It’s a political blunder to choose this ground (the CR) to pick this fight (Obamacare). BHO is betting that his bully pulpit, amplified by his media echoes, will cause the GOP to blink first. And I suspect he’s right. Find better ground.
Rich Lowry thinks the Obamacare fight is just beginning:
[Obamacare] has a legitimacy problem. It had one before it passed, when it was kept afloat through gross special deals, and it has one still, when it is manifestly failing to live up to the president’s salesmanship on its behalf. There’s a reason that usually we don’t pass major social changes lacking popular support on party-line votes — it is a formula for conflict rather than consensus.
…on the notion that the GOP should just accept the law of the land:
If this were a consistent principle rather than opportunistic advice, Democrats would have been content to leave “don’t ask, don’t tell” in place and never would have agitated to repeal the Bush tax cuts, out of deference to duly constituted policy and law.
…especially when the policy was passed via unseemly partisan tactics and remains unpopular (and is likely to only grow more so):
Nearly four years after ObamaCare passed, the coalition against it has expanded, not shrunk. The unions are now excoriating the law in terms that once would have been reserved for Republican floor speeches… Pew Research has found disapproval of the health-care law at an all-time high in its polling. CNN’s latest survey has disapproval at 57 percent and approval at 38.
It won’t work while the incentives are so wrong. The end point is repeal/replace or single payer. I’m on record as believing this is a feature, not a bug of the bill, and it explains the intransigence of the Left, who’ve wanted this for (literally) over 100 years.
(T)he law suffers from basic design flaws beyond the question of whether the Obama administration can get its software to work. It depends on young, healthy people buying insurance even as it reduces their incentive to do so; it encourages employers to dump workers off their current insurance; it suppresses full-time work, through the employer mandate; in 10 years, the law still leaves 30 million people uninsured. None of this makes for a stable, widely accepted new dispensation in American health care.
It also explains the intransigence of the Right, who’ve opposed this fundamental transformation for 100 years.
The law’s fate over the longer term matters because it is almost certain to survive the immediate confrontations over the so-called continued resolution and the debt ceiling. It will be determined over the course of the next two elections, when Republicans will continue to pound away — rightly — over the sighs of annoyed impatience of the left and the media. Resistance is not futile.
Which brings us full circle back to the point: you don’t pass revolutionary legislation on party-line votes. Had POTUS merely given us tort reform he could have picked off at least a third of our caucus and the country wouldn’t be in this (particular, there are others) mess. We were that scared of him at that point. But the trial lawyers own the Democrats and, as his chief of staff said at the time, “F*#$ them, we have the votes.”