When the Big Dog, Bill Clinton, tells Obama that he has to honor the promise he made to the American people that they could keep the health care plans they had if they wanted to, you know that something really bad is happening in Democrat Party land.
First, it is astonishing that someone has to tell the president of the United States that it's not OK to make major promises on issues central to his presidency that he knows he cannot keep. Why would anyone have to tell the president that he can't lie to the American people about something so central to his presidency and get away with it? And it's not like Bill Clinton is St. Francis of Assisi. He is the man who said "it depends on what the meaning of the word "is" is." After all, "Clintonian" is a word meaning sneaky, something that sounds truthful but is not really.
Second, Bill Clinton was just leading the charge of Democrats away from a president who has become toxic to the brand. It looks to me like he was helping put as much distance as he could between Hilary and Obama. Other Dems followed quickly calling for legislation that would honor Obama's deceitful promise.
I really don't understand why Obama is so inept at communication. When he said "if you like your plan you can keep your plan" it now appears that he knew that was a lie. He could have told a little more complicated thing like - "We put a grandfather clause in the bill that allows you to keep your plan that was in existence at the time Obamacare was signed into law. (Probably)." That would have been true and defensible and could have been fine for the campaign. But, Obama was trying to win re-election, so he "simplified" the message. Or, more to the point, he lied about it.
What on earth did he plan to do when the cancellation letters started showing up? He knew they would. Did he think the mainstream media would just explain it all away for him? Did he think that he is some kind of exception and people would just forget about it and let him off the hook? Did he think that the Reps were so discredited that no one would pay any attention to them?
This in more than a fumble or a mistake. This is a matter of judgment and character.
I thought that the Reps were insane to place all of their eggs in the Obamacare basket on the hope that the new law would be a catastrophe. I thought their 40 plus votes to repeal or defund Obamacare was lunacy. I still think shutting down the government and threatening default on government bills was ridiculously stupid for them to do. But it certainly etched it in the public's mind that they hated Obamacare. And if Obamacare doesn't work, they may actually make political gains after all.
The Reps can't possibly be seen as a viable political party, unless, of course, they run against the Dems, who used to look reasonable, but now are weighted down by a president who looks to be a person somewhere between incompetent and deceitful.
It's probably never as bad as it seems when it's bad, and never as good as it seems when it's good, but right now it is not good for Obama, or for Dems. Just ask Bill Clinton.