Are Nervous Democrats Starting to Eye Obamacare Repeal?

Posted: Nov 18, 2013 1:35 PM

On one end of the spectrum you have down-with-the-ship partisans, who continue to beat their chests about running on Obamacare in 2014. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has doubled down on this theme, and Nancy Pelosi is on board, too. Stand tall, or whatever:

Then you've got the David Plouffes of the world, who are reduced to adorable wish-casting disguised as "analysis:"

David Plouffe to ABC: GOP Plan to Run Against Obamacare an 'Impossibility'

Sure, Dave. Whatever you say. Finally, there are the teeth-grinding, sweat-drenched Democrats who are casting their gaze ahead to next fall with increasing alarm. Almost 40 members of Pelosi's caucus cut the White House loose by voting for the "Keep Your Plan" Act last week, and numerous Senate Democrats have stated on the record that the president's alleged Obamacare "fix" is insufficient. The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza suggests that the coming Democratic circular firing squad may not be avoidable. Taking the internecine divisions a step further, National Journal correspondent Josh Kraushaar wonders if more Democrats might start flirting with the "R" word:

Unless the website miraculously gets fixed by next month, there's a growing likelihood that over time, enough Democrats may join Republicans to decide to start over and scrap the whole complex health care enterprise. That became clear when even Obama, to stop the political bleeding, offered an administrative fix that threatened the viability of the entire individual exchange market to forestall a House Democratic mutiny the next day. It was as clear sign as any that the president is pessimistic about the odds that the federal exchange website will be ready by the end of the month, as promised. More than anything, politics is about self-preservation, and the last two weeks provided numerous examples of how public opinion has turned so hard against the law that even its most ardent supporters are running for the hills. It's not just red-state Democrats, like Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, distancing themselves from the law. It's blue-state senators like Oregon's Jeff Merkley and New Hampshire's Jeanne Shaheen -- and top blue-state recruits like Michigan's Gary Peters and Iowa's Bruce Braley, who voted for GOP legislation Friday that the White House said would "gut" the law. Nearly every House Democrat in a competitive district joined with Republicans to threaten the law. Without a quick fix, those ranks will grow.

I wouldn't hold my breath for rank-and-file Democrats to fully abandon the president, but many will no doubt keep him at arm's length. Who wants to be associated with a much-ridiculed failure, and an administration being pilloried by mainstream media analysts as incompetent, deceptive and allergic to accountability? Who wants to be tethered to a president who's dangerously insulated from reality? The problem for Democrats are their series of votes to pass, fund and sustain Obamacare. Also -- pace Plouffe -- Republicans will run as if Obama and his signature law are sitting atop the Democratic ticket. The thoughts keeping Democrats awake at night are the prospect of endless internal bickering, and stubbornly sticky poll numbers:

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 38% of Likely U.S. Voters now have at least a somewhat favorable opinion of the new national health care law. That’s down seven points from 45% a month ago. Fifty-eight percent (58%) view the law unfavorably, up five points from the previous survey and the highest finding in regular surveying since early January. These findings include 15% with a Very Favorable opinion of the law and 45% with a Very Unfavorable one, another high for the year.

And the Obamacare debacle could very well grow worse. Also complicating the Left's messaging are conflicting and shifting explanations of their lies. President Obama claimed that there was no lie, then attempted to re-write his infamous promise, then half-assedly 'apologized' for it. Skittish Democrats like Mary Landrieu and Jeff Merkley are insisting they had no idea that millions of Americans would lose their coverage because of Obamacare, while others breezily admit that everyone knew. How is it possible that Landrieu was totally in the dark, while the truth was blatantly obvious to her Senate sisters? (Hint: It's not). Will Mary Landrieu and company take '100 percent' responsibility for their feigned ignorance?

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