Why Would the GOP Want Kathleen Sebelius Fired?

by Jim Geraghty

It seems both sides in the Obamacare fight have their positions exactly backward.

The Republican National Committee is tweeting #FireSebelius and their website homepage features a petition demanding that President Obama sack the head of the department in charge of carrying out his signature health reform initiative. The petition calls the glitch-ridden rollout of Healthcare.gov a “systemic failure” and says Sebelius should be held accountable for ignoring “red flags and repeated warnings that Obamacare wasn’t ready for primetime.”

The White House said Tuesday it has no plans to get rid of Sebelius.

If you think Sebelius is a blitheringly incompetent leader and manager, who ignores red flags and who is now requiring underlings to attempt increasingly implausible, desperate spin, and you want to see Obamacare go away . . . why would you want to get rid of her? The next HHS secretary might be better at the job.

And if you’ve staked your entire presidency on the success of Obamacare, you would want to toss her out immediately, if for no other reason than to assure the public that you won’t accept failure on this scale.

You could also believe that Sebelius is doing the best job humanly possible.

(sound of crickets)

Or there’s Option C: that Sebelius isn’t a particularly good leader or manager, but that the problems of Obamacare are built-in, and don’t really reflect her decisions — the website had to be built to handle massive traffic, collect oodles of personal information, connect a variety of government databases, calculate the subsidies, and then hide the costs to the purchaser for as long as possible, all while training ”navigators” to manage a process that usually is handled by a professional insurance agent.

If anything, Sebelius’s most key role so far has been as a terrible, terrible spokeswoman for this program, incapable of answering basic questions from Jon Stewart:

But if she’s a terrible, terrible spokeswoman, and you oppose Obamacare . . . why would you want to replace her?

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