I'm supposed to be doing the Snoopy dance because Obamacare signups will total approximately 7 million, more or less in line with original expectations. Zandar says, "Republicans Don't Know They've Lost On Obamacare." Salon's Brian Beutler describes the GOP's "Obamacare mania" as "self-defeating myopia" that's "now a gift to Democrats." Both quote what a Republican senator said in response to the signup figure of 7 million:
"I don't think it means anything," Sen. John Barrasso, R- Wyo., told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. "I think they're cooking the books on this."Beutler:
I doubt that this kind of intentional blindness to the law's successes can withstand another seven months on the campaign trail.I don't see why not. Republicans are vey good at sustaining rage on issues only they care about. And remember, they're pitching this to middle-class white voters, the kinds of people who are likely to have health insurance that's provided either by an employer or by Medicare. Those people are going to feel pretty certain that they don't know any Obamacare enrollees, so as for the overall numbers, who you gonna believe? A Republican on Fox News? Or the LIE-beral media?
On the subject of GOP signup-figure disbelief, Steve Benen makes a comparison that seems relevant:
It's eerily reminiscent of Election Night 2012 -- conservatives had spent months telling themselves that the polls are wrong, the evidence was skewed, and the facts had been manipulated by rascally liberals, so they were absolutely shocked when President Obama won a second term rather easily.Except that counting votes is relatively simple and the election results turned out to be unambiguous. The success of Obamacare can be parsed many different ways, as Ed Kilgore notes:
... we need to see how many of those 7 million pay premiums and actually become insured, and then we'll have to figure out how many previously uninsured actually got covered by one of ACA's provisions, and then we'll get a better sense "winners" and "losers" under the law, and we get to go through the whole cycle of alarms, true and false, over 2015 premiums towards the end of the year.Kilgore adds:
Let's face it: our friends on the Right have managed to keep the embers of Benghazi! glowing for a year-and-a-half. They will find ways to demonize Obamacare every day at least through November.I think they'll find a way to demonize Obamacare forever. Look at what they've done with abortion. Look at how they continue to attack the social safety net as a "hammock." They demonize abortion and public assistance as immoral and destructive to society -- as long as a significant chunk of the white heartland gets health care from either work or Medicare, they can do that forever with Obamacare as well. And Obamacare has enough flaws that the number of people who love it may always be less than the number of people Republicans encourage to loathe it. (And if happy beneficiaries are poorer than the general population, they're less likely to vote than the middle-class haters.)
So i'm glad we got this far. But we're not going to stop contesting this damn program any time soon.