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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

"Obamacare Is Too Big To Ignore"

Brian Beutler is trying to knock some sense into Democrats:
Obamacare still isn’t popular. It’s benefiting a lot of people, but it’s also inconveniencing others. By design it’s only going to affect a relatively small segment of the population, positively or negatively. It’s been the focal point of an endless and unopposed agit-prop campaign. There isn’t a strong constituency for repealing it, but there also isn’t a strong constituency enamored of it... What I see here is a fatal, and completely avoidable, combination of oversight, myopia and political cowardice... As unpopular as Obamacare is, if you run against it -- and thus for taking people’s insurance away -- without a persuasive claim to a better idea, you eventually arrive in a box canyon. That is, unless Democrats go silent about it and don’t make Republicans answer for the consequences of their opposition, in which case the way out is wide open. [Emphasis added --d] Democrats and their allies are making a huge blunder if they don’t internalize the new reality and put some of those people they talk about in their speeches on air. Political strategists are well trained to change the subject when the subject at hand isn’t a winner. But Obamacare is... too big to ignore [Emphasis added --d], and won’t easily be driven to second-tier status -- particularly given that all Republicans have to run on is that they didn’t vote for Obamacare. Which is not to say Dems can’t also run on the minimum wage, and immigration, and LGBT rights, and voting rights, and equal pay and the Koch brothers, and so on. But they can’t leave the Obamacare question unanswered... Democrats and allied groups would ultimately counter the ads with equal-but-opposite ads of their own. Play the issue to a draw. Make GOP candidates disown repeal. Or at least try.
He is right. And he is getting worried. And he is right to worry. 2014 comes before 2016, 2014 sets the table for 2016, and Obamacare is too big to ignore and successful enough that there is no earthly reason to ignore it anyway. Democrats cannot sleep through another midterm election.

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