After watching this exchange between Candy Crowley and Sen. Kelly Ayotte on CNN’s State of the Union yesterday, I had to go back and read the transcript to be sure I heard it correctly. Perhaps Crowley intended to play devil’s advocate here by encapsulating the latest Democratic Party spin to push blame for ObamaCare on the political party that has opposed it all along, and had nothing to do with its implementation. Regardless of intent, this question made my jaw drop:
CROWLEY: I want to play for you something the president said Wednesday in Boston about the opposition to his Affordable Care Act.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Unfortunately, there are others that are so locked into the politics of this thing that they won’t lift a finger to help their own people because if they put as much energy into making this law work as they do in attacking the law, Americans would be better off.
CROWLEY: Now, he is saying in a sort of nuance way what other Democrats are saying right out there which is that you- all would rather defeat the president and Obamacare than help your constituents. Have you helped your constituents who called to your office looking for help? And do you think republicans are vulnerable on this that they have tried so hard and so many times to derail it, but now the criticism looks like nothing but politics? [emphasis mine]
AYOTTE: Well, Candy, my constituents are writing me, but how can I help them when it’s the situation of their getting cancellation notices because of the way that Obamacare is drafted when they can’t access the website because it’s such a mess. So, absolutely, I want to help my constituents. But again, I would say to the president, why doesn’t he call a timeout on this, understanding that it’s not working right now?
This was passed on a party line basis. Why not convene a group to see how can we work together, issues like the 29-hour workweek, issues like if you — people being denied their current plans, issues like rising health care costs, all of which are unfortunately I’m hearing the opposite from my constituents. I want to help them, but obviously, the administration in the way this is being rolled out is a mess. So, it’s time to call a time out.
What exactly is the argument here — that Republicans have been proven correct about what a clusterfark ObamaCare would be, and so their opposition was therefore nothing but politics? Er, doesn’t the multi-layered failures of the scheme demonstrate that opposition was substantive all along? The website and the skyrocketing premiums show that the ACA should have been derailed years ago, and that the White House has been repeatedly dishonest for years about its impact and their ability to manage it.
Why would that make Republicans vulnerable? Why should they attempt to rescue a system that doesn’t work when they had no investment in it at all? The idea that Republicans will be vulnerable in 2014 for refusing to ride to Obama’s rescue, rather than Democrats be vulnerable for their own failures and years of dishonesty, sounds like wish-casting from the White House or concern-trolling from the DSCC.