Less than three days after the passage of Obamacare, many Republicans are already losing their stomach for the fight. As Ezra Klein gleefully — but aptly — observes over at the Washington Post, “In about 12 hours, the GOP’s position has gone from ‘repeal this socialist monstrosity that will destroy our final freedoms’ to ‘there are some things we don’t like about this legislation and would like to repeal, and there are some things we support and would like to keep.’ . . . At this rate, they’ll be running on expanding the bill come November.”
Sen. Jon Kyl said, “I would guess probably more realistically would be a potential repeal of pieces of the bill.” It lights the fire in the belly, doesn’t it? Sens. Mike Enzi and John Cornyn followed suit.
On MSNBC, Rudy Giuliani, said, “You just laid out how the Republicans should run the campaign, when we get a month, two months out of this – not repeal health care.” With all due respect to Mayor Giuliani, this is the sort of thinking that led to his Florida Strategy.
Sometimes, one has to wonder at Republicans’ tin ear. If they were writing Patrick Henry’s famous 1775 address, would they have advised, “Well, full liberty might be a bit much to ask for. And I’m not sure if we really want death. How about, ‘Give me a little more liberty, or make me ill’?”
“Repeal, and then real reform” — that’s the right message, and the one that reflects the American people’s views. “Partial repeal” actually legitimizes Obamacare and helps to sell it by suggesting that the GOP doesn’t really think it’s all that bad. Do Republicans think that this will appeal to the Tea Party folks who almost kept Obamacare from passing through a Democratic-controlled Congress in the first place? — the same Tea Party folks who are crucial to GOP success in November and beyond?
And from a policy standpoint, you can’t have real reform with Obamacare on the books. It’s as simple as that.
Rep. Paul Ryan, Sen. Jim DeMint, and, to his credit, Gov. Mitt Romney, have it right: Repeal, and then real reform. The rest of the party needs to follow their sensible and determined lead.
From August onward, amidst voter uprisings and a myriad of polls showing how unpopular his bill was, President Obama stubbornly, myopically, unwaveringly pushed forward, and he got his bill. It’s a terrible bill passed in open defiance of popular will. But you have to grant that the man has determination. Where is the Republicans’?