Let me start by telling you what not to do: Don’t minimize the problem. Don’t say that a lot of private companies have trouble when they’re getting started, or that the websites are only a part of Obamacare. Everybody understands that the websites are crucial to the exchanges and that the exchanges are crucial to the law. That’s why we didn’t just call it the Transfer-Money-From-Medicare-to-Medicaid Act.

And don’t blame Republicans. Could one of you call Howard Dean and tell him that his line — that Republican governors who didn’t set up their own exchanges are actually at fault — is a surefire loser with everyone who isn’t already on team blue? We can’t be out there arguing that our plan was just perfect except it depended on everybody suddenly deciding to take optional steps to help a law they hate. Besides, a lot of the state exchanges aren’t working well, either. For an additional fee, my colleagues will be happy to explain these points to any Democratic official or ex-official who needs it.