Monday, November 16, 2015

Having Failed To Kill Partial ObamaCare Repeal In The House, Tea Partiers Successfully Killing It In The Senate

by JASmius

The reality is, and has been for the past five and a half years, that ObamaCare can and will never, EVER be repealed to the tiniest degree while Barack Obama remains in power. That is not the GOP "establishment's" fault and it is not Mitt Romney's fault, it is the fault of the sixty-two million knuckleheads who twice elected him. Thus, the best thing that a Republican Congress can do is pass a bill getting rid of as much of it as possible via the reconciliation process to get around the inevitable Senate Democrat filibuster and force the POTUS those filibusters endlessly protect to give it the high-profile veto we need to elevate ObamaCare repeal as a 2016 campaign issue and prove that a GOP Congress kept in place into 2017 can and will repeat that process for an incoming Republican president to sign into law. Does this bill repeal every last bit of O-Care? No, it doesn't. But that isn't the point, now is it?

And yet for the purity fetishists at Heritage Action, it's the only point. Strategy doesn't matter to them, reality doesn't matter to them, actually accomplishing their avowed policy goals doesn't matter to them. They futiley demand that the process be simple, that political opposition and constitutional constraints make way, and they get what they want by essentially the wave of a magic wand. And any Republican who's not down with that, and is down with the aforementioned House bill, they will do their level best to destroy, even (or especially?) if it helps the Democrats.

- Me, 25 days ago

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gets it.  He wants to ram through reconciliation the repeal of every relevant (and the most unpopular) portions of ObamaCare - the Individual and Employer Mandates, all the taxes (including the dreaded "Cadillac" tax that even Big Labor adamantly opposes because it'll come out of their pockets) - and get the bill to Red Barry for his 2016 campaign issue table-setting high-profile veto.  Which is the whole point of the exercise so that the GOP can win that election, take back the White House, keep the House and Senate, and be able to repeal ALL of ObamaCare.  It's called strategy, and that's how the game is played.  Assuming, of course, that you want to win it.

Winning by any other tactic than full-speed ahead, Picketts charge-esque frontal attacks doomed to failure does not appear to be on Senate Tea Partiers' agenda - which is to say, they'd prefer to lose and remain "pure":

Senate GOP leaders had hoped to move a House-passed package repealing parts of the controversial healthcare reform law before Thanksgiving. But that plan has been shelved amid party turmoil.


Senate Republican sources say the measure, which has encountered opposition from conservatives and moderates, albeit for different reasons, will have to wait until after Thanksgiving. Some say it could slide into next year.

“We have not scheduled that yet,” a Senate GOP leadership aide said Friday. “We don’t have a bill yet. You’re always short the votes until you have a bill.”

Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn (Texas) told reporters last month “the week or so before Thanksgiving looks like a good opportunity” to move the ObamaCare repeal package.

Now some aides say it may be best to wait until next year or even 2017 to pass as strong a package as possible.

Which is to say, never pass any package at all.  Suppose Republicans lose the Senate next year (due in no small part to this stupid refusal to pass "half a loaf" - and it's more like three-quarters or greater, really - now)?  And/or lose the White House for a third straight cycle, as is looking ever more likely with each passing day?  Then what would we do?  Start all over again at square one, rolling back the clock to at least 2012?  Failing to oust Obama then reduced the chances of eventual ObamaCare repeal dramatically.  Repeating that failure in 2016 would make repeal impossible, assuming it's still possible now at all - which the usual suspects (Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and oddly enough, Marco Rubio) are doing their level best to kill off with extreme prejudice.

And a parenthetical word to Senator Lee: Cruz is a fratricidal dick and would be pushing this self-defeating insanity anyway, but he and Rubio do have the excuse that they're running for president and, trailing as badly as they are, need to be pulling it out and stroking it for the base.  What the devil is yours ?

“We want to make sure the American people know we're still on their side, and that's the reason we intend to send ObamaCare repeal to the president's desk,” [McConnell] told reporters.

But he may lose as many as five conservatives and three centrists in his conference on the House-passed bill, leaving him with forty-six votes, five short of a simple majority.

It's like when the John McCain and the RINOs sabotaged then-Majority Leader Bill Frist's move to nuke the judicial confirmation filibuster back in 2005, only the attack on Mitch McConnell is coming from his right flank instead.

“There are five that say you have to repeal all of ObamaCare or they’d vote against it, and you have three that say you have to take Planned Parenthood out or they won’t vote for reconciliation,” said another Senate GOP aide.

That would be Senators Kirk (facing harrowing reelection prospects in Illinois), Collins (the standard-issue Maine RINO) and Murkowski (the Alaska RINO who won't accept GOP primary voters "no"s for an answer).  They all support Planned Parenthood, so their motives are soiled and besmirched, but their butts are covered by the fact that they're in the American majority on that question.  Which means, in turn, that tying partial ObamaCare repeal to another run at defunding Planned Parenthood just creates a needless, pointless distraction that won't have public support behind it, will diminish public support for any degree of ObamaCare repeal, and syphon off votes needed to pass said repeal.

Again, it's not about what we WANT to do, it's about what we CAN do, what's possible.  Strategy, in other words.  And "We want everything NOW!!!" is not a strategy, other than for catastrophic and permanent defeat.

That appears to be elected Tea Partiers' objective in all of this, if their actions are to be taken above their words.  Which strongly suggests that they either need a new strategy, or they need to be gotten out of office before they extinguish the conservative cause altogether.

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