For concision and precision in describing Barack Obama’s suddenly ambivalent relationship with his singular — actually, his single — achievement, the laurels go to Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La. After Obama’s semi-demi-apology for millions of canceled insurance policies — an intended and predictable consequence of his crusade to liberate Americans from their childish choices of “substandard” policies sold by “bad apple” insurers — Scalise said:
A president desperate to change the subject and a secretary of state desperate to make a name for himself are reportedly on the verge of an “interim” nuclear agreement with Iran. France called it a “sucker’s deal.” France was being charitable.
BOSTON — He has become fodder for an interpretation industry toiling to make his life malleable enough to soothe the sensitivities and serve the agendas of the interpreters. The quantity of writing about him is inversely proportional to the brevity of his presidency.
WASHINGTON — Let’s recap: If you like your insurance policy, you can keep it. No, wait. If you liked your policy, it was probably worthless anyway. Scratch that. If your junk policy was canceled and you still want it, you can keep it. Er, get it back.
WASHINGTON — It was a necessary retreat, but President Obama made clear Thursday that his bottom line remains unchanged: “I’m not going to walk away from 40 million people who have the chance to get health insurance for the first time.”
The New Republic magazine was, appropriately, the stimulant that last week gave the Democratic base a frisson of anticipation about a possible Elizabeth Warren presidential candidacy in 2016. Now in her 11th month as a Massachusetts senator, she is suited to carry the progressive torch that was fueled 99 years ago this month by The New Republic’s founding.
So the former president asserts that the current president continues to dishonor his “you like your plan, you can keep your plan” pledge. And calls for the Affordable Care Act to be changed, despite furious White House resistance to the very idea.
One reason Washington makes so much bad history is that so many people here know so little history. This helps explain why “comprehensive” immigration reform is foundering: Too few of today’s legislators know what happened 163 years ago.
Now that the government shutdown has ended and political brinksmanship has taken its course, the question we and other Americans are asking is what, if anything, did Congress learn? We hope that this Congress, especially the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives, finally understands that governance and policy making can’t happen at the extremes. It’s time for congressional leaders to demonstrate that they can get things done and to prove that they can solve the problems facing our nation, instead of creating new ones.