The Insiders: This is what panic looks like

[Updated: Nov. 25, 1 p.m.]

Incredibly, we learned that the Obamacare open enrollment period for 2015 will be pushed back one month from the original start date of Oct. 15, 2014.  This means that people will not be able to see what their insurance rates for 2015 will be before Nov. 15, 2014.  Hmm, what’s happening in that one month that could possibly make this odd delay make sense? Oh yeah, America is holding national elections on Nov. 4, 2014.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney confirmed the latest change to the law in Friday’s press conference, trying to spin the changes to Obamacare as a way “to give insurers more time to evaluate the first year” of the Obamacare exchanges.  Really?  Thirty days is “more time” for insurance companies?

Demonstrators wait for Jim DeMint of Heritage Foundation. (Nate Chute/Reuters)

(Nate Chute/Reuters)

This is beyond arrogant.  This maneuver shows utter contempt and disdain for the intellect and capacity of voters to see this move for what it is: a blatantly political calculation on the part of President Obama. What the Democrats see on the political horizon must be absolutely horrific if they think this can be done without infuriating voters more than they already have been.

Democrats must think this delay is to their net political advantage.  Apparently, they have decided that enough voters will be mollified, caught napping and be outright deceived by their actions that it will make a difference in the November election. After all, life is all about the net, not the gross.

Anyway, this move is the opposite of leadership; it’s political cowardice, the like of which I don’t think I have ever seen. Do you think the president and his advisers laughed out loud as they hatched this plan?  Do you think they even tried to suppress the snickering that must have occurred? Is their contempt for voters so great that they all share openly in the joke?  Will Democrats in Congress be able to keep a straight face when they say this isn’t about the 2014 elections and maintaining control of the Senate? It will be scary if they get away with this.

And maybe they won’t.  The latest generic ballots show Democrats slipping in support, in large part because of the mess of Obamacare.  The Quinnipiac polling in the last week of September 2013 showed Democrats up by nine in the generic ballot.  The same poll conducted in the second week of November 2013 had Republicans and Democrats tied.  The White House’s own polls must be even worse.

I have been waiting for the Democrats’ “big punt” on Obamacare, but this is not it.  A punt must be organized and the product of some planning. Instead, this is what panic looks like.  At this point, we can only shake our heads and sigh.  We can’t get to an election fast enough to put an end to what this president and his Democratic allies are doing.

 

Follow Ed on Twitter: @EdRogersDC

 

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