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News & Politics News & Politics

Kathleen Sebelius vs. a party without a brain

Posted by on Oct. 30, 2013 at 11:08 PM
  • 33 Replies
1 mom liked this

Like the Scarecrow, whoever came up with House Republicans’ plan to deal with Kathleen Sebelius on Wednesday didn’t have a brain.

It was their big chance to flambé the secretary of health and human services and the person who has overseen the disastrous launch of Obamacare. Instead, they wound up casting her as Judy Garland’s Dorothy.

“In ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ there is a great line,” Barton, one of the first Republican questioners, informed Sebelius, a former two-term governor of Kansas. “Dorothy at some point in the movie turns to her little dog, Toto, and says, ‘Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore.’ Well, Madam Secretary, while you’re from Kansas, we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

Thus began several references, each more painful than the last, to Oz, Kansas, following the yellow brick road, pulling back the curtain, the wonderful things the Wizard does — and, for good measure, something about Chicken Little, although he did not appear in the 1939 classic.

And, sure enough, the Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee went after Sebelius like so many flying monkeys. But — spoiler alert! — the film doesn’t turn out well for Dorothy’s persecutors, and the hearing, likewise, didn’t turn out to be the humiliation for Sebelius that Republicans had in mind. Dorothy melted the Wicked Witch with a bucket of water; Sebelius doused her questioners with an unexpected and extended confession of responsibility.

“Access to HealthCare.gov has been a miserably frustrating experience for way too many Americans,” she said in her opening statement. “So let me say directly to these Americans: You deserve better. I apologize. I’m accountable to you for fixing these problems. And I’m committed to earning your confidence back by fixing the site.”

This was a sneaky and dastardly thing for her to do: sneaky, because it wasn’t in the advance testimony she gave the committee, and dastardly, because in today’s Washington, any acceptance of responsibility is so rare that the Republicans — who were counting on her evading and deflecting — were bound to be caught off-guard.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) seemed not to have heard the secretary’s apology. “You’re now blaming it on the contractors and saying it’s Verizon’s fault,” she said.

“Let me be clear. I’m not pointing fingers at Verizon,” Sebelius said. “We own the site.”

Blackburn pressed Sebelius to tell her who led the team overseeing the project, and when Sebelius provided it, Blackburn pounced. “Michelle Snyder is the one responsible for this debacle?”

“Michelle Snyder is not responsible for the debacle,” Sebelius said. “Hold me accountable for the debacle. I’m responsible.”

Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) declined this offer. “The president is ultimately responsible for the rollout,” he declared.

“No, sir. We are responsible for the rollout,” Sebelius replied.

After more such back and forth, Harper insisted: “While I think it’s great that you’re a team player and taking responsibility, it is the president’s ultimate responsibility, correct?”

“You clearly — whatever,” Sebelius said, allowing herself a rare moment of exasperation. “Yes, he is the president. He is responsible for government programs.”

Otherwise, Sebelius, in a gray pinstriped jacket, her white hair well-coiffed and her fingernails manicured, was generally poised, keeping her voice measured even though Republican lawmakers took photos of her with their phones, and their staff members, lined up against a wall, laughed and applauded when their bosses scored points.

She bluntly refused their requests to fire one of her deputies (“I will not, sir”), to make enrollment voluntary for the first year (“No, sir”) and to hand over enrollment numbers (“No, sir”). She answered mildly even as a red-faced Rep. Billy Long (Mo.) and a furious Rep. Cory Gardner (Colo.) demanded that she drop her health-care coverage and join an Obamacare exchange (she pointed out that the law wouldn’t allow it). She did not respond to Blackburn’s contention that Obamacare had deprived people of having a health plan that is “a Ford, not a Ferrari” or a “red Solo cup and not a crystal stem.”

But many of her interrogators were unusually mild, probably disarmed by Sebelius’s self-criticism. “I told the president that we were ready to go. Clearly I was wrong,” she admitted. “No one ever imagined the volume of issues and problems that we’ve had.”

After 31 / hours of Fords and Ferraris and “Wizard of Oz” references, Sebelius finally got to go home. But she had the power to do so all along: All she had to do was click her heels together three times and think, “There’s no place like the House.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com

by on Oct. 30, 2013 at 11:08 PM
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Replies (1-10):
susan115
by on Oct. 30, 2013 at 11:14 PM
5 moms liked this

Ms. Sebelius, still a member of the cult of silly liberals.

Farmlady09
by Silver Member on Oct. 30, 2013 at 11:23 PM
11 moms liked this

You're talking about a woman who is too stupid to know she works for 'we the people' ~ not Obama ~ as a way of trying to make the GOP look bad???

susan115
by on Oct. 30, 2013 at 11:30 PM
3 moms liked this

Celestial, you constantly write hateful, snarky columns about the republicans. Now, you are stating ACA is so great.  If that is the case, why does a 60 yr. old man or woman have to pay for maternity leave, have birth control covered?  Please explain, I want to know.  Because, my opinion is...taking from one group to give to another.  I feel that is wrong and a very socialist thing to do.  Many have worked hard their whole, why should I pay for someone else's birthcontrol?  I, personally have not been able to have kids since I was 33yrs.  Why should that be included? 

Farmlady09
by Silver Member on Oct. 30, 2013 at 11:32 PM
7 moms liked this

For those of you who aren't fans of Sebelius ~ this will make you smile ...

Analeigh2012
by Silver Member on Oct. 30, 2013 at 11:52 PM
1 mom liked this

She was well prepared for her testimony and gave non-answers to questions as well as untruthful answers.  She said to hold her accountable - and they should.  She should be fired.  

I do not think her admitting responsibility threw the republican congressmen off their game - they purposefully went easy, a trend we have seen over and over again as Obama continues to hide behind women and take zero responsibility.  

I also would have liked less remarks and opinions from everyone.  They should ave asked clear, concise questions and she should have answered them all in kind and truthfully.

29again
by Gold Member on Oct. 31, 2013 at 12:17 AM
1 mom liked this


Quoting Farmlady09:

For those of you who aren't fans of Sebelius ~ this will make you smile ...

Thanks!  Loved it.

MomTiara19
by Silver Member on Oct. 31, 2013 at 9:38 AM

 


Quoting susan115:

Celestial, you constantly write hateful, snarky columns about the republicans. Now, you are stating ACA is so great.  If that is the case, why does a 60 yr. old man or woman have to pay for maternity leave, have birth control covered?  Please explain, I want to know.  Because, my opinion is...taking from one group to give to another.  I feel that is wrong and a very socialist thing to do.  Many have worked hard their whole, why should I pay for someone else's birthcontrol?  I, personally have not been able to have kids since I was 33yrs.  Why should that be included? 


How is posting a liberal article considered snarky and a personal attack from Celestial?Republicans post articles against liberal views all of the time?

Why do republicans always nit pick what they want covered and dont,who is qualified and who isnt.

Republicans complain about birth control,then complain when a single mom needs food stamps.You complain about younger people needing help with maternity but its okay to help the elderly on medicare.

No one is guarenteed they wont need disability,get hurt,get sick,need family and child care needs,or lose their jobs.If we are all covered,getting full coverage,at the best or better price why is that a bad and socialist thing?

Health insurance is not about being democrat or republican...it is a humane need.

I just wish the republican bullying would stop so we can all enjoy more debating and less arguing.

Please~

 

 

susan115
by on Oct. 31, 2013 at 9:43 AM
1 mom liked this


Aren't you and your liberals friends bullying me and making me pay more just because I work.  You state untruths, constantly.  If you want to have sex, why should I pay for your birth control. Or, for some single mother, who was to immature to think before having sex.  Yes, everyone gets sick, but you plan and those that just can't, I don't mind helping, but I will NOT be arm twisted because ONE doesn't think.  Now, about the single mother with birth control.  If that is the case that I have to pay for it, then I want to go to her home, see how she runs it, I want her bank account, to see how she spends her money, and I want to know what she wears and what she watches on T.V.  You think that is fair, my hard earned for her silliness.

Quoting MomTiara19:



Quoting susan115:

Celestial, you constantly write hateful, snarky columns about the republicans. Now, you are stating ACA is so great.  If that is the case, why does a 60 yr. old man or woman have to pay for maternity leave, have birth control covered?  Please explain, I want to know.  Because, my opinion is...taking from one group to give to another.  I feel that is wrong and a very socialist thing to do.  Many have worked hard their whole, why should I pay for someone else's birthcontrol?  I, personally have not been able to have kids since I was 33yrs.  Why should that be included? 


How is posting a liberal article considered snarky and a personal attack from Celestial?Republicans post articles against liberal views all of the time?

Why do republicans always nit pick what they want covered and dont,who is qualified and who isnt.

Republicans complain about birth control,then complain when a single mom needs food stamps.You complain about younger people needing help with maternity but its okay to help the elderly on medicare.

No one is guarenteed they wont need disability,get hurt,get sick,need family and child care needs,or lose their jobs.If we are all covered,getting full coverage,at the best or better price why is that a bad and socialist thing?

Health insurance is not about being democrat or republican...it is a humane need.

I just wish the republican bullying would stop so we can all enjoy more debating and less arguing.

Please~





rocketracer
by Gold Member on Oct. 31, 2013 at 9:49 AM
4 moms liked this

Did anyone notice that as Kathleen Sebelius said (while under oath) the website hasn't crashed, yet at that same moment a congressman held up his ipad to show the website was DOWN!

If Sebelius told ACA supporters  that unicorns poop crap candy corn, they would sit at a table willing to eat crap.

Billiejeens
by Ruby Member on Oct. 31, 2013 at 12:17 PM
1 mom liked this

BuzzFeed GIF Sebelius Whatever1

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