Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Editorial: What's really important

The unnamed Courier editor today joins the right-wing media's told-ya-so bandwagon in blaming the President for glitches on the opening day of enrollment in the state-run health-care exchanges, blaming both houses of Congress for the embarrassing stupidity and intransigence of a few Republicans in the House, and then gets to what really bothers him: that he might miss a baseball game on teevee.

The Republicans who designed the Affordable Care Act demanded that the states have the option to run their own exchanges, preserving the illusion of local control with the practical reality of greater insurance-company influence, so it should be no surprise that your mileage may vary by state. What the editor glosses over is that the "software glitches" consist primarily of more people trying to sign up than the systems can handle. I suppose you might blame the President for promoting the system well enough that it attracts customers, but that's a success, not a fail.

Blaming Congress-writ-large for the shutdown didn't work in '95 and it's not working now, because it's very widely and accurately reported that if House leadership were to allow a vote on a clean spending bill, without empty ideological posturing about the ACA, etc., it would pass without fuss and the shutdown would be over. This is a small group (around 30 of 435) of Rs taking government services hostage over an argument they cannot win, in fact one they lost years ago.

If Dems share any blame for the shutdown, it's in their unwillingness to exert emergency powers and fund the government anyway, because that would appear to be illegal and certainly trigger a court fight (while poor families still got their food stamps and the Canyon continued to fuel the NorAz economy). I admit doubt that the Rs would be so gentle were the roles reversed.

If the editor were more self-aware I might take his pivot to lamenting the local loss of baseball games on cable teevee as satire, but, erm, no. He really does think he's writing about something important there. That sort of sums up the management style of the whole operation, dunnit?

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