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Obamacare will be a disaster — for Republicans!

ObamaCare3

A blogger from Portland, Ore., who calls himself simply Infidel 753 NAILS IT:

It’s a curious point about extremists that, however much they hate the perceived “enemy” group, what they hate even more is those members of their own group who aren’t quite so ready to hate the enemy group.  These days, on right-wing sites like RedState or Hot Air, most of the vitriol isn’t being aimed at Democrats.  By far the greater part of it is aimed at Republicans who aren’t fighting the Democrats fanatically enough.

What’s going on?  Crunch time is approaching for the implementation of Obamacare, the right wing’s latest candidate for Satan incarnate.  Exchanges will open next month and people will be able to get actual coverage starting in January.  The fire-breathers of teabaggerdom are desperate to stop it by any means necessary.  Normal options for doing so are exhausted — the law was passed by both houses three years ago and has been upheld by the Supreme Court, and everyone knows that the 40-odd repeal votes staged by House Republicans were just empty posturing.  Teabaggerdom is pinning its hopes on legislative hostage-taking — using upcoming votes on a continuing resolution on routine spending and on raising the debt ceiling to force defunding of Obamacare by threatening disaster (a government shutdown or a default on the national debt) unless Democrats cave.

Saner and more experienced Republicans know that such schemes would fail and backfire.  Obama will not back down and let them destroy the defining achievement of his Presidency, and Democrats know they have the upper hand since the public would blame Republicans for the shutdown or default; they would simply wait for Republicans to blink first.  Not only would hostage-taking fail to stop Obamacare, but voters fed up with Republican histrionics and brinkmanship would punish them in the 2014 election.  Old-line Republicans like Boehner and McConnell will make a few rhetorical and procedural gestures toward defunding-by-blackmail, but balk at actually strapping on the suicide-bomber vest.

The fire-breathers will have none of that.  To them, any compromise with the Democrats or with reality itself is an outrageous betrayal.  They hardly have any energy left over to attack Democrats after all their fervent denunciation of McConnell, Boehner, RINOs, “squishes”, etc.  If, as now seems likely, Congressional Republicans brush aside the efforts of the teabaggers in their midst (like Cruz and Lee) and let the continuing resolution and the debt-ceiling rise go through without kamikaze attacks on Obamacare, then I shudder to contemplate the reaction.  The crazies have worked themselves up into a conviction that Obamacare taking effect is the end-game, the death of the Republic, the annihilation of mom and apple pie.  This isn’t an argument about a law, it’s an epic battle between good and evil.  And whoever allows the demons to defeat the angels might as well be a demon himself.

Combine this with the widespread conviction that the defeats of 2008 and 2012 stemmed from nominating moderates instead of True Conservatives, and the stage is set for a real split next year.  The fire-breathers are threatening more primary challenges of the kind that delivered O’Donnell, Angle, Akin, Mourdock, etc. and cost the Republicans seats they could otherwise have won.  Winning against Democrats hardly seems to be on their mental horizon at all.  The battle-cry is: Get the RINOs out.  Even where primary challenges fail, willingness to stay home or vote for third candidates seems higher than ever.  Republican Congressional leaders have apparently decided this is less of a risk than further alienating the mainstream is, and in the long run they’re right — the party must appeal to voters beyond the base in order to remain viable.  But the shorter term — which won’t be all that short — looks rocky.

Another factor at work is that many Republicans (not only the extremists) are so convinced that Obamacare will be a disaster that they think they can sit back and watch public backlash against the law do the heavy lifting for them in 2014 and 2016, sweeping Democrats out of office.  In fact, while polls show “Obamacare”, so designated, to be fairly unpopular (hardly surprising since Republicans have put so much energy into spreading misinformation about it), the individual specific actual things that it does are polling much better.  Inevitably, implementation glitches have happened and will continue to do so, and Republicans are doing everything they can to sabotage the law in states they control — but when Obamacare has been in effect for a while and the public has seen its actual results, and the expected backlash doesn’t materialize, Republicans will be left scrambling for an alternative strategy.

We shouldn’t be complacent about 2014.  Off-year low turnouts favor Republicans, as we saw in 2010.  But if this mitigates or cancels out their losses, it will simply embolden the crazies to continue their anti-moderate rampage in 2016.  If they nominate a passel of Akinesque bunglers to carry on a quixotic crusade against what by then will be a normal part of the social safety net like Social Security and Medicare, they’ll find out that things can go even worse for them than in 2008 and 2012.

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26 Comments

  1. Republicans eating their own, and making future elections easier for Democrats. Life keeps getting better and better!

  2. where in the constitution does it sat the country owes you healthcare. What ever happened ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country. The Liberal elite are the biggest babies it is almost not even funny but sad. This country owes us nothing.

  3. Craig Knauss

    I see the Republican led House just voted to defund Obamacare. Again.

    What’s the count now? 42 times?

    “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” or something like that.

  4. Brian Opsahl

    Tim,
    I pay taxes and I expect a certain amount of things being done by MY goverment.
    Like roads, bridges,fire protection,police…and yes Social Security,Medicare/Medicade and the ACA….we live in the richest Nation on earth and even third world country’s will provide there people basic common things that keep us alive and prospering.

    If your talking about being selfish and to each his own…that’s NOT the America I grew-up in timmy…maybe that’s how you feel.

    If your neighbor is hungry you feed them…not throw them to the wolves.

  5. I agree with you Brian, but you’re not feeding you’re neighbor. You’re sending money to the government to spend( on food and a whole bunch of other stuff, both necessary and unnecessary).

    If you want to feed your neighbor, then do it. Directly, or indirectly by supporting a local church, food pantry or rescue mission.

    The cuts that were passed today are a small percentage of the food stamp budget. Enrollees have exploded in the last 5 years.

    This “outraged” response is nothing more than typical liberal politics.

    I do think your comparison of food stamps and healthcare is useful though. Think about it in the future when discussions of health care as an entitlement are going on.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/09/19/house-gop-food-stamp-cuts/2839343/

    The cost of food stamps — officially called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — has exploded over the past decade, according to the Department of Agriculture. In 2001, the program served 17 million people at a cost of just over $15 billion. By June of this year, there were 47.8 million people enrolled in the program, and annual costs were about $75 billion.

    Republicans argue that the growth has been fueled by allowing states to waive eligibility requirements, allowing more people to enroll in the program than the law originally intended.

    The bill originally passed by the House Agriculture Committee would have cut $20 billion from the program over 10 years, in large part by limiting the ability of states to automatically qualify people who are already enrolled in other anti-poverty programs. Earlier this week, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., introduced a new version of the bill that boosts the cuts to nearly $40 billion by adding stiffer requirements for many able-bodied recipients to be working or looking for work or in a job-training program. The bill does not include new funding for job training.

    The Congressional Budget Office estimated that under current law, “spending for SNAP would total $764 billion over the 2014-2023 period.” Passage of the House bill would reduce those costs by $39 billion or about a 5%.

    Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, told USA TODAY’s Capital Download on Thursday that Democrats are not opposed to food stamp cuts.

    “I’m certain that we could embrace as House Democrats some measure of cuts,” she said. “I mean, every program can benefit from some savings. But the first go-round the Republicans’ proposed cut was $20 billion. Then they passed an amendment that was $31.4 billion. And now that still isn’t good enough for the Tea Partiers. Now we’re at $40 billion. What they’re saying is that in America it’s OK for people to go hungry.”

    But Agriculture Committee member Mike Conaway, R-Texas, said Thursday “we are not talking about eliminating the SNAP program.” The goal of the bill, he said, is to “limit the public assistance program to those who qualify and close loopholes that have allowed people to game the system.” The changes will help “keep the safety net intact for qualified families,” he said.

  6. Brian Opsahl

    Doc,

    I also agree that there is waste and fraud that need’s to be fixed.
    When Eric Cantor is lead cutter I suspect we will have kid’s stealing food for survival in a very short time.

    that is un-acceptable when you look at our corprate welfare and our military budget.
    Doc, don’t starve a kid because they have lousey parents or in most cases parent.
    as a person in the medical field you would know how important it is for kids to be able to get the proper nutrition so they can concentrate on learning.

    To me leaving Eric Cantor near this is indeed like throwing them to the wolves.

  7. Except I don’t see where it says that cuts are targeted at children so that they can wander the streets and go hungry.

    What it says is-

    “new version of the bill that boosts the cuts to nearly $40 billion by adding stiffer requirements for many able-bodied recipients to be working or looking for work or in a job-training program. The bill does not include new funding for job training.”

  8. Oh come on now doc. You are not that stupid. Do you really think that there will be no children in any of the families that lose food stamps because of stricter regulations? And you are ok with more children being hungrier than we already have? What a great testimony you are to the compassion of doctors and conservatives.

  9. Brian Opsahl

    Yes, let the wolves have-em…huh Doc.

    Where is your anger towards those corprate welfare freebees…and Doc, those freebees don’t need one bit of help…they are not starving in anyway…are they…?

    Again Eric cantor is a rich republican that work’s for even richer republicans and he is the wolf in sheeps clothing Doc.

  10. Oh come on now Jerry, you really think there isn’t at least 5% waste in this program? That is what is wrong with liberals they are soft in the head and confuse that for having a soft heart.

    I can absolutely guarantee that I have done more in my life to feed and clothe children in this world than the 2 of you and most of your friends combined.

  11. Doc,
    You have been busy quoting the bill. Where in it does it say to cut 40 billion, or any billion, by reducing fraud and waste? It is cutting costs by making stricter regulations which will reduce the number of legitimate families in the program. Like I said, doc. You are not that stupid. You just think other people are!

  12. Craig Knauss

    Let’s see a 5% (minimum) cut in crop subsidies and price supports. I haven’t seen too many “starving” corporate farmers.

  13. Brian Opsahl

    Doc,

    I give to the Rockford rescue mission,united way,Churchs,deliver food baskets,and mentor kids in sports programs,plus give willingly to fundraisers….and I guarantee you Doc i make no where near what you do…why wont you answer that corporate wefare question your avoiding like the plague…?

  14. doc is one of these hypocritical conservatives who like to pretend that their educations and their paychecks haven’t been dependent largely upon government expenditures. They’ve been at the public teat for most of their lives, but they posture as self-sufficient libertarians.

  15. Brian Opsahl

    Must make-em feel better somehow…?
    Funny I alway’s thought that feeding our hungry is exactly what our Goverment should be doing.

    Have you seen the cost of just one small missile defence program or one of those republican farm programs aimed at helping the mega farm corporations…even one..Doc.

    Then try and argue feeding folks who have next nothing is somehow wrong….?

    Not in my America….!!

  16. Brian Opsahl

    So Medicare/Medicade money doesn’t come from the same till….?
    And their sucking on the teat and your not doc…?
    Doc, doesn’t know any other Doctor that hasn’t over billed his Medicare just a little…(fraud)
    You have never witnessed or heard another Doctor admit said fraud…?
    and that’s not being just a little hypocritical….sir.

  17. By doc’s argument, we should cut Medicare payments to doctors by 5% because there is at least 5% waste and fraud in Medicare. How about it, doc? Do you think that would reduce or increase fraud and waste. I’d say increase, since there would be a greater incentive to cheat and recover loss income.

  18. Medicare/Medicaid is government money. If you are a hospital based physician you have no choice but to be part of the program.

    There is way more than 5% fraud in these programs, much of which comes from organized efforts to defraud the government at the “margins” of actual healthcare.

    I have already taken more than a 5% decrease in payment from these sources and that doesn’t include the increase in expenditures to deal with regulations that have little or nothing to do with actual patient care.

    And none of that matters to the original discussion except that inevitably government programs are ripe for fraud and big government programs are ripe for big fraud. My point exactly.

  19. My point exactly, doc. It is ridiculous to think that a reduction in payments will reduce fraud and corruption, but that is the argument you made for the food stamp reductions.

  20. The reduction in COST of the program is achieved through reduction of fraud and abuse.

    That is one of the ways that the ACA is supposed to reduce healthcare cost too.

  21. “new version of the bill that boosts the cuts to nearly $40 billion by adding stiffer requirements for many able-bodied recipients to be working or looking for work or in a job-training program”.

    That is a quote from one of your comments, doc. The reductions are coming from STIFFER REQUIREMENTS, not reduction in fraud and waste. The vaste majority of people cut will have been getting food stamps legally, not through waste and fraud. They met the requirements. They are going to lose there coverage because the requirements are being made stricter, and they will no longer meet the requirements.

    Costs are being reduced by removing people who were getting food stamps legitimately, not through waste and fraud.

  22. Doc if you had a corner man they would be throwing in the towel.

  23. Brian Opsahl

    No, they would just hire the lady judge from Nevada who scored the Maywheather fight even.

    Doc, if your friends shut down the Goverment…they will be fried for it…!!

  24. Yes for the taxes we pay, our country owes us civility which is as you mention fire police roads and yes bridges. Now i know why my grandparents generation is considered the greatest which use to bother me because it seemed like an insult on my generation. they lived through the great depression fought in wars and did so unselfishly. After all of that heartbreak and misery, they still never felt this country owed them anymore than basic civility and not to enable people but empower them. Every generation gets worth with thinking they are entitled for most of which they have never earned.

  25. My friends? I don’t know a single person elected to federal office.

    Exactly why should I throw in the towel Joe?

    This is what I posted originally and I stick by it.

    “I agree with you Brian, but you’re not feeding you’re neighbor. You’re sending money to the government to spend( on food and a whole bunch of other stuff, both necessary and unnecessary).

    If you want to feed your neighbor, then do it. Directly, or indirectly by supporting a local church, food pantry or rescue mission.

    The cuts that were passed today are a small percentage of the food stamp budget. Enrollees have exploded in the last 5 years.

    This “outraged” response is nothing more than typical liberal politics.”

  26. Yes, the food stamp program has “exploded” in the last 5 years…because the economy tanked! And many of the jobs created since then do not pay a livable wage. The food stamp program is doing exactly what it was designed to do. It did not “explode” because of waste and fraud.

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