There are two things John Boehner cannot do: Lead the House majority and fake outrage. Yesterday was no exception, as the House Shrieker took to the podium to decry the president’s decision to allow people a little more time to complete the health care enrollment process. He tried to look angry, but all that accomplished was to make him glow an odd shade of orange (apologies to my Loompa friends). You can view the video here courtesy of The Washington Post.
Now whenever Mr. Boehner gets in front of the camera, it is best to picture him as he really is, a marionette dancing on the strings of his Tea Party puppeteers. He just jerks and dances, his hands and legs flailing and his lips flapping up and down as the masters make it appear that he is speaking. It is quite masterful.
Yesterday’s pageant started as the Obama Administration decided to extend the deadline for Affordable Care Act applications to April 15th. This was prompted by an exceptional spike in applications as the end of March approached. Over 5 million people have already enrolled and the demand is so high that it is causing a backlog in processing. For this reason, the president has extended the deadline for people who have already began the process but could not finalize it by March 31. The Wooden Speaker was outraged!
So, dressed in his usual red nose and orange glow, Johnny danced onto the stage to declare “HELL NO YOU DON’T!” (Oh, wait, that was another show. Sorry.) Actually, John had this to say about the new deadline: “Last night brought us yet another delay of Obamacare, another deadline made meaningless. As if he hasn’t put enough loopholes into the law already, the administration is now resorting to an honor system to enforce it,” An honor system, imagine that. What an outrageous concept, honor.
He went on to mouth: “The law says that enrollment stops at the end of March. That’s what the law says. I’ve got to live by the law, you’ve got to live by the law, the American people have got to live by the law and guess what? The President needs to live by the law as well.” (Waterboarding, anyone?) Oh, that evil dictator Obama, wanting everyone to have access to health care.
Now, let’s take a trip down memory lane, shall we. Anyone who remembers the good old days of the Bush Administrations roll out of Medicare Part D, life was no picnic then either. As Think Progress pointed out yesterday, in 2006, when the botched roll out of Bush’s prescription plan caused similar backlogs, he extended the enrollment deadline for six months. SIX MONTHS! Not 2 weeks. But alas, back then times were different. The president was a republican, and John Boehner was not yet fitted for his strings. So he lay in his marionette box, silent on the Bush Administration’s not living by the law. Oh, and the Tea Party hadn’t been invented yet, so no puppeteer was available anyway.
But these are different times and this is a different congress. Led by the Marionette of the House, John Boehner, this congress has been dedicated to opposing anything Obama. Point out that his has been the least productive House in modern history, and Johnny scoffs. After all, they have voted 50 times to repeal Obamacare. At least that’s a new achievement in futility,
Have no illusions, republicans are vary afraid. They are afraid that Obamacare is working. They are afraid that people will like it. They are afraid they are on the wrong side of history. They are afraid that people will no longer be amused by their marionette show.