The Washington Post reported Wednesday that President Obama “sought to redirect some of the political blame for the botched rollout of the federal health insurance exchange to Republicans, characterizing GOP lawmakers as rooting for the law’s failure.” But Post reporters Philip Rucker and Sandhya Somashekhar never found a Republican to rebut. Everyone quoted in the story was a member of Team Obama.
“One of the problems we’ve had is one side of Capitol Hill is invested in failure,” Obama said at the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council meeting in Washington. Obama echoed Rush Limbaugh, who said during the Iraq War in the Bush years that Sen. Harry Reid and other Democrats were “invested in defeat.” Obama could blame a “toxic” political atmosphere, and somehow that didn’t include anything he said or any of his lies about Obamacare:
The president also voiced frustration with the toxic political atmosphere endangering his signature legislative achievement. He said Washington needs to “break through the stubborn cycle of crisis politics and start working together.”
“You know, people call me a socialist sometimes,” Obama said. “But no, you’ve got to meet real socialists. You’ll have a sense of what a socialist is.”
The Post buried what could have led the story, that Healthcare.gov is nowhere near finished, despite three years of time to implement it:
Obama’s comments came after the administration official who oversaw the technical development of the federal health insurance marketplace testified before Congress that 30 to 40 percent of the overall project has yet to be completed.
Speaking before a subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Henry Chao, deputy chief information officer at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, said the agency is still working on a number of “back office” aspects of the project, including a system to send payments to insurance companies.
The story on page A-4 went on to quote HHS spokeswoman Joanne Peters and White House spokesman Jay Carney. In other words, it was perfect act of stenography to power, no opposition worth quoting.
The Washington Post made no attempt Wednesday to explain Obama’s absence from the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, which one aide blamed on the awful Obamacare website. The story on A3 by Post reporter Steve Vogel even included PBS star Ken Burns and his new initiative Learn the Address, but avoided how Obama dropped the “under God” passage from his re-reading on a video for Burns.
On Tuesday, Jay Carney explained that Obama only read the copy that Burns gave him:
"He read the version of the address that Ken Burns provided," he said, noting that Burns is a "noted Civil War scholar."
Specifically, Carney said that Burns gave Mr. Obama the "Nicolay copy" of the Gettysburg Address -- the first draft of the speech, named after John Nicolay, the White House staffer who preserved it.
This is the Civil War equivalent of arguing that when Vice President Dan Quayle was widely mocked for suggesting at a spelling bee that potato was spelled “potatoe,” he was only reading off the card he was given.
The address as the president read it was not historically accurate for the occasion, and it’s certainly not a smart political decision, considering Obama’s been to church during his White House tenure about 30 times less than he’s been to the golf course.