If You Like Your Monster, You Can Keep It

 “Remember that I am thy creature; I ought to be thy Adam; but I am rather the fallen angel…”

– The creature, to Victor Frankenstein; Frankenstein; or, The Modern PrometheusMary Wollstonecraft Shelly

Like Frankenstein’s creature, Obamacare woke up a few weeks ago, jumped off the slab, and started a chain of political devastation which can only end in its destruction.

Victor Frankenstein spent years laboring, largely in secret (“You have to assemble the monster to see what’s in it.”) over his creation, but knew the moment it came to life that this horror would end in catastrophe.

And it did. Tragedy mounted on tragedy, resulting in the utter destruction of everything the brilliant, driven Dr. Frankenstein sought. The creature destroyed his beloved, his family, his friends, his sanity, his reputation, and finally, his life. It wasn’t the beginning of a new species that would, as Frankenstein hoped, worship him as a god; it was destruction and envy and wrath coupled with superhuman strength.

The Democrats are now trapped inside the castle watching the line of torches slowly snake up toward Capitol Hill in the gathering darkness. They embraced Baron Von Obama’s repeated lies about Obamacare and his inept handling of every aspect of its launch and all the terror of the Obamacare creature, and they’re beginning to sense there is no escape.

They know that 5 million peasants have lost their health insurance. They know millions more will see steep premium increases during the 2014 election year. They know the promise of “You can keep your doctor” is as false as that about keeping one’s health plan. They know yesterday’s “transitional fix” humble-pie press conference won’t slow the crash. They also know Barack Obama is nearly a spent force, his credibility and competence now in increasing doubt.

Just a few weeks ago, it was confidently declared that not only would Democrats recapture the House in 2014, but they would hold and increase their Senate majority. The GOP might as well pack up, because they would never hold power again. Obamacare would be the political wind beneath the wings of Democrats for a hundred years. “Of course Democrats would run on it!”

Odd that we’re not hearing much of that triumphalism today. The monster of Obamacare isn’t just dysfunctional, it’s destructive. Americans know it.

Republicans should let the creature rage. Strategic patience takes discipline, because the natural instinct is to stop the monster from tearing down the village. I know you’re repulsed by the idea of doing nothing. You feel for the millions of Americans losing their coverage. You want to do something, anything to put points on the board. Most of all, you all want repeal. You sense that it’s close.

But I want something else, and so should you. I’d like repeal served in the ruins of the Obama Administration and the Democrats’ 2014 hopes. I’d like the Democrats and the media to be stuck talking about this disaster for a year, instead of being able to move on to immigration or ENDA or whatever is bugging Sandra Fluke this week.

If you drag it out long enough, you can make 2010 look like a cakewalk. If you have patience and smarts, you’ll see countless YouTube videos of screaming townspeople confronting their Democratic members: angry, pitchfork-and-torches videos of peasants who lost their coverage and who are saddled with enormous premium increases.

We can get there if we avoid doing two stupid things. I’m going to irk the Ted Cruz cadre, but another shutdown will wreck the best political advantage we have ever had against Barack Obama. Another shutdown is the one thing – arguably theonlything – that will revive the media frame of “Evil Republicans vs. St. Obama” effectively. The post hoc ergo propter hoc belief that the shutdown caused Obamacare’s troubles is delusional. Obamacare was always going to be an in-your-face stinker that ordinary Americas understood, and for which there was no emotionally effective response by Obama. We just delayed the beatings by a couple of weeks.

Shutdown 2.0 is precisely what Obama needs now. If you pursue it in hopes of repeal, or to build a bigger email list, or for a 2016 primary strategy, then you’re responsible for letting the Democrats slip the trap. Oh, and Harry Reid still has the votes to beat you on a shutdown.

We also need to avoid another strategic error: the irrational desire to legislate fixes for Obamacare. The Upton bill is done, and dead in the Senate, but if the GOP starts tweaking Obamacare, Republicans will be responsible for reanimating the monster.

Don’t tweak. Offer them full repeal only. Over and over. Upton showed a crack in their coalition. The tension and fear is building. Build a plan to pressure vulnerable red state Democrats. Hang the stories of the victims of Obamacare around their necks. Make them bleed. Make them own it. Stretch out the pain until consumer and voter pressure does your work for you.

It’s important to not allow them to make an easy, one-time vote and then run home saying, “I know we built the monster. I know, I was there in the lab. I know I popped champagne when it came to life. But now I’m with you, friends! I voted to fix it! I’m a Blue-Dog centrist! Damn, I wish Baron von Obama had done this better! No one could foresee the creature’s murderous rampage!”

No issue has the potential to cause more damage to the Democrats in 2014 and beyond than Obamacare. Let the Democrats’ monster rage.

  1. Tuck

    Right.  Enjoy it or repeal it.  Nothing else.

    Republicans need to stop being the enablers of totalitarianism in America.

  2. The Mugwump

    “Let all the poisons hatch out of the mud . . . ”

  3. Jim Lion

    I don’t think you’ll irk any fans of Ted Cruz with your suggestion. Most of us feel vindicated by all that has happened. Now our party is on record as passionately opposed to Obamacare, accent on the passion. That’s long-term the political payoff.

  4. dittoheadadt

    “Don’t tweak. Offer them full repeal only. Over and over.”

    I agree, as I stated at comment #49 here.

    Speaker Boehner should say something like,

    “The ACA and its rollout are a disaster for America.  The president has attempted to abrogate the US Constitution by declaring unilaterally a change to the law.  He CANNOT do that.  He has no authority to do that.  And he should know better – he’s (pause) supposedly (pause) a former constitutional law professor.  Any legislative changes must come from the legislative branch – the Congress.

    Therefore, the House will send to the Senate a bill repealing the ACA.  This is the only mature, responsible way to deal with the unmitigated disaster that is the ACA.

    Immediately thereafter, Congressional Republicans will begin work drafting legislation that will truly reform the broken parts of America’s health care system without destroying, as Obamacare has done, the parts that work fine.  And we will solicit the input of and work closely with any Congressional Democrat who’s genuinely interested in helping solve the actual problems we face.”

    Lather, rinse, repeat.

  5. The King Prawn

    Poke that monster. Make Obama and his minions explain over and over why they refuse to fully enact the law they were so hell bent on passing.

  6. dicentra

    I’m going to irk the Ted Cruz cadre, but another shutdown will wreck the best political advantage we have ever had against Barack Obama.

    ¡Al contrario!

    The next time a CR comes due, the best strategy would be for Cruz to triple-dog-dare Obama to shut down the National Monuments and Parks again so that he can save his Preciousssss.

    The ironic repetition would be resounding: the first time around, Refusing To Defund Obamacare was a plausible stance to take. With the monster’s rampage in everyone’s mind, Obama will be revealed as a blamed fool.

    Revealed again, that is. It needs to happen as often as possible.

    They took to the Berlin Wall with sledgehammers, but it didn’t go down in one blow. Obamacare won’t either.

  7. Josh Beaver

    Was “prompter hoc” intentional? Or one heck of a Freudian slip?

  8. Rick Wilson

    Heh. I’m afraid my autocorrect likes “prompter” since I write it rather too frequently.

    Clark: Was “prompter hoc” intentional? Or one heck of a Freudian slip? · 16 minutes ago

  9. BrentB67

    Your assessment of the last shutdown and the effects of the next round are off base, but for someone protecting their ringside seat in DC this is no shock.

    So the answer is to give Obama a new credit card and hope. Great.

  10. flownover

    pitchfork.jpgoh nevermind……………

    Saw that someone was talking about Canetti in the articles today and the psyche of the mob, we coulda been contendahs !!

  11. Butters

    cheap shot to say the shutdown was about building an email list

    Absolutely agree that pressure can be brought to bear to get a repeal bill though Congress.

    To counter the lame “what’s your plan GOP?”  line the Dems will trot out, the House can attach positive reform measures to the repeal bill.

    Things will only get worse, and pressure can be brought to bear on senators up in 2014 and even 2016. Here is my list of Dem senators that could vote for repeal (in order of most to least likely). We would need 15 to cross over to get to 60 and send a repeal bill to Obama’s desk.

    • Manchin – WV

    • Landrieu – LA
    • Pryor -AR
    • Begich – AK
    • Hagan – NC
    • Warner – VA
    • Udall – CO
    • Shaheen – NH
    • Udall – NM
    • Bennett – CO

    That’s only 10. Reid could give them all permission to vote for repeal and still block it from passing. Beyond that you have to look at Dems in mildly blue states like Oregon and Washington. The Dems are fortunate in that they have several retiring senators in red/purple states (T. Johnson, Baucus, Rockefeller, Harkin) that can vote against repeal without fear of retribution.

  12. Goldgeller

    Great post! It’s weird. I don’t know how to feel about Obamacare. On one hand I don’t think people should have to suffer until it becomes politically optimal to repeal the bill. But you make this good point:

    “I’d like the Democrats and the media to be stuck talking about this disaster for a year, instead of being able to move on to immigration or ENDA or whatever is bugging Sandra Fluke this week…”

    (I added the bold.) If we let the democrats move on to a war on women or immigration/Republicans hate mexican meme for mid-term they can salvage themselves and the media will see to it that Republicans are forced to run around proving they aren’t evil people and this country will forget that there is a healthcare bomb caused by the democrats and go back to voting on things like “well I think X was more relatable.”

    The only way to fix Obamacare is full repeal. We need a large coalition for that, and some people will only be in that coalition because there premiums are too high. We need Republicans to go after Dems on this, by name.

  13. Rick Wilson

    I would suggest you actually read the article, not just the parts you imagine fit my desired goals.  

    My recommendations strangle Obama’s legacy, wreck the Democrats messaging agenda well into 2014 and let Obamacare explode without getting its stink on the GOP. So, clearly, I’m a RINO squish ruling class consultant. Yeah. That’s it.

    BrentB67: Your assessment of the last shutdown and the effects of the next round are off base, but for someone protecting their ringside seat in DC this is no shock.

    So the answer is to give Obama a new credit card and hope. Great. · 2 hours ago

  14. Rick Wilson

    I was just saying earlier that while I hadn’t read Canetti for 20 years, it really is a remarkable book.

    flownover

    oh nevermind……………

    Saw that someone was talking about Canetti in the articles today and the psyche of the mob, we coulda been contendahs !! · 15 hours ago

    Edited 15 hours ago

  15. Rightfromthestart

    The Dem/media complex is just waiting for a Republican ‘fix’, then they can blame the whole disaster on that ‘fix’. If you lay a hand on the patient you will be named in the malpractice suit.

    Why isn’t every Republican on every network saying, ‘Remember NONE of this was necessary, the health care system in this country was fine the way it was.’

    BTW I worked in health insurance for over 30 years , I never heard of someone being dropped ‘because’ they got sick.   

  16. BrentB67

    Rick what is your evidence that republicans were damaged by the government shut down or would be if it happens in the future. If all you have are opinion polls and the ranting of the biased media then please show us the polls that have ever reflected positively on republicans or the positive press clippings.

    To those of us in fly over country polls and press clippings saying republicans are evil for doing ____ is just another day in the week.

    All of the great moderate republican voices love to scream about how fiscal responsibility hurts the right. Where is the evidence?

  17. RedRules

    I don’t see a problem with keeping as low a profile as possible. I am normally un-movable about the debt “ceiling”, but in this particular scenario, I believe the Right should allow multiple, small increases to the debt ceiling coupled with reforms that will end up making it faster to finally repeal ACA. Don’t give the Obama-star-struck media any chance to divert American’s from the utter disaster that is the ACA. We’d be paying for eventual control of the Executive and Legislature with a debt increase of a measly trillion or so dollars (you can’t see it, but I just threw up in my mouth a little). Small price to pay for the chance to finally un-do some of the damage to our families, Constitution, and society that our sweep of 2 branches of the government will allow. And don’t forget that we need a Republican in the white house to replace at least 2 Supreme court justices (probably) in the next term.

  18. Rick Wilson

    Public and private survey research is the empirical backstop. Show me a single public poll where the GOP’s numbers increased due to the shutdown. Any one will do. The private surveys have a grim picture, too.

    But more importantly, when we talk about Obamacare, we’re addressing the threat.  When we’re engaged in pointless shutdowns we’re perceived as the threat. Shutdowns are fighting on their turf, and I want them to come to ours.

    BrentB67: Rick what is your evidence that republicans were damaged by the government shut down or would be if it happens in the future. If all you have are opinion polls and the ranting of the biased media then please show us the polls that have ever reflected positively on republicans or the positive press clippings.

    To those of us in fly over country polls and press clippings saying republicans are evil for doing ____ is just another day in the week.

    All of the great moderate republican voices love to scream about how fiscal responsibility hurts the right. Where is the evidence? · 9 hours ago

  19. Rick Wilson

    Well said.

    jkumpire: Rick, you missed an edit….

    Like Frankenstein’s creature, Obamacare woke up a few weeks ago, jumped off the slab, and started a chain ofindividual and familydevastation which can only end in its destructionor the destruction of our society.

    Fixed it for you. · 8 hours ago

  20. BrentB67

    Republicans didn’t shut down the government. Harry Reid did that.

    Passing a limited number of CR’s in an attempt to hobble the welfare/entitlement state isn’t pointless, it is one of the last firewalls we have to save our republic. Only a progressive or a corporate republican would consider an attempt at fiscal responsibility pointless.

    . I agree there are are no polls indicating more support for republicans during a shutdown. The polls are the same as always, skewed against republicans. I have yet to see anyone produce something that shows republicans with majority support before a budget impasse that suddenly imploded if we didn’t vote to fund planned parenthood and big bird.

    Where is the evidence that a budget impasse hurts republicans?

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