I warned you about this the other day. Tea-Publican economic terrorists plot to take Medicare hostage to delay ‘ObamaCare’.
On Friday, Tea-Publicans took their fifty-second vote to repeal or to undermine “ObamaCare,” this time to delay the individual mandate for five years and to use the $138 billion resulting savings for the annual Medicare “Doc fix.”
For those of you keeping score at home, yes our Arizona “Blue Dogs” Ron Barber and Kirsten Sinema, once again, voted with the Tea-Publicans to delay the individual mandate. HR 4015.
They will argue that having once voted for the delay, they must continue to be consistent. There is nothing admirable in being consistently wrong. Admit your error and move on.
They will also argue that this was a “safety” vote, with no real consequences because the Senate will never take up the bill. So why enable Tea-Publicans with their manufactured crises designed for the conservative media entertainment complex and fundraising appeals to the GOP crazy base? Barber and Sinema just set themselves up to be used by Tea-Publicans as evidence of support for the GOP position.
Congress has less than three weeks to come up with a funding scheme for the Medicare “Doc fix” that the Senate will accept, and the House (likely Democrats and a handful of Tea-Publicans) will pass.
Democratic strategist Paul Begala has some advice for Democrats who are worried about ObamaCare: Stop being so damn defensive about the law and show people it’s worth fighting for, already.
Begala tells the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent, How Democrats can flip the script on Obamacare:
“We should flip the wording of how we talk about Obamacare,” Begala told me today. “Open on offense, instead of on defense.”
* * *
The more pressing problem is that Obamacare revs up the GOP base — worsening the “midterm falloff” turnout problem already present in non-presidential years — but it doesn’t excite the Dem base anywhere near enough to offset that problem.
To be clear, that is a very serious issue. But Begala thinks Dems can address it with a simple flipping of the script. Dems now debating how to talk about Obamacare seem to be leading defensively with their willingness to fix the law. Instead, Begala says, they should lead with an attack on Republicans that is framed as a medical rights issue – before pivoting to fixing the law — and then wrap it all up in a larger message about how Republicans have no answers to people’s health care or economic problems.
“We should open by saying, ‘my opponent wants to repeal your rights,’” Begala said. “He wants to take away your right to be protected against discrimination because you have a preexisting condition. He wants to take away your right to be protected against discrimination for being older or being a woman. He wants to take away the closing of the Medicare donut hole for seniors.”
“That’s point one,” he continued. “Then you say, ‘look, I’m open to working with everybody to fix the law. But I’ll never let them go back to the days where insurance companies could send letters saying your coverage has been canceled because you have a preexisting condition.’”
And then from there to an economic message: “Repeal is their whole agenda. They have no ideas for giving you a pay raise. No ideas for raising the minimum wage. No ideas about how to create jobs. No ideas about how to get your kid into pre-K. Their entire agenda as a party is repeal — to take away rights that you have won. I’m not going to let them do that.”
“We can win on Obamacare, but we have to fight,” Begala concluded. “You cannot win if you do not fight.”
* * *
By fighting hard for the law — and, crucially, wrapping it up in a populist economic message — Dems can hopefully gin up their voters, addressing the more urgent problem, while also going on offense in a way that will put Republicans on defense on repeal to fight disapproval to a draw.
* * *
[I]f Begala is right, aggressively attacking Republicans over Obamacare, and fighting for the law rather than just defending it, will make the GOP strategy of keeping ”replace” vague and harder to sustain. And it will gin up the Dem base — addressing the Democrats’ most pressing Obamacare problem.
I have said before that if you are willing to fight for principle, even if voters disagree with you, they will vote for you because Americans love a fighter. “You cannot win if you do not fight.”