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12 Million Republicans Want to Move On

By John Martin - Posted on 03 July 2012

While the political world continues to define "mandates" and "taxes," a surprisingly large number of Republicans have had enough of it all. A new survey put out by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that 26% of us (roughly 12 million Republican party members) say they would like to see Obamacare's detractors stop trying to block its implementation and move on to address other issues.

Even more encouraging for the sane wing of the party, a MAJORITY of Republicans who don't identify with the Tea Party (53%!) say we should stop trying to fight the ACA.
As usual, it's Republicans like us-- the ones who shy away from extreme partisanship, and who would rather see the parties cooperate-- who are drowned out. After all, "move on" isn't usually a popular rallying cry, even when it's the sensible, and patriotic, thing to do.

I am afraid this information is almost irrelevant as to whether Repeal Obamacare will be a major fall campaign  issue.  I would imagine a similar number of people would never have wanted a protracted national discussion of Jeremiah Wright or Obama's birth certificate/nationality, but they got'em both.

People do not respond to issues, they respond to narratives. If Fox News et. al. can frame the story in threads that make people fear a) the rising power of the Enemy (European-style socialized medicine) and/or  b) a threat to our unique and exceptional way of life (government usurpation of personal freedom), they might generate good ratings. If they generate good ratings they will keep the story running and other networks, cable and major, will eventually pick it up.

My fear is the complacency of Democrats who perpetually wake up in the middle of a losing fight wondering how people can be "distracted" by irrelevance and ridiculous fear mongering.  Conservative strategists read Pericles (father of motivating the masses  through fear and protectionism) and liberal strategists read Marx (the masses will be motivated  to unify themselves around their own economic interests once they have been educated to the false distractions of divisiveness  put before them).

Pericles usually works better than Marx.


The Republicans are a lot better at motivating people through fear, but that only works for so long. The fear they stoked about Iraq helped the GOP in the 2004 elections, but then seriously backfired on them by the end of Bush's term, and helped get a Democrat in the White House.

Republicans try to motivate voters with fear of illegal immigrants and fear of gay people, but the tide is running against them. They've managed to alienate Latino voters and young people in the process and have hurt their future electoral prospects.

They're trying to scare people into disliking Obamacare, but it's now even more clear that it's here to stay. Just as the Democrats used R opposition against the New Deal to remain in power for decades, they will similarly be able to use R opposition to Obamacare (which may become more popular once people realize what it does) to their advantage going forward.

To fight ACA right now is simply crazy. Sometimes you have to bite the bullet and go for it. Do what's right and history will reward you just as it has the original proponents of Medicare. We all know delay simply adds to the problem and maintaining the status quo just exacerbates the crisis we face. Presumably, we will pursue cost containment more as time goes on.

Yeah, Baby. Yeah!

(From today's NYTimes, Editorial page, excerpt on Obama's reluctance to fight for passage and support of ACA)

"The White House has been halfhearted in its sales pitch (on Affordable Care Act) almost from the beginning of Mr. Obama’s administration. Polls showed that many middle-class voters, comfortable with their own insurance, weren’t particularly interested in a new social program that extended coverage to 30 million uninsured people, many of them poor.

Beyond simple decency, that’s a huge benefit to society as a whole, improving public health and reducing expensive emergency care that everyone pays for. In uncertain times, as well, anyone can suddenly lose health insurance. But that case was never forcefully made, and Republicans exploited the complexity of the law to persuade casual listeners that, as the House speaker, John Boehner, claimed on Sunday, “this is government taking over the entire health insurance industry.”

Expanding coverage is an idea worth defending, particularly when Republican leaders acknowledge that they have little interest in doing so."

This is why I detest donating to Obama's campaign, although I do it -- both to a PAC and the campaign directly. (I am not exactly a Koch brother but I pitch in.) I know some money, and not a small amount of it, pays the salaries and fees of high level communication experts, their staffs, and message consultant operations.  It is hard to imagine how they could have performed less competently on Health care reform (Affordable Care Act, my decidedly preferred term over the self-defeating "Obamacare") since March 2010.

I think Team Obama is finally ready to enthusiastically sell health reform-and educate people! Hey, better late than never. Obama is pounding Romney hard on running away from his own Romneycare, saying leaders fight for what's right and should be proud of what he did, rather than listening to Rush Limbaugh and changing his mind on a whim, pretending it was a bad idea. Obama's website is even promoting "I love Obamacare" bumper stickers. That Supreme Court decision may have really turned the tide. We can only hope! And for all those-including Democratic leaders-who said it was the "wrong time" to work on health care reform, I truly feel if it wasn't done then, it would have just been kicked down the road for years/decades to come. Leadership matters.

As a progressive and lifelong Democrat, it is refreshing to be to read comments from Republicans that are both rational and thoughtful!  It is time to take back the GOP and let the TP'ers wallow in their shame!  Kudos!

Not all Republican politicians are against the ACA. Former Tennessee Senator Bill Frist supports the law. Even Willard himself has said, if elected, he would retain parts of the law (that can't be comforting to the hard right, who was already suspicious of Romney, and now has even more reason to be uneasy).

I guess even Paul Ryan is uneasy about the GOP ticket's prospects in November, as he has launched his campaign to retain his congressional seat in Wisconsin.

I have just published a book on the Republican Party and how rational Republicans can take their party back and make it a viable institution again. Please check it out:

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