Liberals on Obamacare’s collapse: Damn this Republican sabotage!
posted at 2:19 pm on July 10, 2013 by Guy Benson
Bad news, you guys. WaPo’s Greg Sargent is terribly aggrieved, and so is “respected Beltway insider” Chuck Todd — so pay attention, or something:
It’s not unusual to hear dirty hippie liberal blogger types (and the occasional lefty Nobel Prize winner) point out that today’s GOP has effectively abdicated the role of functional opposition party, instead opting for a kind of post-policy nihilism in which sabotaging the Obama agenda has become its only guiding governing light. But when you hear this sort of argument coming from Chuck Todd, the mild-mannered, well respected Beltway insider, it should prompt folks to take notice…This is not typical opposition, and its good to hear this stated outright by someone as respected inside the Beltway as Chuck Todd. The only mystery is why more journalists aren’t willing to point it out. After all, Republicans are making this basic reality harder and harder to ignore.
Sargent vented his frustration on Twitter yesterday afternoon, prompting this fun exchange:
— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) July 9, 2013
— Philip Klein (@philipaklein) July 9, 2013
And therein lies the problem with the Left’s ‘blame Republicans’ gambit on Obamacare. The law — which has been deeply unpopular from day one, and remains so to this day — is unraveling all on its own:
Todd and Sargent are very upset that Republicans aren’t helping Democrats implement a law that was jammed down the country’s collective throat, against the public’s wishes. Sabotage! Let’s review a few facts: Democrats — and only Democrats — crafted, advocated, voted for, and signed this law. Whether they like it or not, they own every part of it. If the Left thinks the “Republican obstructionism” card will suddenly become an effective rhetorical tool in the Obamacare fight, they’re delusional…The White House, not Republicans, has delayed and put off its various provisions. And Democrats have helped repeal several ludicrous elements of the law, such as the CLASS Act scheme, and the ruinous 1099 reporting provision. Democrats can whine all they want about some Republican governors refusing to go along with Obamacare’s reckless expansion of Medicaid. But these governors are only able to exercise that option because the law’s Medicaid mandate — dreamed up and backed entirely by Democrats — was ruled unconstitutional by a 7-2 Supreme Court majority. Republican obstructionism! Liberals also growl that many governors declined to set up Obamacare exchanges in their states, leaving the feds to pick up the slack (which they’re failing to accomplish in time). These chief executives’ freedom to say “no thanks” was written into the law. If Democrats are angry about that, they have nothing to blame but their own sloppiness.
The fact is that Sargent, et al are demoralized. They’ve spent years shilling for a law that the public has always recognized as hot garbage. Now that the fetid stench of said garbage has grown so unbearable that the president himself is dragging the trash bag out back for a year or more, Obamacare’s most zealous apologists are desperately seeking scapegoats. They can’t acknowledge the real problem, obviously, because they’re far too ideologically invested in their Obamacare fable. Instead, they do what comes naturally. They blame those infernal Republicans, who had nothing to do with the terrible law’s passage, and whose sustained opposition to it mirrors the public’s. In fact, Sargent’s own turn-of-phrase neatly describes the American people’s enduring distaste for Obamacare: “This is not typical opposition!”
Parting thoughts: (1) If you consider Chuck Todd’s analogy, it fails on several levels. Like many conservatives, I opposed Medicare Part D because it expanded an unsustainable program. That being said, it has delivered on its promise of lowering drug costs for seniors through the power of choice and competition. It has also come in significantly under budget. Also, Democrats fought the bill at the time because it didn’t spend enough, not because they were against it in principle. Obamacare presents a different situation on every count. (2) Since when do Republicans have some moral obligation to lay down their arms and embrace a destructive policy they oppose in their bones? Do liberals ever behave this way? Think of their furious response to the successful Iraq surge, their fight against Prop 8, their failed recall attempt in Wisconsin, and their disruptive abortion horde in Austin. Atypical opposition is fine, so long as the Left’s wielding it.