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Posted at 11:53 AM ET, 01/ 7/2011

Why Dems are kicking into high gear against repeal

By Greg Sargent

I noted yesterday that the DNC has fixed on a concerted message to fight the GOP's push to repeal health reform, and in another sign that Dems are kicking into high gear, Organizing for America is going out with an email to its list today rallying volunteers and vowing that Dems will defend Obama's signature domestic achievement with all they've got:

House Republicans are moving forward to repeal all provisions of health reform, with a final vote scheduled for next week.

If they get their way, insurance companies will once again have the right to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, drop or limit coverage if you become sick, and charge women higher premiums than men. Seniors will lose critical prescription drug savings and free preventive care under Medicare...

We fought to pass the Affordable Care Act because it was the right thing to do...

Even without a coherent proposal, they won't have trouble raising money to drum up support for repeal. Republicans' close relationship with entrenched interests has benefited them in campaigns that did not begin -- and will not end -- with health reform.

But we're fighting back with everything we've got -- building a large-scale, grassroots effort to stop this repeal and protect our progress. Your support will fund the organizing that generates calls to Congress, neighborhood canvasses, and letters in our local papers.

Together, we'll make sure our message is heard and understood: We stand by health reform and will not tolerate attempts to put insurance companies back in charge.

This hints, I think, at another way Dems are hoping to use the battle over repeal as an opportunity: It's the first step in reactivating the grassroots heading into 2012, the success of which is essential to his reelection prospects, but at this point is anything but assured.

By Greg Sargent  | January 7, 2011; 11:53 AM ET
Categories:  Health reform, House GOPers  
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Next: Obama didn't govern from the "left," part 973

Comments

"It's the first step in reactivating the grassroots heading into 2012, the success of which is essential to his reelection prospects."

The grassroots that elevated Obama over the Clintons will not be mobilized in the defense of ACA. Nope, not a chance.

As for his reelection prospects, the grassroots that elevated him over The Clintons could easy get back into the game if the Republicans nominate someone absurd. But at least as far as economic policies are concerned, the difference between say, Mitch Daniels or even Mitt and Obama is getting harder and harder to keep track of.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 7, 2011 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Kevin Willis is going to re-elect Obama, not the professional left, let alone the grassroots.

Posted by: Papagnello | January 7, 2011 12:05 PM | Report abuse

"Organizing for America is going out with an email to its list today rallying volunteers"

A little f-ing late.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 7, 2011 12:09 PM | Report abuse

"The grassroots that elevated Obama over the Clintons will not be mobilized in the defense of ACA. Nope, not a chance."

Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner. OTOH, maybe the GOP can get the OFA e-mail list and mobilize former Obama supporters to help repeal ACCA. That has a better chance of succeeding.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 7, 2011 12:11 PM | Report abuse

@Papagnelo: "Kevin Willis is going to re-elect Obama, not the professional left, let alone the grassroots."

Your confidence is heartwarming. Alas, I'm pretty sure my state (Tennessee) will go decidedly red in 2012, irrespective of my vote. But unless the Republicans nominate someone awesome, I just might go against the grain in 2012, although I did vote for Sarah Palin and that old guy that was running with her in 2008. What can I say? Triangulation works on me.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 7, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

From the OFA website:

"Together we have made a lot of progress in the past two years.
But now Republicans in Congress are determined to roll it all back—and they’re starting with health reform. It's up to us to fight back. We're forming a campaign to protect our progress, showing just how our achievements are already improving lives across the country—and taking on the Republicans who are pushing for repeal."

Protect Our Progress. Is that like Mission Accomplished?

Posted by: wbgonne | January 7, 2011 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Lawmakers Were at Illegal Fundraiser
The Sunlight Foundation notes that the two House Republican members who missed their swearing in and then voted on legislation and introduced bills, may have done something even more serious: They were attending a fundraiser at the U.S. Capitol even though lawmakers are barred from using official resources for campaign or fundraising activities.

http://politicalwire.com/archives/2011/01/07/lawmakers_were_at_illegal_fundraiser.html

Posted by: Ethan2010 | January 7, 2011 12:30 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne, did someone pee in your cornflakes or something?

you seem extra bitter today.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | January 7, 2011 12:32 PM | Report abuse

This is necessary but not sufficient to save whatever hopes of re-election Obama has (not that he has none, just that it is unclear to me what the odds are).

The Democrats own the health care law. Obama owns it. They'd better work to defend it. They stupidly crafted it to mostly take effect so far in the future that voters still won't really know what effect it will have come Nov 2012 so it comes down to a messaging war.

The right has been better at winning messaging wars for some time, so Democrats have to hope that their meagre messaging efforts plus the few good policy effects of the HCA that have already kicked in will be enough to keep them in the game. I think guaranteeing coverage for sick children and allowing youths to stay covered to 26 are good things, but certainly neither was much help with the elderly centric mid-term electorate.

There's not really too much precedent to say what help they'll be with the 2012 electorate. But they can't run from it so they may as well embrace it.

Posted by: Scientician | January 7, 2011 12:35 PM | Report abuse

24% of Democrats want to repeal the healthcare law!

Forget about reactivating the grassroots - this is about getting average Democrats on board.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/145496/Favor-Oppose-Repealing-Healthcare-Law.aspx

(via geraghty)

Posted by: sbj3 | January 7, 2011 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Well, let's see, Mike. We have a Democratic President who just presided over a 2-year demolition of the Democratic Party and who managed to disparage liberalism without being a liberal. We have a president who has reneged on one campaign promise after another. We have a Democratic President who just cut taxes for the Rich when we suffering a calamitous deficit. We have a Democratic President about to add even more to the deficit by cutting corporate taxes. All of which is setting this Democratic president to launch an assault on the New Deal in the guise of "reform." We have a Dem Pres who admires Ronald Reagan and has called FDR a political opportunist. We have pressing issues to face as a nation and we have a hopelessly compromised two-party with both parties controlled by the Rich. ANd it gets worse every day.

Bitter? Nah.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 7, 2011 12:40 PM | Report abuse

This hints, I think, at another way Dems are hoping to use the battle over repeal as an opportunity: It's the first step in reactivating the grassroots heading into 2012, the success of which is essential to his reelection prospects, but at this point is anything but assured.
................................

No it does not. Some times a cigar is just a cigar.(No need for you to post any Monica quips. I am way ahead of you, when it comes to making such connections)

All it means is: we fought too hard to pass Health Care Reform, and took too many casualties in that battle, to not defend it, against the assaults on it, by the Mercenary forces of The Insurance Cabal.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 7, 2011 12:42 PM | Report abuse

"24% of Democrats want to repeal the healthcare law!"

Like I said: the GOP has more use for the OFA list than Obama does. Liberals, the Left and True Democrats have abandoned Obama. That ship has sailed and it ain't coming back. Let Obama win with the Republicrats. He's one of them anyway.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 7, 2011 12:44 PM | Report abuse

"the Mercenary forces of The Insurance Cabal" ... that ACA requires every American to buy products from.

Your welcome.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 7, 2011 12:46 PM | Report abuse

"We fought too hard to pass Health Care Reform, and took too many casualties in that battle, to not defend it."

Reminds me of the argument the GOP made about staying in Iraq...

Problem as I see it with HCR is that it doesn't reduce healthcare costs. I thought that was why we embarked on the effort to begin with.

Posted by: sbj3 | January 7, 2011 12:46 PM | Report abuse

"Problem as I see it with HCR is that it doesn't reduce healthcare costs."

That's what the public option was for. But we couldn't get it, allegedly because Joe Lieberman said no (even though the WHite House secretly cut a deal with the Insurance Cabal promising there would be no public option). That's all this White House ever does: make backroom deals and then ram them down Americans throats.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 7, 2011 12:50 PM | Report abuse

It's really just too ironic that the Dems choose ACA to rally their supporters around, one issue that has less public support, than oh say, protecting social security or passing the Dream Act, which was originally a bi-partisan partial solution to immigration reform, or how about that tax fight we're supposed to be having. It's early, maybe they'll surprise me.

Posted by: lmsinca | January 7, 2011 12:54 PM | Report abuse

"maybe they'll surprise me"

Expect all surprises from this Administration to be unpleasant for Progressives. But we're all f-ing retards and whiners so we'll vote Democratic anyway. Not me.

Greens in 2012!

Posted by: wbgonne | January 7, 2011 12:58 PM | Report abuse

SBJ

Explain why you were constantly outraged not so long ago, that Harry Reid was not moving fast enough to repeal DADT, and yesterday, you did a complete three sixty, and called it just another part of the liberal agenda.

Why are you trying to have it both ways?

Did you not keep calling for DADT to be repealed, and does that make you a liberal activist.

As for your moronic Iraq comparison; Democrats won the Health Care battle. It is the law you know.

You were a big supporter of the stupid Iraq invasion. Have you been paying attention to what is happening to the Christians there, that never happened to them before the invasion.

Did you see that the Shiite Cleric who's forces waged war against the American Troops has now returned to Iraq, from Iran, and is now a part of the government. Nice going.

Did he return to dedicate the Square in Baghdad to George W. Bush, like Richard Pearle promised us, would happen within a short time after we had liberated The Iraqis from The Iraqis? Yeah; that must be why he came back. He and his wife Morgan Fairchild are going to dedicate a square, to honor George W. Bush. That's the ticket. Yeah!

Posted by: Liam-still | January 7, 2011 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Poor wbgone... must be uncomfortable tasting bile all the time.

Here's a little more on that pathetic mockery of reading a falsified, incoherent Constitution:

"There is only one official, canonical version of the Constitution—and most of the folks who read today, Republicans and Democrats alike, have a copy in their offices, if not their breast pockets. The suggestion that there is some other, agreed-upon, document, whose "portions [were] superseded by amendment" is simply untrue.

As CBS News Capitol Hill Correspondent Bob Fuss pointed out, the "redacted" version as read this morning had no coherent logic. They skipped over the three-fifths compromise but included the constitutional clause referring to the preservation of voting rights only for males over the age of 21—a provision superseded by the 26th Amendment. They skipped the 18th Amendment (Prohibition) then read the 21st (repealing Prohibition). Andrea Stone at AOL News picked up on the fact that they "read 14 words from Article I, Section 9 about taxation.

Under a strict reading of the ground rules, though, it likely should have been excised because of the later passage of the 16th Amendment that legalized the federal income tax."

In other words, in addition to taking it upon themselves to whitewash past constitutional errors, House Republicans today compounded the sin by inventing a choose-your-own-ending document they tried to pass off as official. "

Posted by: fiona5 | January 7, 2011 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Hi Liam!

Posted by: sbj3 | January 7, 2011 1:02 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne

I'm not expecting much, believe me, but right now I'm going to engage in saving Social Security and not turning it into a welfare program. I'm not in election mode yet, but will follow the progress of both the Green Party and our President. I've pulled some odd levers in my past and I'm not beyond doing it again. Hey, I'm an Independent, what can I say.

Posted by: lmsinca | January 7, 2011 1:04 PM | Report abuse

"Poor wbgone... must be uncomfortable tasting bile all the time."

Not as uncomfortable as you'll be twisting yourself into a pretzel defending Obama when he goes after Social Security. Remember: BO says FDR was a political opportunist and that he admires Ronald Reagan. You Democrats are more pathetic than the GOP. At least GOP actually does the things it says it will. You Dems defend nothing b/c the Dem Party stands for nothing except not being Republicans.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 7, 2011 1:07 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne writes
"Liberals, the Left and True Democrats have abandoned Obama. That ship has sailed and it ain't coming back."

That ship is out for a premature checkout voyage & will be back in dock for repairs / rebuilding soon enough.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 7, 2011 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I love the mischaracterization of the insurance industry revealed here. Cabal? Hardly.

The liberals here need to settle on a single vision for the insurance industry vis a vis Obamacare. did they profit greatly because of the deals made to get it passed?

Or do they wish to destroy it so that they can once again pillage the American people?

Which is it kids? Can't make up your mind?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | January 7, 2011 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Lawmakers Were at Illegal Fundraiser
The Sunlight Foundation notes that the two House Republican members who missed their swearing in and then voted on legislation and introduced bills, may have done something even more serious: They were attending a fundraiser at the U.S. Capitol even though lawmakers are barred from using official resources for campaign or fundraising activities.

http://politicalwire.com/archives/2011/01/07/lawmakers_were_at_illegal_fundraiser.html

Posted by: Ethan2010 | January 7, 2011 12:30 PM |
.................................


The House has gotten of to a great start under the leadership of The Weeping Gavelier.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 7, 2011 1:11 PM | Report abuse

"That ship is out for a premature checkout voyage & will be back in dock for repairs / rebuilding soon enough."

I disagree. There is no way in the world that Obama will re-capture what he had in 2008. Obama squandered all that support. Will Dem Regulars largely vote for Obama in 2012? Yes. Will anyone else? We'll see. OFA was much larger than Dem Regulars and that ship sunk.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 7, 2011 1:12 PM | Report abuse

"They were attending a fundraiser at the U.S. Capitol even though lawmakers are barred from using official resources for campaign or fund raising activities."

If true, i'd have no problem with them being expelled from the House. Not because they broke the rule, but because they're morons for not realizing you can walk across the street to Charlie Palmer to raise your cash.

Are these the same two who weren't sworn in yet? if so, there's your loophole.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | January 7, 2011 1:15 PM | Report abuse

All, I tried once again to make the case that Obama has not governed "from the left," and why this matters:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/01/obama_didnt_govern_from_the_le.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | January 7, 2011 1:16 PM | Report abuse

What a master stroke! The decision to read the constitution by the Republicans provided the Democrats and their camp followers on the left an opportunity to demonstrate their attitude toward the document.

Sadly for the left the poster boy for the liberals' view of the constitution is Ezra (what journ-o-list?) Klein. In his view the document was written sometime before 1910 and in a language so different from english that Americans can't actually agree today about what it says.

Yup. Klein got it right. He clearly stated the truth about the liberal view of the constitution. I have little doubt that if Mr Klein continues to spout the truth about liberalism he will suffer the same fate as Juan Williams. Honesty about one's feelings is simply not an acceptable attribute on the left it seems.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | January 7, 2011 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Job-slaughtering Republicans:

"Just as House Republicans gear up to repeal the “job killing” Affordable Care Act, the Department of Labor is reporting that the U.S. economy added 103,000 jobs last month, pushing the jobless rate down to a 19-month low of 9.4 percent.

In fact, since President Obama signed health reform into law on March 23, 2010, the economy has created approximately a total of 1.1 million new jobs in the private sector. One-fifth of the new jobs — over 200,000 — have been in the health care industry. Nevertheless, Republicans have spent the week decrying health reform as “job killing” legislation. Watch a compilation:

Aside from the fact that increasing access to health services will create thousands of jobs in the health care sector, Harvard economist David Cutler argues in new paper released this morning that repealing the health law would reverse these gains and could destroy 250,000 to 400,000 jobs annually over the next decade. Eliminating the law would increase health care costs and cause employers to reduce wages and cut jobs for those employees who already receive minimum wage or are in fixed contracts. From the report:

Figure 3 shows the net impact of repealing health reform on total employment. The baseline estimates show that 250,000 jobs will be lost annually if health reform is repealed. Annual job losses would average 400,000 using the greater estimate of 1.5 percentage point cost increases annually resulting from repeal. "

Posted by: fiona5 | January 7, 2011 1:19 PM | Report abuse

The liberal view of the Constitution is we like the real one, the legitimate, not the phony, falsified, whitewashed counterfeit, travesty and mockery read yesterday by the Confederate Party.

Posted by: fiona5 | January 7, 2011 1:23 PM | Report abuse

"Aside from the fact that increasing access to health services will create thousands of jobs in the health care sector..."

Yeah Baby! You heard it here first! Actually, it was over at The Fix, but this is The Mother of all stimulus bills. A culture totally dedicated to the concept of creating and consuming health care is an interesting prospect. A lot better than a bunch of ruggedly individual warrior wannabe men filling their foreclosed lives with items designed to simulate luxury.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 7, 2011 1:28 PM | Report abuse

"You heard it here first!"

You get props, Shrink. I remember you saying this long ago.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 7, 2011 1:39 PM | Report abuse

skip generally I don't agree with anything you write, days go by, but I soldier on, looking for something; it's the shrink in me I guess, I only block the one who is makes no attempt at communication (and we are seeing less and less of him, maybe he is finding some other place to defecate).

Anyway...

"The liberals here need to settle on a single vision for the insurance industry vis a vis Obamacare. did they profit greatly because of the deals made to get it passed?

Or do they wish to destroy it so that they can once again pillage the American people?

Which is it kids? Can't make up your mind?"

This is a good question. So, which is it? The answer is obvious.
But I'll let a fan of defending the ACA come out and say whether the insurance industry cares either way, whether they are at risk. Just kidding, of course they are not worried. With or without ACA, they just keep raking it in, pillaging, like those odious Capitol One adverts, "Where is your wallet?" They wrote themselves into ACA and they'll have no problems without it.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 7, 2011 1:40 PM | Report abuse

The insurance industry has been pillaging the American people for decades now -- what else is new?

Posted by: fiona5 | January 7, 2011 2:09 PM | Report abuse

"They were attending a fundraiser at the U.S. Capitol even though lawmakers are barred from using official resources for campaign or fund raising activities."

If true, i'd have no problem with them being expelled from the House. Not because they broke the rule, but because they're morons for not realizing you can walk across the street to Charlie Palmer to raise your cash.

Are these the same two who weren't sworn in yet? if so, there's your loophole.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | January 7, 2011 1:15 PM |

...................

It was the same two members. I would cut one of them some slack, since he is a newly elected freshman, but Session is a returning member from Texas, so he should know better, and the new member was probably just following Sessions' lead.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 7, 2011 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Silly rEPUBLICANS.

Posted by: hoser3 | January 7, 2011 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Liam-still, did you mean "a complete 180" instead?

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 7, 2011 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Democrats are protective of health care. That was the biggest thing they jammed through in their desperation to accomplish something. They did it against the public interest/wishes by most all accounts. To agree to repeal it now means they were wrong and they lost all the seats for nothing. They have no choice but to stand behind Obama care regardless of how ridiculous it is or how much we all know it will cost now. They cannot admit how stupid that whole debacle really was and how they lied to everyone including the public to get it passed. They used back door secret deals and literally bribed each other with exclusions for their states because they knew it was a bad deal in an effort to buy votes. They are now stuck with trying to justify Obama care anyway they can. We all know they cannot, it's time to call a bad idea a bad idea and move on. Lets face it Obama care sucks for the most part. Draft a new bill that includes the protections in the Obama bill add more good stuff to it and dump the bad stuff. This time lets use a little honesty and truth. (hard to do in Washington I know) Include everything in the bill not little bits here and little bits there to cover up the real cost in an effort to fool the public. Enough with the shell games. If it continues maybe the next bit of magic will be to make, Obama, and his demons, democrats or republicans disappear, like so many did in November 2010. My 2011 vote is for sale! The price is truth and honesty. I suspect there will be few qualifiers by 2011. Normally I try and pick the lesser of the evils. I have learned since Obama snuck into office giving deceitful speeches and telling lies that most politicians are devils. So evil none have earned my vote even as the lesser of the evils. In fairness to the American politician I say Heil Satan! I say this because I suspect Satan must be their supreme leader based on most of their questionable behavior.

Posted by: AmazedattheBS | January 7, 2011 8:30 PM | Report abuse

I think the GOP misunderstands. This evening on CBS, Katie Couric interviewed the CEO of a growing company. When she asked withether he agreed with the GOP push to repeal health care, he said what I believe (and this is a praphrase): He said, Confronttion is the wrong way to go. We should work together to build on what is good and change what needs to be changed.

I aqree totally. Most Americans don't want insurance companies to be able to exclude people because they become ill or have "pre-existing illnesses." They don't want them to be able to exclude sick children or children with autism.

Most Americans want to see the Medicare doughnut hole cut back. They want to see parents able to keep older children on their health insurance longer. They want to see Insurance companies required to spend at least 80% of what they collect in premiums for actual health care, not profits.

The polls show a close to even divide between those who support and those who oppose the health care bill with a few more who oppose, but when you break down those numbers, some oppose because they don't think the bill went far enough. They want a public option, etc.

In other words, health care reform is here to stay. Live with it and make it better.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | January 7, 2011 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Nobody in his right mind believes that Roger Ailes - a John Birch Society nutjob and low-caliber, dirty political strategist - is president of a legitimate news station.

The Fox "News" audience are being led by the nose like cattle.

Take down Roger Ailes and the fake "news" station he's president of. Stop the deliberate misinformation. Call for a halt to the insanity.

Posted by: jakrdy | January 7, 2011 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Hey wbg:

First of all I agree with a lot of what you say and the Greens are much closer to my views than the Democrats. Like across the street compared to across the world. But the Greens have no chance of winning, and a vote for anyone but the Democrats is FAIAP a vote for the GOP filth. Sorry, but we are generations away from a viable third party. All third parties do is split the vote of the two big parties and let the other big party get a potentially underserved win. Had Nader not done his vanity run in 2000, Bush never would have been President, the WTO would still be standing, and Saddam would still be keeping the radicals in line in Iraq.

And nobody is more disappointed with Obama than I am, nobody, and I've expressed my displeasure with him and much else in the most direct possible way.

But, that said, please do the other readers a favor and give it a god damned rest. We Get It, OK?

Posted by: caothien9 | January 8, 2011 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Hey wbg:

First of all I agree with a lot of what you say and the Greens are much closer to my views than the Democrats. Like across the street compared to across the world. But the Greens have no chance of winning, and a vote for anyone but the Democrats is FAIAP a vote for the GOP filth. Sorry, but we are generations away from a viable third party. All third parties do is split the vote of the two big parties and let the other big party get a potentially underserved win. Had Nader not done his vanity run in 2000, Bush never would have been President, the WTO would still be standing, and Saddam would still be keeping the radicals in line in Iraq.

And nobody is more disappointed with Obama than I am, nobody, and I've expressed my displeasure with him and much else in the most direct possible way.

But, that said, please do the other readers a favor and give it a god damned rest. We Get It, OK?

Posted by: caothien9 | January 8, 2011 12:20 AM | Report abuse

Check the news. The largest migration from the Democratic Party in history is underway. The reason is that Blue Dog Democrats and Old School Democrats do not view themselves as members of the Democratic Progressive Union Socialist Communist Party.

The re-shaping of the Republican Party will continue in the 2012 elections when more rino's are purged. Hopefully the Republicans will nominate someone like Mitch Daniels and not a rino or someone that has "baggage" from the religious right. We desperately need a leader that has the chops to take on the problems facing the Nation. We have tried the empty suit route and it is time someone with the background and capability to address the problems with the economy and jobs.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | January 8, 2011 6:56 PM | Report abuse

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