Last night President Obama apologized to those who have lost their health insurance during rollout of the Affordable Care Act. Of course, critics who demanded the apology are still crying crocodile tears. (More)
We don’t have many crocodiles here in South Blogistan and there are none anywhere near the BPI Main Campus. There are alligators on campus, but we squirrels signed a treaty with them a long time ago. The terms of the treaty are simple: the alligators don’t climb our trees and we don’t swim in their ponds. We squirrels are happy with that and I haven’t seen any alligators crying about it.
So I’ve never seen actual crocodilia tears, although they do have tear glands and do cry. But they do that to clean and lubricate their eyes, not to lure in sympathetic prey. That’s the ancient myth at the root of the phrase “crocodile tears.”
“I am sorry”
Here’s the key passage, from the Washington Post transcript:
You know – I regret very much that – what we intended to do, which is to make sure that everybody is moving into better plans because they want ’em, as opposed to because they’re forced into it. That, you know, we weren’t as clear as we needed to be – in terms of the changes that were taking place. And I want to do everything we can to make sure that people are finding themselves in a good position – a better position than they were before this law happened.
Keep in mind that most of the folks who are going to – who got these cancellation letters, they’ll be able to get better care at the same cost or cheaper in these new marketplaces. Because they’ll have more choice. They’ll have more competition. They’re part of a bigger pool. Insurance companies are going to be hungry for their business.
So – the majority of folks will end up being better off. Of course, because the website’s not working right, they don’t necessarily know it right. But it – even though it’s a small percentage of folks who may be disadvantaged, you know, it means a lot to them. And it’s scary to them. And I am sorry that they – you know, are finding themselves in this situation, based on assurances they got from me. We’ve got to work hard to make sure that – they know – we hear ’em and that we’re going to do everything we can – to deal with folks who find themselves – in a tough position as a consequence of this.
That should satisfy critics who demanded an apology. Or not.
“I’m sorry too, Mr. President”
Take the National Journal’s Ron Fournier, who two weeks ago compared the rollout of the Affordable Care Act to Hurricane Katrina and the Iraq War. Which makes perfect sense, if you ignore the 1833 people who died in Katrina and the over 100,000 who died in the Iraq War. That is to say, it makes no sense at all, unless you see journalism as spewing pseudo-objective, false equivalence, Pox On Both Their Houses prattle.
So I wasn’t surprised when Fournier ripped apart President Obama’s apology:
I’m sorry, too, Mr. President.
I’m sorry you couldn’t finesse a single Republican vote for health insurance reform in 2010.
I’m sorry Republicans decided to re-litigate the law rather than help implement it, offering no serious alternative of their own for the nearly 50 million uninsured Americans.
I’m sorry you campaigned for reelection on the famous false promise: “If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan. Period.”
I’m sorry your aides debated whether to tell the full truth (that people could keep their insurance only if it hadn’t changed and if it met your standards) and decided instead to institutionalize the lie.
I’m sorry that when Americans recognized the deception you tried to reinvent history: “What we said was you can keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law passed.” No, no, no, no, no—that’s not what you guys said.
I’m sorry you didn’t trust Americans with the truth.
It goes on, but you get the gist. Fournier is sorry that President Obama defeated John McCain in 2008, with whom Fournier interviewed for a job in 2007, perhaps because Fournier privately cozied up to Karl Rove back in 2004. But Joe Scarborough insists that “Democrats who may despise Fournier today can expect him to deliver the same clear-eyed critiques of the next Republican administration.”
Clear-eyed critiques like waxing eloquent on “the essential humanity and decency” and “sense of dignity” of former President George W. Bush. Because, well, President Bush was nice to Fournier.
I guess if a president nice to you personally, 1833 people dead after Katrina and over 100,000 killed in Iraq aren’t really much different than a glitchy website and having to buy new, better health insurance at the same or lower price.
That’s only “clear-eyed” if you’ve been shedding crocodile tears.
Good day and good nuts.