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A man hides from the rain under his sign at a Tea Party Patriots rally calling for the repeal of the 2010 healthcare law championed by President Barack Obama, on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 24, 2012.  REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
It's all about motivating the base.
In looking ahead to this fall’s elections, Republicans are more likely than Democrats to view a candidate’s position on the Affordable Care Act as very important to their vote. A new national survey [Pew Research Center and USA TODAY] finds that 64% of Republican registered voters say a candidate’s stance on the health care law will be very important in their voting decision, compared with 52% of Democrats and 45% of independents.
Greg Sargent finds an interesting angle to this: While a minority of Republicans say the law has affected them personally in a negative way (39 percent), they believe in huge numbers that it is hurting the country overall (69 percent) or will harm the whole country (73 percent). There isn't any rationality at all to this, just a lot of intense hatred of the law. That's the intense hatred that has been driving Republican voters to the polls since 2010. And it's why the fringe support for repeal has been ruling the Republican Party.

It puts Republicans currently in office in a tough spot. Their base is telling them repeal and repeal only. But at this point, with 7.5 million signed up for new private insurance plans (which you know insurers are celebrating) and millions more covered through Medicaid and other means, they can't just take it all way. They can't take away all the protections and benefits that everyone with health insurance now enjoys because of the law, so they have to continue with the farce that they'll come up with some magical replacement plan that does all the things Obamacare does but isn't Obamacare.

This Obamacare intensity gap—as Sargent calls it—along with the general 2014 map and the tendency of the Democratic base to underperform in midterms means it's a tough climb for Democrats. But as Markos points out, the key for Democrats might actually be Obamacare. The repeal position is still intense, but it's losing numbers as more and more people move into the "keep it and fix it" camp.

Running on Obamacare, running on Medicaid expansion, running against Republicans for trying so hard to take health care away from people is looking more and more like smart strategy.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:11 AM PDT.

Also republished by Obamacare Saves Lives and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (54+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:11:09 AM PDT

  •  I have quoted these before, but they still hold (14+ / 0-)
    The winner in a game of chess is the player who makes the next-to-last blunder.
    Grandmaster Savielly Tartakover
    Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a grave error.
    Napoleon

    Please proceed, Republicans

    Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

    by Mokurai on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:18:11 AM PDT

  •  Can you imagine gooper saying...Oops...I made a (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SherrieLudwig, nellgwen, SilentBrook

    mistake?......Not gonna happen.

  •  If the GOP is going to use Obamacare repeal (10+ / 0-)

    to motivate their base then I propose we find a way to jujitsu that. Find a meme that associates their campaign ads against ACA as taking away from the 20 million recently helped by ACA. Redirect the message to p!ss off the Dems so they will be motivated to come out.
    Now it's not that we need to be proactive about a possible great new program, it's that we have to defend a notch we have.
    And every time they say "repeal" we hear "steal".

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:24:08 AM PDT

    •  Won't work (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      reasonshouldrule

      The GOP base is happiest when they're permitted to starve anyone that they don't like to death.

      Meanwhile, they've repeatedly suggested stealing from the entire populace by wanting to end medicare and privatize social security.

      •  The average constituent (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        reasonshouldrule

        ...who votes for them isn't getting that message.  The deceptive message they get spoonfed riles up all their prejudicial stereotypes and clouds their brain functions.  Like the TPers yelling "keep your hands off my Medicare" or hating on Obamacare but loving ACA.

        I like the repeal means steal meme, especially if it can be tied to "next is your Social Security and Medicare."

    •  Obama care repeal (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CwV

      "repeal" we hear "steal" PERFECT. I like your strategy. Beat them at their own game.

      Send it to the democrats and demand it be placed on;  bumper stickers, Mugs, T-shirts, writing and stick pens and anything else you can think of.

  •  It still baffles me over their outrage (17+ / 0-)

    Whatever flaws the ACA has (which I believe can be fixed as time goes by...which is the grown up perspective), I have been utterly baffled at the frothing at the mouth hatred and rage over a law meant to lead to better health and lives for the citizens of this country.  This is designed to HELP.  I just can't get my head around the apoplectic screams of rage that have been going on since 2009.

    Yet...Stand Your Ground allows children to be murdered in cold blood and they applaud.

    Ugh.

    •  Free-dumb (16+ / 0-)

      People are froth-at-the-mouth pissed over what they "just know is true" that simply ain't. Because it feeds their narrative to hear "gubmint gonna force you to buy something" and think about men in black taking money out of your pocket and forcing you to buy some consumer good, like the wrong brand of beer.

      This, coupled with the fact that most of them have likely worked at jobs for a long time where either they or their spouse had coverage through their employer. Their employee contribution, their "choices" of plans (A, B, or C from the insurer who gave HR the nicest set of golf clubs and squishy stress balls at the last sales call), and their employer's contribution were all automatically calculated and/or deducted without their input (or knowledge, in some cases).

      They see that estimate that for a person like them, the cheap plan will cost them 300 a month, 4k deductible and have a 12k limit, and they see, "OMG, Health insurance is going to cost me 45 thousand bucks!" because they don't understand how to use the website to shop for a plan, don't understand how to find out if they qualify for subsidies, and don't understand how deductibles and limits work. They also don't see just how much comes out of their paycheck for health insurance before they get it when it's employer-paid.

      What they see is something they will have to understand now. That won't be automagically done for them without them having to think about it, and something that will be different.

      And that, perhaps, is the taproot of fear that feeds the tree of their rage.

      Occasionally, I engage with ranters on my FB feed, because they're friends or acquaintances. I always follow up or end with "I know change can be difficult, and this is confusing for everybody because everybody's needs are different, but here are some places you can go to learn more. There are some scammers out there, and you might have heard this from one of them. Remember, they make money off people being scared and uninformed."

      The rage then mostly subsides--it comes from a place of fear for themselves or friends whose coverage is changing. Sometimes, you have to fight misinformation with a simple, "I know change is scary. But we're a pretty smart bunch, and we help each other. We'll figure it out, and make it better where it's broke." Sometimes, that's all they need--an acknowledgment that things have changed. Then the shell is cracked, and the opinions become a little more flexible. :)

      How does the Republican Congress sit down with all the butthurt over taxing the wealthy?

      by athenap on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 12:48:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  propagandized low information bigots (0+ / 0-)

        Its even simpler than your excellent explanation.
        They're in the bubble.
        They live under bullshit mountain. happily. They think its safe there and everything is real and true. Even though they are constantly pissed off at what they learn in there.
        They believe what their chosen 'trusted' sources (Fox and/or Limbaugh/hate radio, RW pastors, and various "Leaders" Sarah Palin, Ted Cruz etc.) have told them and then their fevered minds reduce it to the most diabolical fear they fear most. (redundancy deliberate, LOL)
        They refuse to even consider or listen to any other information, that's all Liberal Lies™.
        It's a belief system, its not reality, or politics, or ideology, or logic, or facts, or reason. They believe it, therefore it's true.
        That's a hard concept for 'us' to get our head around, but for them its natural.

        So they still actually believe its real Socialism (whatever horrors that means to them, whether it's 'like the Nazis,' or Commies, or some Authoritarian dystopia of any stripe...), it's still a "government takeover of health care", death panels will unplug them and/or grandma or their special needs grandkid...on and on... whatever gets them in a state of rage and whips up apoplectic energy to fight it to their last breath.

        They still don't have any idea what "Obamacare" actually is. They still think its some sort of government enforced health care delivery program they have to submit too and they lose all other options.

        I see the ignorance every day in dozens of comment threads. Once a belief is instilled by the very effective closed propaganda network, even those who instilled it can't remove it.

        The good news is, those folks would never change no matter what. Lost cause. Others who are open to new information and education are more and more quickly finding out the truth about the ACA and signing up.

        no man is completely worthless, he can always be used as a bad example.

        by srfRantz on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 03:52:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You triggered something... (0+ / 0-)

          Life under Bullshit Mountain is full of authoritarians who need, yet fear, authoritarianism. It's both their fondest wish and their deepest fear because they need/want a "daddy knows best" authority figure taking care of things and giving them a clear set of rules to follow for success and happiness (if you just believe in Republican Jesus, you'll be rewarded with wealth, and clearly those poor people are poor because it's Republican Jesus punishing them and not crappy bad luck).

          But at the same time, they are terrified that the authority figure will not understand that they are Special. Not only that, but they are Specialer than those other people who are following the same rules, and what if Daddy doesn't realize that?

          How does the Republican Congress sit down with all the butthurt over taxing the wealthy?

          by athenap on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 08:49:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  You're talking about people, some of whom are (5+ / 0-)

      outraged over Social Security, Medicare and other programs from which they are personally receiving benefits.

      I'm not sure psychologists can explain the phenomenon.

    •  Silly you. (5+ / 0-)

      Allow me to esxplain it at ya: Prez is BLACK.
      End of story, look no further...

  •  It took him awhile................. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shawn87, nellgwen

    It's always all about motivating the base, maintaining a frenzy of fear and hate founded in ignorance.  There aren't enough billionaire votes to carry an election.

  •  Because repeatedly spinning their wheels... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rocksout, SilentBrook

    in vain is a lot better than just obviously doing nothing.

    Its just like doing nothing, but you get the benefit that most people are foolish enough to believe they are sincere.

    Personally I'm cool with them voting every day on it as long as it keeps them from coming up with actual legislation that is bound to do more harm than this fake outrage.

    When the Republicans are in power they get what they want and when the Democrats are in power they still get what they want. At what point do people finally see it is just theater? ~ Me

    by fToRrEeEsSt on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:43:57 AM PDT

  •  Seems to me, with demographics in our favor, (4+ / 0-)

    Dem money should be spent on GOTV.  Changing minds won't happen.

    There was no reason to fear abuse of such mildness, because it sprang not from weakness, but from a higher clarity.

    by Sally Foster on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 12:01:36 PM PDT

    •  is it hard to get to the polls, when working at (4+ / 0-)

      McDonalds? Compared to a middleclass white retiree who can drive to the polls any time.

      I think if we put more effort into logistics, rounding up vanpools to organize to drive city blocks of workers to their various voting precincts, and reverse-intimidating employers into actually letting people leave to vote, we'd get better numbers at the polls.

      I think a lot of it is simple logistics. (Plus asshole employers who imply that yr McJob is at stake if you leave to vote.)

      Thanks Democrats! My Obamacare is permanent coverage no one can take away - and saving $3,000 is nice too

      by sotiredofusernames on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 03:34:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A right is not like a stick shift. It can't simply (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SilentBrook

    be reversed. A wrong, on the other hand, is different. A wrong can be righted by repealing the offending law like DADT and prohibition.
    It isn't right for the government to restrict our speech and it isn't right for the government to deprive us of drink.

    I think the cons will get that, if it's framed right.

    http://hannah.smith-family.com

    by hannah on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 12:18:14 PM PDT

  •  Hours of RW spew on the radio and teepee (4+ / 0-)

    have convinced the peoples that ACA is BAD.  BAAAAAAAD.
    It's hurting us.  It's tyranny, it's horrors worse than, you know, the hitlers, the stalins, the skulls, and hell.  

    Brainwashing works.  

  •  How about "keep it and fine tune it"? (9+ / 0-)

    Saying "let's fix it" implies that it is broken.  You don't fix a newly built race car, you tune it.  Same with Obamacare.

    "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

    by Subterranean on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 02:33:33 PM PDT

    •  Keep and Tweak? ... (4+ / 0-)

      or something. You're right. Dems can't ignore it, they can't claim it's perfect, and they better not run away from it so what's left? Improve it would really be popular IMHO.

      Just another faggity fag socialist fuckstick homosinner!

      by Ian S on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 02:42:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  'Make it even better' (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hbk, SherrieLudwig, SilentBrook

      "Yes, we Democrats ended the tyrannies of the insurance industry: we made it illegal for them to blah, blah, etc..

      ...and you can be sure that it is we Democrats who will continue to work on making it even better, more affordable, more accessible, more fair, as well as preventing Republicans from stripping your new rights away.

      This election matters.

      If Republicans take the Senate they will try to water down these rights, and take your right to medical care away, just as they have done in the medicaid gap states.

      Thanks Democrats! My Obamacare is permanent coverage no one can take away - and saving $3,000 is nice too

      by sotiredofusernames on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 03:43:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We can talk Obamacare as long as we want (4+ / 0-)

    and it will do it's part.  We need to shift the debate though . . .

    minimum wage, baby.  Why do republicans hate hard-working americans?  

    tax equity, guys.  How come rich folks/corps  don't pay their fair share of taxes?

    education, friends.  Why are republicans trying to destroy your kids school?

    Think about the baby Jesus. Up in that tower, letting His hair down so that the three wise men could climb up and spin the dreidle and see if there's six more weeks of winter. -- Will and Grace

    by Rikon Snow on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 02:37:30 PM PDT

  •  Then we need to suppress the turnout... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Proud Liberal Dem, SilentBrook

    by repeatedly reminding them that repeal will not happen no matter what the republicans say they will do. Get them depressed about it so they don't turn out to vote...

     

    Fox News, The triumph of stupidity over reason.

    by laughingriver on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 02:40:42 PM PDT

  •  Because it includes Obama's name ... (0+ / 0-)

    and besides they can run ads against Wendy 'Obamacare' Davis.

    Censorship is rogue government.

    by scott5js on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 02:54:54 PM PDT

    •  It could be called, "Everyone Wins" but since it (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      scott5js, nellgwen

      originated with a (wait for it) Black Man that's all the haters need to know. Doesn't matter if you show them facts that prove everyone (especially insurance companies) win.  It's obvious they will vote against their interests as they've been doing since Nov. 2008.  It's the poor, ignorant, less than well educated population who is underemployed if working at all, yet they support those who would remove even more of what remains of the safety net. From jobs programs to extending unemployment, to raising the minimum wage - their heroes in Congress will protect the 1% while crapping all over them. They block the programs  designed to help the very people who are keeping themselves there by continuing to vote for the teathuglicans.  
      And all along I've believed that evolution would have instilled some sort of self preservation awareness to keep that from happening.  Probably a mutation that affects the common sense receptor.

      "Takes more than guns to kill a man" Joe Hill

      by sajiocity on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 03:33:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  FUNDRAISING and ELECTION! (0+ / 0-)
  •  Some of their strategies have been successful (8+ / 0-)

    however, especially the refusing medicaid option.  I have a Republican friend in North Carolina that constantly complains about how poor he is and how the ACA will hurt his family, saying that he is resigned to paying the fine.  He has taken to Facebook to complain about this a lot.

    Three things that amaze me about this, however. First, he would be eligible for Medicaid, but does not blame the GOP for denying him access to it.  Second, he is still applying for medicaid for his kids, even though GOP actions increase the likelihood they won't get it. Third, he intends to pay the fine, even though it is likely he is poor enough that he would be exempted form the fines (which anyone living below certain income levels would be exempt from the fine).

    The only thing we have to fear is fear itself - FDR. Obama Nation. -6.13 -6.15

    by ecostar on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 03:09:03 PM PDT

  •  I totally agree here... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Proud Liberal Dem, hbk, Blood, SilentBrook

    ...and I hope Democratic candidates here in Texas use Obamacare to force Republican incumbents to defend their cruel votes to take health insurance coverage away from more than 7 million Americans along with the benefits of Obamacare.

    GOP: HANDS OFF MY OBAMACARE!

    by alaprst on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 03:17:46 PM PDT

  •  They don't hate the ACA. (5+ / 0-)

    They hate the idea that government programs can be demonstrated to be a powerful force for good.

    If that idea takes hold among the masses, the GOP is extinct, and they know it. It hardly matters what type of program it is.

    "Nationalism, religious bigotry and feudal loyalty are far more powerful forces than…sanity." —George Orwell, “Wells, Hitler and the World State” (1941)

    by Blood on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 05:14:01 PM PDT

  •  Looks like some mis-information??? (0+ / 0-)

     What do you all think of this?

    http://finance.yahoo.com/...

  •  They Can't Allow Obama A Victory..... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dansmith17, nellgwen, SilentBrook

    They've painted themselves into a corner on this one, however.

    Their constituents want the Medicaid expansion.  Their rabid base doesn't.  But which Senator is willing to snatch healthcare away from their hometown constituents once they've been insured?

    Oh BTW, Obama didn't get Osama bin Laden.  George Bush did.  His policies were responsible.....even tho he had nothing to do w/ the raid that night & even tho OBL died years after he left office.

  •  GOP and ACA strategy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SilentBrook

    I guess Im one of those who thinks it would be a grave mistake to engage the GOP over ACA. Democrats would acknowledge it, point out the successes, then launch into tirade about the GOP's record over the past 6 years:

    Sabotaging the economy recovery for pure political gain

    Inflicting suffering on Americans for political gain
    Holding unemployed hostage till they got a 2 year extension on the Bus  tax cuts ( 2010)

    STILL holding the long term unemployed hostage at this moment!

    Democrats have a LOT to go after which the GOP can NOT defend because there IS NO DEFENSE short of admitting that they played politics when the country was in the greatest economic crisis since 1929 and continue to do so!

    Don't buy into the GOP strategy but make THEM defend  THEIR RECORFD!

  •  Let's hope Democratic candidates realize this and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SilentBrook

    run on strength, not apologies.  Too many feel right now they have to play defensive because the President's approval is low, the overall ACA approval is low, and because the economy is still struggling.

    But the truth is that they should be bold and proactive - even in republican strongholds.  Reagan won reelection not by attacking but by proclaiming strength (he also attacked, it is true).  Standing up and saying 'I am not really as bad as most democrats' is a terrible strategy:  it won't help endear independents or republicans, and it won't draw democrats to the polls.

    Confidence wins elections.  Confidence and results.  But even without results, confidence alone is better than apology.

  •  The President should have... (0+ / 0-)

    fought the Obamacare branding and been honest with the public all along that this IS a republican idea. By tying to have it both ways--ie take credit for it and theoretically please republicans that he was a uniter, he has contributed to this paradox that has the ACA painted as some awful construct of Satan to so many millions of low information voters.

    It may be kinda late for damage control, but it should start. If you saw 60 Minutes segment on that "health-wagon" you're probably as aghast as I am at Scott Pelley's use of the term "Obama Care" and the assertion that Obama Care leaves these people out. It was the Virginia government that left those people out and Fox "News" and right wing partisan media that contributes to most of them never even trying to see what they might be able to get out of it. I got my 51 year old sister a policy for $15 a month that gives her four doctor visits a year and coverage for the types of procedures people eventually have. And we live, yep, in Virginia. The stupidity and pride of ignorant people is compounded by a formerly main stream media mainstay like 60 Minutes.

    "Education Is Not the Filling of a Pail, But the Lighting of a Fire" W.B. Yeats

    by RareBird0 on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 12:18:51 PM PDT

  •  GREEDY CORPORATE PUPPETS (0+ / 0-)

    Puppets of the pharmaceutical industry, along with the D.E.A. and F.B.I.  The only religion of of these Republicans  is greed. We need them out of office altogether. Also these other  Government departments do not deserve the power they are abusing.The higher office's are busy playing politics while other departments are left completely out of control.

  •  Deeper into the toilet (0+ / 0-)

    It's really hard to look good when you are trying to take something away. Just ask any parent or dog owner.

  •  They believe what they are constantly told. (0+ / 0-)

    This is a key Faux news talking point:  the ACA will end up costing everyone more and will make the health care system worse.  These sheep believe what they are told repeatedly.  This is why the conservative media keep repeating these lies.  It doesn't matter that people have actually seen better health insurance policies at better prices, the "Chicken Little" version of the "news" tells them otherwise.  It is too bad that there are no real objective regulatory agencies in the US or a legislature capable of passing fair laws.  These conservative media outlets should be prohibited by law from calling what they do opinion", "editorializing",  or "propaganda."

  •  Facts? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Facts? (0+ / 0-)

    I live in Colorado. There's a commercial running where this very sympathetic looking woman appears and says she doesn't like political ads, etc. The last line is a plantive "Obamacare doesn't work. It just doesn't work." (This ad is run by a group who want incumbent Senator Udall to lose to challenger Cory Gardner.) The problem is there is not ONE attribution in this ad. The viewer is basically supposed to take this woman's word for it. (NOTE: Another ad is now running which deconstructs the original ad. It has at least six attributable quotes WITH SOURCES. Also, the ad points out that the woman is an actress.)
    This is all they have.

  •  "Our entire system is wrong" (0+ / 0-)

    On Ken Burns' "The Civil War", the belated proposal by the Confederacy to draft slaves led to this reaction from a naive Mississippian:  "But if the Negro makes a good soldier, then our entire system is wrong!"

    The footsoldiers of conservatism in every age must believe that inequality and injustice are natural and God-ordained. Giving the inferior poor healthcare must weaken those who really keep America going, and, of course, blacks cannot possibly make good presidents or our infallible marketplace wouldn't have ruled blacks so generally worthless.  So that's two strikes against Obamacare right there.

    The thing we're all missing here is that they're not going to give up.  Every time they lose, that's one more justification for bringing back voter suppression, nullification, and eventually secession.  If they can't have a monopoly on power, they will destroy the country.  Because they think they are America, the ones with a covenant with a right-wing capitalist God, and we are to serve them.  They will just keep making bigger and bigger messes until we all die or surrender.

    And all they have to do is feel stronger about their absurd privileges than the rest of us do about our basic rights.  Feeling strongly is what they've been bred to do by their bosses for 400 years.

  •  The problem is low voter turnout (0+ / 0-)

    When only half the voters usually bother to show up, then anger becomes a huge source of extra votes.  This didn't use to be a problem in America, where we had high turnout and broad partisanship.  It's not a problem in other democracies.

    The whole point of the conservative movement was to discourage voting among the secular public, while raising anger among their captive tribalist public.  Normal people vote because they want objective benefits.  So they had to be trained to believe that mass popular action cannot produce secular change, meaning that you can't fight the Invisible Hand, et al.  But tribalists and fundamentalists believe that human actions only affect real things if God wishes them to; in other words we must spend all our time showing loyalty to His stupid rules or He will make bad things happen.  So they must outvote us or God will punish our land.  Oh, they can't help it that God conveniently demands that everything be rigged in their favor and to our detriment, we just have to accept our punishment like gays should.

    Normally that kind of thinking gets drowned out in a high-turnout democracy, but we don't have that.

  •  And another thing (0+ / 0-)

    Ignore the health and societal benefits the ACA will bring about. It will create more jobs than all the Repub jobs programs combined.

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