Are the Issues with the “Obamacare” Rollout President Obama’s “Monica Lewinsky” Moment?

clinton-obamaBefore anyone jumps to any kind of insane conclusions — no, I’m not comparing the two by implying infidelity and the Affordable Care Act rollout are the same.

What I mean is that for all intents and purposes, Bill Clinton getting caught having an affair with Monica Lewinsky was the catalyst Republicans used to take the issue all the way to a full-on impeachment for lying under oath.

In other words, it was an absolute low point for his presidency — a point which Republicans gleefully took pleasure in exploiting.  Similar to how Republicans almost seem giddy over the fact that the launch of “Obamacare” has been nothing short of a disaster for President Obama.

See, as much as most liberals love Bill Clinton, the fact of the matter is — he lied.  Remember this:

He emphatically told the American people he hadn’t had a sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky.  Well, as we all know now, he was lying.  Which is why I find it a tad ironic that Bill Clinton recently called on President Obama to live up to his word and let people keep their current health insurance.

But during the actual Lewinsky moment for Clinton, the American people did grow sour on him.  Granted, his affair had no impact on the lives of other Americans where the Affordable Care Act does, but for its time it was a very big deal.

Yet Clinton ended up being a very popular president and still remains extremely popular to this day.

So, how’d that happen?  Well, eventually he just owned up to his mistake.  Granted, it didn’t happen instantly, but eventually he admitted to what he did — then just took the hit on public opinion from there on out.  Hell, even in 2013, Clinton continues to be a punchline to many jokes.

You don’t think back then people distrusted him once they found out he had lied?  Of course they did.

But how he handled himself in the face of this adversity was key.  Even during the low times, Clinton remained strong — a step ahead of Republicans.  He was charismatic and apologetic.

And this is what President Obama has thus far failed at doing.  I’m not sure who he really has advising him, but their advice is terrible.  Putting another date when the website would be “fixed” was just idiotic.  If he thinks the backlash now is bad, just wait until the end of November if the website isn’t fully functional.  Things will get really petty and ugly.

Unfortunately for President Obama, his time frame to fix this public image of his that’s rapidly sinking isn’t a few months.  In fact, if he doesn’t do something quick, the damage to his presidency (and the entire Democratic Party) might be irreparable.

Again, I’m not saying the situations are equal; I’m just comparing extreme low points in each one of their presidencies and how each situation was — or is — being handled.

For Obama, how he handles these next few weeks and what he does to deal with the issues with “Obamacare” will have a huge impact on the rest of his presidency and this country.

If he fails to handle this situation in a way that addresses and solves many of the issues that are troubling the American people, Democrats will have absolutely no chance at taking back control in Congress next November and he’ll lose a great deal of leverage in future negotiations with Republicans.

Clinton overcame his low point, becoming one of the more popular presidents in U.S. history.  I just hope President Obama can do the same.  I would hate to see a man who I believe thus far has done a great job at digging us out of the massive hole the Bush administration left us in, have his entire presidency forever tarnished because he failed to handle this situation correctly.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been impressed with Obama’s response.  While the issues mount, and even many within his own party begin to distance themselves from him over his handling of this, he still just doesn’t seem to “get it.”

I hope for his, and all of our sake, he “gets it” sooner rather than later.  Otherwise next November, and really for the next three years, this nation will be defined more by the radicalism of people like Ted Cruz — which is something we cannot allow to happen.

The stakes have never been higher — and approval numbers have never been lower — than they are right now for President Obama.  It is truly the lowest point of his presidency.

And we’ll soon find out how he deals with it.  Will he fight back and recover like Clinton, or will he allow relentless Republican rhetoric to finally take him down?  I guess only time will tell.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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