The Obama administration has been fully engaged in the obligatory lowering of expectations for weeks now, and when (if?) the White House finally releases ObamaCare’s initial enrollment numbers by the end of this week, we already know that they’re planning to direct our attention to the total number of people who have merely selected plans rather than just the total number of people who have actually purchased them.

Who knows what other numbers The Most Transparent Administration, Ever will or will not decide to release, but the White House’s rehearsed talking points, excuses, and explanations are getting mind-numbingly predictable. Politico even has a handy list out with a preview of the lines we’re likely to hear: That RomneyCare signups were similarly low when it first went live in Massachusetts; that the website will be fixed soon and meanwhile you can enroll through paper applications and by telephone; that Republicans are screwing things up with their damnable continuing opposition; that the Medicare Part D program rolled out under President Bush started off poorly, too; and finally, that:

5. It gets better

This is the running theme for the White House. The website is being fixed. People thrown out of health insurance plans will get better and cheaper ones. A host of new consumer-friendly rules are good for women and the chronically ill.

If only people knew the benefits of Obamacare, Obama told an Organizing for Action summit last week, the law would be more popular.

“It’s important sometimes to just step back and say, all that stuff is already happening,” he said after ticking through the list of things already accomplished under the law. “A lot of it got underreported, kind of crept up on people. And as we move forward, you’ve got to keep that in mind.”

And there is plenty of time, Obama said, for people to enroll, even if they have to wait for the website to operate properly.

“Everybody who wants to get insurance through the marketplace, they’ll be able to get it,” Obama said. “It’s not as if this is a one-day sale or something. So we’ve just got to keep on working.”

We’ve heard it all before by now, and all of it would be a lot easier to believe if the White House wasn’t perpetually making empty promises — which, as I mentioned this morning, now include the supposed November 30th date by which they assured us the website would be working. That’s not working out too well for them, huh?