Just to be arrogant and quote myself from three months ago:
I’ve been telling people for months that Republicans have no interest in stopping health care legislation. People like Rush Limbaugh have marveled out loud about why Congressional Republicans aren’t being more vocal and active in opposing it. There is a perfectly reasonable explanation for that. Because they don’t oppose it, as is evidenced in the above video. The only reason they have given passive resistance to it for the last few months is that it’s good positioning for campaign donations and re-election.
You have to begin looking at all politics from the angle of “who wins? who loses?” So let’s do that. If health care passed right now, would the Republicans lose? No. They’ll just claim that they tried hard to fight it, but didn’t have enough numbers on their side. They will still be re-elected and Democrats will get hammered in November. Plus, now they can enjoy the same benefits the Democrats wanted. Namely, large new campaign contributions from the healthcare lobby. That’s a win for them.
So, what if health care doesn’t pass. Do Republicans lose? No. They still get re-elected in November on the idea that they defeated the bill, and Democrats get hammered. They also still get massive campaign contributions from an energized base. That’s a win for them also.
See what I mean? That’s how politics works. Smart politicians always set themselves up to win on both sides of potential legislation. Values and ideology in Washington are like unicorns and fairies. They don’t exist.
And so, today, we have this little nugget of a story from AP:
GOP Sees Risks in Push to Repeal Health Law
Republican leaders are stepping cautiously, wary of angering staunchly conservative voters bent on repealing the new law. In recent public comments, they have quietly played down the notion of repealing the law while emphasizing claims that it will hurt jobs, the economy and the deficit.
Asked if he advises Republican Senate candidates to call for repealing the law, Cornyn said: “Candidates are going to test the winds in their own states. … In some places, the health care bill is more popular than others.”
On Tuesday, Cornyn issued a 1,280-word campaign memo that mentioned “repeal” only once. It did not advocate repeal but noted that in a recent poll, “46 percent of respondents support a full repeal” of the health law.
Three weeks ago, Cornyn told reporters he thought GOP Senate candidates would and should run on a platform of repealing the legislation.
Ah. So the Republicans are cool with the bill after all? Surprise, surprise. Fire up the base for the fight and then cool ‘em down when it’s over. It’s all clockwork. It’s almost as if it was planned that way.