Ron Fournier: Obama "destroyed the credibility of his administration and government itself"

Well, those are some words. Fournier has been sounding this alarm for a while, positioning himself as a responsible and disappointed Washington scribe who would like such government experiments in taking over corners of our lives to succeed, but alas, Obamacare’s implementation and the administration’s incompetence have made it nearly impossible to defend this particular experiment. I’m not hating too hard. I appreciate anyone genuinely coming to this realization, though it would have been far more helpful while the passage of Obamacare was underway, and Fournier seems to have come to it good and hard. His words carry weight with people for whom mine would not (though, as I said, maybe they should, since people like me were able to foresee this instead of realizing it after the fact).

“The problem is the central attribute you have to have as any leader, in any walk of life and certainly in government is trust,” Fournier said. “This president has destroyed the credibility of his administration himself and government itself.”

Fournier said the administration’s mistakes, on top of fallout over Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber’s embarrassing comments, have made Obamacare increasingly difficult to defend.

“In the long run, as somebody who would like to see this bill work, I think they have really undermined it,” Fournier said. “And it’s going to be harder to defend it.”

What I like about Fournier is he seems to be one of just a few reporters and analysts in Washington who are willing to really give Obama credit for undermining his own agenda, making it hard to work on future legislation, and generally doing seemingly everything in his power to make it less and less likely that anyone will help him make anything happen. Fournier would probably like the wheels of power in Washington to turn more smoothly than I would like, since I’m a fan of Founder-endorsed gridlock and hard work, but he is unwilling to lay all the blame at the feet of Republicans when Obama is actively throwing sand in the gears. It’s far more dignified than twisting oneself into knots to absolve Obama of any responsibility, which is the favorite pasttime of so many.

And, he’s exactly right about the risks to government itself. Its currency is trust granted by the American people to implement and handle complicated problems and tell them the truth about what they’re enacting. Government has given us all plenty of reasons to doubt it from time immemorial, but Obamacare has been such a sustained and concentrated worst-case example that many like Fournier are learning this lesson in a stark way. That’s healthy for defending against future grand experiments attempted by our intellectual betters, even as Obamacare itself continues to be unhealthy.

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