Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell appears to be waving the white flag on repealing Obamacare. The Tea Party is ready to fight. The Republican National Committee appears to be ready to fight. But the day after the Romney campaign backed away from the argument that Obamacare is now a tax, the GOP’s leadership in the Senate is sending signals that it may be willing to give up before the battle over Obamacare truly begins.
Local ABC affiliate WHAS-TV in Louisville, KY reports that McConnell told constituents he would work to repeal Obamacare, and thought he would have the votes in the Senate to repeal it–but that he did not expect to succeed: “If you thought it was a good idea for the federal government to go in this direction, I’d say the odds are still on your side, because it’s a lot harder to undo something than it is to stop it in the first place.”
However difficult repeal might be from a procedural point of view, it can be done–and the odds are definitely in favor, if polls reflect probabilities. The country is split evenly on the Supreme Court’s Obamacare ruling, yet the majority still wants the law repealed. That is the majority for which Republicans, and the Republican nominee, ought to speak. Yet for some reason, Republican leaders refuse to lead. What are they afraid of?
Are they afraid of proposing an alternative? Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has already led the way with his Roadmap. Do they think voters only care about the economy? Obamacare is a major reason that our recovery slowed down and our economy is not creating jobs. Do they believe voters don’t want an ideological fight? Republicans will always win an ideological battle, because more Americans are conservatives than liberals.
McConnell at least agreed with the broad consensus among establishment Republicans and Tea Party activists alike that Obamacare is now a “tax.” But that semantic argument means nothing without the political will to follow through on the Republicans’ pledge to voters to repeal Obamacare–a pledge that is the only reason McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner have more votes to count today than they did in March 2010.
Democrats seemed to have no trouble summoning the chutzpah to pass Obamacare against the will of their own constituents and the majority of Americans. Chief Justice John Roberts was happy to uphold Obamacare against the constraints of the Constitution and the letter of the law. If so many can do so much wrong on behalf of so few, surely Republicans can find the strength to do what is right on behalf of the nation itself?