I love a defunding fight as much as anyone, but I really want to see ObamaCare get a stake through its heart via widespread civil disobedience. If people refuse to sign up for ObamaCare, the program collapses. Nothing would be more satisfying than to see ObamaCare go the way of Prohibition (without the violence): as something else that pushed the wonderfully unruly American people too far.
Contrary to what the media are telling you, the shutdown is not helping ObamaCare. Again and again, conservatives have been taunted by the media with the cry of, “If you hadn’t shut down the government, we’d be covering the ObamaCare launch debacle.”
The media are covering the ObamaCare launch debacle, and the coverage is the Obama administration’s worst nightmare because the shutdown has made it impossible for the White House to come up with a plan that would instruct the media in how to mitigate the damage.
You see, if there was no shutdown, the media coverage of the launch would not be anywhere as negative for the White House as it is now, and here is why…
1. The White House Can’t Do Damage Control – Right now the media and the White House are covering the ObamaCare launch debacle in stark, one-dimensional terms: It is an expensive, disappointing, big government debacle. Both are too overwhelmed to figure out a way to make it look less worse, which we all know would happen if they had the time and resources.
2. The White House Can’t Gameplan a Plan B – While the administration obviously bungled the launch, when it comes to cleaning up a mess, this White House can usually move pretty fast. This time the White House can’t. They and the media are too bogged down in the shutdown. With some breathing room, the White House might have been able to set up a massive call center staffed with volunteers — something, anything to get people signed up. But even if they do, there is just no media space available to spread the word.
3. White House Can’t Reassure Anyone – If the shutdown wasn’t gobbling up White House resources and media space, the administration could fan out its supporters to reassure those interested in signing up for ObamaCare that things are going to get better and that the problems are aggressively being worked on. Instead, all potential enrollees are seeing is error messages and all they are hearing is bad news.
4. White House Can’t Spin the Sticker Shock – If anything brings down ObamaCare, it will be sticker shock. For four years, Obama, Democrats, and the media have been lying to the American people about the cost of ObamaCare. On top of adding $2.6 trillion to our deficit, individuals are facing shockingly high premiums and premium increases. This, after being lied to again and again about cheaper premiums. I’m not sure how the White House and its media would spin their way out of this, but heaven knows if they had the time and resources, they would find a way. After all, this is the same media that turned Obama’s Libya debacle into a campaign problem for Mitt Romney.
The bottom line to ObamaCare’s success or failure is the number of enrollees paying into the system. In its first year, ObamaCare needs seven million enrollees, three million of them healthy and under age 35.
If those numbers aren’t met, the program is a failure, the disapproval ratings increase, and the chances of ObamaCare slowly being killed increase.
ObamaCare is the president’s baby, his only significant accomplishment, his only hope for a legacy — it is burning down before his eyes and he is helpless to do anything to shape the all-important first impression.
Throughout Obama’s time in the spotlight, this is the only time I have ever witnessed anything he has bungled receiving only harshly negative coverage. It’s a bloodbath because the shutdown is taking up all the space that would normally be used for spin and lies.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC