Tuesday, April 01, 2014


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."
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.


Victor said...

There's a reason the ReTHUGlican Party's symbol is an elephant: they never forget - a grudge.

Jayzoos, it's been almost 80 years since Social Security became the law of the land, and they STILL want to do away with it!

They are all sociopaths, led by psychopaths!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Unknown said...

I'm supposed to be doing the Snoopy dance because...sometimes celebrating wins, or even 'wins' creates more wins by way of stoking enthusiasm, optimism, sense of inevitability, etc. Conservative types understand this instictively, fwiw, and on the other spectrum think of Amy Goodman, relentlessly ushering you through the pits of hell pausing only to see if you've slit your wrists yet. This is a bit of a wisp of the taste you're looking for, enjoy it for once.

Steve M. said...

sometimes celebrating wins, or even 'wins' creates more wins by way of stoking enthusiasm, optimism, sense of inevitability, etc.

Yeah, I know. Sometimes, though, it creates premature complacency. (See Obama, Barack, election of, 2008.) I admit I can't be sure which is the case here, but I fear it's the latter. If I'm wrong, plenty of lefties are dancing in the streets.

Unknown said...

Oh I don't think we disagree, it's a slippery slope. The *regime* of self-delusion and Big Lie politics that the GOP operates under now has roots in the monomaniacal projection of confidence that marked the Bush admin.

aimai said...

I don't see any lefties "dancing in the streets" prematurely--I think people are dancing in the streets to dance on the corpse of Republican warnings that no one would sign up. In the end all that matters is that enough people in many classes sign up and become attached to the ACA. And that is definitely happening. The Medicaid expansion doesn't matter as much as the 7 million moved onto government subsidized private health insurance. That's a fuckload of people who will never, ever, go back to having no health care if they can help it.

And those numbers are only going to grow because employers provide less and less secure healthcare. And people are going to start being aware that in some states you can access health care and in some states you can't--they are going to factor it into the cost of living when they consider moving. That may help Republicans hold on to their own ignorant base but its also going to help blue states become bluer and more populous.

There's no point spending a minute worrying about what Republicans are going to do or think. They are always going to be horrible people who want to destroy the rest of the country. That just means we have to celebrate our victories while and when we can--listen to their tears and hear the lamentations of their women, drive them before us, etc..etc..etc... Its a mean pleasure, but its one we deserve to enjoy.

Zandar said...

"There's no point spending a minute worrying about what Republicans are going to do or think."


Best case scenario, they start thinking Ted Cruz was right about shutting down the government/impeaching Obama to stop Obamacare. It is possible for the public to get tired of the antics and say "You know what, screw these guys."