The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It


You have to say one thing about the late Richard J. Daley, Mayor of Chicago.  He was a colorful man.  (By that I refer to his speech rather than his skin tone).  Whether you were one of his supporters or one of his detractors, I think it was clear to all of us who lived under his reign that despite his heavy-handedness he truly loved Chicago and wanted to transform it into the greatest city in America.

Perhaps President Obama, as a legatee of the realm of King Richard I, has taken some lessons from the wisdom that the Mayor imparted to us during the years.  This comes to mind as the House holds hearings on the glitch-filled disaster that is the President’s Obamacare website which was rolled out three weeks ago.

“Look at our Lord’s disciples.  One denied Him; one doubted Him; one betrayed Him.  If our Lord couldn’t have perfection, how are you going to have it in [city] government?” – Mayor Richard J. Daley

How, indeed?  And at the core of that question is that if we should not expect functionality, let alone perfection, why would any rational person believe that turning over one-sixth of the national economy and our right to life to a cadre of bureaucrats who have proven, time and again, that they are inept, unaccountable and unconcerned about those things which concern its subjects?  I use the term subjects rather than citizens because that is the way that this imperious administration views the American people.

Right now the focus that the Congress is bringing to bear is on the only marginally functioning government healthcare web site.  The second portion of the investigation is centered on who should be held accountable for what now appears may amount to a one Billion dollar “glitch” when and if it is able to be repaired.

It would be unfair to say that conservatives are not taking a certain amount of glee at this massive screw up.  I know I am – other than for the fact that it is costing you, me and everyone else about $300 per person – money I would choose, if given the opportunity, to deploy on things other than a poorly designed website – like a donation to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital which charges none of its patients for treatment and actually delivers outstanding healthcare, specializing in pediatric medicine.

The first step in fixing any problem is admitting that the problem exists.  Every twelve step program is based on this fundamental truth.  And that might be the biggest impediment to repairing the website – if it is indeed reparable.  During the first days after the website’s not-so-grand opening, perhaps out of ignorance and perhaps out of denial, those who support Obamacare had a number of explanations for the site’s issues.

During the first few days, it is understandable that the source of the problem had not yet been identified.  But after several weeks, it is clear that the excuses which were offered were simply not the cause of the issues which surfaced.  To suggest that the site was experiencing difficulties because there was “too much traffic” is laughable since the goal of enrolling seven million people in the first wave would require that the number of visitors exceeded the amount of traffic the site actually received.

So, still in denial, a variety of other excuses were set out.  One of those was that there was insufficient time to get the product out.  The explanation for this argument was that the administration didn’t really have the full three and one half years to accomplish the setup for the website since the law was passed..  That is because the GOP had refused to allocate funds to set up the website and HHS had to raid various of its accounts in order to pay the vendors.  I would suggest that any government agency which can come up with over $600 million by looking in its couch cushions is overly-generously funded.  But that’s Washington.

Finally, only because the flaws in the software are apparent to your average five year old, the admission has come out that there are significant problems with this rollout and they need to be fixed.  How long that might take depends on whether the entire system has to be scrapped or whether it can be repaired.  At this point, the jury is out on that question.  But what is clear is that whichever path is followed, there is going to be a significant time lapse until people can actually get on the site and sign up as they are mandated to do by Obamacare.

This has caused five Democrat senators and five Democrat congressmen whose seats are vulnerable in next year’s election, to come forward and suggest that the mandate requiring individual coverage be delayed for some period of time.  The proposals vary in length – partly predicated on the length of time it will take to fix the website which at this point is an unknown.

Wait a minute.  Do you remember the partial government shutdown which recently ended?  Do you remember how the Tea Party and Republicans in general were excoriated as “terrorists” and “hostage takers”?  Do you remember the bill that they sent to the Senate to fund the entire government if the individual mandate were delayed – a bill which Senate Majority “Leader” Harry Reid refused to allow the membership of the Senate even to consider?

Perhaps the key to why we are where we are, not just with Obamacare but with a lackluster economy, over-regulation, the spiraling decrease in the middle class, the over-bloated and over budget federal bureaucracy, the NSA’s snooping and spying on our closest allies, can be found in another pithy quote from the late Mayor Daley – a quote that the president no doubt embraces.

“We as Democrats have no apologies to make to anyone.”

Comments on: "DENIAL, DELAY, DA DEMOCRATS" (7)

  1. Nobody ever (with a straight face anyway) accused the City of Chicago of being honest, at least not in the memory of grandparents of living man but, the thing about Hizzoner’s city was this: It worked. Nothing spectacular, and it cost considerably more than it should have but in the end, it got the job done. I don’t know how many times I heard about people down on their luck going to the alderman, and getting not a handout, or the back of their hand, but a job, it might be a useless, made up job, but it gave them the dignity of a job, and I think that’s part of the secret that his successors lost.

    • To your point, Hizzoner also said, “Don’t worry if they’re Democrats or Republicans. Give them service and they’ll all become Democrats.”

      One of his successors, Jane Byrne learned that the hard way when she forgot to order enough salt to take care of the roads the winter before the primary and was defeated by Harold Washington.

      • He did indeed, and he wasn’t far wrong either, not least because there was little point in being a Republican in Cook County, one could just as well stay home. But to your point, he gave that service, and Byrne didn’t and she was soon gone.

        I can remember being in an industrial area on the south side some six weeks after that storm, and you could barely move, because the plows hadn’t been there yet.

        See Jane go away, not it got better but they thought it would, it’s never been that good again, as far as I could tell.

      • I agree that Chicago’s been in a downhill spiral since Richard J.’s passing. But I think what really held it together was that, as I said in the post, he really loved the city. And he never lost sight of his origins. He was living in the same little bungalow in Bridgeport that he and Sissy moved into after they got married at the time of his death.

      • I agree with you, he loved the city, possibly more than he loved his family. I know, and that bungalow, and not even a big one by Bridgeport standards was his home, and every body knew his address, he was one with his city, and even out in the Indiana boondocks, we liked him, his machine not so much but, him personally, because he cared deeply about something. It worked, and never has as well since, it was about commitment.

  2. Sounds familiar. I hope our new government can begin to turn things back from the brink here.

    • I suspect it’s the “Same Old Song” no matter where in the western world we find ourselves. I hope you have a better result than we are experiencing.

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