The PJ Tatler

Dems Embrace the Horror for 2014

I’m trying to think of something similarly suicidal to Democrats announcing yesterday that they will embrace and run on the “success” of Obamacare in 2014.

Going over Niagara Falls in a leaky barrel might fit, but then, some people have survived that stunt.

Skydiving without a parachute? Again, there have been instances of people landing on a bale of hay or something and walking away.

I’m having a hard time coming up with something that would express the absolute futility as well as the bat guano crazy idea that there is anything at all to “embrace” about Obamacare and that Democrats haven’t completely lost it.


Scarred by years of Republican attacks over Obamacare, with more in store next year, Democrats have settled on an unlikely strategy for the 2014 midterms: Bring it on.

Party strategists believe that embracing the polarizing law — especially its more popular elements — is smarter politics than fleeing from it in the House elections. The new tack is a marked shift from 2010, when Republicans pointed to Obamacare as Exhibit A of Big Government run amok on their way to seizing the House from Democrats.

But the Democratic bear hug, reflecting a calculation it’s probably impossible to shed their association with the law even if they wanted to, is still a high-wire public relations act. The White House has consistently struggled with messaging on Obamacare, hoping the public would gain an appreciation for the health care makeover as its benefits became apparent. That never really happened, but Democrats seem to be banking that it finally will.

The strategy will be put to the test as the law kicks in next year and is implemented in the months leading up to the election — with the inevitable snafus and critical media coverage as the public gets its first up-close view of the massive undertaking.

California Rep. Scott Peters, a freshman Democrat who narrowly won election last year, said he doesn’t agree with every part of the law. But he said he’s not afraid of addressing health care — far from it.

“I don’t have any problem talking about it,” Peters, who hails from a San Diego-area swing district, said in an interview. “I think it’s a big issue. I think it’s going to be talked about more than immigration or guns.”

One early sign of the shift: After House Republicans brought a health care repeal measure to the floor last month — the 37th time they’ve tried — Peters joined a cast of other Democratic incumbents from competitive districts to criticize the GOP for the maneuver.

In 2010, Democratic congressional candidates in tough races actively promoted their opposition to the just-passed law, in some cases running ads blasting it. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee privately instructed members and candidates to change the subject if they were asked about the health care law in town hall meetings or on the campaign trail.

Maybe they think running away from Obamacare in 2010 didn’t work so they’ll try the 180 degree opposite tack and embrace it as the greatest government program ever. More expensive than Social Security! More intrusive than Medicare! More useless than No Child Left Behind! Coming soon — OBAMACARE!

One 15 second political ad will lead to a GOP victory. The ad opens with President Obama addressing Congress:

“If you are among the hundreds of millions of Americans who already have health insurance through your job, or Medicare, or Medicaid, or the VA, nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have.”

Perhaps a laugh track could be added for effect at the end of that statement.

Democrats have been trying to convince themselves that everything is going to be alright, that the rollout for Obamacare won’t be so bad, that premiums won’t rise that much, that millions won’t get thrown off their insurance plans and forced to buy higher priced policies, and that Americans will accept the whole kit and kaboodle without a whimper.

If they really believe that. embracing Obamacare is a no-brainer.