Local media have been pressing GOP Senate candidates in states where versions of the Medicaid expansion are moving forward to answer a simple question: For or against? In Arkansas, David Ramsey can only get word salad from Tom Cotton. In Michigan, local reporters can’t get anything clear out of Terri Lynn Land. And the Boston Globe (more of a national outlet) been unable to get an answer from New Hampshire candidate Scott Brown. In North Carolina, Thom Tillis’ stance on repeal is comically incoherent. […]It absolutely matters. It matters because what's at stake is health care for as many as 27 million Americans and these people who would be senators have nothing to offer them beyond repeal. It matters because as many as 5 million Americans are still being locked out of health care because they fall in the Medicaid gap, and these candidates have nothing to offer them, either. It matters because health care is sort of a big fucking policy deal and it would be kind of nice if the people running for office, trying to put themselves in the position of making that policy, knew what in the hell they're talking about.
[S]urely this merits a peek from top-shelf commentator and media types, anyway. The GOP party-wide position for years has been that the ACA is an epic disaster that defines the entire Obama presidency as an irrevocable failure. Republican officials confidently predict Obamacare’s unpopularity will flip control of the Senate in a massive repudiation of the President’s signature domestic accomplishment. Yet multiple GOP candidates in top-tier races are unwilling or unable to take a real position on one of the central pillars of the law, one that will impact tens or hundreds of thousands in the states they’d represent. Brown’s entire rationale for running is that Obamacare is awful, but he can’t answer the most basic questions about health care without dissolving into complete gibberish. Does that matter?
Lately, the bar for Republican candidates for higher office has been set laughably low. The national media hasn't just allowed that, it's encouraged it because the tea party story has just been too damned much fun for them. It's about time they ended that tea party.