by Daniel Greenfield
Last year, Team Obama was wallowing in praise for its election tech strategy. Its strike team of Silicon Valley pros who believed in stock options and Socialism were credited with winning the election by applying the same data tools that had made Facebook and Google so creepy.
And then when it came time to debut Obama’s signature achievement (if you don’t count wrecking the Middle East) the implementation was every bit as disastrous as if the project had been outsourced to someone’s cousin who had once taken a web design course in 1996.
The ObamaCare websites didn’t go down because of high demand. They went down because of bad design. The design on Healthcare.gov was so bad that it was almost as if the website had been designed to fail. Or as one tech expert put it, the website was so cluttered with junk that it was running a denial of service attack against itself.
It’s not too surprising that a government website would be badly designed, but Team Obama’s digital strategy had been built around using them for messaging to bypass even friendly media outlets. The content on government websites blended with the Obama campaign so closely that it was sometimes hard to tell the difference.
But that is where the border between competency and incompetence for Team Obama begins. Team Obama excels at promoting Obama and attacking Republicans. It isn’t actually good at anything else.
The left excels at one thing and only one thing; propaganda. Great products and bad marketing are a familiar business story. But what the left has is a terrible product with great marketing.
The Soviet Union could not make its agricultural policies work, but it spent enormous efforts convincing its own people and the West that those policies were working even when bread was being filled with straw and the USSR was going deep into debt buying American wheat.
Confronted with a website that didn’t work, Team Obama immediately spun straw into bread declaring that it had gone down because ObamaCare was so popular. It was a familiar narrative shift that once again put the best possible face on a disaster. The website wasn’t bad. The product was that good.
That ObamaCare disaster however was being eclipsed by an even bigger ObamaCare disaster.
Obama, who had bent over backward to negotiate with Russia and Iran, refused to negotiate with the Republicans, and began a policy of punitively closing open air memorials to veterans, evicting people from private cottages on federal lands and even attempting to barricade the ocean.
The Obama myth is that he is a reasonable man being blocked by unreasonable Republicans at every turn. There are plenty of things wrong with that myth, but the biggest one is that Obama isn’t being handicapped by Republican obstructionism. He seeks out and cultivates Republican opposition.
Radicals need enemies to give them meaning and to keep the troops rallied behind their latest disaster. No matter how many “Cukes, Not Nukes” bumper stickers they may paste on their Subaru bumpers; they are “Guns not Butter” types who invest all their energies into war.
The ideas of the left don’t just fail because they’re bad. They also fail because the left is more energized by hostilities than by any of the progressive programs that its leaders claim to be passionate about.
Obama isn’t a reluctant warrior. He’s a happy warrior. He cares far more about fighting Republicans than about winning amnesty for illegal aliens, gay marriage or ObamaCare—all things that he introduced haphazardly to win elections.
Obama came up with ObamaCare because he needed something to offer at a political appearance. And then it grew into the usual government monstrosity that no one can fully take in. And what goes for ObamaCare, also goes for the ObamaCare website which loads 92 files every time it loads a page.
Both ObamaCare and the ObamaCare website are bloated monstrosities that no one took the time to reduce to a manageable scale.
ObamaCare is both a planned and unplanned disaster. Its planned provisions will seriously damage health care in America, but its unplanned measures, the collision between the incompetence of its planners and legislators and the real world, may prove to be even more disastrous in the end.
The ObamaCare website took itself down. ObamaCare may do the same thing.
The Soviet Union did not really care about building Communism, a 93% successful harvest or universal literacy. Its bosses put it on a wartime footing as soon as they could and kept it that way until it bankrupted them. The one thing they really cared about was power. And once they had power over their own people, they quickly grew bored and began plotting to conquer and subdue other countries.
The left runs on conflict. It excels at propaganda because that is a vehicle for conflict. You can ask it to organize a committee to denounce American foreign policy, but don’t ask it to change a tire or bring in the crops or run a health care system. It may talk about how important it is to drive out the capitalist pigs so it can do those things, but it doesn’t actually care about doing them.
In Venezuela, Chavez’s successor, Nicolás Maduro, is obsessively picking fights with the United States even as his country teeters on the edge of economic disaster. For the Cuban trained Maduro, screaming about the Yankees is all that he knows how to do. Like Obama, he isn’t good for anything else.
The most important thing about Obama is that he is a community organizer. He has never been anything else. He is not capable of being anything else.
ObamaCare isn’t his policy achievement. It’s a pack of lies that his people came up with in time to sell him to a progressive group. The pack of lies has grown into a mountain. And now the avalanche begins.
Obama doesn’t care about the collapse of his signature policy achievement. To him ObamaCare is just another way of picking a fight with the “reactionary forces.” He’s not fundamentally any different than Nicolás Maduro or Kim Jong Il or any other backward Socialist boss who doesn’t know anything except how to pick fights.
Like them, he isn’t interested in helping people, not even in the misguided way that some liberals are. His politics and his passion are those of conflict. He doesn’t care if ObamaCare succeeds or fails. All that he cares about is using it as a weapon against the Republican Party.
That’s what he’s doing now.
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