GOP Needs to Get a Grip on Its ObamaCare Obsession

Even Karl Rove thinks Boehner's plan is bad politics

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 19, 2013 12:55 PM CDT

(Newser) – House Republicans announced yesterday that they'd only vote to fund the government and raise the debt ceiling if they could repeal or delay ObamaCare with the same votes. That's got pundits talking today, and pretty much none of those people think it's a good strategy. Here's what they're saying:

  • At the Wall Street Journal, Karl Rove reveals Crossroads polling that shows that, while independent voters widely oppose ObamaCare, they oppose the GOP's repeal-or-shutdown tactics just as strongly. Rove also argues that a shutdown today "would have much worse fallout" than the 1995 shutdown, politically and otherwise. Besides, the repeal would need enough votes to clear the Senate and override a presidential veto. "No sentient being believes this will happen."

  • Republicans who prefer gradually delaying and dismantling the law are winning the argument, argues Peter Roff at US News and World Report, and with good reason: "They have the president on their side." Obama's team "has made such a hash of the implementation phase of ObamaCare that 'delay' is already a reality," and it now seems inevitable to him that the whole law will "come tumbling down" and be replaced with something else.
  • But some Republicans—displaying "all the rationality of a Justin Bieber fan riot"—argue that they must act quickly, before Americans taste ObamaCare's sweet, sweet subsidies. The law will be "worse than an invasion of giant zombies swinging nuclear-tipped crocodiles!" quips Gail Collins at the New York Times, and Americans "are going to love it so much they will never have the self-control necessary to give it up."
  • It's not just bad politics, it's morally wrong, argues EJ Dionne at the Washington Post. "There is a thread running through the kamikaze caucus," he writes. "Almost everything it is doing is designed to keep government from acting against inequality." ObamaCare, which would help 25 million Americans get insurance "is part of this larger story."

House Speaker John Boehner speaks during news conference on Capitol Hill, Sept. 12, 2013, after meeting with congressional leaders to discuss the budget.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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