Ted Cruzote
Apologies to Picasso

Hi, ho, a-tilting we will go

| Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) spent the summer—and a lot of advertising dollars — trying to convince us that getting rid of "Obamacare" would be as easy as "defunding" it.

You should always be careful what you wish for because you might get it. Well, they now have their chance, for the House Republicans have sent a bill to the Senate to fund everything about the government except for Obamacare. It is a foregone conclusion that the Senate will strip out the "except for Obamacare" part and send the bill right back to the House. It is patently clear that noone has any idea what will happen next. The House, under control of the craziest of the crazies there, will surely not say, "Oh, OK."

Lee, playing Sancho Panza to Cruz's Don Quixote, has already declared that the continuing resolution (to fund the government) "is not worth causing a shutdown over" (Yahoo News). Oops! Off message. 

Toward the end of last week, internecine warfare between House Republicans and Senator Cruz, in particular, broke into the open. Let's have more of the same.

Repugnicans make two basic arguments about Obamacare:

1. The American people don't want Obamacare

It's true that poll after poll shows that less than half those polled favor Obamacare. But what they don't ever mention is that when you dig into the numbers, a substantial number who don't favor Obamacare don't favor it because it didn't go far enough (CNN/ORC International).

Of course people aren't in favor of Obamacare — the Republicans have spent the last three years telling lie after lie and distortion after distortion about it, spreading fear, uncertainty, and doubt.

And it has worked well: a recent poll by ABC News shows that more than 6 in 10 feel that they do not have enough information about the law (ABC News/Washington Post poll).

2. Obamacare isn't "ready for prime time"

They never say what they mean when they say that Obamacare "isn't ready." If they mean that the rollout will not be without hiccups and glitches, they're right of course - no massive program or product is ever rolled out without a glitch.

My idea is that the reason they're hammering on "it's not ready" is so they can defend a fall-back strategy when the fight over the continuing resolution fails and they move on to raising the debt ceiling, which will come up in October. Having failed to "defund" Obamacare, they will then argue that it has to be delayed until it's "ready." Any delay would not be devoted to making it ready but be used as an opportunity to air more scary anti-Obamacare ads.

Uncle Sam as gynecologist
Uncle Sam as proctologist

Message: Be afraid, be very afraid.

The right wing has done everything possible to obstruct the implementation of Obamacare. These ads, aimed at college students, are intended to discourage young people from signing up. It's not clear to me why anybody thinks this kind of campaign is going to be effective because most college students are under 26 years old and can therefore be covered  under their parents' policies. This disgraceful campaign bears the fingerprints of the infamous Koch brothers who are funding it (ThinkProgress)

There seem to be no tactics too low or too deceptive for right wing Republicans bent on obstructing and sabotaging President Obama. They have to be stopped; they are putting our very government at risk. I know some think that's a good thing, but they haven't thought through the implications of anarchy.

Last updated on Apr 13, 2018



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