Maybe we're sports mad, we Americans. Perhaps we view life through binoculars from way up in the cheap seats, where we cheer the home team, boo the foe team, and occasionally demand the coach's head, should their Ls exceed their Ws.
Last week's sudden resignation of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius certainly fueled the Obamacare boo-birds in the bleachers, who, in their sporting frenzy, insist health reform's head coach took one for the team following last fall's turbulent launch of the HealthCare.gov health insurance exchange website.
You can practically hear the rants. "Oh, she had it coming, that Sebelius!" "Do you know how many hours I spent watching that infernal 'please wait' clock revolve on the HealthCare.gov site?"
Allow me to humbly suggest that the boo-birds have their binoculars on backwards.
More victory lap than defeat?
If Sebelius were going to take one for team Obama -- or, as a recent editorial cartoon even more erroneously suggested, been thrown under the team bus -- it would have happened last fall, when (pick your sports metaphor) it was bottom of the ninth, one second left on the shot clock or time for the old Hail Mary pass.
Wanna know how you do not take one for the team? By graciously remaining at your post into the president's second term to complete your assignment, then closing your briefcase after a job well done and walking without undue fanfare out the door and toward the rest of your life.
Here's what history will write about Kathleen Sebelius: In 2009, the former governor of Kansas (see also: Dorothy) took a post no one in their right mind would want, endured nearly five years of unrelenting criticism (some warranted, most not), and succeeded against impossible odds to provide affordable health insurance to 7.5 million Americans, many of them for the first time.
'Logical time to leave'
Sebelius paused before boarding the first red-eye out of Washington to share the real dugout story with NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday.
"The end of open enrollment was the logical time to leave," she told Andrea Mitchell. While Sebelius admitted that the launch of HealthCare.gov was "terribly flawed and terribly difficult," she made clear it was her choice to depart, and that she had never planned to stay through President Barack Obama's second term.
The president, who had supported Sebelius through last fall's heavy shelling from Republicans and Democrats alike, nominated as her successor Sylvia Burwell, the current director of the Office of Management and Budget.
To borrow that iconic sports phrase, Sebelius' classy exit signaled the thrill of victory, rather than the agony of defeat.
Here's a look back at those HealthCare.gov website woes.
Follow me on Twitter: @omnisaurus.
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