Pelosi: ObamaCare incompetence “not my responsibility”

posted at 10:01 am on January 31, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

This appearance by Nancy Pelosi on The Daily Show starts to run off the rails almost immediately. Jon Stewart starts off by asking Pelosi about why people talk about politics rather than policy, to which Pelosi answers by … complaining about Republicans. Stewart doesn’t take the bait, though, and starts pressing Pelosi for answers as to why big-government politicians can’t produce competent government — and gets stunned by her admission that she can’t explain why ObamaCare failed:

Stewart said that Democrats are then required to make a stronger case. He said that Democratic governance now appears “chaotic” and their execution of legislation appears to “lack efficiency.” When Pelosi again blamed Republicans for this condition, Stewart became even more agitated.

When he asked why it was so difficult to get a company to execute the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchange website “competently,” Pelosi replied, “I don’t know.”

“What do you mean you don’t know? How do you not know?” Stewart asked laughing.

To which Nancy Pelosi responded: “It’s not my responsibility.” Hmmm. Who ran the House when the ObamaCare bill passed, with only votes from her party? Who claimed at the time that we couldn’t know how awesome this bill would be until it passed, because you couldn’t expect politicians to actually read a 2800-page bill before they voted on it? Given that this passed entirely on votes from her own party, and with some procedural chicanery thrown in for good measure, does she feel no responsibility at all for the results of this legislation she herself championed?

That’s a pretty good answer to Stewart’s broader point. He cites the ongoing problems at the VA as evidence that there is “clearly something systemic” in government incompetence:

“Do we have a foundational problem? Is there a corruption in the system that needs to be addressed?” Stewart asked. Pelosi went on to detail the issues with bureaucracy and the failure of departments to communicate with each other. “Okay, do something about it,” Pelosi said.

“I was actually going to say that to you,” Stewart interjected.

The systemic problem is the fact that big-government regimes like ObamaCare won’t work because central planning of large economies never work, for reasons laid out by economist F. A. Hayek decades ago in The Road to Serfdom. History has only proven Hayek correct over and over again, while utopians keep insisting that the problem is just the people involved in its implementation. And Hayek predicts why incompetents and bullies end up at the top of those systems, too. Maybe Stewart should read it. It’s far too late for Pelosi.

Update: Here’s a rebuttal from someone who doesn’t grasp the difference between ObamaCare and, say, SNAP or Social Security:

From Road to Serfdom, pages 148-149:

There is no reason why in a society which has reached the general level of wealth which ours has attained the first kind of security should not be guaranteed to all without endangering general freedom. …. [T]here can be no doubt that some minimum of food, shelter, and clothing, sufficient to preserve health and the capacity to work, can be assured to everybody. … Nor is there any reason why the state should not assist the individual in providing for those common hazards of life against which, because of their uncertainty, few individuals can make adequate provision. 

    “Where, as in the case of sickness and accident, neither the desire to avoid such calamities nor the efforts to overcome their consequences are as a rule weakened by the provision of assistance – where, in short, we deal with genuinely insurable risks – the case for the state’s helping to organize a comprehensive system of social insurance is very strong. There are many points of detail where those wishing to preserve the competitive system and those wishing to super-cede it by something different will disagree on the details of such schemes; and it is possible under the name of social insurance to introduce measures which tend to make competition more or less ineffective. But there is no incompatibility in principle between the state’s providing greater security in this way and the preservation of individual freedom. 

The product of approximately 30 seconds of Google searching. You should issue a correction for misrepresenting Hayek’s work. But you won’t. You won’t respond to my email to explain why you won’t issue a correction either. You aren’t interested in being right, only in winning. But feel free to prove me wrong on any of these counts.

Of course I’m aware of this passage. I don’t disagree with it, either; I’m not a Randian. But the key difference is that social-insurance programs like SNAP don’t impose top-down control over the economy or a significant part of it. ObamaCare explicitly does do that by issuing mandates for coverage, mandates on employers, and mandates on people to buy it. Central control over this economy is its main purpose. SNAP, Medicaid, and even Medicare (in principle) don’t force everyone under the rubric of that control, either; there is no “grocery insurance” mandate, as an example. They are voluntary programs which allow for people to choose entry or refuse it for the regular marketplace. ObamaCare controls exert force universally in the health-care market, thanks to its mandates.

Just as Hayek argued, when government takes top-down control of economies, they remove choice, innovation, and get things incredibly wrong — because central controllers cannot possibly know the proper choices in the millions and billions of transactions in those economies.  Innovation dies quickly, especially when people try to work around it to actually have their needs met, and it gets more dysfunctional rather than less. Furthermore, the dysfunction and failures in the system will always get blamed on lack of cooperation, resulting in escalating punishments and intrusion – and more arbitrariness in following the law, which we’re already seeing. The people getting rewarded in those systems end up being the people more willing to abuse power in order to achieve the political ends of the top-down central controllers — and become less and less accountable as that process moves forward.

This is what happens when one Googles for excerpts rather than reading and comprehending the entire work. It reminds me of people who Google Bible verses to use in arguments with no comprehension of their meaning.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

Young people are taught that their elders are stupid, that it’s cool not to care, to be fatalists and nihilists. So, now Stewart starts to mock the left in addition to mocking the right. His followers laugh, they already thought everyone was stupid and nothing really matters, but they’ll still vote for free stuff when bribed. They’re cynical but they like their free stuff. And, don’t you dare judge them!

Fallon on January 31, 2014 at 12:48 PM

Being liberal means never having to say you’re sorry.

And the only problem with liberal big-government programs that don’t work is that the program, and the government, wasn’t big enough yet.

The collapsed Soviet Union was the biggest government in the history of the world. It wasn’t big enough. Liberals are just sure that a world government would do it, though.

Socratease on January 31, 2014 at 12:50 PM

Corruption in Congress.?? HUH??? What corruption??

SHE
WAS
2
HEARTBEATS
AWAY
FROM
BECOMING
PRESIDENT

stenwin77 on January 31, 2014 at 12:53 PM

Proves again that liberalism is a mental disorder.

Ta111 on January 31, 2014 at 12:55 PM

Pelosi is responsible for ObamaCare and every one of its failings.

More than any other politician, she pushed ObamaCare through to passage.

She wheedled, cajoled, threatened, and even twisted arms to the breaking point to get the votes for passage.

She dredge up every arcane and nefarious means at her disposal to get to passage.

She even threatened to use “The Slaughter Rule”, AKA Demon Pass, to get to passage.

In the end she made the Blue Dogs a myth, the Pro Life Democrats extinct, and declared that the resultant loss of those seats in the House would make the Democrat Party ‘purer’.

Along the way, she called her fellow Americans ‘un-American’, senior citizens gathered at town hall meetings ‘angry mobs’, and said she was Nazi armbands and swastika’s at those meetings where there were none. She vilified and slandered her fellow citizens in her desire to pass ObamaCare.

If there is any justice in this world, Nancy Pelosi will get full credit for all she did to pass ObamaCare, and all the pain and suffering ObamaCare will inflict on her fellow citizens.

thatsafactjack on January 31, 2014 at 12:57 PM

I think Stewart secretly knows that the liberal/progressive ideology he champions and defends is a major failure when put into practice. But he’s also smart enough to know who pays his bills, so he keeps the schtick up. It’s cool and “edgy” to be progressive. If he struck a more conservative or even non-ideological pose, he’d lose his audience.

Dagnar on January 31, 2014 at 12:58 PM

was… saw … lol! quite the Freudian slip. ;)

thatsafactjack on January 31, 2014 at 12:58 PM

I don’t believe America can or will ever be right again until lack of faith in government is restored in the hearts and minds of a majority of its citizens.

We can argue about how good or not Stewart’s take down of Pelosi was, but I hope some or even many in Stewart’s audience were effected in a postive (anti-big-government) way.

We need more people on the left side of center (and even the right side of center these days) to start realizing that the other party is not really their “enemy” – big-government is.

But that won’t happen unless and until they are exposed to even imperfect acts of actual journalism like this one that show the hubris, incompetence and truly despicable nature of the wannabe-tyrants running our government in both parties.

DrDeano on January 31, 2014 at 12:59 PM

On the correction:

Nice takedown, Ed.

Prufrock on January 31, 2014 at 1:06 PM

I’m not a Randian.

:(((((

Schadenfreude on January 31, 2014 at 1:17 PM

Update

Thats whats called “getting it SNAPped off in your a**”

Pun intended.

BobMbx on January 31, 2014 at 1:23 PM

An example of an incompetent displaying utter incompetence.

Sherman1864 on January 31, 2014 at 1:24 PM

Shut up, you little bug”, she explained.

Big Government fans: Meet your Patroness Saint.

orangemtl on January 31, 2014 at 1:31 PM

The face of the failed ideology for all to see…

… and people wonder how could we possibly ever be +$17 Trillion in debt and counting.

If only this were an election year…

… this clip would make a heck of a campaign commercial if only some political party were to use it.

Seven Percent Solution on January 31, 2014 at 1:37 PM

Pelosi is responsible for ObamaCare and every one of its failings.

More than any other politician, she pushed ObamaCare through to passage.

She wheedled, cajoled, threatened, and even twisted arms to the breaking point to get the votes for passage.

She dredge up every arcane and nefarious means at her disposal to get to passage.

She even threatened to use “The Slaughter Rule”, AKA Demon Pass, to get to passage.

In the end she made the Blue Dogs a myth, the Pro Life Democrats extinct, and declared that the resultant loss of those seats in the House would make the Democrat Party ‘purer’.

Along the way, she called her fellow Americans ‘un-American’, senior citizens gathered at town hall meetings ‘angry mobs’, and said she was Nazi armbands and swastika’s at those meetings where there were none. She vilified and slandered her fellow citizens in her desire to pass ObamaCare.

If there is any justice in this world, Nancy Pelosi will get full credit for all she did to pass ObamaCare, and all the pain and suffering ObamaCare will inflict on her fellow citizens.

thatsafactjack on January 31, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Fantastic!

There should be a narrator reading this with dire music in the background in every campaign ad this fall….for the TEA party candidates that is…for the GOPe, who cares.

msupertas on January 31, 2014 at 1:42 PM

Obama: “Obamacare will not cost a dime…it will pay for itself…it will REDUCE the deficit…it will lower the cost of health insurance….it will not include any new taxes…it will NOT cause Americans to lose their jobs…it will NOT cause Americans to lose their health care…If you like your Doctor you can keep your doctor…if you like your plan you can keep your plan..:

TRUTH: These were all documented, AWARD-WINNING LIES!

Pelosi: “It’s the Republicans’ Fault.”

———–

Stewart: “Democratic governance now appears “chaotic” and their execution of legislation appears to “lack efficiency.”

Pelosi: “It’s the Republicans’ Fault.”

———————

Stewart: “Why it was so difficult to get a company to execute the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchange website “competently?”

Pelosi: “I don’t know.”

Stewart: “Why not?”

Pelosi: “It is not my responsibility to know why?”

REALLY? It is not your responsibility to understand why / how such a horrible, socialistic bill voted on ONLY by Democrats and rammed down the throats of the majority of Americans who opposed this bill and who it is now devastating?!

The TRUTH is, as Harry Reid has already admitted, Obamacare was never meant to fix anything but was instead designed to FAIL, allowing Liberals to follow up with driving the U.S. into their beloved ‘Single Payer’ System.

Although it is failing right out of the gate / way ahead of schedule, they don’t care WHY it is failing. All they care about is their plan is working!

As far as Pelosi’s calim that “It’s the Republicans’ Fault.”…

Not 1 Republican voted for the Affordable Care Act.

easyt65 on January 31, 2014 at 1:45 PM

Nancy Pelosi should be forced to live in a pig sty with others whose values and morals are the same! Despicable sea hag cow!

csdeven on January 31, 2014 at 2:09 PM

I still think someone should throw a bucket on her and give her broomstick to the Wizard…

Then maybe he would give Obama a BRAIN,
Harry Reid a HEART…
Boehner some COURAGE…
and send all the Washington Extablishment / Liberal Progressive politicians home!

easyt65 on January 31, 2014 at 2:28 PM

“This is what happens when one Googles for excerpts rather than reading and comprehending the entire work. It reminds me of people who Google Bible verses to use in arguments with no comprehension of their meaning.”

And atheists questioning Gods existence because man is prey to microbes, versus being exempt from the food chain and other sad things ever Ever EVER.
Glad I’m not the only one.

“I love science too, stupid.”

Recon5 on January 31, 2014 at 4:21 PM

Nancy Pelosi said:

Those of us who worked the hardest to make sure we had health care…”

Is she including all of the Democrats in Congress who voted for Obamacare without even reading the Bill in that category?

Nancy Pelosi is truly living in an alternate universe.

wren on January 31, 2014 at 5:14 PM

Nancy Pelosi should be forced to live in a pig sty with others whose values and morals are the same! Despicable sea hag cow!

csdeven on January 31, 2014 at 2:09 PM

(:->)

KOOLAID2 on January 31, 2014 at 5:18 PM

Poor Nancy, she didn’t stand a chance against Stewart. He may bash Republicans on his show, but when it’s warranted, he’s not afraid to hammer the left for their incompetence, either. She has that deer in the headlights look…but then again, she always has that look.

scalleywag on January 31, 2014 at 5:36 PM

I work in technology. Listening to Pelosi prattle on about the website just about made my head explode.

astronmr20 on January 31, 2014 at 5:47 PM

“It’s not my responsibility.”

That’s the epitaph for this ENTIRE administration (which I despise, btw).

locomotivebreath1901 on January 31, 2014 at 7:09 PM

“It’s not my responsibility.”

That’s the epitaph for this ENTIRE administration (which I despise, btw).

locomotivebreath1901 on January 31, 2014 at 7:09 PM

If only that were the extent of it. Maybe it’s just an east and left coast thing, but when was the last time you saw anyone own up to personal responsibility for anything?

In the most progressive circles, not only isn’t it my fault, but, really, it’s not anyone’s fault, for that would be judging. Unless you’re a Republican. Otherwise, it’s “the system.”

de rigueur on January 31, 2014 at 8:05 PM

I’m going to try that “it’s not my responsibility” thing at work…that should fly.

Jurgis Rudkus on January 31, 2014 at 8:17 PM

Well, DAMN, people. The print wasn’t big enough. That’s what the beach meant all along.

WryTrvllr on January 31, 2014 at 9:20 PM

SNAP, Medicaid, and even Medicare (in principle) don’t force everyone under the rubric of that control, either

Heh, in principle indeed. Its a very very fine line you’re talking about Ed. Medicare/Medicaid have greatly impacted the healthcare industry. Prices are affected by how much the fed gov says its willing to pay for various services. Thus they impact everyone, not just in the taxes taken to pay for them. Namely, those on private insurance will pay more than what the gov pays to make up the difference. Why are we now seeing doctors dropping gov care patients wholesale?

On top of that, just look at Medicare. Seniors are legally required to take it, there is no other option for them and then were offered various approved supplemental plans (medicare advantage I believe its called) they could pay more money for to get better services etc.. It is all a scam. Get government out of all of it. There is no inbetween. Hayek is wrong here. We have 50 years of proof of it.

oryguncon on January 31, 2014 at 10:28 PM

It is rather touching to see Stewart, the spiritual leader of young people who enabled Democrat Obamacare ™, almost coming to terms with their personal error in supporting a policy and a party that others, more experienced, knew would fail.

Now that the Comedy Central training wheels are off, John, how does it feel to have a mind again?

virgo on February 1, 2014 at 12:34 AM

Lil’ Jon is growing up right before our eyes. It’s a beautiful thing to watch.

HellCat on February 1, 2014 at 5:16 AM

I think Stewart secretly knows that the liberal/progressive ideology he champions and defends is a major failure when put into practice. But he’s also smart enough to know who pays his bills, so he keeps the schtick up. It’s cool and “edgy” to be progressive. If he struck a more conservative or even non-ideological pose, he’d lose his audience.

Dagnar on January 31, 2014 at 12:58 PM

Yeah, I think that came out when Stewart asked Pelosi if the Federal government is just too big and not nimble enough to micro-manage health care. He has also blasted the VA over their backlog and how they can never seem to make much progress. But he has an audience to pander to so he’ll keep up the “fight.”

SleightOfHand on February 1, 2014 at 7:17 AM

Clown nose off?

The Schaef on February 1, 2014 at 7:39 AM

stomach wrenching

long_cat on February 1, 2014 at 10:47 AM

Jon Stewart finally doing what the GOP and the driveby’s refuse to do. Hold the Democrats responsible for the gigantic mess they have made. I’m sure Bagdad Boob thought that Stewart would lob her some softball questions, like the lamestreams do.

flytier on February 1, 2014 at 10:49 AM

There’s a “not my responsibility” line in there somewhere in the 2800 pages.

We just have to read it “so we’ll know what’s in it.”

NoPain on February 1, 2014 at 11:09 AM

If the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution and Bill of Rights on six pages, can the 2800 page authors of this law be known as the “Floundering Fathers (and Mothers)”?

Or shortened to just “Mothers”?

NoPain on February 1, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Is that the sound of bones clanking on the polished table top in the vid?

Bony Pelosi with the bony charm bracelet?

These folks are sickening.

Sherman1864 on February 1, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Stewart should have asked her why if it’s so damn good, why did Obama grant exemptions by the hundreds. Then start bypassing the parts of the law at a whim. Pelosi is deranged-she flat out lives in a different reality

jaywemm on February 1, 2014 at 1:35 PM

ObamaCare IS Detroit:

Detroit represents nothing less than progressivism in its final stage of decadence: Worried that unionized public-sector workers are looting your city? Detroit is already bankrupt, unable to provide basic services expected of it — half the streetlights don’t work, transit has been reduced, neighborhoods go unpatrolled. Worried that public-sector unions are ruining your schools? Detroit’s were ruined a generation or more ago, the results of which are everywhere to be seen in the city. Worried that Obamacare is going to ruin our health-care markets? General-practice physicians are hard to find in Detroit, and those willing to accept Medicaid — which covers a great swath of Detroit’s population — are rarer still. Worried about the permissive culture? Four out of five of Detroit’s children are born out of wedlock. Worried that government is making it difficult for businesses to thrive? Many people in Detroit have to travel miles to find a grocery store. This is the endgame of welfare economics: What good is Medicaid if there are no doctors? What good are food stamps where there is no food? What good are “free” schools if you’re so afraid to send your children there that you feel it prudent to arm them first?

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/370095/progressivism-kills-kevin-d-williamson

mountainaires on February 2, 2014 at 6:56 AM

Obamacare or ACA was written entirely by Democrats with no input from Republicans.
Obamacare or ACA was passed with ONLY Democrat votes, none by Republicans.
Obamacare or ACA was implemented entirely by Democrats, with no Republican control.

So, of course, the Republicans are the reason for the failure of Obamacare or ACA.

If this makes sense to to you, you are probably a Progressive.

schmuck281 on February 4, 2014 at 10:42 PM

Even “little jon stewart” had to call Piglosi out.
Man, these people are stuck on stupid.

mmcnamer1 on February 5, 2014 at 7:53 PM

Comment pages: 1 2