Republicans are now also free to unsheathe a seldom-used weapon to push through legislation. The Democrats have already made the case that ignoring committee hearings and relying on unilateral parliamentary tricks -- despite the objections of the lowly proles -- is acceptable, as long as you deem a bill important enough.
Republicans also have the advantage of utilizing the Democrats' own deception on cost estimates.
Most of the imagined benefits of Obamacare would not kick in until 2014, so Republicans have a few years' cushion to move forward as seniors lose their Medicare Advantage program and taxes begin to rise along with premiums.
But none of that can erase history. Once government infiltrates, it rarely retreats. There are precious few examples of federal programs shirking rather than growing -- most often in extraordinary ways.
Democrats know it.
Perhaps a re-branded Republican Party will be able to deflect the emotionalism of liberal arguments and reject the lure of spending, though the past decade hasn't exactly inspired confidence.
Soon enough, we'll find out whether the GOP has transformed into a party that matches its rhetoric. But repealing Obamacare? That's a tall order.
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