Monday, August 19, 2013
Do Republicans have any understanding of reality?
Not really, according to Paul Krugman. And as proof of that contention he uses the Republican/Teabaggers continued assault on the law of the land, the Affordable Care Act.
Recent political reporting suggests that Republican leaders are in a state of high anxiety, trapped between an angry base that still views Obamacare as the moral equivalent of slavery and the reality that health reform is the law of the land and is going to happen.Some children get it right away and some need multiple explanations. How many will the Republican/Teabaggers need?
But those leaders don’t deserve any sympathy. For one thing, that irrational base is a Frankenstein monster of their own creation. Beyond that, everything I’ve seen indicates that members of the Republican elite still don’t get the basics of health reform — and that this lack of understanding is in the process of turning into a major political liability.
On the unstoppability of Obamacare: We have this system in which Congress passes laws, the president signs them, and then they go into effect. The Affordable Care Act went through this process, and there is no legitimate way for Republicans to stop it.
Is there an illegitimate way? Well, the G.O.P. can try blackmail, either by threatening to shut down the government or, an even more extreme tactic, threatening not to raise the debt limit, which would force the United States government into default and risk financial chaos. And Republicans did somewhat successfully blackmail President Obama back in 2011.
However, that was then. They faced a president on the ropes after a stinging defeat in the midterm election, not a president triumphantly re-elected. Furthermore, even in 2011 Mr. Obama wouldn’t give ground on the essentials of health care reform, the signature achievement of his presidency. There’s no way he would undermine the reform at this late date.
Republican leaders seem to get this, even if the base doesn’t. What they don’t seem to get, however, is the integral nature of the reform. So let me help out by explaining, one more time, why Obamacare looks the way it does.
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