What to do if you're a card-carrying tea party member today, in the aftermath of NJ and VA. Question your morals? Admit your views are fringe and candidates espousing them are unelectable in general elections?
Of course not. You blame Obamacare.
Cuccinelli in his concession speech:
“This race came down to the wire because of Obamacare,” Cuccinelli said in an emotional concession speech, telling supporters that despite his loss, “you sent a message to the president of the United States . . . that Obamacare is a failure. . . . We were lied to by our own government in its effort to restrict our liberty.”Erick Erickson sobs to Redstate:
The GOP will take the lesson from Virginia that if they aren’t suddenly socially liberal they’re going to lose nationwide. Instead, they should pay attention to how quickly the polling gap closed once Cuccinelli turned the race into a referendum on Obamacare. And they should also note that being pro-life in Virginia was not what did in Ken Cuccinelli. McAuliffe tried to mobilize his whole base with a “war on women” strategy and nearly lost once Cuccinelli attacked Obamacare head on.Mike McKenna piles on:
“If we had had five more days, or 5 million more dollars, we would have won,” said Michael McKenna, a Republican strategist in Virginia, who also said Tuesday’s results will be studied by candidates heading into the next two federal elections. “Obamacare is toxic. Democratic senators up in either 2014 or 2016 are probably terrified at what happened in Virginia.”Where's the hard evidence that opinions of Obamacare drove the results? Oh, there isn't any. The website fiasco began on October 1, the shutdown ended on October 16th, and after brief polling surges McAuliffe lead averages returned to 4-8 points, where they had been all fall. And where they sat on Election eve. This represents a failure of polling, not an indictment of Obamacare.
But ladies and Gentlemen of Kosland, I heartily endorse this GOP strategy. Because I think that will backfire dramatically as 2014 unfolds. And by then it will be too late.
I understand the temptation, mind you. Healthcare.gov rolled out to a ton of problems. But here's the thing -- those problems are temporary. They'll be fixed. That the election happened to take place within the short window when the problems were the focus of so much attention? Well that's just horribly awful luck -- for Republicans.
Because picture this: the website is fixed up at the end of November. A sober announcement is made: come sign up. A glitch or two will persist but it will work. Thus it will fade from the news. Instead of reports of errors there will be stories of success. And then we'll be into the holidays, December will blink by, and before you know it it'll be January. And -- look here! Previously uncovered people will actually have coverage! Little kids going to the doctor or dentist. Tearful stories of years of uncertainty now over -- we are so grateful. Human faces -- happy human faces, under the solid protection of government-regulated, fair, affordable health care -- will begin to be shown.
Still the GOP will have to run on what they said they'd run on: "Obamacare is destroying the country."As the March 1 deadline approaches, a huge uptick in sign-ups. A few paying the penalty -- more money into the ACA's coffers. More success stories. Millions now enrolled. The numbers keep going up and up.
Still the GOP will have to run on what they said they'd run on: "Obamacare is destroying the country."April comes -- on Tax Day, and no one is hauled off to jail for not having health insurance. The public tires of the happy stories. Everyone still gets their tax refunds -- and some get new subsidies. Some are quite large. This is great news. The world has not stopped turning.
Still the GOP will have to run on what they said they'd run on: "Obamacare is destroying the country."Summer. Election news heating up. Lots of close races. People who had to change coverage against their will have long forgotten whatever it was they were so upset about last fall. New issues will have come up that the country wants to talk about.
Still, like a broken record, the GOP will have to run on what they said they'd run on: "Obamacare is destroying the country."And finally into the fall. Democrats can offer meaningful suggestions for how to actually improve the ACA, should they control Congress. They can trot out family after family, in their districts, helped by one ACA provision after another.
Still, the GOP will have to run on what they said they'd run on: "Obamacare is destroying the country." They will have a few angry businesspeople. And some misleading study, or hysterical person. But their moment will be over. Obamacare will not have destroyed the country. And everyone screaming for the last 12 months that it would will be laughed at and lose votes at the ballot box. All across the country.
Republicans are managing to overplay an extremely weak hand and, in so doing, learning entirely the wrong lessons from yesterday's elections. And they're learning them so quickly and so thoroughly that their base won't let them pivot away from them in 2014 once it becomes clear theyno longer give them any electoral traction.
I can only applaud, clap loudly, and say:
Please proceed, Republicans. Please proceed.