications. The Luce empire for example, Time magazine included, were anti-Roosevelt. The difference is that they still had journalistic standards and went after their targets with facts and reasoned reporting rather than relying on only character assassination.

FalseProfit on September 5, 2011 at 8:51 PM

MATTHEWS: Wow. Smart statement.

The measure of Mr. Matthews that he mistakes the (dated and) obvious for insight. And a measure of the left that they are just now beginning to wonder about the One’s abilities?

EastofEden on September 5, 2011 at 9:02 PM

OBAMA is the biggest MSM mistake!!

Hoffa introducing Obama is Obamas biggest mistake.

PappyD61 on September 5, 2011 at 7:38 PM

Best statements EVER!!! Except that you forgot to add that being Obama is Obama’s biggest mistake… other than that, you said it all…..

chai on September 5, 2011 at 9:18 PM

It is always the fault of the messenger when the inevitable and utterly predictable sh!t hits the fan. It is never a fault with the message for the Left, never the message.

txmomof6 on September 5, 2011 at 9:25 PM

I agree that they’re setting up for an eventual GOP takeover in 2013, which tells me that they think Obama’s toast.

I can live with that.

Bob's Kid on September 5, 2011 at 9:38 PM

Excellent point. NONE OF THESE GUYS ARE stating that MAYBE the reason that Obamacare was a bad decisions is because OBAMACARE IS CRAP.

itsspideyman on September 5, 2011 at 9:44 PM

But wait, did Zero actually work on the Health Care torpedo that bears his name? I thought Nancy and the House Dems did all the work, and Teh Won just signed it. OK, he gave a couple speeches. But seriously, did he work for it?

Kenosha Kid on September 5, 2011 at 10:15 PM

Those 3 clowns need to visit the men’s room and check out the toilet. If they look down, they’ll be able to see where their credibility went.

A little late now a..holes!

GarandFan on September 5, 2011 at 10:27 PM

Waterloo!

Demint was right!

deltanine on September 5, 2011 at 11:16 PM

But wait, did Zero actually work on the Health Care torpedo that bears his name? I thought Nancy and the House Dems did all the work, and Teh Won just signed it. OK, he gave a couple speeches. But seriously, did he work for it?

Kenosha Kid on September 5, 2011 at 10:15 PM

Of course not. It’s doubtful that any one person really worked on it. Certainly no human read it. But he volunteered to put his name on it before, during, and after.

The next time he distances himself from it will be the first – sensibly enough, because it only exists because of him. It was dead after Scott Brown was elected, and was only resurrected through his will, or at least that of some advisers.

HitNRun on September 6, 2011 at 12:08 AM

A piping hot bowl of poo with chopped onions and cilantro for each of these clowns. Bon appetite!

Mason on September 6, 2011 at 12:12 AM

It’s just another iteration of the “Neutral Story Line.” The establishment media rejected the idea that it was wrong to legislate gigantic societal change when Democrats had big enough majorities in Congress.

That should make for some entertaining episodes of Hardball. Heck, I might start watching.

“President P—- has passed a plan to raise the retirement age to 67 through the House, and it’s under deliberation in the Senate. Michael, do you think it’s a good idea to pass such a radical change with so many ramifications when it’s not popular with the public?”

“No, Chris, I think it’s a horrible – it’s just like Obamacare; what an awful, anti-democratic decision that was.”

HitNRun on September 6, 2011 at 12:12 AM

Same old story, same old song and dance, my friend.

Tim_CA on September 6, 2011 at 12:49 AM

This health care fiasco is a political football used by both sides and with over fourteen hundred exemptions of the perfect plan should tell of its worth to the public. Why it’s news is beyond me and similar to Al Gore being in the news.

mixplix on September 6, 2011 at 8:05 AM

This is the media version of:

“Of course I voted for Kennedy”

Or, more pointedly, after 1974:

“I don’t know anyone who voted for Nixon”

The support they demonstrated, no, promoted for Obamacare was smart. Until it wasn’t.

juanito on September 6, 2011 at 8:56 AM

. . . and Obama was America’s biggest mistake.

rplat on September 6, 2011 at 9:22 AM

The media surely thinks we (the public) have a short attention span. However, my attention span is a bit larger than they think.

Specifically, at the signing of the Health Care Bill that Obamao and all of his minions claim it is the greatest thing since the Trojan Horse.

After people have read what is in it as Nanny Pelosi suggested, the tide is changing into a Tsunami, and to sound like one of the gang being allowed on the life boats, Mr. Mathews and others are changing their tune.

MSGTAS on September 6, 2011 at 9:26 AM

Note what is not said. Neither believes a government takeover of the healthcare sector was a bad policy. Rather, they believe it was a political mistake and that it is “bad process” to pass legislation without consensus.

Key point. This is the press setting up opposition to a possible GOP-controlled White House (as noted).

They want to move the discussion off of the merits and implications of socialized medicine and on to “process.”

This is the other side of “they’ll love once they get it” tack.

mankai on September 6, 2011 at 9:32 AM

Are they discussing when Obama jumped the shark? I think it is interesting that a guy who came in with such press support and general goodwill has tanked this badly this quickly.

mankai on September 6, 2011 at 9:36 AM

Already a classic: One Big Ass Mistake America!

Chip on September 5, 2011 at 7:49 PM

Saw that on a handwritten piece of paper stuck to the back window of a clunker driven by a lady. The lady and shape of the car would tend to make you think she was a democrat.

If you lost the democrat mothers…

AH_C on September 6, 2011 at 10:33 AM

What happens if the Supremes decide it is constitutional and the GOP takes the Senate and WH, then tries to repeal it?

a capella on September 5, 2011 at 7:44 PM

SCOTUS may strike down a law deemed by them as unconstitutional. That has no bearing on Congress’ authority to reverse their own legislation. In fact, upon consideration, any law which Congress has repealed on it’s own initiative, must have been considered constitutional, or else not have been around long enough to have sustained a constitutional challenge in the high court. The court has no standing to stop Congress from repealing a law they crafted.

Freelancer on September 6, 2011 at 2:44 PM