Democrats will attempt to save Obamacare Monday night by holding a talkathon with the help of friendly groups like Planned Parenthood. Their effort is scheduled the same night as the college football championship game between Clemson and Alabama. Huffington Post reports on what Democrats have planned:
On Monday night, Senate Democrats plan to stay up late, delivering floor speeches and Facebook Live broadcasts attacking the Republicans’ drive to dismantle President Barack Obama’s signature health care law. They will also pressure Republicans over their push to defund Planned Parenthood and to make significant cuts to entitlement programs like Medicare and Medicaid.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) organized the effort, which will include multiple conference calls with a range of groups from Families USA, to Planned Parenthood, to the Service Employees International Union. Several dozen Democratic senators are expected to participate.
Schumer told the Huffington Post, “We are taking to the floor and social media to denounce this plan and warn the American people that the Democrats will be fighting tooth and nail against this potentially catastrophic move.”
Does that sound like anyone’s idea of an enjoyable evening? It’s difficult to imagine that anyone wants to listen to conference calls primarily intended to generate more sympathetic media in a market that is already flooded with pro-Obamacare headlines.
My guess is the part of this that gets the most attention is the part about Planned Parenthood. Paul Ryan mentioned during a press conference last week that cutting off federal funds to PP would be part of the Obamacare repeal bill. While there’s little reason to doubt Republicans want to defund PP, they might also be willing to drop that from the bill to keep moderates on board with Obamacare repeal. Democrats know they have little chance of blocking Obamacare repeal with this stunt, but they probably believe they can protect Planned Parenthood from becoming part of a package deal they will like even less.
As for the scheduling of this effort, is there a huge overlap between the people who watch college football and the people who want to hear Democratic Senators denouncing Republicans on a Planned Parenthood conference call? I’m thinking these might be completely different audiences. Still it can’t help Democrats’ effort that a lot of people will be tuned out of politics completely tonight.