A lot of “folks” (as President Obama likes to say) thought I was going way out on a limb to predict two weeks ago that Congress will vote to repeal Obamacare in advance of the election next year, but the momentum is building.
Politico notes that many Democratic strategists are saying the party is “in denial” about the disaster of Obamacare:
And that perceived gap between party spin and facts on the ground is fueling worries that the White House and Democratic higher-ups aren’t taking the possible electoral blowback seriously enough or doing enough to shield their candidates. Democratic contenders in the toughest races are distinctly less convinced that Obamacare will fade as an election-year issue — and they can’t afford to just cross their fingers that things get ironed out or that Republicans revert to political hara-kiri. . .
“We’re trying to deny what everyone knows is happening,” said one Democratic pollster who is a veteran of competitive congressional races. “Anybody who is halfway intelligent knows this is a big … problem for us. It’s impossible not to see. We can try to hide our heads in the sand and pretend it’s not a problem, but it is.”
A second Politico story warns that Democrats in Congress are running out of patience with the White House:
Some Capitol Hill Democrats are preparing to launch broadsides against President Barack Obama if the Affordable Care Act website isn’t fixed by the end of the month. . .
“The president and his team have repeatedly assured us that the system will be working by Dec. 1. That’s when I start looking at what we have to do in our oversight function to hold the administration accountable for making it work,” Rep. Bruce Braley, an Iowa Democrat who is running for an open Senate seat said Thursday, adding that he’s contemplating whether to ask the president to fire members of his staff. “I’m thinking about those options. But my biggest concern is fixing the system and making it work.”
Democratic lawmakers — particularly those on the House side — are preparing to try to put distance between themselves and the president because they’re not confident that the White House has a Plan B for getting the policy right or protecting them in the mid-term elections.
[One] big-city lawmaker predicted oversight hearings are “going to be ugly” come next month. “The more we find out about this implementation of the ACA, the worse it looks. The Congress did our job. We passed the ACA. It’s up to the administration to implement the law.”
In the Washington Post this morning, Reid Wilson thinks another Republican wave is building:
President Obama’s poll numbers are at record lows. The health care law that serves as the cornerstone of his domestic policy legacy is even more unpopular. And there are few chances to change the conversation among a skeptical public that isn’t happy with Washington.
Sound familiar? It should: The national political climate today is starting to resemble 2010, when Republicans won control of the House of Representatives by riding a wave of voter anger. . .
[T]here’s no sign that Obama will become more popular. Presidents who see their approval ratings dip so dramatically in the second term rarely see their numbers improve.
Tick, tock, tick, tock. . .
JOHN adds: I think a lot of Democrats are delusional, in this sense: they haven’t figured out that the problem with Obamacare isn’t the rollout, or the launch, or the implementation, or the web site. The problem is the law itself. It will be, I think, a rolling disaster for the next year, as millions of people lose their health insurance, rates increase, and millions more lose their doctors. I think we have barely scratched the surface of public anger at Obamacare, and, yes, I too think the law will be repealed, although perhaps not as soon as next year.