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speed bump
The GOP lurning muhsheen is at it again.

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.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You Are Right (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HugoDog, Linda1961

    The more people get health insurance, the more popular ACA will be.  Word of mouth is the answer, and getting the website to start working.  I think that young people will be curious to find out what the health insurance they can get will cover.  More will sign up if the cost is the same as the penalty.

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 11:03:09 AM PST

  •  Wednesday Mourning commentary is (0+ / 0-)

    almost always rushed, wrong, incoherent.

    We cannot base what the "GOP learned" on the initial spasms of the post-election corpse. Coming to a decision about why, how, where, when, who, and wha-da-fa? takes time, research, introspection, and effort.

    While it may be cute and entertaining for us to think that the GO Pers are taking the wrong lesson from yesterday's results, I believe that is a serious error.  There ARE no lessons from yesterday. Not yet. Not next week, not next month.

    Politics is not pro football, with Slo-Mo instant replay ready to explain nuances, shifts in voter behavior and their expectations, or what are the real lessons from the votes.

    The fact that a few fuels (a la Inspecter Clouseau) rushed out their paid for articles, giving an effort to become the temporary conventional wisdumb purveyors does not mean anything at this point. Give it a couple of months, and the true lessons will have been recognized, realized, chewed upon and quite possible acted on. I guarantee you they will resemble nothing like what is polluting the airstream at the moment.

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 11:06:39 AM PST

    •  we both agree and disagree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      agnostic

      I'm with you that it's too early to derive any actual lessons from yesterday's election -- of course (in part why diary's title included the word "hurry").  But I disagree that it's too early to recognize lessons others are nonetheless drawing and infer from that what direction things are likely to take.  Rightly or wrongly, conservatives are tuning in today to find out "wha-da-fa" as you put it.  They want to know what to think.  Sure future weeks and months will amend these initial thoughts, but they won't erase them.  And without question a big common theme emerging in multiple media and commentators and even parties, is "Obamacare hurt Dems in VA" or something to that effect.  As a progressive I think that's a great message for the GOP to run with, inasmuch as I think it's unlikely to be the same story next year this time.  But my point is that the conservative base has not shown itself to be so introspective.  It will latch onto (or stay latched onto?) this idea, continue it candidate litmus testing into 2014, and be hurt by it in a way that will help progressives.  

      All of which is to say -- hey progressives, don't run from Obamacare!  Don't listen to the early chatter from folks telling you to be scared of the VA results vis a vis Obamacare.  It will recover in plenty of time, and you will be on the right side of the issue by next year if you stand pat.

      I know it sounds like I'm in denial but I'm not.

      by Save the clock tower on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 11:58:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  the vagaries of memory, combined with (0+ / 0-)

        beliefs that outweigh actual facts. Yes, you make very good points.

        Primacy and Recency have a strong impact on how people think. Retention, erroneous recollections, swayed by design and propaganda (hell, some people believe our Kenyan president allowed 9/11 to happen)  all of these play a role.

        But both sides have experts, real experts, not the paint by numbers TV talking heads. They do real studies, hard thinking, and create medium and long term responses to something like yesterday.

        Of course, we KNOW that the GOP has such people. Sometimes I wonder about our side. Too many times that we have  fumbled and erred.

        What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

        by agnostic on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 12:22:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Unless the Indiana case makes it to SCOTUS. (0+ / 0-)

    That's the case that wants to eliminate subsidies for those on the federal exchange.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 12:13:17 PM PST

    •  SCOTUS has already had a bite at the ACA Apple (0+ / 0-)

      And other than completely fucking over a segment of people just at the poverty line, they (albeit grudgingly) signed off on it.   Unless there's some new evidence, then I don't know why the court would agree to hear the case again.

      I'll believe corporations are people when one comes home from Afghanistan in a body bag.

      by mojo11 on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 01:42:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's over whether the federal exchange (0+ / 0-)

        qualifies for subsidies since it's not specifically laid out that way.

        "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

        by zenbassoon on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 01:53:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Sour grapes (0+ / 0-)

    Cooch didn't win the ballots so he claimed a "message victory" by not losing by wide margin.  Odd.

    According to Cuchinelli, ObamaCare narrowed the loss.  It did not.  But what else are you going to feed the teabaggers in defeat?

    You're right.  The GOP will relentlessly preach the evils of ObamaCare into the next election.  And beyond.  At some point, the independents will turn hard on them because no one likes someone who constantly complains but has nothing to offer in return.

  •  House of cards (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ruh Roh

    There's no helping them (not that I would try to). Part of the very essence of what defines a conservative today is the inability to acknowledge your own faults. The conservative psyche is an interlocking house-of-cards erected upon the faulty assumption that they are always unquestionably correct, about everything. This dangerously emboldens conservatives with the sword of arrogance, and the shield of ignorance.

    With such unquestioned presumption of idealogical perfection, the modern conservative's world view is vulnerable to total collapse should even a single admission of fault be accepted. Should they accept even one idealogical card being knocked from underneath their house, it might become obvious to them that there is no rational basis for the support of the remaining cards.

    Therefore, we see no intellectual, nor spiritual reflection from them, for that could lead to uncomfortable insights. What we see instead is an overconfidence born of a self-righteous belief in the infallibility of their own moral superiority, which not only doesn't require self-reflection, it demands there be none.

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