GOP House leadership has set January 12 as the date for the Affordable Care Act repeal vote, or the day they fulfill a futile promise made to their rabid teabagger base that they'd repeal it.
It won't get past the Senate, but that doesn't mean there isn't some mischief there, as they'll take momentum from this vote to begin their efforts to dismantle it piece by piece. Obviously, Dems need to make this a fight, and at least one of them is making the right noises. Rep. Anthony Weiner talked with Greg Sargent about it today.
In an interview with me just now, Dem Rep. Anthony Weiner, who is one of the best there is at framing liberal arguments in pugnacious terms, said Dems are leaning towards seeing this fight as an opportunity, and appear to be eschewing their typical "fetal position" on health reform.
Separately, in another development, Dem Rep. Peter Welch -- last seen leading the charge on behalf of House liberals against the Obama tax cut deal -- is circulating a letter among Dems vowing to introduce amendments to the GOP's repeal bill forcing votes directly on the Affordable Care Act's most popular provisions....
"This gives us a chance to unmake the mistake that we made in 2010 -- we shied away from the challenge of explaining exactly what's in the bill," Weiner said. "Polls show that parts of health reform are very popular. That argues for talking more about what's actually in it."....
Weiner framed the argument Dems should make this way: "Republicans are against a lot of things, but they are for kicking young Americans off their parents' insurance plans, for reinstating copayments for preventive measures like cancer screenings, and for denying children coverage based on preexisting conditions."
Meanwhile, Rep. Welch is circulating a letter among colleagues vowing to introduce amendments that will preserve "the elimination on lifetime limits, coverage of individuals up to age 26, the requirement that individuals not be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions and the requirement that preventive care be provided free of charge."
The game plan, his office says, is to force Republicans to go on record voting specifically on the provisions themselves.
This should be a no-brainer for Dems--turn the Republicans' tactics around on them and force them to take painful votes. Make them vote against the popular measures within the reform package. It's not a particularly "bipartisan" or "civil" approach to politics, but look where civility has gotten us so far.