Luckily the media has prepared you for this bit of surreal stupidity by previously comparing the ACA rollout to the Katrina debacle, which of course killed people as opposed to ACA, which is saving lives.
So it will come as little surprise to you that Republican talking points distributor David Gregory was happy to help Brian Williams advance concern trolling to the next level last night by comparing the ACA rollout to the Iraq War.
Watch here via NBC News:
Transcript from NBC News with slight modifications:
Brian Williams: Let’s go to David Gregory, moderator of “meet the press” in the d.c. bureau. people start tossing around hurricane Katrina comparisons and that’s going to leave a mark.
David Gregory (R-TV): They aren’t liking that. it only goes so far if you are talking about competence of an administration or the ability for government to handle a really big project. Maybe there is some comparison. But it probably stops there. The bottom line is that the president has negative attribute attributes about his competence and his own credibility. those are trend lines that are going down. frankly I liken it more to the Iraq war. that was life and death. this is not. it’s totally different. But when it comes to an issue through which everything else can be judged that’s the comparison to the previous administration, one they are trying to fight through now.
In case you missed it, Bush lied this county into war with Iraq and the media helped him by selling weapons of mass destruction to the public with no pushback at all. So the ACA rollout is JUST LIKE the Iraq War, only without the media complicity, without the deliberate lies, and without an entire country being fear-mongered into subservience (see the Dixie Chicks). Also, as Gregory noted, there is the small, irrelevant issue of living versus dying.
Some of us think living is a BFD, so we see a huge difference between a law that saves lives and a war. Maybe Gregory doesn’t get out much, but he should stroll down Warrior’s Walk — maybe then he wouldn’t make a comparison this obscene.
Yes, the president’s poll numbers are hurting right now, but that says more about the media’s lazy coverage of the ACA rollout than it does about the real impact of technical glitches on Obama’s legacy.
Gregory is incorrect about Hurricane Katrina. Katrina did not reveal the government’s inability to handle a crisis; after all, Hurricane Sandy revealed a government’s ability to handle a crisis and working across the aisle to do so.
Katrina revealed a party/President uninterested in making government work, no matter what the cost. It revealed the end game behind modern day Republican ideology — a government that is not functional, but rather one that is designed to be incompetent in order to justify “small government”.
The tech problems with ObamaCare’s tech rollout reveal more of the same; it was Republicans who sabotaged the website rollout by refusing to run state exchanges and then refusing to fund the need to expand the federal exchange. Only Republicans hell bent on sabotage to save themselves from their refusal to be a part of fixing a problem would believe that this kind of huge load change would require nothing.
In a few weeks, the ACA website will be working and in a few years, millions will be enrolled. People who would have died without coverage will have coverage. Worried parents will have coverage that won’t bankrupt the family. No one will be looking at Obama’s presidency through the lens of a few tough months (months that would not have been tough without the rabid concern trolling of a very click/eyeball desperate media who never seem to find a “story” in real Republican fails like the government shutdown or Iraq).
But even if that weren’t true, even if it were a huge fail, comparing a healthcare law rollout to a war based on a lie or a catastrophe like Katina is irresponsible at best. It’s not even justifiable viewed through the “political lens” of desperate Republican pundits.
These kinds of cheap, sleazy comparisons are an admission that Bush really messed things up and yet the same Republicans/pundits who defend everything Bush did are at the same time so desperate to smear Obama with some Bush stench that they label every potential misstep “Katrina” and “Iraq”.
President Obama does not have a Katrina or an Iraq. He is not Bush. He is nowhere near as incompetent as Bush – in fact, Obama has been unnervingly competent (see Osama bin Laden). Where were the Bush comparisons then? Oh, I kid. It would be cruel to be accurate.
No pundit should be allowed to use Iraq as a measuring tool until they are willing to have an honest discussion about their role in selling the country on Iraq. They also need to explain why they never have an ounce of courage when a Republican is in the White House, and then spend the entire 8 years of the Democrats time in the White House play acting Very Serious Journalism by concern trolling semen stains and tech glitches while ignoring the lives of hundreds of thousands of people who died in a war based on lies.
SO BORING, so full of fail, so offensive and so predictable.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.