Marc Thiessen made some great points in Monday’s Washington Post, explaining why Republicans shouldn’t let President Obama and Senate Democrats lure them into abandoning the fight to fully repeal Obamacare. While advocates of the legislation may permit some changes, they will never allow repeal of the most odious aspects of Obamacare, including the individual mandate that is not only unwise, but also unconstitutional. Meanwhile, Democrats will try to use any incremental repeals to their political benefit. As Thiessen put it:
Herein lies the true genius of Obama’s strategy. There is almost no individual provision of Obamacare that most Republicans would vote against repealing. So all the president and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have to do is pick the least objectionable Republican repeal bills, tweak them slightly and have endangered Democrats introduce them as their own — and watch each one pass with overwhelming GOP support. That is precisely what Democrats did with the 1099 repeal. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), a vulnerable incumbent, stole legislation sponsored by Republican Mike Johanns and changed a few words, which helped the measure pass it with 81 votes on the Senate floor. Stabenow can now claim that she led a bipartisan effort that protected small businesses in her state from an odious provision of Obamacare.
Democrats will do this again and again in the months ahead. With each vote, they will strengthen their chances of holding onto the Senate in 2012 and set back the GOP’s hopes for full repeal in 2013. The president’s strategy is clear: Save the Democrat-controlled Senate. Save his reelection prospects. Save Obamacare. The only question is: Will Republicans help him do it?
It looks like the House will vote next week on whether to defund ObamaCare. That seems like a more sensible strategy to me.