Well, who can blame him? Today’s competing radio addresses tell the meta-story, as CNN reports. Republicans focused on the meltdown at HHS over the ObamaCare rollout, while Barack Obama provided his 387th pivot to the economy:
While Republicans continued on the anti-Obamacare offensive, President Barack Obama largely pivoted away from the troubled rollout of Healthcare.gov, instead focusing his address on the economy.
Actually, you can get a pretty good sense of the news value of each speech from its position in CNN’s report. The Republican speech by Rep. Michael Burgess gets quoted in the second and third paragraph:
Texas Republican Rep. Michael Burgess, a physician and vice chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, called the Affordable Care Act a “train wreck for doctors, a train wreck for patients, and most importantly, it’s a train wreck for the American people.”
“It has now become clear that the reality of the president’s health care law does not match what he promised: A website that was launched before it was finished. Waves of cancellation letters. The sticker shock of high premiums, coupled with ever-increasing deductibles,” Burgess said in the GOP weekly address released Saturday.
Readers have to scan down all the way down to the seventh paragraph to get to what Obama said, and even then the pivot isn’t so much a policy rollout as it is cheerleading for stagnation:
“Over the past couple months, most of the political headlines you’ve read have probably been about the government shutdown and the launch of the Affordable Care Act,” Obama said in his weekly address.
“And I know that many of you have rightly never been more frustrated with Washington. But if you look beyond those headlines, there are some good things happening in our economy. And that’s been my top priority since the day I walked into the Oval Office.”
Obama did take a shot at Republicans over their opposition to ObamaCare:
“Think about what we could do if a reckless few didn’t hold the economy hostage every few months, or waste time on dozens of votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act rather than try to help us fix it,” he said.
Well, golly, Mr. President, think how prepared we might have been to discuss “fixes” if you and the entire White House and HHS hadn’t lied to the American public all year long about the program’s readiness for the October 1st launch. Think about what we might have been able to do to avoid the cancellation of millions of policies if you hadn’t lied for the last three-plus years by insisting, “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.” Think about what we might have done on real cost-lowering reform had Democrats not shoved an unpopular massive government intervention onto the health-care sector through legislative chicanery in 2010.
Think about what might have happened if we had found out what was in the bill before we passed it.
Anyway, President Pivot, good luck with this latest attempt to use the economy as a subject change away from your failures. Say, what is the civilian workforce participation rate these days, anyway? At a new 35-year low after 720,000 people left the workforce in October, I see.
Update: “Participation rate,” not “population rate.” I’ve fixed it above.