Building a monumental ruin 9

In lands whose history goes back millennia, there are ruins of great buildings that rulers ordered their subjects and slaves to construct. They stood proud and splendid once, monuments to the prowess of the rulers and the nations. Now, although ruined, they remain as memorials.

Obamacare will be Obama’s memorial. The difference is that it starts off as a ruin.

Mark Steyn tells the story of how the ruin was built here:

For much of last year, a standard trope of President Obama’s speechwriters was that there were certain things only government could do. “That’s how we built this country — together,” he declared. “We constructed railroads and highways, the Hoover Dam and the Golden Gate Bridge. We did those things together.”

As some of us pointed out, for the cost of Obama’s 2009 stimulus bill alone, you could have built 1,567 Golden Gate Bridges — or one mega–Golden Gate Bridge stretching from Boston to just off the coast of Ireland. Yet there isn’t a single bridge, or a single dam (“You will never see another federal dam,” his assistant secretary of the interior assured an audience of environmentalists). Across the land, there was not a thing for doting network correspondents in hard hats to stand in front of and say, “Obama built this.”

Until now, that is. Obamacare is as close to a Hoover Dam as latter-day Big Government gets. Which is why its catastrophic launch is sobering even for those of us who’ve been saying for five years it would be a disaster.

It’s as if at the ribbon-cutting the Hoover Dam cracked open and washed away the dignitaries; as if the Golden Gate Bridge was opened to traffic with its central span missing; as if Apollo 11 had taken off for the moon but landed on Newfoundland.

Obama didn’t have to build a dam or a bridge or a spaceship, just a database and a website. This is his world, the guys he hangs with, the zeitgeist he surfs so dazzlingly, Apple and Google, apps and downloads. But his website’s a sclerotic dump, and the database is a hacker’s heaven, and all that’s left is the remorseless snail mail of millions and millions of cancellation letters.

For the last half-century, Obama has simply had to be. Just being Obama was enough to waft him onwards and upwards: He was the Harvard Law Review president who never published a word, the community organizer who never organized a thing, the state legislator who voted present.

And then one day came the day when it wasn’t enough simply to be. For the first time in his life, he had to do. And it turns out he can’t. He’s not Steve Jobs or Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos. And Healthcare.gov is about what you’d expect if you nationalized a sixth of the economy and gave it to the Assistant Deputy Commissar of the Department of Paperwork and the Under-Regulator-General of the Bureau of Compliance.  …

[Obama] broke the lifelong rule that had served him so well — “Don’t just do something. Stand there” — and for the first time in his life did something, terribly.

It will bear his name forever.

  • liz

    Great article and point by Steyn about Obama – “Don’t just do something, stand there”! Only when it comes to lying does he show any talent, and only when it comes to getting him elected do his computer whiz drones seem to have any.

  • rogerinflorida

    The medical system has morphed into a huge crap sandwich and we are all being forced to take a bite. The best system by far would be a free market based marketplace where medical suppliers offer products to a populace willing and able to pay for whatever medical attention they need and with the personal responsibility to take all necessary steps to ensure that they are in fact able to pay when the need arises. Unfortunately we about as far away from that situation as it is possible to be. A large proportion of the population is not acting in a responsible manner. A similar situation exists with automobile insurance, it is mandatory to have it in one form or another in most and probably all States, but we know that depending on where you are perhaps 40% of drivers using the roads are uninsured. I know from personal experience what a burden it is to employers to have to provide medical coverage. This alone is responsible for making US businesses uncompetitive and for literally forcing US businesses to cut back US operations and expand abroad. Our biggest economic problem is the evisceration of the US productive economy. We absolutely need to take all steps to restore US business and lifting the medical coverage burden is key to that.
    For this reason I believe we need a basic single payer system financed from general tax revenue, with private supplemental insurance available to those who wish to purchase it. The basic coverage would be awful, but hey, your fellow citizens are paying for it so quit bellyaching.

    • Jillian Becker

      So you like the frightful British NHS, Roger? You really are a Socialist, aren’t you? My first reaction was just to write “Communist!” as a reply, to taunt you with a laugh. But I relented and am using the milder word. And I’m not laughing. State control of the people’s health is state control of people’s lives. If you are not for individual freedom, how can we and you be friends?

      • rogerinflorida

        You keep putting views on me that I do not have. The NHS attempted to murder my brother and may as well have murdered my Mother considering the lousy care she got. I know exactly how appalling Govt. HC is. My point is that bad as it is, it is probably better than nothing, which is what many people in the US have.
        I am not a socialist, communist, or libertarianist(?), but I am a pragmatist, I al also very much a “people person”. This probably is a result of my training and career as an engineer; there are problems and solutions, don’t let your mind be cluttered with prejudices, biases or principles. Principles are what you live your own life by, not what you push onto other people.
        The US is in deep trouble, our largest problem is the evisceration of our industrial economy. The results of this evisceration will become clear as the money printing machine sputters and the inevitable collapse in living standards occurs.
        I am absolutely for individual freedom which is why I would love to see the progressive income tax scrapped, along with capital gains, corporation and inheritance taxes. The only tax that is fair and compatible with the principles of freedom is a consumption tax, such as the VAT.
        Seriously; are you only friends with people who wholeheartedly agree with you? What boring dinner parties you must have!
        I love getting together with philosophical opponents, but then I am not conceited enough to think that I have all the answers.

    • REALBEING

      Why, oh why is it our government’s, or ANY government’s job to meddle in the personal business of it’s citizens???

      Why can’t insurance companies be left alone to resolve this crisis among themselves AND the medicos, pharmacy’s, and hospitals with ONLY input and solicited solutions from the government?

      How about Healthcare Savings Accounts, and Healthcare Savings Bonds for the younger folks and the mostly healthier folks. CREATIVITY, anyone?

      How about a monthly Telethon for folks who want to give to the healthcare of the medically neediest folks of the country? (Another tax deduction)

      Look what The March Of Dimes and Jerry Lewis’s Muscular Dystrophy Telethons have done to ease the suffering of those afflicted with Polio and Muscular Dystrophy.

      This country has some of the biggest and greatest givers in the entire world! (Both corporate and individual!)

      (Well, that would probably leave out most of the Liberals that I’ve heard of!)

      Bidding from doctors and hospitals, in some cases, is another option to reduce some of the unrealistic pricing that Obamacare is not addressing, but will increase. Its called “FREE MARKET!”

      My “stand” is if someone doesn’t want to buy insurance, or ANYTHING, a government must not punish him or her for NOT buying it!

      • rogerinflorida

        Those may be your beliefs and good for you, however, in the last election the libertarian; Johnson, got less than 1% of the popular vote. What that means is that your views are completely irrelevant to discussions about the future of this country.

        • REALBEING

          Thank you for commenting on the present mental state of the country……I must believe that by your commentary you are giving up on being free in it’s most valuable sense, and falling in line with those who your words infer are “winning.”

          I was taught to never give up on something that is of great value, and needs to be repaired.

  • REALBEING

    As with everything that a government run program ever really is, this stinker will end up lying dead, smelling up the entire beach, along with plenty of casualties.

    Give it a few years and it’s popularity will drop like a bomb with the folks outside of Washington….you know…the ones who screamed for it!

    They’ll cry bloody murder after they watch their insurance prices shoot through the ceiling, either through the increased taxes that will surely be needed to support this insult to intelligence, or at the insurance website.

    And naturally, the Obama supporters that are still in love with him will blame the insurance “thieves”…..”those greedy bastards,” as more and more flesh gets sliced from their financial bodies.

    Maybe….just maybe, some of them will realize what really happened to their lives, and start calling this debacle “Obamadidn’tcare!

    • Azgael

      Do not count on it, I have stepped on things that had more intelligence than everyone who voted for this sub-human monster combined.