Congressional Democrats are readying multiple bills in the Senate and House in an effort to "amend the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which the high court used as the basis for its ruling that the contraception mandate violated federal law." A noble goal, to be sure. But without the votes to pass the House, it amounts to little more than political grandstanding for the liberal base. This reminds of uncomfortably of the endless Republican ACA votes. And I think that strategy is a mistake for Democrats.
Yes, there are obvious differences, notably that Democrats are seeking to INCREASE health care coverage, and they aren't leading four dozen votes on the issue. That said, the Republican repeal vote strategy relies on the key difference between the two bases. Republicans believe government should have a limited role, or no role, in improving the lives of average Americans. Their goal as legislators is quite simple: do nothing. Failed votes do not sour their base's opinion of the Congress or the legislative process. If anything, it helps to reinforce their view that government is not the answer.
Democrats are trying to clear a much higher bar. The Democratic worldwide is that government can and should improve the lives of average citizens. To do so, the government must pass legislation. Failure to do so is a disappointment to the Democratic voter, not a rallying cry. We know that Republicans are opposed to free reproductive choice. Do we need show votes to confirm it?
Fighting fire with fire also blunts our ability to criticize House Republicans over constant ACA repeal votes. Using taxpayer dollars and the halls of Congress to pander to your base should be an affront to all Americans, regardless of party. Fund your campaign with donor money, not with my money. Pointless efforts to repeal Obamacare have cost the nation over $70 million. That could be a useful club for beating Republicans in tight races. But we lose the right to use that club by pursuing the same strategy.
Bottom line, I don't want to take on Republicans at their own shameful game. Let's not sink to their level.