Lefties wonder: Should we spin this Sebelius resignation as good news or bad news for ObamaCare?

posted at 11:21 am on April 11, 2014 by Allahpundit

On one side, Team “Mission Accomplished”:

Ezra earned himself a retweet from the White House for that one, a nice reward for his new propaganda shop at Vox. On the other side, Rachel Maddow, who’s also keen to declare “Mission Accomplished” but doesn’t understand why the coach would be fired halfway through the victory parade. She also doesn’t see why, if Sebelius had been planning to quit for the past month (as the NYT claimed yesterday), she told HuffPo just last week that she’d be sticking around until November. Hmmmm.

I’m with Ben Domenech on this. Advantage: Maddow.

About a month ago, in a conversation with a Senate Democratic aide, the topic of Sebelius – “Auntie K” – came up. The assumption was shared that there was no way Sebelius would be leaving HHS prior to the November midterm elections – indeed, the aide claimed that her position was essentially unassailable given the negative attention her resignation or firing would draw. And besides, any nomination fight, no matter who the nominee is, would quickly become an opportunity for Republican Senators to pile on while Democratic Senators were put in an awkward position. No, the conventional wisdom said Sebelius would stay, at least til November 2014…

In any case, it appears that this resignation presents Republicans with a golden opportunity to reignite their crusade against Obamacare with Sylvia Burwell’s nomination as a proxy for all the problems with the law. Burwell is a political loyalist and a veteran of the shutdown fight with no record on health care, and will likely be coached to avoid answering questions about specific challenges with implementation at HHS. Senate Republicans actually have an advantage here in the wake of the Nuclear Option’s implementation: they can easily come up with a list of facts they claim the administration has hidden, details kicked aside, statutes ignored, and a host of other challenging questions on accountability over the implementation (and non-implementation) of the law. A list of every question Sebelius has dodged over the past several years would suffice.

Yeah, dumping Sebelius now for reasons of optics makes no sense to me. Normally I’d guess that the White House figured it was better to shed the albatross now, let the GOP go bombs away on O-Care at the Burwell hearing, and hope that nothing too damaging comes out, but I’m not convinced that Sebelius was that much of an albatross. People who follow politics day to day know who she is but I’ll bet most casual voters couldn’t pick her out of a line-up. For midterm attack-ad purposes, Obama himself will serve as the face of O-Care, not the director of HHS. So if they wanted her out, given the few benefits and many potential costs per Domenech of having a big congressional referendum on ObamaCare next month, it must be because they really didn’t trust her management abilities anymore and wanted someone more competent in ASAP as they transition to “phase two” of implementation. If that meant dumping a bad coach in the middle of a victory parade, fine. There are, after all, more “games” left to be played before O-Care’s fate is sealed, starting with the 2015 premium rates this fall. That’s one way in which the White House parts company with Klein, Marshall, and Maddow — the latter really do seem to think (or, perhaps, want the public to think) that hitting seven million “sign-ups,” however that term’s being defined these days, means winning the Super Bowl. If this is final victory, then dumping Sebelius a week or two afterward seems bizarre. If it isn’t, not so much.

Update: Right after I hit “publish,” Obama uncorked this at the White House ceremony for Sebelius this morning:

He wants the public to think the game’s over, but bringing in a new coach suggests otherwise.

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Ding-dong, the witch is dead!
The witch is dead! The witch is dead!
Ding-dong, the Sebelius witch is dead!

Aaaaand, meet the new witch – same as the old witch.

Marcola on April 11, 2014 at 11:23 AM

So, will Ms. Private Citizen sign up for ObamaCare NOW?

Marcola on April 11, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Bishop!

Marcola on April 11, 2014 at 11:24 AM

That screen cap you chose to use shows 2 of the worst looking Men in Liberalism.

It’s like Ugly in Stereo.

portlandon on April 11, 2014 at 11:25 AM

When you have to spin something having happened, you know it’s bad news.

oscarwilde on April 11, 2014 at 11:26 AM

Nobody cares about Sebelius one way or the other.

faraway on April 11, 2014 at 11:26 AM

Obama on ACA: “the final score speaks for itself”

Obama’s Scoreboard has the opponents side covered up with blankets & old pallets.

portlandon on April 11, 2014 at 11:26 AM

Obama on ACA: “the final score speaks for itself”

Yes it does, but we’re a long way from the 9th inning.

myiq2xu on April 11, 2014 at 11:27 AM

She was about to crack and spill the beans…?

d1carter on April 11, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Bishop!

Marcola on April 11, 2014 at 11:24 AM

I’m sorry, Bishop called in dead this morning (he’s not actually dead, he just ran out of sick leave) he informs us that he will be back just as soon as his current situation improves…

oscarwilde on April 11, 2014 at 11:29 AM

And you can keep your doctor….

d1carter on April 11, 2014 at 11:29 AM

Syphibelius is leaving for the same reason that Mengele left Germany in 1945, because things were going so great back home.

Bishop on April 11, 2014 at 11:32 AM

“The product is good!!!!….”

Electrongod on April 11, 2014 at 11:33 AM

I’m wondering about this newly proposed HHS secretary, Sylvia Burwell: she’s supposed to be in charge of the Office of Management & Budget. Well, the Obama administration and the Senate (via Harry Reid) have not passed a budget in years. What has she been doing all this time?

majorzot on April 11, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Obvious: Waited till now to boot/go since new data makes ‘failure’ meme so difficult to sustain.

— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) April 10, 2014

Kathleen Sebelius is resigning because Obamacare has won http://t.co/GYi8z0ItLj

— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) April 10, 2014

“I have asked General George McClellan to be replaced as the US Union Army Commander, because he has done so well.”

-Abraham Lincoln, November 5, 1862

portlandon on April 11, 2014 at 11:34 AM

“The product is good!!!!….”

Electrongod on April 11, 2014 at 11:33 AM

That’s a quote from “Breaking Bad” right???

oscarwilde on April 11, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Lefties wonder: Should we spin this Sebelius resignation as good news or bad news for ObamaCare?

That they have to ask that question kind of provides the answer.

Bitter Clinger on April 11, 2014 at 11:36 AM

I’m wondering about this newly proposed HHS secretary, Sylvia Burwell: she’s supposed to be in charge of the Office of Management & Budget. Well, the Obama administration and the Senate (via Harry Reid) have not passed a budget in years. What has she been doing all this time?

majorzot on April 11, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Obama has proposed budgets that routinely get shot down without a single Democrat vote in favor. So she’s been doing a bang up job, it seems.

Bitter Clinger on April 11, 2014 at 11:38 AM

I’m sorry, Bishop called in dead this morning (he’s not actually dead, he just ran out of sick leave) he informs us that he will be back just as soon as his current situation improves…
oscarwilde on April 11, 2014 at 11:29 AM

Well, I’m glad he finally has decent health care coverage that includes geriatric obstetrics, since I heard he wants to be the oldest mother ever.

Marcola on April 11, 2014 at 11:39 AM

What would libfree say.

22044 on April 11, 2014 at 11:39 AM

If the journolisters don’t know how to spin this. . .

Is Sebelius to be the designated scapegoat for Obamacare failure?
How can that be when Obama is claiming a success?

Does Sebelius want out because the job was impossible from the beginning? Nope, can’t say that either.

So Sebelius is taking a break from a stressful, difficult and complex task successfully completed to spent time with family? So Sebelius gets the credit that Obama wants for himself?

Does Sebelius want out before the train wreck? Obama claims it’s a big victory.

Obama wanted this health care albatross, embraced it vigorously for his entire presidency, and it’s hung around his neck now and forever.

Joseph OHenry on April 11, 2014 at 11:39 AM

She was about to crack and spill the beans…?

d1carter on April 11, 2014 at 11:28 AM

This goes back to my first thought that she’d join Lois and the 5th amendment is likely to be used again soon. But considering those that leave this administration need to be muzzled to protect the family, I am wondering if the IRS and FBI hasn’t finally found enough on her that Holder has the papers in place to shift her to the Patreus wing in the basement of the whitehouse. I could be wrong and a Swiss bank account has recently been opened to her benefit and she’ll be the next ambassador to a remote tropical country but either way she knows way too much to be allowed to leave.

The problems with dictators ruling by lying and deception is all the people who know to much have to be kept under control or all the dominos fall.

It’s too bad we lost investigative journalism and have to figure this stuff out on our own but so be it.

tej on April 11, 2014 at 11:51 AM

OT: Breaking! Hillary under fire at Bosnian airport…nope, just a shoe in Vegas…….

d1carter on April 11, 2014 at 11:53 AM

Obama is good.
Obamacare is good.
Sebelius resigning is good.

Why? Shut up, that’s why.

fogw on April 11, 2014 at 11:55 AM

I am more skeptical. Perhaps they will spin the new HHS as “There to Fix it!” Not roll it back. Never underestimate these people.

dentalque on April 11, 2014 at 11:55 AM

Should we spin this Sebelius resignation as good news or bad news for ObamaCare?

Hmmmm – unethical, incompetent appointee who lied to push an unconstitutional “tax” on the serfs, resigns from unnecessary, unconstitutional cabinet position.

I can see where libtards would think that’s a bad thing.

dentarthurdent on April 11, 2014 at 11:56 AM

OT: Breaking! Hillary under fire at Bosnian airport…nope, just a shoe in Vegas…….

d1carter on April 11, 2014 at 11:53 AM

Before long, the story will be she dodged an artillery round….

dentarthurdent on April 11, 2014 at 11:58 AM

OT: Breaking! Hillary under fire at Bosnian airport…nope, just a shoe in Vegas…….

d1carter on April 11, 2014 at 11:53 AM

Yep.

VegasRick on April 11, 2014 at 11:58 AM

Expect all of these people to wind up in Brazil or someplace else that does not have an extradition treaty with the U.S.

either orr on April 11, 2014 at 11:59 AM

I hope she isn’t going to be a member of the Individual Payment Advisory Board or help select the 15 members that get to decide who gets treatment and who gets euthanized.

fourdeucer on April 11, 2014 at 12:03 PM

I wonder if she will fly away with Hiliary on her broom????

txdoc on April 11, 2014 at 12:03 PM

Obama will have to start with the presidential pardons now to be able to get them all done by Jan 2017.

Sebelius, Kerry, Hiliary, Cummings, Lerner etc etc

txdoc on April 11, 2014 at 12:04 PM

The One wants the country to believe that it’s ‘game over’ for a whole host of vile, despicable machinations of His regime. I need not mention them to this knowledgeable blog, but he has, and should have, confidence that the ignorant, uninvolved/uninformed public will live by the regime’s mantra, “Nothing to see here, move on.” And cynic that I am these days, I believe it may be right.

vnvet on April 11, 2014 at 12:06 PM

Expect all of these people to wind up in Brazil or someplace else that does not have an extradition treaty with the U.S.

either orr on April 11, 2014 at 11:59 AM

Putin has already had the lower DUMA pass the “Obama Admin Protection Act” entitling those that leave the administration will get asylum.

tej on April 11, 2014 at 12:09 PM

Putin has already had the lower DUMA pass the “Obama Admin Protection Act” entitling those that leave the administration will get asylum.

tej on April 11, 2014 at 12:09 PM

But they’ll have to live in Ukraine….

dentarthurdent on April 11, 2014 at 12:13 PM

But they’ll have to live in Ukraine….

dentarthurdent on April 11, 2014 at 12:13 PM

My Russian interpretation isn’t what it used to be back in the 70′s but the Act seems to reference some optional housing including Dutchas in the country, flats in Crimea and what appears to be a new over 55 community opening in Kiev a soon as the clearing, site work and permitting allows them to begin construction.

tej on April 11, 2014 at 12:25 PM

This timing makes pretty good political sense to me.

First off: She was fired. This was not a ‘resignation’ in the traditional sense, this was a firing.

That said — the timing can be explained thusly:

If they had fired her earlier, say end of 2013 (as they clearly SHOULD have, because she was incompetent), it would have been akin to dumping gasoline on ObamaCare’s existing forest fire of website issues, etc. It would have been an ‘admission’ by the administration that ObamaCare was a POS.

Now that they’ve hit their ’7 million’ number, as Ezra Klein shows us, they can argue that she’s simply moving on after having ‘accomplished’ the mission. The fact that that’s utter BS is of no consequence, it’s just a matter of having a semi-plausible ‘positive’ talking point that can be repeated to every LOFO in America nightly — rather than emphasizing the fact that she was fired due to incompetence.

Had they waited any longer to do this, they would be closer to November and the optics would be harder to explain away as simply ‘mission accomplished’ — Would REALLY make no sense right before an election.

So they took the middle path, rid themselves of her long enough after the initial SNAFU to snow LOFOs into thinking it -wasn’t- because she was incompetent. But far enough away from the election for everyone to forget all about it.

nullrouted on April 11, 2014 at 12:30 PM

Stalin thought it was over when he collectivized the farms too. It’s never over, and Obamacare will never be safe from repeal.

MTF on April 11, 2014 at 12:30 PM

Stalin thought it was over when he collectivized the farms too. It’s never over, and Obamacare will never be safe from repeal.

MTF on April 11, 2014 at 12:30 PM

Sadly, if repeal is up to the GOPe, I fear it will be safe….

dentarthurdent on April 11, 2014 at 12:34 PM

Yeah, we need another bean counter in charge of nationalized health care. /s

TerryW on April 11, 2014 at 12:35 PM

I am more skeptical. Perhaps they will spin the new HHS as “There to Fix it!” Not roll it back. Never underestimate these people.

dentalque on April 11, 2014 at 11:55 AM

That was my first thought. From now on, it’s going to be “Gee, I guess Kathleen wasn’t as competent as she said she was. We wouldn’t be experiencing all these problems if Kathleen had done her job. Bad Kathleen for the pulling the wool over my eyes.”

catsandbooks on April 11, 2014 at 12:35 PM

Kathleen Sebelius is resigning because Obamacare has won

So . . . Obamacare has won. Do these leftists even give a damn how the American people are faring under this disaster of a law? I didn’t think so.

TarheelBen on April 11, 2014 at 12:36 PM

When something’s mandatory, nothing shy of 100% can be considered a win.

Ronnie on April 11, 2014 at 12:38 PM

Obama on ACA: “the final score speaks for itself”

Yes it does, but we’re a long way from the 9th inning.

myiq2xu on April 11, 2014 at 11:27 AM

Exactly.

First off: She was fired. This was not a ‘resignation’ in the traditional sense, this was a firing.

That said — the timing can be explained thusly:

Now that they’ve hit their ’7 million’ number, as Ezra Klein shows us, they can argue that she’s simply moving on after having ‘accomplished’ the mission. The fact that that’s utter BS is of no consequence, it’s just a matter of having a semi-plausible ‘positive’ talking point that can be repeated to every LOFO in America nightly — rather than emphasizing the fact that she was fired due to incompetence.

So they took the middle path, rid themselves of her long enough after the initial SNAFU to snow LOFOs into thinking it -wasn’t- because she was incompetent. But far enough away from the election for everyone to forget all about it.

nullrouted on April 11, 2014 at 12:30 PM

Excellent analysis.

In addition to being incompetent, she is also the fall guy/gal, as is/was Lerner-who also didn’t “resign” right away, but waited til it was less damaging to the Obama administration. In both cases, the incompetence /dishonesty goes all the way to the top.

So, does Ezra Klein believe what he tweeted, or is he selling his soul for an in with Obama/Dems/libs?

talkingpoints on April 11, 2014 at 12:43 PM

he effectively neutralized her. now if she answers anything in a hearing in a manner the admin doesn’t like they can claim disgruntled ex-employee.
that means the true figures and costs are worse then thought I bet.

dmacleo on April 11, 2014 at 12:49 PM

I’m wondering about this newly proposed HHS secretary, Sylvia Burwell: she’s supposed to be in charge of the Office of Management & Budget. Well, the Obama administration and the Senate (via Harry Reid) have not passed a budget in years. What has she been doing all this time?

majorzot on April 11, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Obama has proposed budgets that routinely get shot down without a single Democrat vote in favor. So she’s been doing a bang up job, it seems.

Bitter Clinger on April 11, 2014 at 11:38 AM

Given how bad the ACA is, I’m stil trying to decide whether this is a good thing or a bad thing. Obama is putting someone with no healthcare experience, who has not been able to produce a budget that has gotten a single vote during her entire service in her current position-so basically has been a complete failure at her current job-in the position of implementing one of the most inept, unpopular and unworkable pieces of legislation ever. Things will definitely go wrong, but what? How? Will it make the ACA implode faster? It’s like watching a train wreck. The question is how big a disaster it will be.

talkingpoints on April 11, 2014 at 12:52 PM

Obama on ACA: “the final score speaks for itself”

Final score? Does that mean the other 30/35/40/47/whatever million people without health insurance no longer count? Why does Obama hate the uninsured? I’m so confused!

Athanasius on April 11, 2014 at 1:00 PM

The “final score speaks for itself”?

Well, yes I suppose it does.

6 million previously insured lost their policies, despite all the promises from earflaps.

7.1 million claimed “enrolled” or “signed up” or “one time, they thought about a health insurance policy so they count”.

They can’t or won’t provide numbers for how many of this fake 7.1 million number signed up for medicaid (which already existed) because THE NUMBER IS MADE UP. There’s no way to quantify puffy clouds of nothingness.

So, final score- 6 million people lost their policies despite princess backnine saying they wouldn’t, and some made up number of people signed up for obamacide.

You lose, lefties.

Which means the whole freaking country loses.

Why don’t you all just go drown your stupid selves, you pathetic doltish infants?

GrassMudHorsey on April 11, 2014 at 1:05 PM

We are bringing Western civilization to its knees by selling private insurance plans on a web site where people pick and choose.”

- Kathleen Sebelius, Health and Human Services Secretary

But my journey is part of a larger journey- one shared by all who’ve ever sought to apply the values of their faith to our society. It’s a journey that takes us back to our nation’s founding, when none other than a UCC church inspired the Boston Tea Party and helped bring an Empire to its knees.

- Barack Hussein Obama June 23, 2007

Notice a pattern here?

ITguy on April 11, 2014 at 1:12 PM

“the final score speaks for itself”

Let’s look at the score on our national debt…

Debt held by the public on the day when (then-Senator) and his peers took majority control of Washington, D.C. (1/3/2007):
$4,906,387,642,060.28 ($4.9 Trillion)

Debt held by the public after 7.25 continuous years of Democrat majority control (4/3/2014):
$12,602,148,792,037.21 ($12.6 Trillion)

Debt held by the public is now more than two-and-a-half times what it was when Obama and his Democrat peers took majority control of Washington, D.C. on 1/3/2007.

Data Source: http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/debt/search?startMonth=01&startDay=03&startYear=2007&endMonth=04&endDay=03&endYear=2014

ITguy on April 11, 2014 at 1:22 PM

Kathleen Sebelius is resigning because Obamacare has won http://t.co/GYi8z0ItLj

— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) April 10, 2014

Stop and ruminate on that for a moment. Notice how he didn’t say “the American people have won,” or “the sick and the infirm have won,” or “those without health insurance have won.” Just 0-care has won. That’s all these trolls care about.

CurtZHP on April 11, 2014 at 2:06 PM

They’ll spin it so hard, you’ll have a tough time figuring out what their position on the matter actually is – because even they don’t know it.

Another Drew on April 11, 2014 at 2:35 PM

“the final score speaks for itself”

FACT: The Democrat majorities of FY 2008-2014 have been adding new Debt Held by the Public at MORE THAN NINE TIMES THE RATE of their Republican majority predecessors FY 1998-2007.

Republican majorities FY 1998-2007 averaged $126 Billion per year new Debt held by the public.

Democrat majorities FY 2008-2014 have averaged $1.2 Trillion per year new Debt held by the public.

ITguy on April 11, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Notice a pattern here?

ITguy on April 11, 2014 at 1:12 PM

Cool nick, always good to meet a like-minded fellow IT person :)

nullrouted on April 11, 2014 at 3:16 PM

He wants the public to think the game’s over, but bringing in a new coach suggests otherwise.

Nope. This’ll be spun as “Good job, Sebie! Time for a well-earned break!”

And the press will lap it up.

nukemhill on April 11, 2014 at 6:37 PM