Green Room

My CNN piece: ObamaCare the “death spiral” of White House credibility

posted at 5:35 pm on October 24, 2013 by

Earlier today, CNN asked me to write a column on what the ObamaCare rollout fiasco means.  They just posted my answer:

Constituents fear dealing with IRS penalties for failure to buy insurance through a system they can’t access and HHS can’t fix, or even predict when it will be fixed. Even those who have managed to buy insurance through the site now have to wonder whether their insurers have their correct data. Meanwhile, Obama and Sebelius now want to reassure Americans that they have a grip on the problem … by bringing in the private sector to fix what the government failed to execute.

Rarely have we seen such a confluence of incompetence, irresponsibility, and prevarication all at the same time. The death spiral of White House credibility won’t just damage Democrats in the short run, but it will damage the agenda of advocates of activist government for years.

Also, I’ve already linked my column today at The Fiscal Times, but here it is one more time:

When I first started reading comic strips more than 40 years ago, one of the most popular was Bil Keane’s Family Circus, a lighthearted look at childhood and family dynamics. One running gag had to do with the typical child’s response to accountability for errors and mischief.

Keane would draw a ghostlike figure running through a scene, behaving badly with a manic sort of glee while the mother demanded to know who had broken the lamp, created a mess in the living room, or let the dog out.  Keane gave the ghost character the name of the inevitable response from the children – Ida Know.

Welcome to the Ida Know administration. …

In short, the ACA was the Obama administration’s own bid to prove that activist, large-scale government was superior in innovation and competency. Instead, it has become a signature example of the lack of accountability, incompetence, and rank dishonesty that activist, large-scale government creates and protects.  And that was just on performance.  Despite the 42 months lead time and the outlay of $400 million, the web portal failed immediately, and two successive weekends of repair couldn’t make it work.

When the media demanded to know what happened, the White House responded with a battalion of Ida Knows.  How many people had succeeded in actually purchasing insurance through the federal exchange? Ida Know,White House sources told the Associated Press this past weekend when trying to brag about having 476,000 user accounts set up in the portal.  Did insurers actually get their data and have them enrolled? Ida Know When will the system actually work? Ida KnowOMB Director Sylvia Burwell told Bloomberg News.

Be sure to read them both!

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Congrats, Ed! Oh and both pieces were very well-written. 🙂

GOPRanknFile on October 24, 2013 at 5:38 PM

2nd that

cmsinaz on October 24, 2013 at 5:48 PM

As bad a president as Bush was (snark) I can’t remember a single thing he mucked up as bad as this administration. And while there were those who didn’t care for his domestic or foreign policies, at least he HAD SOME. I bet our allies miss him.

scalleywag on October 24, 2013 at 5:51 PM


rbj on October 24, 2013 at 5:55 PM

by bringing in the private sector to fix what the government failed to execute.

Isn’t the “private sector” the very reason why gov controlled Obamacare was designed?

Oh the irony….

katy on October 24, 2013 at 5:58 PM

Never before in the history of the Republic there has been such utterly incompetent President and such utterly incompetent administration… Not even close…

However it is expected from a welfare queens agitator who knows nothing about anything of importance to govern… A man who was elected President on the power of good delivery of a speech from a teleprompter… on the power of the biggest advertising campaign in the history of the Republic done by the liberal media… and on the power of bringing the largest number of parasites in the history of the Republic to vote for him…

mnjg on October 24, 2013 at 6:04 PM


wyntre9 on October 24, 2013 at 6:30 PM


talkingpoints on October 24, 2013 at 7:00 PM

“When the media demanded to know what happened, the…”

I missed when that happened.

rrpjr on October 24, 2013 at 7:11 PM

The best in business!

Ted Torgerson on October 24, 2013 at 8:06 PM

Both columns are spot on Mr. Morrissey.

I would only add that credibility in a death spiral implies credibility was present at some time. The WH didn’t seem to have any from the outset.

Keane gave the ghost character the name of the inevitable response from the children – Ida Know.

I also liked the one named “Not Me”. It would also apply to the WH.

rukiddingme on October 24, 2013 at 8:26 PM

The only one to be fired so far is the navigator who talked to Hannity. That is accountability and transparency.

Grunt on October 24, 2013 at 9:42 PM

Hey Ed, they like you, they really like you.

Cindy Munford on October 24, 2013 at 9:42 PM

Again, nice job ED, Kudos:)

canopfor on October 24, 2013 at 10:58 PM

Again,nice job ED, Kudos:)

canopfor on October 24, 2013 at 11:04 PM

Drats, a double posty!

canopfor on October 24, 2013 at 11:05 PM

Darn, I was having fun over there and disqus bit the dust.

Cindy Munford on October 24, 2013 at 11:10 PM

Ed, not to undermine your piece, but the death spiral of Obama’s credibility began when he was elected to the Senate.

Jaibones on October 25, 2013 at 12:24 AM

I was wondering what that noise was. I finally figured out it was the heads of CNN libs’s heads exploding. Well done, Ed!

NavyMustang on October 25, 2013 at 3:30 AM

Well done piece, Ed. I enjoyed the read and I’ll wager you will get audited soon. That had to burn some bacon.

dogsoldier on October 25, 2013 at 7:43 AM

Nice work, Ed. Hope you get more work at CNN in print and on TV. It’s great to hear conservatives voices in the mainstream media.

sauldalinsky on October 25, 2013 at 7:59 AM

…I’m proud!

KOOLAID2 on October 25, 2013 at 8:10 AM

Say Ed, how come you don’t have to tinyurl your CNN link?

Bmore on October 25, 2013 at 10:31 AM

Norn Ornstein, who has been around DC forever, has this wonderful snippet (at National Journal) …

Go back, first, to Max Baucus’s famous and widely distorted and misused “train wreck” comment in a hearing to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in April 2013. Contrary to Ted Cruz and countless other Republicans, Baucus did not call Obamacare a train wreck—he was referring directly to its implementation through the website. He said, “I understand you’ve hired a contractor. I’m just worried that that’s going to be money down the drain because contractors like to make moneymore than they like to do anything else. That’s their job. They’ve got to worry about their shareholders and whatnot.

If Sebelius, the president, the leaders at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and other White House officials were unaware before that hearing about the implementation problems, they could not be unaware afterward. And, as we are now hearing, the stark internal warnings from tech experts of deep-seated problems in the programs came months ago and went unheeded.

J_Crater on October 25, 2013 at 11:21 AM

Ed – I particularly like the article in which you used the imagery of Bill Keane’s “Family Circus”.

I remember “Ida Know”

Very well-written and sophisticated stuff!

Excellent job!

williamg on October 25, 2013 at 11:37 AM

Men are the only animals that devote themselves, day in and day out, to making one another unhappy. It is an art like any other. Its virtuosi are called altruists.
—H. L. Mencken

claudius on October 25, 2013 at 12:24 PM

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