At Commentary Magazine‘s Contentions blog, Jennifer Rubin argues that the news media has done Obama a disservice by not being more skeptical on health care:
Moreover, while the press often has acted as an early-warning sign for troubled presidential initiatives, the press corp did not perk up until the public was in open rebellion. Only the most tepid questions were raised, and few hard questions about rationing and costs were posed before August. As a result, the White House was largely caught unprepared for the storm of anger and protest that greeted congressional Democrats this month.
She then provides the most succinct explanation I’ve seen of the reasons why ObamaCare is foundering (although “threatening to consume the presidency” is a little over the top):
None of this is to diminish the responsibility that the president and his advisers bear for the debacle now threatening to consume the presidency. They made the decision to delegate draftsmanship to Congress. They decided to reinvent a health-care system that serves a large majority of Americans very well. They chose to conceal the costs of their plan until the CBO blew the whistle. And Obama personally and repeatedly spun nonsense (e.g., red/blue pills, bending the cost curve by spending more money, a guarantee that Americans could keep their plan while pushing a government option that would chase private insurers from the market). So the fault is the presidentâ€™s. But his devoted fans in the media certainly helped.
The thing I find most appalling is that the administration was intent on passing health care “reform” before the August Congressional recess… even while taking a hands-off attitude toward what should actually be in the legislation.Â Watching Congress pass the porkulus bill without even reading it made people nervous, but hey, the whole idea was to throw money at the economy as quickly as possible.Â (Ooops, they didn’t achieve even that.)Â Now that the focus has moved on to health care — which people passionately care about — the public appetite for radical change at breakneck speed has evaporated.