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Go ahead and call it Obamacare, says President Obama. And if you're a Democrat running for re-election, take advantage of Republican disunity and run on fixing the law. Because that's the approach Democrats all over the country will be taking this cycle, going on offense:
“Part of what we learned in 2010 is that this is a real issue of concern to voters and you can’t dodge it, you have to take it on, and I think Democrats are much more ready and willing to do that in 2014,” said Geoff Garin, a Democratic pollster who has done surveys for Democrats on the law. “We certainly have enough evidence now that this is not a fight you can win if you are in a defensive crouch.”
At the same time, as we've seen there's been plenty of evidence over the last few years to show that the voting public is getting really sick of this fight, that they want Congress to just move on already, fix the law and work on something else for a change. Democrats apparently have finally gotten the message.
“The best way to push back on the attacks we know Republicans will launch over health care is to be on offense about what your opponent would do to health care while highlighting your commitment to fixing and improving the law,” Jesse Ferguson, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s deputy executive director, wrote in the memo. [...]

An internal Democratic poll recently conducted in Montana, where there’s a competitive Senate race, found that 65 percent of voters agree with the statement “we’ve wasted too much time talking about Obamacare and we have other problems to deal with.” Among targeted voters, those deemed as persuadable, 73 percent agreed. Among women, 68 percent agreed and 28 percent disagreed.

Another Democratic poll in a state President Barack Obama carried with a competitive Senate race found two-thirds of voters agreed with the statement: “There are problems with the law, but there are good things — including coverage for preexisting conditions … so no more bankruptcies for medical bills."

Meanwhile, Republicans are in a tea party mess, with the Ted Cruz wing of the party still in control and still pushing nothing but repeal, a message that only appeals to tea party Republicans. It's a trap Republicans built for themselves as their primary races get crazier and crazier. They'll probably be all right with that in their gerrymandered House districts in 2014, but all-repeal-all-the-time isn't going to win them Senate seats as easily as they assume. Good for Democrats for finally recognizing and embracing that.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 07:49 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Sink is following the message blueprint... (25+ / 0-)

    ...that will work in in "not deep Blue" territory. Most people will agree that ACA is some degree of problematic, but also agree that scrapping it and starting over is not acceptable.

    And most people is what you need to win an election.

    Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 08:01:25 AM PST

  •  Is this a joke? (7+ / 0-)

    A hoax?
    Surely the Dim-ocrats aren't finally getting around to doing what was obvious in the first place...
    Surely they are not relinquishing their strategy of defeating themselves (with defeatism!) before they even get started...
    This sounds like a cruel joke hatched by Mark Halperin and Chuck Todd.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 08:04:59 AM PST

  •  run on the aca, minimum wage, women's rights (28+ / 0-)

    social security, medicare, wage equality, higher taxes for the sob creators, decriminalizing weed, gay marriage, any and all progressive-lefty populist issues...

    run left, run proud, run hard and you win...people WANT the democrats to believe in something and SAY SO, dammit

  •  health care reform (14+ / 0-)

    has been a high priority to the American public for a long, long time. And Democrats are the only ones who actually did anything about it.

    The Affordable Care Act was a reform of the dysfunctional health insurance system we had. It wasn't perfect, but at least it was reform.

    We still need health care reform, to improve on the reforms made in 2010.

    And, by the way, it seems to me that Democrats should start referring to Obamacare as "Obamacares" because the Affordable Care Act is the perfect example of how President Obama and his Democratic colleagues actually...care...about the plight of the American people, unlike Republicans, who simply do not seem to care at all...except about themselves.

  •  Not only is "keep what's good, fix what's bad" (13+ / 0-)

    a smart position to take in the next Congressional elections, but it opens the door to further health care reform down the road.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 10:00:48 AM PST

  •  Gerrymandered districts? (9+ / 0-)

    How'd we pick up seats in the 2012's?

    We turned out a tidal wave of our voters.

    I don't want to hear about gerrymandering.

    I want to create another tidal wave and not rely on excuses.

    Suddenly, it dawns on me, Earnest T. Bass is the intellectual and philosophical inspiration of the TeaParty.

    by Nebraska68847Dem on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 10:02:33 AM PST

    •  Easy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GleninCA

      there are 55 GOP held seats in R+5 or better seats.  Dems could start there.  A few of them are even open after GOP retirements.  Dems should contest every single one of them.

      Beyond that there are a few R+6 and R+7 seats that could be in play with good candidates and some cash.  Either the demographics are changing as in FL-2 where Southerland won by the skin of his teeth or the GOP has shitty candidates as the case in IN-02 with Wacky Jackie Walorski.  Other seats in PA, OH, MI, WI and FL could be put in play due to the fact that the GOP governors running for re-election in 2014 in those states are very unpopular.  Other states like NY, NJ, NC and KY also are states where either the GOP governors are extremely unpopular or Dem governors are popular.  The inclusion of minimum wage hikes and or legalization of pot will help bring out more traditional Dem voters.  The GOP is in disarray, their wedge issues are failing, Obamacare is being implemented.  What the Dems have to do is GOTV.  Register voters and make sure those voters vote.  Hell even Texas which is a sea of red has many possibilities.  With a strong registration drive, and GOTV effort even seemingly safe GOP reps like Blake Farenthold and Pete Sessions could be toppled.

      The hard part is to find credible candidates and get the Dem party and Dem backers to support those candidates in these districts.  

      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

      by DisNoir36 on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 11:44:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  By the end of the summer (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    unfangus, portlandzoo, TofG, GleninCA

    …Dems will be running on the ACA big time.

    Repubs will be running away from it.

    It's just not that complicated. Life vs. death.

  •  This is exactly what we need to do (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    unfangus, TofG

    Highlight the positive parts of the ACA - they are popular when addressed as single issues.  Re-inforce that this is part of "Obamacare"

    Then focus on how we can improve the law and make it better for everyone, and how Republicans want to go back to square one (and get rid of all the population measures that people support)

    It's a winning issue but we HAVE to be on offense

  •  but Sen Dems need a vote on the Landrieu (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, mobjack, GleninCA

    bill to fix the "if you like your plan, you can keep it" misleading statement.  The Landrieu bill is a win, win for Democrats as it provides political cover from Obama's screwup statement but implements new consumer protections.

    As a result of the latter, the GOP House will never allow a vote on the Landrieu bill after it passed the Senate.

    There is no risk of its becoming law (because House would never allow a vote on it), but it would be a decided political boost for Senate Democratic candidates getting hammered with millions of dollars of Koch money already being spent on radio and TV ads about how "Senator X lied about keeping your plan if you like it.  Call Senator X and tell [her/ him] to let you keep your plan."

  •  I don't think FL-13 residents want a "Jolly" (0+ / 0-)

    Seriously, who on earth would want a Congressman with a last name "Jolly" to represent them in FL-13?  He certainly doesn't seem "Jolly" with his elitist agenda.

    All seriousness, Alex Sink looks like she'll win the special election but the general election is coming up November 4th.  If Sink gets elected in special election, she'll likely win November 4th.

    All that matters at this point:  GOTV, GOTV and.... GOTV.

    •  You think "Sink" is any better than "Jolly"? (0+ / 0-)

      Given the two names on that criteria alone, I'd rather be jolly than sunk!

      I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. - Susan B. Anthony

      by pajoly on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 12:05:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The raise has tightened up but she will come out (0+ / 0-)

      on the winners side.  There are too many people in Florida in her district without health insurance.  Many of the single women voters are just like her older retired and have lost their husbands in that district and they always vote. Some of the commercials have been too over the top by Jolly's campaign.  She spent time being interviewed on local TV last year after her husband died and she talked about the process of down sizing and trying to figure out what she would do with herself.  She also talked about moving and she had been looking at condo's in Clearwater but wasn't sure where she would end up after their large house was sold. That interview stuck with me and so when she announced she was going to run I knew she would do well.  She has a lot of local appeal and face time with the community.  The way Bill Young's wife behaved after his death and the expo that was done on how he caused his first marriage to fall apart and ignore his kids from that marrage also didn't help Jolly.

      Sometimes this little local stuff makes a difference in a local race as well as issues.  

  •  The Democrats May (0+ / 0-)

    want to tell people what they want to fix instead of vacuously saying they want to Fix Obamacare.

  •  No (0+ / 0-)

    The best response to the GOP is: "what do have to offer, right now, it its place? So far all we have heard is "vote for the GOP and we will take away your health care. You Republicans, you have no plan, you never will, you just want Americans to suffer and die so you can line your rich friends' pockets."

    Make the GOP defend their obstructionism. Make them accountable for their track record of failure dating all the way back to Ronnie. Make them show what they have done to improve the lives of the average American. They will for sure say very stupid things, because they can't defend the indefensible. Do not let them attack, and do not defend - put the war on their turf.

    "Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government" T. Jefferson

    by azureblue on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 11:34:17 AM PST

  •  Oregon however is exemption, website doesn't (0+ / 0-)

    work and it's required major legislative fix, if you can call it a fix.  Nobody around here believes the Republicans care about healthcare, but the disgust with the Cover Oregon roll-out is just about universal.

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 11:43:37 AM PST

  •  I love calling ACA "Obamacare." This was (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Diana in NoVa, Scottsdalian, GleninCA

    originally coined by the 'do nothing party' as a derisive comment but has now joined the popular lexicon in our society.  The party with almost zero empathy for others is now saddled with this term and their grandchildren will probably talk about Obamacare in positive terms.  This must make their tiny brains explode.  

    I do live in Montana and attend a small church in our small town.  A few weeks ago one of our parishioners stood up in church and praised the benefits of Obamacare.  She works in the health care industry and commented on how well it works and how many people now have health coverage for the first time.  I repeat...this is in a small Montana town not known for its exuberance in progressive liberal politics.  

    I feel encouraged.  

    "The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it." Albert Einstein

    by sfcouple on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 11:43:50 AM PST

  •  Obamacare is THE issue (0+ / 0-)

    There are so many "stories" for the right to tell about Obamacare, I am not so sure the right way to go is to find ways to "run with Obamacare" as this diary says.

    There are millions of people that have been negatively affected by the ACA law.  Yes, there are also millions of people that are going to be helped by it, but that is not going to be what the narrative will be as the mid term elections draw near.  

    I know there are two trains of thought on this, but my belief is that democratic politicians should campaign on things OTHER than Obamacare.  

    •  Not arguing, just asking who these people are: (0+ / 0-)
      There are millions of people that have been negatively affected by the ACA law.
      ?

      "I did not have sex with that bridge"

      by Scottsdalian on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 12:02:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I do not have names (0+ / 0-)

        Are you not aware of the number of people that have had their premiums raised and the number of people that had their insurance cancelled and then had to get new, more expensive insurance?

        Those are not fake stories.  They're real.  I have two children that experienced that and a number of friends as well.  

        C'mon.  Let's not argue this.  It is real.  If we ignore these things, then we lose our true perspective.

        •  Are you referring: (0+ / 0-)
          the number of people that have had their premiums raised and the number of people that had their insurance cancelled and then had to get new, more expensive insurance?
          ...to the people that were losing their shitty policies cause they weren't up to minimum standards? And the new, 'more expensive' policies were new minimum-standard policies that gave much better coverage?

          "I did not have sex with that bridge"

          by Scottsdalian on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 12:16:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  "Minimum standards" (0+ / 0-)

            By whose determination.  If they liked them, it is not up to the government to say what is shitty or not shitty.  

            I see we will not agree on this.  I don't just think things are so because someone in government says they're so.

            But, hey, that's just me.

            •  It wasn't just "someone": (0+ / 0-)
              I don't just think things are so because someone in government says they're so.
              It was the House, the Senate, the Congress, the POTUS and the US Supreme Court that said so.

              Not just "someone".

              "I did not have sex with that bridge"

              by Scottsdalian on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 01:03:39 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Why even have insurance if there aren't "minimum (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BelgianBastard

              standards"? Why pay for something that can be cancelled for any reason at any time?

            •  You don't "like" insurance (0+ / 0-)

              You don't "like" insurance the same way you "like" a certain flavor of ice cream.  The question is whether the coverage is any good - whether you will actually be protected if a medical problem arises.  Now that there are standards, we no longer have to worry that our coverage will turn out to be crap when we need it, no matter how much we "liked" it when we didn't need it.  (And what folks "liked", of course, was that it was cheap).  

              •  Democratic candidates (0+ / 0-)

                Democratic candidates for national office and many for local state offices are running away from Obamacare in a HUGE way.  

                So, I think I am in good company thinking that the ACA law is a complete disaster.  I love being a democrat and I support Obama, but the ACA is wrong.  It is just wrong.

    •  Not really (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BelgianBastard

      For all the organized opposition to the ACA, I have yet to hear a convincing story of someone who has been truly hurt by the law.  Almost all of the other side's anecdotes turn out to be distorted or just plain bogus, including the one used in the official GOP response to the SOTU.  

      The ads the Koch Bros are running now are fictional stories played out by actors.  Why do they have to do this if there are so many convincing stories of people hurt by the ACA?  

      It's impossible to make a major change like this in a way that no one is inconvenienced in the slightest.   If that's your criterion, you'll never do anything - never build a road or a school or a hospital or a military base.  Someone somewhere is inconvenienced every time you build anything or make any significant change to our way of doing things.    

      But even if some people are paying more (for better, more secure coverage), there is one way in which every American benefits - no one can ever be denied coverage at any time in the future, not for job loss or some technicality, never.  This is a huge piece of security for every American.   That's the story we need to push.  

      •  You're kidding...right? (0+ / 0-)

        Really?  You haven't heard any of the stories about people that have been negatively affected by the ACA?  Truly?

        Wow!

        •  Yes, I've seen them... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BelgianBastard

          and they almost all turn out to be distorted or bogus.  "Bette in Spokane" is a good example - she was an Obama-hater who never even looked to see what she could get on the exchanges.  I have yet to see a verified story, backed up by real facts, of someone who has been significantly harmed by the ACA.  

          In order to even determine the validity of such a story you would need all the facts.  Specifically, you would need to know the exact details of the supposedly great coverage that they lost - all the fine print:  did it have yearly or lifetime limits, major exclusions, etc.   Then you would have to determine what was available to this person as a replacement.  Without those facts, it's impossible to determine whether someone was truly harmed.  

          People who want to hate Obamacare (or just Obama) will see these stories in the worst possible light, of course, but they tend to fall apart when you take an objective look.  

    •  Hello! I'm one of those people whose policy (0+ / 0-)

      was supposedly cancelled. I'm thrilled with our new ACA coverage. Why would I have wanted to continue to dump money into a plan that could have been cancelled at any time and might not have covered me when I needed it to?

      Our new Obamacare policy is much better than our old one. I have no idea why you think insurance companies having to cancel crap plans and replace them with good ones is a losing issue.

      •  katesmom (0+ / 0-)

        You are one person that is in this category.  One person.  Anyone can find one person that likes anything.  

        I sound like a negative Obamacare person here because I AM a negative Obamacare person here.  A whole lot of people here, I'd bet, believe as I do but won't say so.  Some posts I have read are like mine along the way, however.  This is not the right site to be negative about Obama's signature piece of legislation, I know that, of course.

  •  Political strategy: Be an ACA Hero! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BelgianBastard

    As a licensed insurance agent who has recently helped close to 100 people enroll in healthcare plans through the ACA and healthcare.gov, I can say with confidence, and in all humility, that I'm now a hero to many people.
    But this isn't about me.  The real heroes are the people who enroll and then tell their friends and family members about the ACA miracle.  These folks would be great in Dem political ads, and they wouldn't have to lie like the professional actors  the repubs hire--they'd be telling the truth.

    "One of the boss' hangers-on sometimes comes to call, at times you least expect. Tryin' to bully you, strongarm you, inspire you with fear--it has the opposite effect."--Bob Dylan, "Floater"

    by oldmaestro on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 11:55:40 AM PST

  •  Absolutely should run with it. (0+ / 0-)

    As in :

    "We're proud of what we've done.
    Do we like how everything's come out?

    Hell no!

    Web sites should work.
    People shouldn't have to wait on the phone for hours.
    When the law says you can put your kids on the plan, you should be able to put your kids on the plan.

    But it works now.
    And it's working better every day.

    I really wish that the Republicans had decide to help take care of your health instead of leaving you at the mercy of the health care system, but...

    We got it done.

    We want to make it better.

    For you.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 11:57:51 AM PST

  •  Chained CPI must not appear in Obama's budget (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Robert

    A lot can happen between now and November.  Who knows whether Obamacare proves to be an asset or liability to Democrats.

    The president's '15 budget proposal is due out March 4.  He is currently under rapidly mounting pressure to not include Chained CPI in that budget. Just its inclusion could give republicans the ammunition to take control of the Senate.

    Several progressive organizations including Social Security Works, Credo, Moveon and others are working hard on this.  Also, there are three letters circulating through Congress to convince the president to drop Chained CPI.

    •  How might Obamacare be a liability to Dems? (0+ / 0-)

      Polling is pretty good on the whole notion of people getting better healthcare. How many arguments have you gotten into while defending the elimination of pre-existing conditions or lifetime caps? Me neither.

      "I did not have sex with that bridge"

      by Scottsdalian on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 12:11:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  But as whole, polling is shit awful. (0+ / 0-)

        Here's the latest poll I found using Google.

        http://www.foxnews.com/...

        If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

        by HairyTrueMan on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 02:16:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's a FOX NEWS poll. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BelgianBastard

          What the hell'd you think it would conclude???

          Better bring better stuff than fox news poll for your anti-Dem statements.

          And NO, finding it via Google does not constitute 'independent news source'.

          "I did not have sex with that bridge"

          by Scottsdalian on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 03:17:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The Fox News poll is not an outlier. (0+ / 0-)

            But it is the most recent polling on the ACA and it clearly shows that the public still opposes the law when it's referred to as "ObamaCare" or the "Affordable Care Act."

            Are you suggesting that Fox News fudged the numbers and other polls show public support of ObamaCare? Perhaps you'd like to cite those polls. Good luck finding them. And don't use Google since it isn't an independent news source as you say. LOLZ!!!

            If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

            by HairyTrueMan on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 04:11:19 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  If Dems want to win (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Robert

    they should join other populists and run on a reigning in of the police state. Repeal of the Patriot Act. Massive shrinking of the NSA and other black-budgeted fascist-like tools of the State.

    I see no mainstream Democrats eager to put those issues front and center. It's a winner and would bring support from across the spectrum of people who actually give a shit about real concepts of freedom and government over reach.

    I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. - Susan B. Anthony

    by pajoly on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 12:03:37 PM PST

  •  Good Strategy ! (0+ / 0-)

    Sounds like the Dems are getting smart .... which delights me.

    In the 2010 election, they didn't run ON the Affordable Health Care Act. Most Democrats running for election (or re-election) that year actually seemed to run AWAY from it. And we saw what a disaster that decision was. We Dems lost over 60 House seats and six Senate seats in November 2010. And we and lost the House.  Most Democrats that year, (according to a CNN survey of campaign ads) didn't even mention the recently passed health care law in their campaign ads.

    I like the fact that Ms. Sink has a bit of a southern drawl. That might help woo some Dems in northern Florida. Places like Jacksonville (Duval County) which Romney carried in 2012, but not by all that much. Ms. Sink could carry Duval County. And do fairly well in other conservative northern Florida counties too.

    "Love Is Why We're Here"

    by Paniolo Joe on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 12:06:33 PM PST

  •  She's going to run on fixing the law... (0+ / 0-)

    Which is essentially admitting that there are problems with the law, but that it's worth fixing and Republicans won't fix it. Not sure it's such a good strategy for her considering that turnout is going to be key in her contest. And I'm thinking that ObamaCare is something that drives Republican turnout. Democrats, not so much...

    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

    by HairyTrueMan on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 12:12:00 PM PST

  •  sooner rather than later (0+ / 0-)

    the repugs will refer to obama care as the aca so they don't give 44 credit once it is up and people see how positive it is to the lives of everyday people aka the 99%.

    save america defeat all republicans and conservatives

  •  The reference to gerrymandered House districts (0+ / 0-)

    always makes me cringe.  Yes, the House is tilted and the districts are unfair to D's.  But no, we should never give up and further, it should never have happened.  I'm still waiting for the leadership to explain how it did happen and how they are going to undo it when opportunities arise.  The truth is that we got rolled nationwide and I heard practically no one in 2010 standing up to say that the D's did the right thing and should be rewarded for it.  Mind, I will be very careful with my campaign money, and I will contribute only to candidates who are willing to tell the truth and that is that the ACA has been the only successful response to the need for affordable health care for all and that we have needed it for decades.  Just what is it that we will need to fix, anyway?

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