Andres Martinez-Fernandez/Contributing Writer
For most Americans, the term “bailout” evokes unpleasant memories of the 2008 financial collapse and the subsequent attempts by the government to save failing financial institutions and automobile manufacturers. However, relatively few Americans consider the most recent round of bailouts which took place over the past two months. These were not quite traditional bailouts but, they may have been the most effective government bailouts of the past decade. Oddly enough, the chief beneficiary of these bailouts has been none other than President Barack Obama and his political capital.
In August 2012, President Obama felt the sudden urge to show some modicum of awareness of the barbarous and seemingly endless civil war being waged in Syria. In an attempt to establish the façade of leadership on the issue, he stated, “We have communicated in no uncertain terms with every player in the region that that’s a red line for us and that there would be enormous consequences, if we start seeing movement on the chemical weapons front or the use of chemical weapons.” The President then continued his re-election campaign expecting to gain a slight bump in the polls and to never have to concern himself with the issue again.
Unfortunately, almost exactly a year later, the Assad Regime crossed this “red line” and launched missiles filled with sarin gas at rebel controlled neighborhoods, killing innocent men, women and children and leaving a death toll of nearly 1,500. This forced President Obama to live up to his word and move toward an action of “enormous consequence” against the Syrian government. However, the bumbling attempts to gain support for a non-existent plan for military action wasn’t gaining traction at home or abroad, leaving the President with what seemed increasingly to be a “no win” situation.
Just as the problem seemed to be at its worst, lo and behold Russian President Vladimir Putin comes riding in on horseback to offer Barack Obama the political “bailout” which he so desperately needed. The Russian President offered a diplomatic solution in the form of a toothless resolution, which may or may not lead to the complete destruction of Assad’s chemical weapons, all courtesy of the Russian government.
Later that month, President Obama faced yet another dilemma requiring a political “bailout”. The implementation of the Affordable Care Act which, as polls showed, remained unpopular with the majority of Americans, was nonetheless approaching fast and suiting up to be an economic and political disaster. Then, in days before the “glitch”-ridden rollout of Obamacare, a group of congressional Republicans, in what can only be described as an unprecedented, show of magnanimity and bipartisanship, decided to “bailout” the President by shutting down the government. This offered a much needed distraction, which continues to allow Democrats to ignore the increases in the cost premiums and the administration’s unwillingness to give anyone solid numbers on how many people have actually enrolled in Obamacare.
Perhaps their unwillingness to disclose the number of people who have actually registered is related to the countless and continual errors which one encounters when attempting to sign up for Obamacare online, but this leads to a larger question. If the Obama administration is unable to manage a simple website, how can it possibly hope to manage even a portion of the nation’s health insurance industry? Unfortunately, this will only be one of several questions and concerns which will go unanswered because the media is too busy covering the frustration felt by tourists who cannot visit the Lincoln Memorial and can’t be bothered to hold the administration accountable for the disastrous rollout of Obamacare.
All good things must come to an end, and for Obama this politically beneficial “bailout”, known as the government shutdown, must also come to an end. The damage to the economy and, the damage to the people’s faith in our political system have shown that this is one “bailout” that America cannot afford to maintain. It is time for a compromise which funds the government and raises the debt ceiling while establishing some moderate budgetary constraints and eliminating the medical device tax, a measure which both Democrats and Republicans support. Then, and only then can Obamacare truly be exposed for the bureaucratic nightmare that it is.