The Corner

A Story of Political Self-Destruction

Today’s New York Times reports that the Democrats are planning an all out effort to turn Obamacare from a political liability into a plus. Color me skeptical. At least the Times acknowledges that Obamacare is a major negative for Democrats. I did a radio appearance yesterday with a Democratic operative who insisted that the economy had been the only factor in the Democrats’ defeat. Health care had nothing to do with it, he vehemently maintained.

The remedy for denial on that scale is Tevi Troy’s cover piece in the January issue of Commentary, “The Democrats and Health Care: An Account of Political Self-Destruction.” Troy presents evidence that Obamacare turned what would otherwise have been a run-of-the-mill Republican victory into an historic blowout. There are plenty more treats as well. Troy provides detail on President Obama’s decision to push health care reform against the advice of a whole series of senior advisors. Then there’s Troy’s explanation of what Obama actually meant when he promised: “If you like your health care, you can keep it.” (If this is the president’s idea of honesty, we may never hear his words the same way again.) Finally, Troy talks about an outcome of the health care battle that hasn’t been widely considered, “effective repeal.” Altogether worth a read.

Stanley Kurtz — Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

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