Monday, October 21, 2013

“Don’t put all your eggs in one Honda” and other gems from the Overreaching Files

"Thanks for taking the
wheel. My ovaries are
killing me."
Cleric Sheikh Lohaidan recently cautioned Saudi women about the dangers of driving while female, specifically that driving “automatically affects the ovaries and pushes the pelvis upwards,” which can cause “clinical problems” in children.

Based on that logic, we can safely assume that Sheik Lohaidan’s mom was a long-haul trucker.

The trouble with overreaching—which most of us learned when we kept making that face but it didn’t get stuck that way—is that once you’re proved wrong you not only lose the argument, you lose your credibility.

Here are just two examples of magnificent political overreaching in the past few weeks:

Cruz Control—Led by Joe-McCarthy-impersonator Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Lala Land), a merry band of Tea Party Republicans shut down the US government in an effort to de-fund “Obamacare” ... despite the fact that the bill was approved by Congress, signed into law by the president, and upheld by a conservative Supreme Court.

Victims of our own success—The White House, meanwhile, tried valiantly to convince us that the web-based infrastructure of the Obamacare juggernaut collapsed under the weight of all the praise we heaped on it. When they pivoted to the “glitch” excuse, comparing their minor bump in the road to the glitches in Apple’s new operating system, even traditional Team Obama supporters called shenanigans.
  • “Consider that just a couple of weeks ago, Apple rolled out a new mobile operating system, and within days, they found a glitch, so they fixed it. I don’t remember anybody suggesting Apple should stop selling iPhones or iPads or threatening to shut down the company if they didn’t.”  — President Barack Obama, Oct. 1
  • “If Apple launched a major new product that functioned as badly as Obamacare’s online insurance marketplace, the tech world would be calling for Tim Cook’s head.” — Ezra Klein and Evan Soltas in The Washington Post Wonkblog, Oct. 4
  • “We’re going to do a challenge. I’m going to try and download every movie ever made and you are going to try to sign up for Obamacare — and we’ll see which happens first.” — Jon Stewart to Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on "The Daily Show," Oct. 7
  • The Obama Administration may be heading for a “credibility death spiral” if they can’t fix the crippling problems afflicting the program, according to CBS News Political Director John Dickerson.

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