Durst: Obamacare web glitches grab GOP’s attention away from antiquated notions
November 2, 2013
One thing you can say about Republicans. They are focused. Like lasers. Or a puppy with a chew toy. Obamacare? No, sir. They don't like it. They don't like it so much, they have become interested in the Internet. They no longer refer to it as the interweb, riddled with tubes and tunnels and chutes and ladders.
As we speak, hearings are being held. And held and held and held. Because the initial website to Obamacare was buggier than the insect house at the London Zoo, and someone has to eat their way to the bottom of the responsibility barrel. So now we're witness to an interminable tug of war between GOP and Democratic members of various committees who are providing the bulk of the talking during these hearings.
The sight of these grandfatherly types who couldn't tell a glitch from a Sneetch pretending to speak conversantly about something they have the same familiarity with as a calico cat does with calculus makes keeping a straight face difficult. Especially considering their extreme remonstrations of concern, which sound similar to cobras worrying that the mouse door is often unlocked.
Thing is, they're perfectly right. The rollout went less smooth than a 40 foot square steel donut rumbling down a pressed tin bridge. Democrats agree the website technology for Obamacare is so outdated it looks like Health and Human Services rescued it from Compuserve's trash using a dial-up modem. There are at least six or 17 areas of this country where a class of fifth graders could have constructed a more navigable site during study hall.
The ultimate techie nightmare. More crashes than Windows Vista through 27 stories of skylights. A health care portal with all the compassion and efficiency of the DMV. Coming soon: leeches. Although many claim that plenty of licensed barbers are already caucusing with the House majority.
Face it, if the government created the Cloud, it would be called the Smog and leak antifreeze.
The administration seems flummoxed. Started suggesting folks with problems might want to try signing up by phone or fax or snail mail or Pony Express or skywriting or Morse Code on a telegraph wire or smoke signals or by slapping the ground and pounding their chests rhythmically. Hopefully Obamacare can spur lightning progress in telepathy.
Ted Cruz managed to get into the act, joking that the Nigerian email scammers have been quiet lately because they were hired to run the Obamacare website. This created the double whammy of ticking off Nigerians and giving the administration very bad ideas.
But by focusing their attention on the website, the GOP seems to be signaling they've accepted Obamacare, at least in theory. After trying to repeal it 50 times then shutting down the government in an attempt to defund it, they are finally, reluctantly, on board. And just want to straighten things out by letting the American people know this is the worst legislation in the history of ever.
In other words, they've graduated to complaining about the choice of the font on the menu and not the ingredients of the feast. Or whether anybody gets to eat.
Although that $24 cheeseburger known as the Silver plan is surely going to draw attention down the line. And oh, by the way — fries are extra. Way extra.
Email Will at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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