What’s Wrong With Rooting For Obamacare Failure?


When it comes to Obamacare, it’s the best possible outcome

 writes:  In a press conference, expected to feature a mea culpa for the Obamacare website fiasco, President Barack Obama  turned the tables on his political opponents, scolding them for using their supernatural ability to transform the mere hope of failure into a reality.

“It’s time,” he implored, “for folks to stop rooting for its failure, because hardworking, middle-class families are rooting for its success.”

There is a serious problem with this statement. Now, if you’re a libertarian, rooting for Washington to fail is probably one of your cherished hobbies. It’s certainly one of the most unappreciated sentiments a person embraces. And, most often, there is nothing unpatriotic, immoral or unethical about it. Quite the opposite, actually.

Sometimes we have no choice. Example: When the Red Sox (a team which, as a Yankees fan, I detest) and the Cardinals (a team for which I have no strong feelings either way) meet in the World Series, I’ll be forced to enthusiastically cheer for a Boston flop – with any luck, an ugly and dramatic flop. When sweet failure arrives, I intend to fully embrace schadenfreude (the ugly cousin of “rooting for failure”), knowing full well that my wishes had absolutely no bearing on the outcome.

Not so in politics, evidently. Nowadays, rooting against the Democrats is tantamount to rooting against America. (See 1234567891011, and so on.) But it’s a fallacy that any failure has, by default, a negative consequence. Attaching a phony moral significance to the word “failure” is, as anyone who’s watched politics or witnessed what bad legislation can do, nothing more than a way to smear your opponent’s intentions. It’s a weak attempt to bully those who disagree with you into rhetorical submission.

When it comes to Obamacare, it’s likely that most failure boosters have no desire to see “hardworking, middle-class families” or, for that matter, even rich lazy families, suffer unnecessarily. When confronted by this false choice, plenty of middle-class families are, no doubt, rooting for failure, as well. If an American believes Obamacare is unhelpful, destructive or counterproductive, its failure is success.

There are other reasons to cheer failure, as well. As Ed Rogers at the Washington Post recently wrote:

The failure of Obamacare would discourage and hopefully deter those who think a bigger, more domineering U.S. government is the answer to our problems. And most important, the horrors of this debacle and the collapse of Obamacare would have a chilling effect on politicians who want to promote big government solutions.

My hope is that Obamacare– not to mention, numerous other initiatives supported by the president — fails for a whole host of reasons. And not only do I have my fingers crossed that Obamacare fails in the way that most policy fails us, but I hope it fails so hard that any residual perception among voters that any part of it was prudent policy is completely eliminated. Anything less may mean that a substantial enough block of Americans will continue to operate under the false impression that top-down technocratic control of their decisions is a good idea. And that, would be a genuine failure.

Wishful thinking, no doubt. And admittedly, there’s also a self-centered reason to root for your ideological opponents not to succeed. Their misfortune confirms your worldview – one that you’ve  probably spent considerable time and effort cultivating. Anyone with a shred of intellectual honesty remains somewhat open to the possibility that they may be wrong; but they are certainly under no obligation to root against their own beliefs. Not even if a president armed with a straw man demands it of them.

Follow David Harsanyi on Twitter

The Federalist

3 Comments on “What’s Wrong With Rooting For Obamacare Failure?”

  1. I want Obamacare to fail so very much, that being said, if it is allowed to fail, we will not revert to what we originally had before, and I doubt we will move to a system that is better than Canada’s. When the ACA fails I really do believe the government will use the opportunity to move us to a single payer system, guaranteeing total government control of a very large part of the American economy, and ensuring more tax revenue.

  2. Brittius says:

    Reblogged this on Brittius.com and commented:
    The only people that are in favor of ObamaCare are those people that are not forced to have it, and the people that will be profiteering from it. It is the duty of every American to be against the ObamaCare scam.

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