Steve Benen thinks some Republicans are inching toward partial acceptance of the Affordable Care Act:
... just over the last couple of weeks, unexpected cracks have started to emerge. The Republican approach to "Obanacare" has started to evolve, at least a little.So very conservative Republicans think some good might be coming to some people from Obamacare, or think that even they'd salvage some pieces of it, given the choice. Well, that's nice. But here's the problem: the GOP base is unlikely to tolerate that.
Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), a U.S. Senate hopeful, said recently, "A lot of conservatives say, 'Nah, let's just step back and let this thing fall to pieces on its own.' But I don't think that's always the responsible thing to do." As Zachary Roth explained last week, that was soon followed by Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.), who conceded that "some Americans' lives have gotten better" as a result of the law, and to fail to acknowledge this is to "deny reality."
Yesterday, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who ran on an anti-ACA platform in 2010, stopped by National Review's office and said he realizes his party's repeal crusade is a bust. "We've got to start talking about transitioning," the far-right Wisconsinite said.
He continues, "Am I opposed to state-based exchanges? No." He thinks "it may be that they can be usable." "I'm all for repeal," he stipulates, "but it's there. What do you do with what's there? ... We've got to start talking about the reality of the situation."
Here are some of the comments at Free Republic in response to that interview with Ron Johnson:
He needs to transition himself.And yes, if we followed that last commenter's advice, we'd eliminate Medicare. Go ahead, right-wingers, please propose that.
Wow! That must've been a big payoff.
Transition to the free marketplace.
Is that so hard for this "senator" to understand?
Here’s a novel idea, Senator. Repeal the entire steenking fascist/socialist mess and let freedom reign!!
We are going to transition you out of office Ron. Loser.
Here’s my contribution to your conversation, Ron.
By feeding the cancer with a promise of curing it later.
Sounds like he transitioned himself to the category of Quisling.
The point is that the discussion should be that government has no business in the health care business. Every conservative should start off with that simple statement. When questioned what is the solution, the answer is to inform people that they are responsible for thier health care, get government out of it, inform people that they are responsible for thier health care, cut the regulations, inform people that they are responsible for thier health care. The point is to continually inform people that they are responsible for thier health care.
But my point is that anti-Obamacare rage is toothpaste that's simply not going back into the tube. The base is not going to stop wanting it to be gone -- every last bit of it.
I said a couple of months ago that Obamacare isn't going to transform before our eyes into Medicare or Social Security, a program we're so used to relying on that we wouldn't dream of eliminating it. It's going to be like legal abortion -- some people will glad it's there, but the antis will not go quietly. It will be hard to get rid of, but a large percentage of the population will continue to be permanently enraged by its existence, and efforts to abolish it will be relentless and ongoing.
Right-wingers may eventually accept that the best they can do is chip away at Obamacare, just as they now accept this regarding legal abortion (although, when it comes to be abortion, they seem to be using bigger and bigger pickaxes these days). For now, though, the angry right is going to keep demanding nothing less than total repeal, regardless of how disruptive that would be. If you're a GOP officeholder who knows that total repeal is unrealistic and says so, you may become roadkill the next time you can be primaried.