What's the matter, guys? Shouldn't you be delighted that Republicans are helpfully reminding everyone exactly whom deserves our grateful nation's eternal thanks for introducing, selling, and signing this gleaming monument to government largesse? I'm confused:
In the latest battle in the Congressional franking wars, Democrats have been vetoing use of the word “Obamacare” in taxpayer-financed mass mailings, saying it violates rules against using the franking privilege for “personal, partisan or political reasons.” Their objections are irking Republicans as the calendar advances toward the 2012 elections. Use of the word Obamacare as a shorthand reference for the health care reform law has become a rallying cry for conservatives who are working to repeal the law. Democrats have objected to the term.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY.) said Obamacare has “become sort of pejorative, for no particular reason — through usage and the way it’s used and who uses it. The Republicans are trying to make it pejorative.” Nadler added that Republicans were trying to seize on Obama’s unpopularity to make the health care law unpopular as well.
In all honesty, I'm neither confused nor surprised in the least. Democrats have consistently raised dopey objections to this term, even though it perfectly assigns
blame credit for the law's champion-in-chief. DWS got cranky on this very point back in February:
House Republicans and Democrats started Friday morning's debate over whether to defund last year's healthcare law, and as part of this debate sparred over whether members should be allowed to call that law "ObamaCare." After two House Republicans called it "ObamaCare," Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) asked the chairman whether these "disparaging" remarks should be allowed on the House floor.
Here's the political corner Democrats have backed themselves into: (1) They obstinately insist through gritted teeth that they're unambiguously proud of their crowning Statist achievement. Nancy Pelosi famously said they'd have jammed it through even if every single American had access to quality, affordable healthcare before its passage. (2) President Obama himself has signaled that he's totes cool with the "Obamacare" moniker because it reminds people that he cares, or something. And yet, (3) Democrats feign outrageous outrage over the term, and condemn it as a political attack on the president. Nadler suggests that the GOP is exploiting the president's unpopularity to sully the reputation of his signature accomplishment. This gets it precisely backwards; it's the "accomplishment" that helped cause the unpopularity, not vice versa.
The truth is that Democrats obviously realize that the American people continue to reject their fetid abomination of a healthcare law just as forcefully as they did when Democrats were busy ignoring their wishes and pounding it down their throats. Their self-delusional analysis that public opinion would turn around once the law's "benefits" went into effect has never come to pass. Instead, they're stuck with a giant albatross across their shoulders: A new regime that is as unpopular as ever, that isn't accomplishing what they promised it would, that remains unaffordable, and that is coming apart at the legislative seams. The Left paid dearly for their Obamacare gambit in the midterm elections, and now they've resorted to hoping they can make the issue go away. If they believe they can accomplish that goal by waving their lexical wands and making an unhelpful term vanish into thin air, they're dreaming.
UPDATE - If "Obamacare" is out, how about "Obama's BFD"?
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography
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