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In February of 2009 Republicans were ramping up to fight against the Affordable Care Act. There was no limit to the levels they would stoop to in misrepresenting the legislation, no trick they wouldn’t indulge in, no lie they would not tell. Even then their tactics stank of desperation, of fear.

I wrote a Top Comments diary about it then, as I am writing one tonight, on the verge of their latest desperate tactic, of shutting down the government rather than admit they can’t have it their way. We see this sort of sore losership elsewhere in the world, but even the sorest losers in most situations lack the sheer fluency of these Republican losers.

More below! But, first, a word from our sponsor ...

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The thing that impressed me the most about the situation in 2009 was how aware Republicans were about how good the Affordable Care Act could be, how much good it could do for the American people. That awareness was clearest in the magnitude of their desperation and panic. If it was really going to be as BAD as they forecast, the smart thing for them to do would have been to let it through with little opposition and no histrionics. Then, when it failed, it would have been perfectly simple to relegate Democrats to a permanent minority party status, if not eliminate the Democratic Party altogether.

But they KNEW it would not be bad, thus the desperation, the panic, the hysteria. They knew it would be good. They knew it more clearly than many Democrats did. That is why the desperation and the panic were in evidence from the first days of the Obama administration.

Susan Gardner wrote a fine front page piece earlier about past efforts Republicans have mounted to fight the most important social programs. The very first picture in her diary is a clipping of quotations about Medicare and Social Security. Quoting Bob Dole, Newt Gingrich and Dick Armey, it shows a pattern of disinformation dating back decades. Medicare ... doomed to ‘wither on the vine.’ Social Security ... ‘rotten trick,’ to be ‘phased out over time.’

I thought of a quick (8 second!) YouTube clip from Santorum’s campaign 7 years ago, when deluded collegiate supporters chanted ‘Hey Hey Ho Ho Social Security Has Got to Go.’

It is not news that Social Security is their most hated program, followed closely by Medicare, perhaps, but, because of their hatred of Obama, those pale next to their revulsion about the impending ACA.

I have not seen the latest numbers, but as late as a week ago, CNBC reported that Americans opposed defunding Obamacare 44-38%. If the shutdown was factored in, the number rose to 59-19 AGAINST defunding, 22% unsure, so it’s plausible that some of those have come around since, as the shutdown has approached.

Why are they so hysterical over ACA? They miscalculated, pure and simple. They were supremely confident of winning the presidency in 2012, and so they felt they could repeal it without difficulty. Now we see their efforts at delay. They know the price they paid now that Social Security is in place and - at least at present - impossible to eliminate. The genie is out of the bottle. Same with Medicare. It is a whole lot easier to keep things like that from happening than it is to undo them. I’ve written about this before. It’s why they didn’t want Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell eliminated. Once people can serve openly - and people see it is not the issue they said it would be! - it’s all but impossible to change it back. To undo it.

President Obama referred to the phenomenon, himself. Once ACA is established and all but impossible to dislodge - because Americans will not allow it - its opponents will no longer want to call it Obamacare, as that would compliment the president they most love to hate, and that is something they will not do.

Their desperation today is greater than ever before. Time is growing short.

I don’t feel sorry for them at all.

On to tonight’s comments! Formatted and compiled by brillig! (Sincere thanks, my friend!)

Brillig's ObDisclaimer: The decision to publish each nomination lies with the evening's Diarist and/or Comment Formatter. My evenings at the helm, I try reeeeallllyy hard to publish everything without regard to content. I really do, even when I disagree personally with any given nomination. "TopCommentness" lies in the eyes of the nominator and of you, the reader - I leave the decision to you. I do not publish self-nominations (ie your own comments) and if I ruled the world, we'd all build community, supporting and uplifting instead of tearing our fellow Kossacks down.

From lineatus:
Oh, I wish I'd seen this earlier but even though it will be too late to garner extra mojo, I want to nominate this from Kestrel.  You see us lots of different places around the site talking about all kinds of things, but on Sunday mornings, we hang out and share our common bond.  If I may say, it's a really nice bunch.
From Tamar:
Nominating this comment by blue aardvark. In particular, the last line sums up the whole Republican party.
From first-time nominator Damnit Janet:
From TomP's diary Paul Ryan: We Have to Use Extortion Because We Lost the Election comes this top comment by Victim of Circumstance.
From BeninSC:
Flagged by SouthernLiberalinMD, this comment by Loge is almost appetizing!

Flagged by dadadata, this comment by hannah closes with a particularly fine insight!

Top Mojo for yesterday September 29th, first comments and tip jars excluded. Thank you mik for the mojo magic! For those of you interested in How Top Mojo Works, please see his diary FAQing Top Mojo.

  1) Exactly, the blow back when the Gov shuts down by dopper0189 — 163
  2) Recruiting and hiring is expensive by MsTribble — 159
  3) And it will come from their own by hulibow — 127
  4) I don't agree. by twigg — 95
  5) The party of personal responsibility by Dallasdoc — 84
  6) Yeah, cuz guns and Wal-mart gift cards by slipper — 78
  7) It's a de facto coup attempt by cskendrick — 75
  8) Will you do me a favor? by Kevvboy — 73
  9) There Have Been Half a Century of Warnings About by Gooserock — 69
10) Hardly by slipper — 62
11) Great diary, as usual, whoknu!♥ by Ekaterin — 61
12) Imposter alert too! by Ekaterin — 61
13) I am convinced by Janusdog — 60
14) .....and at the conclusion of his delivery by nu2u — 60
15) He was practically this blunt at the speech in MD by cdub24 — 59
16) More about Ancient Egypt by Ojibwa — 59
17) Intruder alert! by Ekaterin — 58
18) Obama's not going to be that blunt. by Nulwee — 56
19) Not what he'll do by seanflynn — 55
20) Joan, thanks for the diary.  Someone needed to say by julesrules39 — 55
21) Sometimes we run out of patience with the masses.. by Ekaterin — 54
22) Sorry, but by Janusdog — 53
23) yes by Karl Rover — 51
24) Corporate leaders now must consider by julesrules39 — 50
25) My friends think I'm mad, but by LeftieIndie — 50
26) Go On, Jump, You Can Do it! by JekyllnHyde — 50
27) The idea that it's a form of bigotry to call for by Lost and Found — 50
28) mega diary by fcvaguy — 49
29) If I see a guy carrying an AR-15 on the street by Mike Kahlow — 49
30) Bagger Republicans Can't Pay a Price For 13 Months by Gooserock — 49
31) Would you please by gchaucer2 — 49

Top Pictures for yesterday, September 29th.  Click any image to be taken to the full comment. Thank you jotter for the image magic!

brillig's note: I have no idea what's wrong with that one picture... it's not visible in the original comment either.
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