Blaming the victim
So, I got this email from the TEA Party Express people. It starts:
We are saddened to see today that the political establishment in Washington DC continues to do the only thing they seem to know – kick the proverbial can down the road. Instead of repealing, defunding or at least delaying the atrocious Obamacare, the political elites are content to let the "train wreck" happen at the expense of the American people.
Now, look, I’m really sympathetic to the goals of the TEA Party. If it was up to me, the executive departments of the Federal Government would consist of State, Defense, Treasury, Justice, and Interior. We’d have a balanced budget amendment. There would be no federal-level entitlements. Basically, the federal government’s primary responsibility would be sound money and talking to or killing foreigners as required.
But this is just a bit tendentious. It’s not “political elites” that gave us Obamacare, or who are preventing it from being overturned. It’s Democrats. The problem isn’t that Republicans have some secret admiration for Obamacare that prevents them from getting rid of it. The problem is that Republicans control 1/2 of 1/3 of the government. They have no political way to force the repeal of the ACA. They don’t control the senate—or even have a majority in it—and they don’t control the White House. Since we don’t have government by magical pixie dust, but by actual votes in actual legislative bodies and approval by the president, what possible path to ACA repeal was on the table?
The Tea Party and conservatives got short end of the stick on today’s announced budget "compromise." Enough Republicans in the Senate and the House are ready to give the Democrats everything they wanted and rendered the principled stand led by Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and others a futile effort.
No. It was a futile effort before it began. The principled stands of some Republicans were irrelevant, because they had no power whatsoever to translate their stands into concrete action. Nor, apparently, were the Democrats in the Senate or White House particularly worried enough about negative public opinion to yield. SO, where was this going to go? Partially shutting down the government forever? Stopping Social Security and Medicare payments? I mean, what, precisely, was the end game that got to Obamacre repeal with the current senate and president? Hey, while we’re on the subject, what was the plan that the Republicans had—or that Ted Cruz had—prior to shutting down the government? I mean, other than, you know, hope.
To put it plain and simple: we don’t have enough conservatives in Congress to stop the irresponsible spending in Washington.
Yes. Exactly. Which everyone else knew early in November of 2012, just as they knew the next chance to repeal the ACA, barring its spectacular failure, would be after 2014 at the earliest.
We have seen 5 years of the Obama Administration and no successful negotiations have taken place except the sequester, which was Obama’s idea because he never thought it would actually happen!
So, by what sophistry of reason did anyone assume Obama would negotiate over Obamacare?
This is simply unacceptable. The Republicans have had 5 years to try and make some progress in remedying the financial ills that plague our nation’s future, and have made little to no progress.
I guess that makes you wish you’d had a massive GOTV effort in 2012, huh? But that didn’t happen, and millions of Republican voters stayed home. So we got a Democrat-controlled Senate, and Barack Obama went back to the White House.
The predictable result was that Obamacare was not—and with Democrats controlling the Senate and White House, will not—be repealed in the foreseeable future.
Are there some Republicans who could be described as insufficiently conservative? Yeah. Sure. So what? They aren’t the fundamental problem here. They aren’t the ones who voted for it in the first place, either.
If you want the ACA repealed there’s a simple way to do it: Win elections. Like Cory Booker just did in New Jersey, which sent another Democrat to the Senate.