The PJ Tatler

Is the House About to Give In on Obamacare?

Erick Erickson says yes.

I’m being told by several sources that Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor are plotting to give up trying to either defund or delay Obamacare.

This comes at the same time the Obama administration admits it will be months before their Obamacare website will be fixed and Kathleen Sebelius is saying if people want out of the mandate they can pay a fine.

Nonetheless, Cantor, Boehner, and with them Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn are expected to cave in and fully fund, unimpeded, Obamacare.

Erickson says that giving in now will pave the way for a third party.

That’s only true if Republican voters don’t pull our heads out of our behinds.

The Republicans still have the opportunity to get Obamacare destroyed and restore freedom to individuals, businesses and states. That’s the goal, right?

The defund strategy has done one thing right and one thing wrong. On the right side, it has focused some attention on Obamacare during its first week. Obamacare didn’t get the chance to soft launch. It had to launch in full public view, thanks to the defund strategy, and its rollout has been a gigantic, expensive mess.

But on the wrong side, the defund strategy has ended up causing all kinds of distractions from the Obamacare disaster. Every story about the Obama administration’s overreaches — the National Park Service thuggery and all that — has ended up sucking air away from stories about Obamacare failures. The low-information voter out there, the person who doesn’t pay any attention to details but whose vote ends up running the world, isn’t seeing Obamacare’s spectacular failures isolated as the top story in the land. They’re seeing that, along with lots of noise stories about the shutdown, Kanye and Kimmel burying their feud, etc. The defund strategy has ended up generating interference with the GOP’s main signal, which is that the long-predicted Obamacare disasters have become reality. These stories make folks like us despise Obama more than we already did, but are they having a positive effect among the low-info voters? The evidence on that is mixed — Republicans’ popularity is at an all-time low, Democrats aren’t much more popular, the generic congressional ballot is running about even, and Obama’s numbers are tanking.

Getting the defund/shutdown/debt ceiling story off the front burner is disappointing, as it leaves Obamacare in place for now and doesn’t seriously deal with our spending addiction. Obama may get off the hook for a series of tyrannical actions he took to make the shutdown as painful as possible on veterans and other everyday American businesses and families. But moving the shutdown/debt ceiling story aside provides the opportunity to focus back on Obamacare and highlight how government tends to fail at whatever it does. Big Government is Obama’s big brand. Discredit it and you discredit him. Obamacare came built in with several promises — greater access, lower premiums, you can keep your doctor. Republicans should run against Obamacare, highlight its failures to fulfill its promises, expose how it is hurting Americans all over the country, and make it central in the 2014 mid-terms. Democrats already have to defend more seats than Republicans do. Make them own their party’s disastrous law — a law that a majority of Americans didn’t want and still oppose.

Third party runs will end up enshrining Obamacare forever. Let’s not go that route.