Let President Obama and Democrats relish their win on the healthcare decision. They bought it. They own it. And they paid a lot for it — so much so that Republicans ought to be wondering if it hasn’t in fact been their friend.
Remember that in the beginning it hadn’t been planned as a stand-alone measure, but as part of a scheme to make the public fall in love with big government and ask for more of it. By the late summer of 2009, that dream was long gone.
Let’s recall where the Republicans were early in 2009, when healthcare first surfaced: dazed and confused, lost and bereft, fearing many long years in the wilderness. As it happened, they stayed in the wilderness only nine months. The Tea Party emerged, bringing the party new verve and new voices, control of the House and a whole class of fresh faces, most of whom seem to be running for president. Flash forward three years: 2012 was a big disappointment, but it fell in the lull between the passage and implementation of healthcare, when the heat had subsided.
In 2014, healthcare returned as an issue, and this time brought with it control of the Senate, and a second-crop of gleaning of stars. Let’s recall that in 2008-09, Time magazine compared Obama to Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Newsweek declared that “We are all Socialists.”
But once healthcare was passed, all of Obama’s transformational acts were done through executive action, as his power to push them through Congress was gone. Healthcare was the driving force in the unlikely rebirth of the Republican Party: No healthcare, no Tea Party and no renaissance; no House and no Senate; no thirty-two governors; no Marco Rubio, no Kelly Ayotte, no Tim Scott and no Nikki Haley. And then, from the 2014 cycle, no Tom Cotton, no Joni Ernst, no Cory Gardner, no Benjamin Sasse.
For several cycles, the GOP starting gates will be filled with fresh horses, while the Democrats have, at least for the moment, a collection of aging and battle-worn nags.
Ever wonder why no interesting center-left Democrats aren’t challenging an increasingly vulnerable Hillary Clinton? There aren’t any. Nobody. No one.
As Britain and France were bled white by their World War I battles, the Democrats were drained by a series of midterm debacles in which those in swing states were punished by voters, and all but the bluest of blue were cut down. On the altar of healthcare, Democrats sacrificed the fruit of two cycles of party-expansion, the picking of people who could win in red states and red districts, to bolster the party’s breadth and appeal.
Hillary is being seriously challenged by this whack-job socialist, Sanders (where are the feminists protesting his declaration that women dream of being gang-raped?), and Bernie is the strongest challenger. This is the stable for the Democrats. Pro-choice? I don’t think so. NO choice. Besides, the media is going to do the picking anyway.
Meanwhile, ANY of the Republicans is a thousand times more capable than Obama or Hillary (or Bernie). It’s good to have a selection to choose from. It’s good not to have someone else do your thinking and choosing for you.
It’s good not to be a liberal.
@Bill: The Donald is moving up==2nd in Fox News and CNN.polls. Polling particularly well with angry old White males.
@rich wheeler: While Hillary does well among ignorant dupes that approve of lying and dead ambassadors while Bernie is cornering the demo of chicken-chokers that get off thinking of women being gang-raped.
Walker has dropped to 5th at 6%–Have you switched to Trump? He’s blasting everybody. Gotta love it.
I thought Bernie was registered as an independent. Since when does the Democratic party allow non-Democrats to run for nomination?