The Obamacare Repeal Folly

The newly elected House Republicans that so zealously voted to repeal Obamacare might have ruined their chances for re-election in 2012. Their pitch that The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, is a “job-killing” socialistic, un-American piece of legislation may have been bought at face value by 56% of the people when the Democrats were in control of the House and the people, worried about losing their jobs, or already unemployed, were in a mood for change. (44%, it should be noted, were not swayed.) Though no one really knew the details of the mammoth 2.500 page Act, the pitch at the time rang true But now that they are in control, the newly elected House Republican, along with the Party leaders, will be compelled to explain to their constituents exactly why Obamacare is the “job killer” they say. Hard facts, the nitty-gritty in dollars and cents, not more high-sounding rhetoric, is what they will be expected to produce.

And it could well turn out that once their constituents become better acquainted with Obamacare, that many will want to keep it, at least part of it; that it is not a job killer, but a job creator, as the Congressional Budget Office suggests. In which case the new Republicans will come off as demagogues who had played on the emotions of the people to get elected. And on the prejudices of some as well. Though they won’t admit it, the tone of their rhetoric throughout their campaigns betrayed that Obama’s race and foreign name was cause for alarm.

Furthermore, since their repeal will not pass the Democratic controlled Senate, and even if it did, President Obama would veto it out of hand, House Republicans will be hard pressed to explain why they wasted so much time playing a political game when there was so much urgent Congressional business pending. And, by the same token, Republican state attorneys general intent on challenging the Constitutionality of Obamacare will have to explain to taxpayers what there is to gain for their costly legalistic maneuvering—arguing cases before the Supreme Court is not cheap--which has no chance of succeeding, either.

Republicans at all levels should take note: Most Americans in these hard times couldn’t care less about political ideology, future budget deficits, the national debt, global commitments, or other such issues which they, nor do most politicos, fully understand. And ditto for gay marriage, abortion, school prayer and other Evangelical bugaboos. The daily struggle for survival in the here and now, that’s the overriding concern of the American people. Jobs, stable, well-paying jobs, however they are created, that’s all they care about. As President Clinton’s campaign adviser James Carville famously put it a generation ago, “it’s the economy, stupid.”

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