A sentiment widely shared today, no doubt. Over at Ace’s place, DrewM issues a warning:
This is your last chance. If you blow this, I’m out and you need to be destroyed.
What is it? Repeal ObamaCare on Day 1. Don’t worry about replace, don’t worry about anything else…
[A]s soon as Mitt takes the oath of office, before his speech no one will care or remember, walk the bill up to him at the podium to sign.
If this does not happen, the GOP must be destroyed and a new party built to replace it. We’ve tried the carrot approach (votes, money, volunteers) to change your behavior. Now it’s time to show you the stick.
David Frum counters: If you think the GOP’s going to repeal ObamaCare now, you’re kidding yourselves.
[E]ven if Republicans do win the White House and Senate in 2012, how much appetite will they then have for that 1-page repeal bill? Suddenly it will be their town halls filled with outraged senior citizens whose benefits are threatened; their incumbencies that will be threatened. Already we are hearing that some Republicans wish to retain the more popular elements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Which means the proposed 1-page bill will begin to grow…
Republicans will find the task of writing their “replace” law even more agonizing than the Democrats found original passage. The party has no internal consensus on what a replacement would look like. Worse, any replacement of the law’s popular elements will require financing. But where is that money to come from? New taxes are unacceptable. The proceeds of “closing loopholes” are already spoken for—that’s how President Romney has promised to finance his promise to cut the top rate of tax 28%. And he’s also promised to increase defense spending…
[T]he clock is ticking. President Obama passed the ACA in the second year of his administration. A President Romney will have to pass repeal in the first year of his, because the law goes into effect in 2014. By then, states will have to have their exchanges up and working.
That’s all fine, but Drew’s captured the mood of the base well in his post, I think. If the GOP ends up with the numbers to repeal O-Care, it’d be a catastrophic, possibly politically fatal betrayal at this point for them not to follow through. The fact that it was Roberts who swung to the left in today’s decision rather than the mercurial Kennedy only compounds conservatives’ trauma: At this point, a la Beck, it really does feel like there’s no one in a position of power who can be trusted. The last Republican president ran up big deficits and expanded health-care entitlements; the Republican chief justice he appointed just voted to uphold ObamaCare; and the current Republican nominee pioneered the concept of health-care mandates in Massachusetts. If a Republican-controlled Congress rubber-stamps Obama’s health-care leviathan by refusing to act on it, I don’t know what happens to turnout in 2014 and 2016. Good news for the No Labels crowd, I guess — that’ll be the closest America’s come yet to seeing a true third party develop. Democrats on the left, conservatives on the right, and the no-labels rump of the GOP smack dab in the center. They might as well take their chances with angry seniors at those townhalls; you might win them back eventually, but you won’t win back righties who’ve suffered one too many sellouts.