Wolf Blitzer: Maybe the GOP’s right that Democrats should delay ObamaCare for a year

posted at 4:01 pm on October 9, 2013 by Allahpundit

If you say something like this on MSNBC, a gong sounds and a trapdoor opens beneath your feet.

The clip picks up with Blitzer but what the other guy said immediately before this is worth noting too:

“We’re also hearing now that the administration was warned about these potential problems months in advance,” Todd continued. “We spoke to a health care consultant who has clients who are insurers. He says his insurers, who dealt with the administration in the months ahead of time, had contentious meetings with people at [Health and Human Services] and other health care officials who were in charge of this, warning them, ‘This isn’t working, it’s not going to be smooth, don’t do it.’ He says those warnings were ignored, they went full speed ahead, and said we’ll work these problems out. There’s been a bit of pushback from the White House, we’ll hope to get more later from them.”

Here’s Slate with a little more specificity about what the pre-launch warnings were likely about. I can’t remember right now where I read it, but one techie was quoted in a news story a few days ago as saying that using two different contractors to build the “front end” and “back end” of the site is sort of like trying to build a bridge by starting on opposite shorelines and trying/hoping to meet in the middle:

So we had (at least) two sets of contracted developers, apparently in isolation from each other, working on two pieces of a system that had to run together perfectly. Anyone in software engineering will tell you that cross-group coordination is one of the hardest things to get right, and also one of the most crucial, because while programmers are great at testing their own code, testing that their code works with everybody else’s code is much more difficult.

Look at it another way: Even if scale testing is done, that involves seeing what happens when a site is overrun. The poor, confusing error handling indicates that there was no ownership of the end-to-end experience—no one tasked with making sure everything worked together and at full capacity, not just in isolated tests. (I can’t even figure out who was supposed to own it.) No end-to-end ownership means that questions like “What is the user experience if the back-end gets overloaded or has such-and-such an error?” are never asked, because they cannot be answered by either group in isolation.

The login issues with the site are now so profound that the feds apparently have no choice but to reset everyone’s password to make things run more smoothly, and by “everyone” I mean the few dozen or few hundred people who managed to successfully create an account in the first place. But never mind that. Blitzer’s offhand endorsement of a one-year delay is an intriguing bit of anecdotal evidence that Glitchapalooza might be nudging public opinion towards supporting a postponement of the law for a few months or a year while the bugs are worked out. But then that raises the question — why isn’t “delay” the GOP’s core message right now? Boehner’s holding one or two press conferences a day to complain that Obama won’t talk to him when he should be using that free media to hammer the point that O-Care isn’t ready for primetime. Frankly, unless I missed it, this has been a minor point from Ted Cruz and Mike Lee lately too. Whenever I’ve seen them on the news the past few days, they’re more likely to be talking about using small funding bills to restart parts of the government than the many, many catastrophic technical problems with the exchanges.

What am I missing here? Why isn’t Glitchapalooza and “delay” the party’s top talking point right now, especially in the aftermath of that Sebelius bloodbath on “The Daily Show”?


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Over

Bmore on October 9, 2013 at 5:18 PM

They need to delay it until after the Virginia Gubernatorial election. I figured that was why they are dragging their feet.

Fleuries on October 9, 2013 at 5:18 PM

Wow Wolf really? Who could have predicted that a bill proposed during an Obama campaign speech to garner applause, passed only by the Dems using procedural parlor tricks in the dead-of- night on December 24th no less, that the majority of the country don’t want, that is at last count over 20,000 pages long, that has as its chief enforcement agency the discredited IRS, that makes premiums go waaaay up, that tells young and healthy filk that they have to pay for the old folks would be a disaster? How could anyone have seen this coming? /sarc

neyney on October 9, 2013 at 5:22 PM

What is delay 0Care for $500.00 Alex?

Bmore on October 9, 2013 at 5:17 PM

Good times on Jeopardy!

22044 on October 9, 2013 at 5:24 PM

What am I missing here? Why isn’t Glitchapalooza and “delay” the party’s top talking point right now, especially in the aftermath of that Sebelius bloodbath on “The Daily Show”?

Well, they can’t remember what they were doing yesterday much less have a coherent plan A and B for the future.

I tell you, politicians, as a class, are some of the stupidest people around.

Vince on October 9, 2013 at 5:24 PM

If you say something like this on MSNBC, a gong sounds and a trapdoor opens beneath your feet.

That is so funny! CNN may be asking for the “building plans” soon:-)

Not a good day for the Dems. The D.C. Mayor at Reid’s neck about holding D.C. money hostage, LOL and then Terry McAuliffe an Investor in a shady outfit that invested in variable annuities
that used terminally ill patients as the annuitants. Then the IRS shared personal tax info with the White House.

Wow, a black cat must have crossed their paths all day long.

bluefox on October 9, 2013 at 5:30 PM

No delay!

Let the American people feel the full horror of this law. It’s the only way to end it.

PattyJ on October 9, 2013 at 5:30 PM

The American People, through their elected Democrat representatives, voted for BarryCare, and now they’re going to get it, Good & Hard!
They were warned, and refused to listen.
Not one Republican voted to pass this “Train Wreck”, and they should be ashamed if they vote to fund it.
The Dems do not have that problem (shame) as they have no honor to uphold.

Another Drew on October 9, 2013 at 5:32 PM

“I know no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution.”
- Ulysses S. Grant

Another Drew on October 9, 2013 at 5:33 PM

Why isn’t Glitchapalooza and “delay” the party’s top talking point right now, especially in the aftermath of that Sebelius bloodbath on “The Daily Show”?

Gift horse. Mouth. GOP apparently can’t connect the two. What’s wrong with them, anyway? Isn’t that what started these shenanigans in the first place, delaying this disaster, and then there’s proof EVERYWHERE that it is and they give up on it? Because what, Harry Reid is calling the shots now, that’s what.

scalleywag on October 9, 2013 at 5:38 PM

Wow, a black cat must have crossed their paths all day long.

bluefox on October 9, 2013 at 5:30 PM

Or it’s Wednesday in DC. Just more scandal to ignore. Worst. Administration. Ever.

scalleywag on October 9, 2013 at 5:40 PM

The American People, through their elected Democrat representatives, voted for BarryCare, and now they’re going to get it, Good & Hard!
They were warned, and refused to listen.
Not one Republican voted to pass this “Train Wreck”, and they should be ashamed if they vote to fund it.
The Dems do not have that problem (shame) as they have no honor to uphold.

Another Drew on October 9, 2013 at 5:32 PM

but it’s foisted upon us all…we are all going to get it Good and Hard……and that’s not exactly what I had in mind for Good and Hard…
we gotta fight like hell to destroy obamacare by any means at our disposal…by any means

gracie on October 9, 2013 at 5:41 PM

No delay!

Let the American people feel the full horror of this law. It’s the only way to end it.

PattyJ on October 9, 2013 at 5:30 PM

That won’t end it. BarkyCare has to be killed as quickly and completely as possible. Letting it gain any foothold is asking for trouble. The Soviet Union limped along for over 70 years with this sort of junk. If BarkyCare isn’t killed before it really gets started then it won’t stop until it destroys everything in its wake and takes the whole of society down with it.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on October 9, 2013 at 5:43 PM

Maybe the Republicans are thinking that they can take the senate in 2014 if obamacare is sufficiently painful to the American public. Of course, they would need 52 senate seats because of McCain officially switching to the democratic party.

GaltBlvnAtty on October 9, 2013 at 5:58 PM

…while programmers are great at testing their own code,…

No, actually, they are not. They’re the last people you’d want to do testing. ANY project of this size needs a significant amount of non-programmer testers, just ordinary joes, using the system and seeing if they can break it. And this should have been done prior to going live. But what they’re doing is using the public to be the testers. Typical government project, only a part of the work gets done, and gets done poorly.

JeffPBlues on October 9, 2013 at 5:59 PM

So tax payers will subsidize premiums for lower income earners, but how will they pay those $5,300/$10,600 deductibles that are in the Bronze plans. No subsidies there.

Dasher on October 9, 2013 at 5:59 PM

But then that raises the question — why isn’t “delay” the GOP’s core message right now? Boehner’s holding one or two press conferences a day to complain that Obama won’t talk to him when he should be using that free media to hammer the point that O-Care isn’t ready for primetime.

i mean, do you really have to ask that? Same reason Akin started talking about tubes shutting down in the case of rape.

1. Not too bright
2. Rather bad at politics
3. Everything they say has to be vetted thru layers of communications people…which takes a while.

i mean, for 25 years i’ve been waiting for a smart, agile, R who say something interesting. Tic, Toc.

r keller on October 9, 2013 at 6:04 PM

Q: What am I missing here? Why isn’t Glitchapalooza and “delay” the party’s top talking point right now, especially in the aftermath of that Sebelius bloodbath on “The Daily Show”?

A: Because delay was never really a GOP goal. They merely wanted to box Democrats, Obama and Dingy Harry in. After all their squalling about how they would never delay their precious and how evil Repulsicans were to ask it of them, they’d look downright silly capitulating now. And so:

“The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly. ”
~ Abraham Lincoln

Which leads to:

“Public sentiment is everything, with it nothing can fail, without it nothing can succeed.”
~ Abraham Lincoln

starboardhelm on October 9, 2013 at 6:08 PM

I’d prefer delaying it for an eternity, but I’ll take go with a year for now.

listens2glenn on October 9, 2013 at 6:20 PM

There will be no delay, because they know that one year from now it’ll be the same hot mess it is today.

Rational Thought on October 9, 2013 at 6:39 PM

Nonsense! And more Nonsense! THE CHOSEN ONE will make ObamaCare succeed by the sheer force of his MIGHTY WILL!

Then EVERYONE will behold the magnificence of King Barack Obama I!

Meanwhile, down in the bunker…………………

GarandFan on October 9, 2013 at 6:39 PM

There will be no delay, because they know that one year from now it’ll be the same hot mess it is today.

Rational Thought on October 9, 2013 at 6:39 PM

Yes and right before an election I might add..:)

Dire Straits on October 9, 2013 at 6:42 PM

“I know no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution.”
- Ulysses S. Grant

Another Drew on October 9, 2013 at 5:33 PM

Reality has the final vote.

INC on October 9, 2013 at 6:42 PM

i’ve been a drafter for over 20 years on civil engineering projects and have never heard of or seen a bridge being built that way

chasdal on October 9, 2013 at 5:07 PM

Truly ?
Google Blue WaterBridge(s).
Port Huron Michigan.
My home town.
The work and engineering of such a feat is extraordinary.

pambi on October 9, 2013 at 7:02 PM

I seem to recall it took forever to let these contracts in the first place. Call me a cynic, but in Chicago that often means there is bidding war among would be contractors as the mayor’s office holds out for more kickbacks, financial & political.

novaculus on October 9, 2013 at 7:02 PM

There will be no delay, because they know that one year from now it’ll be the same hot mess it is today.

Rational Thought on October 9, 2013 at 6:39 PM

…quit being rational!

KOOLAID2 on October 9, 2013 at 7:09 PM

“I know no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution.”
– Ulysses S. Grant

Another Drew on October 9, 2013 at 5:33 PM

I have a few ideas for stringent executions.

davidk on October 9, 2013 at 7:13 PM

Cruz played this all wrong.

Bmore on October 9, 2013 at 7:24 PM

Bmore on October 9, 2013 at 7:24 PM

Good evening..:)

Dire Straits on October 9, 2013 at 7:27 PM

Dire Straits on October 9, 2013 at 7:27 PM

Evening Dire. Just passing by on my way to the grill. ; )

Bmore on October 9, 2013 at 7:30 PM

Bmore on October 9, 2013 at 7:30 PM

Sounds like a plan..A very good one at that..:)

Dire Straits on October 9, 2013 at 7:49 PM

But then that raises the question — why isn’t “delay” the GOP’s core message right now?

If Boehner and the rest are really going to cave, they should at least cave in Style. Big speech:

“Mr. President, we are gravely concerned about your healthcare plan. We have tried to reason with you but you will not listen, and seem intent on refusing every bill that does not immediately fund this reckless project. Very well. For the moment, your intransigence has forced us to yield.

“To the American people, we intend to revisit this issue next year. If Obamacare is truly all it’s cracked up to be, we’ll happily admit we were wrong. But in the event that it turns out to be as problematic as we have feared, we will have to resume our eforts to repeal, and we hope you, the American people, will support our judgement. In the end, after all, we are your servants, not vice versa.”

Then give Obama his year. The one benefit is that he loses the ability to make some BS argument about how Republican intransigence is making his otherwise awesome plan fall apart.

It’s not a perfect plan – there’s a danger Obama will find a way to hold things together well enough that things look good for a year or two. But the moment this thing starts to collapse, that’s the time to revisit. Do it on the exact anniversary of the speech, whether 1 year, 2 years, x years… Give a new speech, exact same location, exact same decor, exact same camera angle and lighting, and refer over and over to the old speech, quoting liberally from it. Make a big deal – have the entire Republican party there in the audience.

The point is not to convince the media or the dems that we’re acting in good faith – it’s to get around them and reach the apolitical who have heard nothing but “Obstructionist Rethuglicans!” for years on end.

RINO in Name Only on October 9, 2013 at 8:10 PM

RINO in Name Only on October 9, 2013 at 8:10 PM

I probably should have added that everything above assumes that we really can’t kill this thing right now – which I would not actually assume at the moment. We should hold off at least until the 17th to see if public anger over the initial rollout forces Dems to submit. But if it doesn’t, a limited “Let it burn” strategy, just for Obamacare itself, could be an option – just let it sizzle for a year or so.

After all, keep in mind that this thing came to a screeching halt literally as a direct result of people simply looking at it. Who knows what other fun surprises we’ll find once we dig deeper.

RINO in Name Only on October 9, 2013 at 8:21 PM

David Burge ‏@iowahawkblog 7h

I hope the Obamacare website gets fixed soon, so I can laugh at more idiots discovering they actually have to pay for it.

davidk on October 9, 2013 at 8:49 PM

Glitchapalooza might be nudging public opinion towards supporting a postponement of the law for a few months or a year while the bugs are worked out. But then that raises the question — why isn’t “delay” the GOP’s core message right now?

Are you serious?

Because “delay until we get the glitches worked out” is not the point. It’s to stop this law if at all possible.

People are stupid. You don’t tailor your strategy to their stupidity.

rjcylon on October 9, 2013 at 8:51 PM

Why do some on our side get so excited when the liberal media criticizes Obama and his politics once in a blue moon? It is all a game to appear fair and balance when they are 99.999% behind him and every other liberal left wing socialist politician…

mnjg on October 9, 2013 at 9:50 PM

What am I missing here? Why isn’t Glitchapalooza and “delay” the party’s top talking point right now, especially in the aftermath of that Sebelius bloodbath on “The Daily Show”?

Nothing. The party excels at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

This is another mighty fine example of their expertise on display.

rukiddingme on October 9, 2013 at 9:56 PM

I really wonder if the republicans really do want to get rid of aca?? this about this, the when it made it to the supreme court they had to do all sorts of gyrations to get to seem constitutional, they had to deem it a tax, but by doing that it gave the opponents another way of trying to get it declared unconstitutional, all bills to raise revenue need to start in the house the bill that became the aca did not. if the republican really want to stop the aca they did to try again.

RonK on October 9, 2013 at 9:59 PM

I really wonder if the republicans really do want to get rid of aca?? this about this, the when it made it to the supreme court they had to do all sorts of gyrations to get to seem constitutional, they had to deem it a tax, but by doing that it gave the opponents another way of trying to get it declared unconstitutional, all bills to raise revenue need to start in the house the bill that became the aca did not. if the republican really want to stop the aca they did to try again.

RonK on October 9, 2013 at 9:59 PM

1) no education?
2) drinking?
3) using an IPAD without a real keyboard?

Painful to read but I do believe many GOPers love these Big Gov. programs and will pay lip service to keep the votes coming in.

CWchangedhisNicagain on October 9, 2013 at 10:11 PM

“using two different contractors to build the “front end” and “back end” of the site is sort of like trying to build a bridge by starting on opposite shorelines and trying/hoping to meet in the middle”

Not a good analogy, as that’s how they usually do the big ones, such as the Pat Stillman bridge bypassing Hoover Dam. It’s always the same contractor on both sides, though.

kd6rxl on October 10, 2013 at 4:21 AM

Scalleywag: “Gift horse. Mouth. GOP apparently can’t connect the two. What’s wrong with them, anyway?”

Because the GOP is totally incompentent in the art of public debate, aka “messaging”. First they should not be referring to the “Obamacare individual mandate”, the should be referring to the “Obamacare individual tax”. That’s what it is, after all, the Supreme Court said so. A tax is far more onerous to John Q. Public than a “mandate”.

A minor point, but illustrative. The general problem is that starting with Bush’s inauguration is that Republicans have refused to return nasty, venomous Democrat fire on the grounds they won’t stoop to that level. Bull.

kd6rxl on October 10, 2013 at 4:28 AM

Oh my, this isn’t going so well.

WWHJD?

What would Hank Johnson do?

justltl on October 10, 2013 at 7:25 AM

When Wolf is wearing his “serious” glasses, you know he means it….

albill on October 10, 2013 at 7:46 AM

Cruz has played this perfectly.

Bmore on October 10, 2013 at 8:15 AM

Typical government project, only a part of the work gets done, and gets done poorly.

JeffPBlues on October 9, 2013 at 5:59 PM

Seems as if the NSA is blowing up as well…literally.

d1carter on October 9, 2013 at 7:30 PM

Good enough for government work.
Except we are the ones paying for it.

It’s depressing to be cheering for the waste of taxpayers’ money.

AesopFan on October 10, 2013 at 9:15 AM

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