While Bill Clinton’s messaging advice to Democrats on how to handle the Affordable Care Act this year is some of the best I’ve yet heard, even it still suffers from a significant flaw. From Politico:
“What I advise the Democrats to do is talk about the good things that have happened under the bill, acknowledge the problems and say, ‘Let’s do what sensible people would do. We had a problem we had to deal with, Albert Einstein couldn’t have done it perfectly the first time, now let’s set a long-term repair process,’” Clinton told moderator Gwen Ifill.
“Nobody could’ve done this perfectly,” he added.
Highlighting the positive while acknowledging the flaws is smart, but a difficult needle to thread.
The problem with this particular logic from Clinton is that Congressional Democrats were the ones who wrote the law. So instead of blaming the implementation problems on some incompetent officials in HHS and a few state agencies, his argument basically implies that the entire Congressional Democratic caucus was incompetent.
If you write a law that is so needlessly complex not even a super genius could implement it correctly, you have failed as a legislator. Your primary job is to make sure the laws you vote for can work.