By Patrick J. Buchanan
The pots and pans are clanging for the ouster of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius as the Obamacare website rollout takes on the aspect of that of the Edsel.
Yet, though it is a website that has America laughing, Obama’s legacy legislation itself could, in its entirety, be in peril. As ex-pilot George W. Bush used to say, this thing looks like a five-spiral crash.
Republicans are clamoring for Sebelius’s firing.
Herewith, a dissent. Why not leave her right where she is?
After all, Sebelius’s continuance testifies more eloquently than any attack ad just how far Obama’s beliefs about government and political philosophy are beyond the Middle American mainstream.
In most great U.S. corporations, if an executive had three years to roll out the product on which the company’s future might depend, and delivered this debacle, he would be gone. Panic would ensue. Emergency meetings of the board would be held to determine if more heads should roll and who should be brought in to save the company.
Outside of government, people routinely pay for their mistakes. Inside, there is often no penalty, no price, no punishment for failure.
To Obama, a mess that has members of his own party calling for suspending Obamacare for a year is just the result of “glitches.”
Still good enough for government work.
Here in D.C., many live outside the laws that rule the rest of America. Average salaries are higher and benefits superior to the private sector. Job security is greater. In-grade promotions and pay hikes are routine. And that ruthless meritocratic principle — success brings promotions, failure leads to demotions and departure — is suspended.
While no startup company, symphony orchestra, chess cub or hockey team would, a priori, insist that every racial and ethnic group, gender and sexual preference be represented at birth, such nonsense is serious business here.
Here in D.C., affirmative action comes first, before excellence, diversity before efficiency.
How else did Obama himself soar from Hawaii’s “Choom Gang” through Columbia, Harvard and Harvard Law? By busting his chops for years in the library?
Sebelius remains at her post despite manifest incompetence for reasons both ideological and political. She is a pro-choice Catholic, a feminist, an early Obamaite, a crony of the president, an apparatchik of the Party of Government.
She is a queen in Obamaland.
Like many of his generation, Obama himself is a skilled verbalist. He talks and reads teleprompter well. As for executive, managerial and operational skills, however, upon what ground would he stand to dismiss Sebelius?
He was himself clueless as to the extent and severity of the problems in his signature legislation. Two weeks after the Benghazi massacre, he was still parroting the Susan Rice line about anti-Islamic videos, which the CIA knew within hours had had nothing to do with the murder of Ambassador Stevens.
Obama had no idea for three years his IRS might be slow-walking Tea Party applications for tax exemptions. He wasn’t in the loop about Eric Holder’s phone taps on Fox News or the Associated Press.
Nobody told him. The president has not been more deeply implicated in the scandals since re-election because he could credibly say, “How was I supposed to know what was going on?”
Today, more than ever, America’s private and public sectors run on separate rails by different rules. Liberal Democrats own the public sector. Washington, D.C., where the federal and the local government provide the lion’s share of the jobs, has never once gone Republican.
In 2008, D.C. went for Obama 93-6. The town belongs to the regime. Yet, when Washington needs something vital done, the city bypasses its stagnant bureaucracy and goes outside — to private enterprise and private contractors.
Yet, though millions of Americans outside government do the jobs that government needs done and is manifestly incompetent to do, the state remains a virtual object of worship.
The left see the state as the people, the nation, incarnate. To them, it is us. In the secularized society in which we live, government is now, to many, not only next to God. Government is God.
Again, Republicans might do well to get out of the way so the people can see the clay feet and start to laugh at the buffoons, the God that failed.
Even the Obama-worshipers in the media seem stunned by the depth and breadth of incompetence exposed.
In World War II, FDR brought together the men who made things in America, dollar-a-year industrialists who swiftly took charge and met his immediate demand for 50,000 planes and 1,600 ships.
They built the most awesome military machine the world had ever seen, arming 12 million Americans, Russia and England as well, and smashing two mighty empires on opposite sides of the world.
And these men did it in about as long a time as it took Barack Obama’s regime, captained by Kathleen Sebelius, to flunk a test to create a website. There is something deeply wrong with our republic.