The president that time forgot

Whether ObamaCare was affirmed or overturned by the ladies and men in robes, nothing was going to change one unimpeachable fact: From day one, the Obama health-care legislation was swimming against the tides of history. It was a legislative monolith out of sync with an iPad world. In the era of the smartphone, ObamaCare was rotary-dial health reform. …

The Affordable Care Act is the exhibit du jour, but there is a disconnect nearly everywhere between governments and the reality of the way life is lived by the people they govern. Across Europe, the young are being drowned by something known as “the welfare state.” It sounds more Orwellian than it did the first time. Other than the crude imperatives of survival amid a modernizing people, the Chinese Communist Party is clueless.

It remains astonishing that even now, the one American politician who instinctively grasped that the standard model of 20th-century government needed to adjust was Ronald Reagan. Barack Obama deployed the new world of social media in 2008 to become president, and then violated every new thing social media represents with a health-care law whose central processing unit is the antiquarian Department of Health and Human Services. He similarly nationalized student loans, forcing college students to deal with the punch-card mainframes or whatever they use at the U.S. Department of Education.