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Posted at 1:44 PM ET, 02/ 3/2011

For the GOP, there's no putting the `repeal' genie back in the bottle

By Greg Sargent

Yesterday I noted here that Mitch McConnell has taken to claiming that a majority of Americans support full repeal of the Affordable Care Act, even though this assertion simply isn't supported by the polling evidence.

Today, Jonathan Chait points us to Orrin Hatch also making this false claim, and notes that this has become an almost robotic talking point for Republicans. Chait asks whether Repubicans are falling into the trap of getting on the wrong side of public opinion without realizing what they're doing:

I understand the propaganda benefits of claiming the high ground of public opinion. I do wonder, though, if Republicans are actually falling into the trap of believing their own bullshit. The party blundered into the government shutdown fiasco under Clinton in large part because its propaganda apparatus asserted that the people agreed with them so loudly and repeatedly that Republicans came to believe it.

I don't know how repeal will end up playing for Republicans in the end. But one thing is clear: There is no way to put `repeal' genie that Repubicans unleashed by whipping their base up into a frenzy during the Long Hot Health Care Summer of 2009 back into the bottle.

Consider this article by the Post's Amy Goldstein, which quotes a range of Tea Partyers talking about the repeal of "Obamacare" in fervent and even messianic tones. They are prepared to invest years in realizing this goal. It's clear that for an untold number of base GOP voters, major questions about political and national identity are now bound up in repeal. An entire industry has been created around this new Holy Grail. There is now a big stake for a whole range of actors, some less reputable than others, in keeping millions of Americans emotionally invested in the idea that total repeal is not only achievable, but absolutely necessary to preserving their liberty and the future of the republic.

In the wake of yesterday's failed repeal vote, McConnell and other Repubicans insisted that they will press on with other tactics. It's unclear whether Republicans think such efforts have a real chance at success, or whether they are merely trash-talking to keep the base happy, and are privately hoping a Supreme Court decision bails them out. Dems hope that the GOP's repeal obsession will prove damaging to the party over time, as Republicans are forced to push for doing away with specific provisions that the public likes. But it also seems possible that for the GOP, banging the repeal drum could be an easy way to please the base while independents and moderates who are more ambivalent about the law tune out all the back and forth over repeal as meaningless Beltway white noise.

We don't know how this will shake out. But the point is that for Republicans, there is simply no going back at this point. Whether or not they want this crusade, they are stuck with it, come what may.

By Greg Sargent  | February 3, 2011; 1:44 PM ET
Categories:  Health reform, House GOPers, Senate Republicans  
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Comments

Has Paul Ryan introduced his Health Care Reforms Bill yet?

He told us, before the Health Care Reform bill was passed, that he had the Republican reforms ready to be voted on.

Now that The House has voted to repeal the Democrats' version of Health Care Reform; where is your bill Paul Ryan?

You said you had it already prepared, so:
Where Is The Beef; Mr. Beefer?

Posted by: Liam-still | February 3, 2011 1:49 PM | Report abuse

"At least we didn't get another health care article which only inside the beltway people and Fox are talking about."

I spoke too soon. :/

Just ask these clowns how they expect to expand coverage for the thousands that are being driven out of insurance because of premium hikes and pre-existing conditions and why they aren't addressing them in all their showboat bills they are introducing and leave it at that.

They are just making noise to make noise for political reasons.

It seems the only people talking about this garbage endlessly are DC focused political blogs and Fox, both of whom are trying to push an agenda for their corporate backers.

Obviously trying to pick apart Republican arguments doesn't work. It's apparent because A) they just crushed Dems at the ballot box B) they keep repeating them C) There are so many inconsistencies and lies it's impossible to track them down.

Besides, the oppositions strategy is to hammer, hammer and hammer and keep Dems on the defense talking about this crap until election time. They don't have to explain anything because they have so many channels to get their message across with nobody challenging them. FOX, NPR and C-SPAN are all there for them to go unchallenged to spread misinformation. They never speak specifics and just hammer at Obamacare.

Sorry, but I guess I'm so sick of the breathless reporting of a political party that has no real interest in Governing and making the country a better place for EVERYONE, not just the corporate society that fills their campaign coffers. There seems to be an insatiable want to chase these guys down breathlessly on everything they say. It's akin to the circus that ensues Palin. Cute at first but tiresome once you realize all that reporting on them isn't improving the quality of debate.


Sorry but I'm just grumpy.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 3, 2011 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Don't they have otehr business to attend to? Regardless of the merits or not of the helatcare plan, this is a large country with many other issues at hand. For one, something needs to be done regarding unemployment as it looks as if this is going to be a long term problem, not just caused by lazy people who don't want to work. How about immigartion reform or increase enforcement of existing laws? The be all and end all is not health care legislation.

Posted by: csintala79 | February 3, 2011 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Greg, you make repeal sound like an albatross that will hurt the GOP in '12. I think if they dwell on it to the exclusion of the budget and jobs, you'll be right. But I think they'll pivot now to the pressing issues of the day: cutting spending, deficit reduction, raising the debt limit, and promoting private sector job growth, they'll be fine. They'll hold the House in '12 and take the Senate. If not, "Speaker" Pelosi will return in Jan 13. Either way, though, I think Obama squeaks by to retain the Presidency.

Posted by: outsider6 | February 3, 2011 2:04 PM | Report abuse

The Right has no vested interest in anything *but* repeal at this point. The best they could hope for is that over time, with the failure to repeal, that the Teabaggers will move on to something else.

They are being driven by the folks @ Fox, et al, who *intentionally* ignore the polling on individual aspects of ACA.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 3, 2011 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Mike -- I get you're grumpy. But is there any chance that Republicans have a legitimate beef with HCR? Isn't it possible to reject the increasing power of the federal government and still give a rats a$$ about the public. It sure seems to me that Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner are equally devoted public servants. They just have dramatically different ideas on how to promote the general welfare. I think helping to secure health insurance for 43 million people is noble. I think it's necessary. I think its the only way to start getting costs under control. But I also think the solution the Dems passed sets a VERY dangerous precedent in federal government power, is unconstitutional (though Greg cites several conservative scholars who disagree), and should be scrapped. Does that mean have "no real interest in...making the country a better place for EVERYONE"? Or does it merely mean I have strong philosophical differences in HOW we can make the country better for everyone?

Posted by: outsider6 | February 3, 2011 2:14 PM | Report abuse

The Dems started a civil war over health care that will resonate for years by passing a government takeover of health care (the insurance companies will be mere utilities) by a wafer-thin, partisan margin. In the past, issues like Social Security and Medicare had broad, bipartisan backing, but the Dems decided to shove this down our throats ("we have to pass the bill to see what's in it"). Well, they should enjoy its regurgitation 'cause it's not going away.

Posted by: dan1138 | February 3, 2011 2:19 PM | Report abuse

"But is there any chance that Republicans have a legitimate beef with HCR?"

Not when some of the same clowns, Grassley and Hatch come to mind, that played a role in promoting the mandate are out acting like goofs on Fox day in day out saying its not Constitutional.

It's a political circus for these fools and the press is more than happy to breathlessly report on these clowns.

It's depressing to watch these discussions that aren't improving the legitimacy of the debate at all.

The same discussions have been going on since the debate began almost two years ago and we're still talking about the same garbage which leads me to believe the quality of debate will never improve, therefore it should be ignored and real problems should be addressed from the press and they should ignore these clowns and move on.

The press is getting suckers into endless circular arguments by these jokers. It's pathetic.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 3, 2011 2:22 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans are noted for wandering into tar pits. Like other dinosaurs, they will doom themselves to extinction. Future generations will study their bones and argue over the cause of their demise.

Posted by: FredinVicksburg | February 3, 2011 2:23 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans are noted for wandering into tar pits. Like other dinosaurs, they will doom themselves to extinction. Future generations will study their bones and argue over the cause of their demise.

Posted by: FredinVicksburg | February 3, 2011 2:25 PM | Report abuse

What's up with the scatological language, are you competing with the Dailykos?

Posted by: VastRightWingConspirator | February 3, 2011 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I completely agree with your article. All I get from the debates and comments is one of pending gloom and doom if health care is to carry on,I hear all sorts of opinions of how bad this bill will be for all Americans but; I hear little, to no spacifics from the opponents.I end up with a smoke and mirror dog and pony show. What are the spacifics of the health care bill? Where can everyday Americans like my self,read and make my own determinations if I want this bill. Perhaps posting some overviews of the items on the internet would help. I would like to address my congressman with spacific issues of the bill I like or do not. Not be spoon fed by dessenting politicians who I do not trust at this point to truely represent the American interest

Posted by: cliffc1 | February 3, 2011 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I completely agree with your article. All I get from the debates and comments is one of pending gloom and doom if health care is to carry on,I hear all sorts of opinions of how bad this bill will be for all Americans but; I hear little, to no spacifics from the opponents.I end up with a smoke and mirror dog and pony show. What are the spacifics of the health care bill? Where can everyday Americans like my self,read and make my own determinations if I want this bill. Perhaps posting some overviews of the items on the internet would help. I would like to address my congressman with spacific issues of the bill I like or do not. Not be spoon fed by dessenting politicians who I do not trust at this point to truely represent the American interest

Posted by: cliffc1 | February 3, 2011 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Dan -- while I agree the HCR is a poor bill that passed only due to super-majorities in both houses, I must take issue with you on SS and Medicare. Broad bipartisan support? Not even close! When FDR pushed SS through, the Dems had a numerical advantage of roughly 3-1 in the House AND Senate. Those Dem majorities were 2-1 in both houses during the Medicare debate. Both were just as strongly opposed by conservatives then as HCR is now. And like HCR, SS was cutting it close on constitutionality. FDR wasn't sure it would pass Constitutional muster. In fact, he tried to pack the court by increasing its size with 6 new justices to stack the deck in his favor (that effort failed). The point is, SS and Medicare were rammed through by Democrat super majorities. Just like HCR.

Posted by: outsider6 | February 3, 2011 2:35 PM | Report abuse

"What's up with the scatological language, are you competing with the Dailykos?'

That's the people who talk about "anal poisoning" all the time, isn't it?

Perhaps he's just adopting Peggy Noonan's nomenclature.

Posted by: bernielatham | February 3, 2011 2:35 PM | Report abuse

The GOP now has a record of Senate Democrats voting to keep a law that is unpopular with a majority of the public (Sargent argues otherwise, but the law's unpopularity played a big part in GOP successes in November). It remains to be seen if the public changes its mind about the law, but somehow I doubt over-reaching by the Federal government will be any more popular in 2012 than it was in 2010. Sargent can keep being a cheerleader for President Obama all he wants. I await the look of dumbfounded cluelessness on Sargent's face on election night 2012. Think Wade Phillips on the Cowboys' sideline.

Posted by: dockeppins | February 3, 2011 2:37 PM | Report abuse

It is simply amazing that the liberals don't get it. Can you guys be this deep in denial?

What the passage of HCR showed was:
(1) Utter contempt for the American people
(2) That liberals will lie and cheat to achieve a poltical objective.
(3)The people in DC don't recognize any limits to their power over the people.
(4) that fiscal responsibility was not something the government values, even if the people do.

HCR is just the latest lightning rod for the discharge of the anger toward their government that the Americans have.

I fully expect that the debt ceiling debate will be brutal. Unlike Mr Chait I have no problem with a government shut down.

Just Imagine Johnny ( You don't mind if I call you Johnny BS do you?) Americans would go for days and days without meetings at the Ag Dept wherein the agenda consists of a debate about how large an olive must be before it is considered "collosal" rather than "extra large". Repeat that ad nauseum and tell me again what we'll be missing if the Republicans grow a spine and cut the Federal credit card in half.

Darrell Issa and Ross-Liethenen promise multiple investigations and we've already got a CBO'er telling us that Obama care won't work.

yes this is hard ball. Using the rules that the liberals insisted upon during the Bush years. Two can play that game, and we're playing to win.

The point isn't necessarily a repeal of obamacare. It is that the citizens must demonstrate a willingness to place limits on their government now or learn to live comfortably with the yoke that the left intends to place on us.

Many of us would rather fight hard now. Here it comes kids. Let's see if your community organizer socialist is ready for a truly out raged electorate. I kinda doubt it.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 3, 2011 2:41 PM | Report abuse

everything coming out of a republicans mouth is a lie, this is just par for the course for them

Posted by: calif-joe | February 3, 2011 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Mike -- why is it that someone who thinks the law is unconstitutional is clown? I happen to agree with those clowns, simply based on the individual mandate. If Dems REALLY want universal coverage, all they had to do was what they did in 1935 for SS: create a new payroll tax to fund it, then make it available for all. That method has already proven constitutional many times. This individual mandate -- if allowed to persist -- sets a precedent we may all one day regret. I'm on board with the idea of universal coverage... it really is the only way to begin to solve the problem. But the ends don't justify the means.

Posted by: outsider6 | February 3, 2011 2:41 PM | Report abuse

"In the past, issues like Social Security and Medicare had broad, bipartisan backing"

Ronald Reagan released a record condemning Medicare and Social Security as socialist plots: "We are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children, what it once was like in America when men were free." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_Reagan_Speaks_Out_Against_Socialized_Medicine

In 1935 and in 1967, not only did Democrats have the Presidency and veto-override majorities, but the Republican party was full of liberal Rockefeller Republicans, and not as extreme as it is today. Ronald Reagan--who railed against Medicare and Social Security--is a moderate by Tea Party standards.

Posted by: theorajones1 | February 3, 2011 2:42 PM | Report abuse

@Mike

"Sorry but I'm just grumpy."

I share in your grump and your gripe. :-)

@Outsider..

"But I think they'll pivot now to the pressing issues of the day: cutting spending, deficit reduction, raising the debt limit, and promoting private sector job growth, they'll be fine."

Really? Of course you realize that wasn't the R's first pivot after this Quixotic attempt at repeal. Did they do anything about jobs? NO What issue did they address immediately after a bogus "repeal" attempt...ABORTION...and all the word games about "forcible" rape versus "consensual" rape.

"But is there any chance that Republicans have a legitimate beef with HCR?"

Sorry outsider but I'm afraid the answer is a resounding NO! They have a reason to be unhappy with it...but they have no "legitimate" beef because they betrayed our nation with their disgusting behavior during the entire HCR debate.

Let's look outsider and you are a rational measured poster so I hope you'll receive this not as some partisan rant but a search for how somebody like you could possibly think the R's have a "legitimate" beef.

How did the R's approach HCR after watching Obama secure the largest mandate in decades? Well Sen Jim Demented told them the strategy right at the beginning.
Did Demented mention ONE FREAKING WORD about any element of HCR that might be worth fighting for as an R...NADA...no just more republican BS..."Obama's Waterloo" When Obama called in key R officials early in the process and said here I'm tossing "tort reform" onto the table what are you willing to give me in return. NADA When Obama strived mightily to let that infamous "bi-partisan" group of Senators craft legislation with something for both parties how did the R's respond? With Grandpa Grassley not only dragging it out for the simple sake of obstruction and stalling..but Grandpa Grassley joined Sister Sarah in what Politifact termed "The Lie of the Year"
He took the talking point from the disgraced lobbyist who was humiliated, eviscerated on the air by John Stewart for her disingenuous arguments...yeah let's talk about pulling the plug on Granny and "Death Panels" because of a small part of the legislation that was introduced originally by a REPUBLICAN. Let's spend a lot of time fear mongering and talking about rationing as if it didn't ALREADY EXIST!!! That negated a critical discussion in this country about cost control which invariably will "still" include rationing...but hopefully sane rationing, not simple rationing for the sake of profit.

The R's have lied, distorted and behaved in traitorous fashion. They literally contributed nothing to the debate! And now you wish to say they have a "legimate" beef.

Sorry when it comes to HCR and the R's "legitimate" is the last word that comes to mind!

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 3, 2011 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Greg Sargent

At this point, YOU should not be called a "skeptic" on Obama's religion. Perhaps you should be referred to ONLY AS A FICTION WRITER.

YOU are the one who has ZERO BASIS for making the statements which you do.

Instead of reasoning, you are pushing fiction.


_________________________


Greg writes today:

Obama to prove yet again to "skeptics" that he's Christian: The President is set to give what the White House calls a "deeply personal address" about his faith at today's National Prayer Breakfast, and no matter what he says, it won't do a thing to stop people from saying his public displays of faith have somehow been wanting.

Personal plea: Please let's stop calling these folks "skeptics," as if they've based their conclusions about Obama's faith on recognizably rational thought processes and can somehow be persuaded to change their minds.


__________________________


"recognizably rational thought processes"


Actually based on FACTS


Obama was raised a MUSLIM

Pure and simple, that is a fact.


Obama attended a HATE CHURCH guided by BLACK LIBERATION THEOLOGY


That, Greg Sargent, is NOT CHRISTIANITY.


OK - you can stop with your ridiculous, silly attacks on the right which have ZERO basis in fact,


AND you are trying to establish a standard of "recognizably rational thought processes"


HOWEVER, one must point out to you GREG SARGENT that you RARELY BASE ANYTHING IN YOUR COLUMN ON "recognizably rational thought processes."


ONLY A FOOL would continue on and on the way you do.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | February 3, 2011 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Of course they are still speaking of repeal. That is why we elected them. I am still praying that the SCOTUS will declare this Socialist policy unconstitutional. Anything that came out of the Pelosi, Shummer, Durbin, Reid, Waxman,Soros Socialist Democratic leadership cadre should be declared unconstitutional I have no desire to live under the nanny state conditions that are found in California, Illinois or New York.

Posted by: twoeagle | February 3, 2011 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Calif-Joe: great contribution to the debate. Thanks.

@doc: Most polls from both sides show the law is unpopular but repeal isn't being clamored for by any but those to the far right. Really, its the individual mandate that has folks screaming. Things like no lifetime cap, no limits on pre-existing conditions, and keeping college kids insured til 26 are actually pretty popular.

@Skip: I don't think the Dems are in denial at all. I think they knew they'd get their butts handed to them in 2010. They're gambling that a) independents will forget by '12 and return Obama for 4 more years and b) The GOP will screw up again like the did from '02 to '08.

We'll see....

Posted by: outsider6 | February 3, 2011 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Re Egypt...One might expect Republicans (and the C of C) to openly talk about ceasing aid to the country given budgetary concerns here and the behavior of Mubarak.

But I'm betting we won't hear too much along these lines because, as I understand it, most of the aid goes to the military and, by law, the Egyptian military must spend its dollars on military products from American corporations.

Posted by: bernielatham | February 3, 2011 2:54 PM | Report abuse

"They're gambling that a) independents will forget by '12 and return Obama for 4 more years and b) The GOP will screw up again like the did from '02 to '08."

To be fair, that's a pretty safe bet.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | February 3, 2011 2:54 PM | Report abuse

OT (sorry), but an interesting photo from Egypt:

"Secular Solidarity"

An Egyptian reader emails a photo that's been bouncing around Twitter. He explains:

A pic from yesterday of Christians protecting Muslims during their prayers. Hoping we'll be seeing this tomorrow during Friday prayer.

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2011/02/secular-solidarity.html

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 3, 2011 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Greg Sargent

No one in the country cares what your polls say.

For some reason, you seem to believe, insist, that your version of the polling is the ONLY POSSIBLE TRUTH IN THE WHOLE WORLD


For you, I would have to say that such an attitude is insanity setting in, and you should have that checked out.


Whatever your personal mental state, Greg, the American People do NOT want this health care plan. They are going to get rid of it. You can poll whoever you want, asked thme whatever slanted questions you want.


YOU seem to forget that polls are usually quick telephone questions - and they RARELY INVOLVE CAREFUL CONSIDERATION OF COSTS.

So, the clear answer is YOUR polls are flawed.


Keep going, with the insisting on your version of reality.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | February 3, 2011 3:00 PM | Report abuse

More Egypt. Here's a link to a long list of journalists who've been attacked, harassed or detained: http://abcworldnews.tumblr.com/post/3089328425/weve-compiled-a-list-of-all-the-journalist-who
Apparently the current Egyptian gov't has little concern about opinion in the int'l community.

Posted by: AllButCertain | February 3, 2011 3:01 PM | Report abuse

All, a question for Republican and conservative readers:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/02/what_would_conservatives_do_fo.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | February 3, 2011 3:03 PM | Report abuse

What worries me (and should worry you) is that involvement of federal courts (which Bush and Gonzales worked so hard to saturate with right wingers, and which the GOP has blocked nearly ALL of Obama's appointments) - - - - can go all the way to the Supreme Court...Which is obviously dominated by very right wing ideology, and significantly influenced by dark ages Vatican dogma.

Boiled down: The Supreme Court will CERTAINLY rule for Pharmaceutical and Health Insurance Corporations, that is, in favor of McConnell and his fellow robber barons.

Posted by: lufrank1 | February 3, 2011 3:05 PM | Report abuse

I really think Karl Rove and the GOP needs to make up his/their mind:

(in hus WSJ column today) Rove starts getting more specific, blasting the (ACA)law for cutting unnecessary Medicare spending, which may make "Granny" vulnerable.

Which leads to Rove's conclusion: what's needed are Medicare cuts.

Thanks in good measure to Mr. Obama's profligacy, the entitlement crisis is no longer a vague, abstract concern. More and more Americans understand the current course leads to a disaster for the nation's finances. And so the public may be willing to go places and do things that in the past it may not have.

This is an unusual and fluid moment. My hunch is voters are more inclined than ever to reward the political party that addresses entitlement reform -- and more inclined than ever to punish the one that fiddles while America's fiscal house burns.

I see. So, Karl Rove is of the opinion that Democrats did something awful by cutting unnecessary Medicare spending without touching Medicare benefits, which clears the way for Republicans do something he considers worthwhile -- cutting Medicare.

I'd be surprised if Rove wrote his columns himself, but whoever wrote the first half of the piece probably should have been in touch with whoever wrote the second half.

Postscript: Rove's column also touts the Medicare prescription drug benefit he helped get through Congress. What he neglected to mention was that Part D was approved through remarkable corruption, cost roughly the amount of the Affordable Care Act, all which Rove and his GOP added to the deficit -- unlike Democrats, who actually paid for their bill.

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2011_02/027833.php

Posted by: pragmaticagain | February 3, 2011 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Recently I spent some time reading LBJ's memoir "vantage points". In it he mentions that a fair number of his house members in his party went down to defeat after voting for key parts of his socialist transfer payment scheme. LBJ said (I'm paraphrasing) "They had their day in the sun". It seems that sacrificing others is just what socialist oriented presidents do. That is not surprising given how many millions dies at the hands of communist "leaders" seeking to implement their dream.

I don't think the independants will forget because I don't think that we'll let them. In addition, looking at the lay of the land in the senate for the next cycle the Democrats are facing a major problem. That's fine by me.

But denial notwithstanding, repeal of Obamacare is just one theatre in a war against an overbearing government and the party that is driving it. Oh my, I used military metaphors. I hope that doesn't target me for reprisal. Oh wait, I did it again.

I think the fight with the EPA will very entertaining. I can't wait for the bureaucrats to tell us why Al Gore is right and the rest of us are wrong. That should stand as a perfect example of what is wrong with America today.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 3, 2011 3:07 PM | Report abuse

BTW outsider....I do agree with your take on what should have happened. Progressives have a "legitimate" beef with what transpired because we were screaming and yelling the entire time about a single payer Medicare for all solution. Which by the way WAS the will of the people in poll after poll after poll despite what the very poorly informed righties on this blog wish to believe.

http://www.wpasinglepayer.org/PollResults.html

Obama's "Waterloo" was the he approached the R's in good faith believing in compromise...they were NEVER about to bargain in "good faith" and he ended up with mish mash of goo that has satisfied neither side.

Medicare for all would have been neat, clean and very simple to understand. Obama could have pointed to the obvious fairness argument...WTF is so special about the age 65. Why do my employees pay for the 65+ to have health insurance when they themselves have none. Can one of the pin brained Conservatives explain that one...not really because their argument would not be that it's unfair for 65+ to have while nobody else does..their argument is take it away from the 65+ crowd as well...and I have to confess that would be fair...if disgusting.

BTW Medicare for all would not have been the end of "private" insurance. Every senior I know...all middle class...none below the poverty line where Medicaid kicks in...all pay for "supplemental insurance" The Gov't could have provided the basics...the private insurance companies the bells and whistles...like health club memberships etc.

This could have easily been phased in over several years to allow the Feds to catch up with staffing, computers etc. 2010 drop the age from 65-55...2011..down to 45...2012...35...until you get universal coverage. As much as I admire Obama for the life of me I can't believe he didn't see such a simple and eminently supportable solution which already had the majority of public opinion behind as illustrated in the series of polls I linked.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 3, 2011 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Apparently the sun don't shine wherever Bush's loyal soldiers landed after 2006. I guess Bush must be a socialist, then.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 3, 2011 3:15 PM | Report abuse

rukidding - agreed. But Obama couldn't pass Medicare for all. See all the screeching about "government takeover" - and that's with no public option even. The Republicans and Blue Dogs would have never allowed Medicare for all to go through.

Posted by: JennOfArk | February 3, 2011 3:17 PM | Report abuse

In case you want to find out the facts about how The Affordable Care Act will affect you go to www.healthcare.gov You can find out what is REALLY in the law. All Americans will be able to enjoy the benefits, so we all need to participate. Repeal will be devastating to our country. We need to move to a country of wellness, not profit mongering/illness.

Posted by: fossilart | February 3, 2011 3:23 PM | Report abuse

A number of jokers on the political right also want to repeal a number of constitutional amendments. But in the end, they will want to repeal anything that smacks of anything liberal, like democracy.


Posted by: kgblankinship1 | February 3, 2011 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Yes, this is of course a suitable diversion for the Republicans, who promised us a focus on job creation. For which they have nothing at all to offer. What we learned in the last election was that if they can keep the "base" stirred up and angry they can win elections. This seems like a good way to keep the wackos screaming. In the meantime, their only hope of repeal is the Roberts court.

Posted by: gposner | February 3, 2011 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Ah, yes. Those always honest polls the Post runs.......45% D, 19% (R), 36% (I). That is how you get the numbers the post wants.

Posted by: j751 | February 3, 2011 3:27 PM | Report abuse

How about repealing:

-All Ag subsidies
-Tax cuts for the rich (we can have that debate again too)
-Iraq/Afghanistan war funding
-40% of pentagon funding

Those could be some worthy repeals

Posted by: staussfamily | February 3, 2011 3:29 PM | Report abuse

"Obviously trying to pick apart Republican arguments doesn't work. It's apparent because A) they just crushed Dems at the ballot box B) they keep repeating them C) There are so many inconsistencies and lies it's impossible to track them down."

But it's all part of the same thing. Take for example your statement "they just crushed" the Dems at the ballot-box". It's the standard sophistry of combination hyperbole and omission. We had a national election in which many of our Congressional and Senatorial seats were up for reelection. There was a 60-seat swing in the House. This by definition means that many of the seats were won by Democrats. More seats were won by Republicans than by Democrats and the Democrats held more seats to start with. But it is important to remember that only so many people get to vote for each seat and no votes overlap between seats. The distinction is incredibly significant, yet overlooked indeed ignored on a regular basis by Republicans and Republican fan-boys.

My guess -I've yet to see an analysis of the election along these lines- is that based on population the seats swung to the left. That is to say as the number of voters represented by the seat increased, the more likely it is that the election went to the Democratic candidate over the Republican candidate. Just my guess based on past trends and the fact that the Senate only had a 3-seat swing while there was this "earth-shattering" swing in the House. Really probably more of a mirror-image of what happened in 2008 and probably the House is perhaps slightly Republican on average. Like I said before I don't know this for sure, just based on the sparse information that I've seen in major media outlets.

It would however be nice to see a proper analysis of voting trends but we all know that in politics all that really matters is the last election ;)

Posted by: tokenwhitemale | February 3, 2011 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Hey Sgt. Schulz, I think a little thing like The Constitution is going to run interference for the GOP. Public opinion, I think public opinion spoke in November, I distinctly remember something along the lines of "SHELLACKING" somewhere in the national discourse. Oh and while some courts have declared Obamacare unconstitutional, TheOne is busily granting "waivers" to his "contributors" to avoid this cluster_uck, and the Senate is taking out parts by HUGE margins, the dreaded 1099 as we speak. Guess maybe the 'ol "We Have To Pass It To Find Out What's In It" isn't working out quite the way the Dimwits had hoped. And to think they only took 2 years to ramrod this clunker down their own parties' throats. Oh well what's 63 lost House Seats, 6 lost Senate seats and score amoung score of lost State Houses amongst friends. Only in Liberal Wonderland. You Betcha!!!! What's TheOne's position on it today? Is it politically expedient to call it a non-tax today or does he have to admit it is a tax so that it withstands a legal argument. Man it was just so much easier when he could just vote PRESENT and tout the Hope and Change Mantra!

Posted by: bobcatbuzz | February 3, 2011 3:39 PM | Report abuse

"The GOP now has a record of Senate Democrats voting to keep a law that is unpopular with a majority of the public (Sargent argues otherwise, but the law's unpopularity played a big part in GOP successes in November). "

More right-wing sophistry:
You have an article here in which the author refers to numerous instances of politicians making claims that aren't supported by polling data.

You attempt to refute the authors' basis for the article by referring to a recent election in which Republicans won a significant advantage in the House, and you then claim a "major factor" of this was national displeasure with a certain law. And that's your proof that the law is actually unpopular?

Really is that the best that you can do?

You need to Google "circular logic". Seriously. You have no proof that the House swing was a result of national displeasure with the health-care law...that is the very issue that is the basis of this article. The poll numbers say otherwise.

You are engaging in the very sophistry that is the subject of this article....in attempting to refute the premise of the article about right-wing sophistry!

It is par for the course: stick your fingers in your ears and shout louder.

Posted by: tokenwhitemale | February 3, 2011 3:39 PM | Report abuse

RUK just about completely mischaracterizes the Rove essay in today's WSJ. As in gets it completely wrong.

the simple fact is that the Democrats DID cut Medicare benefits, rude protestations to the contrary from RUK notwithstanding.

The Medicare advantage program was very popular among seniors. With the hacking that Obama gave it, HMO's are declining participation. That means less availability of this desirable option.

RUK can distort this anyway that suits his version of liberal truthiness, but Medicare patients will see it as a cut. And they will respond accordingly.

What is also interesting is that RUK neglects to mention recent CBO testimony that makes the game clear: the cuts to Advantage were to use to reduce the deficit created by Obamacare. It won't be used to keep Medicare solvent. Obama and the Democrats tried to count it twice. Gosh, they must have thought it was election day. They put the fix in but it does'nt seem to have worked this time.

And does Rove call for "cuts" to Medicare in his essay? Uh, no. Here's his words:
"What the country most needs—and what the GOP must now advocate—is a fundamentally new approach to containing health-care costs."

spreading lies about other commenters is easy as there is no method of validation. Spreading lies about something readily available on the internet makes no sense at all.

If we are to have a serious discussion we need to focus on the issues and the ideas. RUK, apparently doesn't want that. He just wants to win. Whatever that means and whatever that takes.

So much for civility. So much for ethics.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 3, 2011 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Almost all independent research studies regarding attitudes on the "health care reform" act show that a majority of Americans were opposed at the time of passage and remain opposed today. One wonders where Sargent gets his numbers but them I am reminded that this is the Post where Post writers can quote other Post writers as proof of any point they want to make. The two big lies in this argument are (1) that the bill had anything to do with improving health care and (2) that forced insurance would result in better health care for the 34 million uninsured (most of whom were uninsured because they wanted it that way). The real output has been in increase in costs that the bill supposed was designed to prevent without a corresponding improvement in either health care or coverage. Forget for a moment that the entire law is illegal and focus on a single point...do you have better health care today than you did this time last year?

Posted by: wantingbalance | February 3, 2011 3:49 PM | Report abuse

The Dems started a civil war over health care that will resonate for years by passing a government takeover of health care (the insurance companies will be mere utilities) by a wafer-thin, partisan margin. In the past, issues like Social Security and Medicare had broad, bipartisan backing, but the Dems decided to shove this down our throats ("we have to pass the bill to see what's in it"). Well, they should enjoy its regurgitation 'cause it's not going away.

-----------

"In the past, issues like Social Security and Medicare had broad, bipartisan backing."

Are you kidding? Republicans have been trying to kill Social Security and Medicare since their inseption. In fact, they have used the same arguments against them in the past as they do today about health care legislation. The problem they face now is that most folks like these programs, and will probably like HC too in time. Keep your facts straight and don't forget that this country still practices democratic processes. Republican mantra: "hell, no."

Posted by: sr31 | February 3, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

"Mike -- why is it that someone who thinks the law is unconstitutional is clown? "

They are clowns because they both were proponents of the mandate. Their positions flipped to jump onto the political bandwagon. They don't have the courage to stand by their conviction.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 3, 2011 3:54 PM | Report abuse

"Almost all independent research studies regarding attitudes on the "health care reform" act show that a majority of Americans were opposed at the time of passage and remain opposed today."

Highly suspect, given that over the past 15 years, a susbtantial majority has favored single-payer- which goes way beyond the affordability act.

Posted by: staussfamily | February 3, 2011 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Hey tokenwhitemale, your right, polling data can be flawed. Some polling "experts" predicted a GOP landslide last November, in part due to the Public's disapproval of Obamacare and/or the "process" the Dimwits had to undertake with such small things like with Cornhusker Kickback/Louisiana Purchase backroom deals, etc., of their OWN party members to get that cluster_uck passed. I guess the Christmas Eve vote was appropriate, it appears to be the gift that just keeps on giving. In fact the Landslide didn't occur, it just happened to be a mere SHELLACKING. I guess that's a major difference in Liberal Wonderland, polling be damned. Speaking of sticking fingers or heads somewhere. Just a thought though, IF, the public supports Obamacare and it passed with only Dimwit votes, wouldn't "logic" suggest the Dimwits would have gained seats across the land instead of losing them in droves?

Posted by: bobcatbuzz | February 3, 2011 4:04 PM | Report abuse

@staussfamily
you wrote:
"Highly suspect, given that over the past 15 years, a susbtantial majority has favored single-payer- which goes way beyond the affordability act.:"

Provide some proof of this contention.


thanks

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 3, 2011 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Jonathan Chait? Is he a member of that dreadful emo band, The Jonathans, with Jonathan Cohn and Jonathan Martin and several other leftist wusses named Jonathan?

Hey, Greg, if the GOP has created a Repeal Monster to go after the ObamaCare Monster, could we make a godzilla movie out of it? Repeal Monster Vs. Godzilla Monster, in 3D, coming to an IMAX near you. I'm there already. Where's James Cameron when you finally need him?

Posted by: tom75 | February 3, 2011 4:19 PM | Report abuse

@Jenn

"rukidding - agreed. But Obama couldn't pass Medicare for all. See all the screeching about "government takeover" - and that's with no public option even. The Republicans and Blue Dogs would have never allowed Medicare for all to go through"

While I certainly accept your point about the "political" difficulty, where we may disagree is about the possibility. I agree with you the political hurdles were formidable however..if Obama had roared into office with first the stimulus and then immediately adopted a "real" attitude of eff the R's they're irrelevant because we know they're not "really" going to participate...he could have jumped on that bully pulpit and used public opinion..again if you haven't read the compendium of polls...they all show a plurality favoring a single payer solution.

http://www.wpasinglepayer.org/PollResults.html

We're not talking about a few outliers here..these were polls conducted by a wide swath of organizations, not just lefty leaning ones, including multiple physicians groups. Obama could have harnessed the people power...said this is what I was elected to do...scr%w you (obviously not stated so directly :-) R's I'm ramming this through. He could have made sure it gone done before all those insane town hall meetings fired up by the astroturfing insurance stooges.

He's already accused of socialism..ramming it through behind closed doors..he should have gotten something for all those R accusations. I think it would have been manifestly easier to sell Medicare for all, something EVERYBODY understands, than some obtuse program that really doesn't please anybody.

Let the R's try to repeal that after the 55+ crowd had enjoyed the benefits for a year..the most needy crowd btw..alas I speak from personal experience of $20,000+ premiums for a very healthy couple. Then let them tell the 45 year olds..nope you're not going to get your turn...

Well you get my drift Jenn. I think he aimed way too low, still got clobbered by the disingenuous conservatives...might as well have gone for the whole enchilada.
BTW If he tried and failed he would still be ahead of his position vis a vis HCR than he is now...yeah he has a program...it's being litigated...it's being used to bash him over the head repeatedly. How would the R's be able to refer to Medicare as Obamacare...that one pejorative alone has provided plenty of mileage among the weak minded and racists in our nation...ohhhh no Obamacare.

Sorry for such a rant Jenn. I do take your point...and indeed you are perhaps correct...I would have rather tried for "real" success and failed than the warm bucket of spit hodge podge he eventually came up with.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 3, 2011 4:21 PM | Report abuse

@skippy

"RUK just about completely mischaracterizes the Rove essay in today's WSJ. As in gets it completely wrong."

I did? Can you give me the timestamp of any post I've had today about Rove's WSJ essay.
Didn't read it...don't care to...

If you're going to hurl the pejoratives around perhaps you might at least ID the correct poster.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 3, 2011 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Sorry - Just can't govern. They're great at campaigning, but once the division and hot rhetoric has passed, they are incapable of producing anything. Maybe 2012 will FINALLY be the end of them.

Posted by: TOMHERE | February 3, 2011 4:30 PM | Report abuse

It is always confusing when the same set of humanoids repeatedly fail to separate long term and short term benefits. The advent of the internet and its various engines has afforded us access to information. Some of this is factual but a lot is opinion of under-informed and someetimes cerebrally disabled writers and speakers. We need to have an ability to detect the differences between fact and fiction. We are currently aware of the place in which the average high school graduate occupies in the world standing of peers. We also see the crime and imprisonment statistics competing well with countries whose politics we disparage. These things did not happen overnight.
People who propose the maintenance of healthcare as a privilege must be regarded as shills for industries who have no interest in the other 99%. Perhaps we need to have some other not yet described epidemic or endemic sneak upon us before we understand the value of healthcare...preventive and primary in particular. We recently had Swine Flu which was hyped inappropriately because of late and lousy information. Prior to that , we saw Tuberculosis sneak from the warehouses to which it had allegedly been banished (inner city poor) into the suburbs. HIV had all sorts of names and etiologies before it was found to be a non discriminatory heterosexual disease with all modes of spread. Egalitarian healthcare could be a means of early information as well as productive longevity. There are challenges involved in the introduction of anything new. One of these should not be intentional, sustained and widespread misinformation.
There is that image of the Gingrich/DeLay led group, on the steps at the Capitol, with their hand over the chest while doing rote play. The GOP led opposition to improving healthcare would be just as laughable if it were not disabling and deadly. In supporting healthcare for all, the life you save may be your own.

Posted by: Draesop | February 3, 2011 4:37 PM | Report abuse

@skippy

Highly suspect, given that over the past 15 years, a susbtantial majority has favored single-payer- which goes way beyond the affordability act.:"

Provide some proof of this contention.

http://www.wpasinglepayer.org/PollResults.html

Can you read skippy. Please point out which polls you think are done by organizations without credibility....

Perhaps the Kaiser Health Tracking Poll?

Time Magazine?

CBS/New York Times?

Quinnipiac?

Annals of Internal Medicine, Study of Physician Support of National Health Insurance.?

AP - Yahoo News Poll?

New Hampshire Medical Society, Survey of New Hampshire Physicians?

CNN/Opinion Research Poll?

Minnesota Medicine Magazine, Poll of Minnesota Physicians?

The Harris Poll?

They all show the same thing! Including the polls of physicians!

Skippy turn off the Faux news...stop drinking the kool aid and do some reading and get informed before you embarrass yourself even more.

BTW You're welcome.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 3, 2011 4:42 PM | Report abuse

did I get it wrong? It is possible a lot going on today.

yeah, I scrolled up and noticed that I blew it. OK, thanks for pointing out the error.

As you can imagine I'm less than impressed with the American left these days. And yeah, I'm sharing that disgust with the folks here who participated in the calumny and continue to hold their political opponents in contempt.

I apologize for incorrectly attributing the lies to you. It was another "ends justifies the means" fellow and not you.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 3, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

This whole conversation reminds me of my parents' description of how republicans, right wingers, business people, "the elite", however they would have been described then and however they would be described now, spoke about Roosevelt during the 1930's.

"That man". They couldn't even bring themselves to speak his name. "That socialist in the White House". They couldn't admit that his goal was to save capitalism from its own excesses, not to destroy it.

I wasn't there and I'm no historian, but I know there were other, much stronger epithets.

Which is not even to mention his wife Eleanor, and the way they spoke of her and her efforts in the civil rights area.

Maybe we haven't learned that much in three quarters of a century, after all.

Posted by: seattle_wa | February 3, 2011 5:16 PM | Report abuse

No problem Skip...I get called a lot worse than you unloaded...searching back btw I think it was pragmatic who brought up the Rove piece...since I almost always agree with prag I don't mind taking the heat. :-)

I am curious though about the "calumnies" I've been tossing around about HCR.

Specifically...what do you make of all those polls showing how American actually feel.

I showed this compendium to a Faux News watching friend who thought as you did that everyone was against the "socialist" and single payer was awful and people hated it...as he read poll after poll after poll it was..uhhh...duhhhh...errrr...

Perhaps you'd like to add your own duh in response to the large amount of evidence I just provided that shows you...YES Americans do favor a single payer Medicare for All solution to our health care problem.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 3, 2011 5:17 PM | Report abuse

That's not proof. Not even close.

Thanks for proving my point about today's angry lefties. You guys are classic sore losers. Thin skin isn't very helpful in today's rough and tumble.

This is the environment you on the left created. I see no reason not to press hard. the stakes are high and we know how the game is played.

Hey RUK, there's no reason to be angry with me. Just call your momma to pick you up if you can't play well with others.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 3, 2011 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Excellent commentary! And to add to their (republicans) befuddlement, Sen. Nelson of Florida is offering a bill to speed up the Supreme Court’s review (constitutionality of the health care law). IMHO, regardless of what the Supreme Court decides, they republicans won’t have “Obamacare” as a political club anymore. Even if the Supreme Court decides the healthcare law “unconstitutional” the republican’s will have to privet very quickly to solutions and specificity or very quickly construct the next new straw man.Let's watch and see.

Posted by: gw1spoon1vote | February 3, 2011 5:30 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans are overlooking at their great risk a distinct possibility that their success last November was based on dissatisfaction with economic progress, not health care. There's not a majority for complete repeal, and it appears that a sizable percentage of people want a few revisions here and there. Moreover, the Republican promise was "repeal and replace," but no one's breathing a word about replacing.
People want JOBS. If the Republicans really speak for the American people as they claim, they'll get to work on meaningful reductions in joblessness. If those reductions don't happen, 2012 will be a very bad year for them.

Posted by: amstphd | February 3, 2011 5:52 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans are overlooking at their great risk a distinct possibility that their success last November was based on dissatisfaction with economic progress, not health care. There's not a majority for complete repeal, and it appears that a sizable percentage of people want a few revisions here and there. Moreover, the Republican promise was "repeal and replace," but no one's breathing a word about replacing.
People want JOBS. If the Republicans really speak for the American people as they claim, they'll get to work on meaningful reductions in joblessness. If those reductions don't happen, 2012 will be a very bad year for them.

Posted by: amstphd | February 3, 2011 5:53 PM | Report abuse

The GOP is wasting time on a lot of things other than the economy, jobs, etc. Still seeking to trash, rather that remodel--in quest of their envisioned conservative dictatorship. A good example is one of the latest bills out of the house, just another shot at reducing women's reproductive rights--redefining "rape" to exclude everything other than "forcible rape." I won't try to describe the details here . . . check it out.

Posted by: TomCamfield | February 3, 2011 6:18 PM | Report abuse

two observations:

First is that JOBS JOBS JOBS was the rallying cry prior to the election. JOBS will solve the deficit problem. Why all these distractions?

Second is that a true Public Option - Medicare for All as my congressman calls it - would be legal and enforceable throughout the nation. There is existing legal precedent.

Posted by: boscobobb | February 3, 2011 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Though I support health care reform, the individual mandate has worried me.

But, it seems the sticking point is forcing a person to purchase a product in the private market.

Let's try this.

The government has determined that it is in the general interest that everyone have access to healthcare. If you wish to obtain your healthcare through your employer or purchase it yourself, that fulfill the general interest.

If you cannot or do not obtain healthcare through private arrangements, the government will provide healthcare and charge you a fee for it.

Basically it's a public program with an opt-out mechanism.

If the government wishes to subcontract public healthcare to private providers (e.g., Medicaid/Medicare) or to private networks assembled by an insurance company, the government can do so.

So we'd have a reproduction of the provisions of the Congressionally mandated healthcare for the merchant marine passed in 1798, with opt-out added.

http://blogs.forbes.com/rickungar/2011/01/17/congress-passes-socialized-medicine-and-mandates-health-insurance-in-1798/

Posted by: j3hess | February 3, 2011 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Skip,

Lumping RUKidding's polite replies among "the angry left" is ad hominem. You two are having a dialog and when he provides evidence you call him names.

Also Skip, you don't seem aware of the facts of "Medicare Advantage cuts." I kept seeing those inflammatory - and false - claims on FauxNoise during the election.

The cuts were to the COST-PLUS form of paying for-profit insurers a guaranteed 12-19% profit. Cut out the useless middleman and save taxpayers $50 billion a year! What's not to like about that?

You note that some HMOs are not accepting MA because they are no longer getting that 12-19% profit! But there are many who still do accept.

The Medicare Advantage fraud was perpetrated upon the public during the Bush era as a payoff to political cronies. It literally created a for-profit middleman to hold the taxpayer's money, charge a fee, and then distribute it to seniors. We already have a low-cost mechanism to make direct payments to seniors.

If Obama proposed $50 billion a year pure profit political payoff what would the Tea Party do? Note they were silent when Bush did it. It was those profits that paid for the disinforming TV commercials you saw.

Posted by: boscobobb | February 3, 2011 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Greg Sargent

At this point, YOU should not be called a "skeptic" on Obama's religion. Perhaps you should be referred to ONLY AS A FICTION WRITER.

YOU are the one who has ZERO BASIS for making the statements which you do.

Instead of reasoning, you are pushing fiction.


_________________________


Greg writes today:

Obama to prove yet again to "skeptics" that he's Christian: The President is set to give what the White House calls a "deeply personal address" about his faith at today's National Prayer Breakfast, and no matter what he says, it won't do a thing to stop people from saying his public displays of faith have somehow been wanting.

Personal plea: Please let's stop calling these folks "skeptics," as if they've based their conclusions about Obama's faith on recognizably rational thought processes and can somehow be persuaded to change their minds.


__________________________


"recognizably rational thought processes"

Actually such statements are based on FACTS

Obama was raised a MUSLIM

Pure and simple, that is a fact.

Obama attended a HATE CHURCH guided by BLACK LIBERATION THEOLOGY

That, Greg Sargent, is NOT CHRISTIANITY.

OK - you can stop with your ridiculous, silly attacks on the right which have ZERO basis in fact,

AND you are trying to establish a standard of "recognizably rational thought processes"

HOWEVER, one must point out to you GREG SARGENT that you RARELY BASE ANYTHING IN YOUR COLUMN ON "recognizably rational thought processes."

ONLY A FOOL would continue on and on the way you do.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | February 3, 2011 8:02 PM | Report abuse

One of our two major political parties now has as its # 1 goal -- not fixing our economy, not keeping our country secure, but getting President Obama out of office. That's an accurate paraphrase from Senator McConnell, Senate Minority Leader. I interpret his words as a 'dogwhistle' calling for Republicans to covertly sabotage our economy and then blame the 'double dip' on Obama. Of course, the Republicans don't control the Senate, so they have to try meat-ax government cost reductions and hope that those fly in the Senate with a few Democrat votes and that Obama won't veto them. The House majority Republicans can be counted on to all robotically vote the way that their glorious leader tells them to.

In the Senate, however, their Glorious Leader there has tilted the windmill, failed to knock it over, fallen off his horse, and broken his lance. Tears, anybody?

Posted by: chuck8 | February 3, 2011 9:21 PM | Report abuse

I think the republicans are gambling on a zero sum game again. But the dynamics are different.

1) They have the House. Can't sit in the back row and just throw spitballs anymore. Govern or perish.

2) The next big race is a presidential year. Moderates and independents are tiring of the zero sum games and will vote.

3) HCR's parts are going into effect. Harder to demonize something people know.

4) The hysterical Obama hatred is getting old and a parody of itself.

Posted by: Alex3 | February 5, 2011 2:45 AM | Report abuse

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