The kids at Vox say that the administration “wrongly” included dental plans in its reports on Obamacare-enrollment numbers, and Charlie has rightfully and righteously heaped scorn upon this luckiest of all lucky mistakes. Maybe Vox should add a “translator” to its battery of “explainers” — in this case, “wrongly” means “dishonestly,” or perhaps “while playing us for suckers.”
In fact, we need a lot of translations. Vox reports that Sylvia Burwell has called the “mistake” (which probably wasn’t a mistake) “unacceptable,” which pretty obviously means, in this context, “not unacceptable.” This is a particular pet peeve of mine regarding the Obama administration, these phony declarations of unacceptability. The president vows that he “will not tolerate” that which he plainly does tolerate and means to keep tolerating. He has no choice but to continue tolerating the incompetence of his administration—the alternative is resigning the presidency.
It’s a strange thing: The president and his underlings act as though the state of his administration were something that just happened to them, like they were walking down the street minding their own business, whistling “Hail to the Chief,” and a cartoon anvil just suddenly came crashing down on their heads out of the blue, like they are a procession of Elmer Fudds. (A cluster of Fudds? A parliament of Fudds?) They act as though this were all some horrible, unavoidable accident, rather than the consequence of their own beliefs, inclinations, and actions.
It may be that at some point, Vox et al. will decide that they’re tired of being lied to, or at least embarrassed about it, and that there will be some sort of spontaneous and contagious outbreak of journalistic self-respect among the president’s much-abused apologists. But, so far, there’s not much sign of that.