Why Would the GOP Want Kathleen Sebelius Fired?

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?

Most Popular


The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More