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Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) makes air quotes as she talks about
Gov. Bobby Jindal thinks Republican zeal for Obamacare repeal is flagging, and he's not alone in warning his colleagues that anything less than repeal is just not the Republican way. Jonathon Chait chronicles the new ideological purity test for Republicans.
Meanwhile, conservative health-care writer/activist Jeffrey Anderson has heard the same secret concerns. “It's a question often asked these days in conservative circles: Do you really think Obamacare can be repealed?,” he reveals in the Weekly Standard, “Usually uttered behind closed doors, the question reveals both an un-Reagan-like pessimism and something of a disconnect from political reality.”  [...]

In the absence of meaningful programmatic disagreement, the intra-conservative debate instead revolves around subtle cues of ideological commitment, like party cadres vying not to be the first to stop applauding for Stalin.

Nothing less than a full denial of reality will do for the party purists. It is an article of faith for them that Obamacare will fail, that it's destiny. They cannot acknowledge that the law is working, that the CBO says it's a relative bargain, and that millions of people have benefited. They can't even hint at the idea that reality has shifted because the law is now in effect. They can't talk about reform, because reform means keeping the thing that can't possibly continue to exist. To do so is "un-Reagan-like" heresy.

The end result is the gibberish on full display among Republican Senate candidates. They're getting away with it so far, largely because the traditional media is no better at adjusting to a new narrative than Republicans are. At some point, however, and probably before 2016, reality will bite them on the ass hard enough that they won't be able to deny it any longer.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed May 21, 2014 at 09:28 AM PDT.

Also republished by Obamacare Saves Lives and Daily Kos.

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