Democrats decide on electoral strategy in 2014: suicide

Posted by: Phineas on June 4, 2013 at 1:01 pm

**Posted by Phineas

Because taking pride of ownership in Obamacare worked so well for them in 2010:

Scarred by years of Republican attacks over Obamacare, with more in store next year, Democrats have settled on an unlikely strategy for the 2014 midterms: Bring it on.

Party strategists believe that embracing the polarizing law — especially its more popular elements — is smarter politics than fleeing from it in the House elections. The new tack is a marked shift from 2010, when Republicans pointed to Obamacare as Exhibit A of Big Government run amok on their way to seizing the House from Democrats.

But the Democratic bear hug, reflecting a calculation it’s probably impossible to shed their association with the law even if they wanted to, is still a high-wire public relations act. The White House has consistently struggled with messaging on Obamacare, hoping the public would gain an appreciation for the health care makeover as its benefits became apparent. That never really happened, but Democrats seem to be banking that it finally will.

Yeah, because the problem from their point of view is always the messaging: “if only we explained ourselves better, then the rubes public would support our glorious ideas. Their lives are better, it’s just that they don’t know it. So we just have to fine tune our message and we’re back in business!” It’s never that their ideas stink like a fish left out in the sun, or that the public resents to the point of rage the way Obamacare was passed, as Moe Lane explains:

…the Democrats apparently have never really understood that the way that Obamacare was passed features prominently in the reason why it’s so unpopular among the rest of us.  Politico’s vaguely revisionist history aside, the Democrats certainly attempted to tout Obamacare as being a net positive in the 2010 elections; what they failed to realize then – and, apparently, now – is that when you shove something down my throat, I don’t particularly care whether you think that it tastes great or not.  What I care about is your callous indifference and unwarranted arrogance; and so it was with Obamacare.  The Democrats ignored the opposition, ignored the populace, and even ignored the established rules to pass their walking monstrosity of a health care rationing system; and it is a measure of precisely how tone-deaf they were about the procedure that one of their leaders actually thought that it was smart to tell people that we had to pass the bill to find out what was in it.

And he’s right. Aside from the abomination of Obamacare itself, the way it was passed, not just unconstitutional but anti-constitutional (No time to read the bill, drafting sessions from which the opposition was excluded, insulting the public, deem and pass, reconciliation…), is offensive, infuriating, enraging, and a good part of the reason for the electoral bug-squashing the Democrats suffered in 2010. I can just see the Republicans dusting off the Pelosi videos now.

In spite of that, the Democrats think the strategy of defending Obamacare, tuning their message, and promising to fix the broken parts while keeping the parts people like will work. Politico, again:

“In 2010, the benefits of ACA were theoretical and Democratic candidates ran away from it. If you were in a tough race and asked about health care,” a senior Democratic official told POLITICO, “you changed the topic. In 2014, Democrats can talk about the positives, position themselves as consumer advocates to make it work and go on offense against Republicans for wanting to take the benefits away.”

A problem with this is that those portions people like, including things I find distasteful such as keeping “children” on the parents’ insurance until they’re 26, can be fixed to be more market-oriented and part of a repeal-and-replace bill that still guts the core of the PPACA, which progressives adore and the majority loathes:  the hated mandate, the requirements to buy coverage you don’t need or want, and the new taxes.

Ah, yes. The new taxes and the increased premiums. Jim Geraghty tells us why that light the Democrats see at the end of the tunnel may instead be an oncoming train:

So . . . in 2014, just as premiums begin to reflect the changes of Obamacare, and in the year where the uninsured must start paying the government $95 or 1 percent of their income (whichever is higher) . . . Democrats have decided they’ll embrace Obamacare and make it a centerpiece of their reelection message.


The point is, starting in 2014, a lot of people who don’t have insurance and find the process of getting insurance immensely confusing and frustrating will suddenly be told they must pay the government for their failure to get insurance. And at that precise moment, Democrats will ask for their vote as an expression of gratitude.

That penalty will be enforced, collected by, and paid to the IRS, which has just been exposed as being quite willing to harass and punish law-abiding Americans for their political beliefs. And yet the Democrats want to remind voters of Obamacare and help the Republicans connect the two?

Genius. Brer Rabbit couldn’t have found a more attractive briar patch.

PS: For those under the impression that Pelosi and company might still have hit on a winning strategy, let’s take a walk down memory lane to see what happened the last time they told us how wonderful Obamacare would be. Have a look at the results for the House races, the Senate contests, and the state-level elections in 2010. To quote the Politico article again, “Bring it on.”

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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5 Responses to “Democrats decide on electoral strategy in 2014: suicide”


  1. Drew the Infidel says:

    If history is any sort of guide, this bodes well for the GOP. In the ’64 election LBJ was seen as too far left with his “Great Society” objectives of government subsidized housing, food stamps, etc. while Goldwater held the middle, which was the majority of the votes. When Goldwater made that crack about nuking Vietnam, it put him way to the right and LBJ simply slid over behind him to take his place and the election.

    If the GOP is seen as too far right in the ’16 election, commiecrats running headlong in suicidal fashion to the left creates a gaping opportunity for the GOP to slide over behind them to occupy the mainstream. In the 2010 mid-terms, Obhammud was 0-for-4 in endorsing candidates for election. Cross everything you have two of that he campaigns vigorously in ’16.

  2. Tex says:

    Forget having to justify Obamacare to the average electorate, who will be getting mauled by its provisions by then. The Democrats’ biggest worry should be trying to convince union members why having to pay more, or anything at all for that matter, for their health care, is a good thing for union members. Good luck with that!

  3. Mwalimu Daudi says:

    Unfortunately, the GOP never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

    In 2010 the GOP made historic gains running against ObamaCare. So what did the Republican Party do for an encore in 2012? Nominated the father of RomneyCare, who went on to lose the most winnable election in our lifetimes.

    So which of these two competing visions of the GOP will we see in 2014? I’ll wager that we will see much more of the nanny-state 2012 version that the 2010 Tea Party one. No doubt that by next year ObamaCare will be wrecking even more havoc on the economy than it has managed to do so far, but don’t forget that several GOP governors (a total of nine including Kasich, Brewer and Snyder) have foolishly embraced the most fiscally unstable part of ObamaCare: the Medicaid expansion. By accepting “free” money, these bozos will put their states on the hook for billions of dollars in the future when (not “if”) the federal government cuts support.

  4. Carlos says:

    By the results of the last election, the old P.T. Barnum saying, “There’s a sucker born every minute” needs to be updated: “There’s many suckers born every minute, and many of the ones not born suckers become fool-putty in the hands of Democrap liars.”

    I don’t look for the “Republican leadership,” the same ones who foisted McCain and Romney on us in the last two elections, to do us any better in ’16, and to bet against any conservative in ’14.

    What’s the difference between McCain/Romney and a Democrap? Stop looking before you hurt yourself – there isn’t any. Same goes for the rest of the Republican “leadership.”