The Politico reports this morning that the great Democrat Crackup of 2013-2014is officially underway:
The great Democratic unity of 2013 held for five-and-a-half days.
For weeks leading up to the shutdown — and over the 16 days it dragged on — President Barack Obama did the unthinkable: he held every Democrat in the House and Senate together. There weren’t any defectors. There wasn’t even anyone running to reporters to question his strategy. The man who’d disappointed them so many times was suddenly exciting them, with his newly apparent backbone and successful resistance to Republicans. They were rushing to do whatever they could to stand by him, next to him, with him.
Like any fad, that’s gone the way of trucker hats and the macarena.
The problems with the Obamacare website have transformed the president from a man who seemed to have gotten a sudden infusion of political capital to a man who’s been pushed back on his heels. He was firm, and he was setting the agenda. Now he’s back to trying to beating back the latest frame Republicans have forced on him, inadvertently providing evidence to support the doubts they’ve been trying to sow from the beginning. He spent last week against the backdrop of a shutdown that made people appreciate all the things government can do for them. Now he has a website which shows how little it can.
And Democrats have scattered, raising the question of whether the president will be able to preserve any of the new cohesion he inspired earlier in the month, or whether the rift is going to widen again.
I vote for Option B. Even Democrats – especially those in red states up for re-election next year (like Senator Hagan here in NC) – have become begrudgingly aware of the toxicity of not just the Obamacare roll-out itself, but Obamacare in general, all the lost jobs, the people whose hours have been cut, the people whose premiums have skyrocketed, the people who have been dumped off their existing plans because of the “Affordable Care Act” – it’s undeniable now the harsh, and in all too many cases devastating impact of the monstrosity that is Obamacare on real people. Expect vulnerable Democrats in key states next year to distance themselves from it even more.
Stay tuned …