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Alison Lundergan Grimes speaking at campaign rally
Mitch is flailing on Obamacare, so own it, Alison!
I've had this long-running theory that the Affordable Care Act will end up being a net-negative for Republicans by November. As I wrote last month:
There is also the rhetorical cul-de-sac Republicans are trapped inside: They've made much hay of the president's promise that no one would lose their existing insurance. Yet here they are, a few months later, running explicitly on a promise to take away insurance from well over 10 million Americans. In Kentucky, that number is 413,000, exactly.
Turns out I'm on the right track, as Sen. Mitch McConnell is turning himself into pretzels trying to weasel out of that rhetorical cul-de-sac. So there he was last week claiming, hilariously, that Kentucky Kynect, the state implementation of Obamacare, had nothing to do with Obamacare.
Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell says he would try to repeal the Affordable Care Act if he's elected Senate majority leader.

But the veteran senator won't say what would happen to the 421,000 Kentuckians who have health insurance through the state's health care exchange.

McConnell told reporters Friday that the fate of the state exchange is unconnected to the federal health care law. Yet the exchange would not exist, if not for the law that created it.

After that incident, people wondered, maybe McConnell misspoke? Well, they've had all weekend to think about it, and the verdict is in: they're doubling-down on the tactic:
The McConnell campaign made clear he does not endorse the state exchange, but indicated it could survive a full blown repeal if the GOP takes over the Senate.

"If Obamacare is repealed, Kentucky should decide for itself whether to keep Kynect or set up a different marketplace," McConnell campaign spokeswoman Allison Moore told WFPL.

There is one way Kentucky can decide for itself whether Kynect survives or not: The November Senate election. One candidate wants to repeal it, and let's be clear, if Obamacare goes, so does Kynect and the 421,000 people who now have insurance because of it. And the other candidate? Well, the other candidate needs some work on the issue, as you'll see below the fold.

When asked twice by the Associated Press whether she would have voted for the federal overhaul four years ago, [Alison Lundergan] Grimes balked.

"I, when we are in the United States Senate, will work to fix the Affordable Care Act," Grimes told the AP.

That's being rightly spun as Grimes avoiding the issue. And she can't avoid it. Not only does it generate bad "Grimes avoiding the issues" headlines, but she'll be closely associated with the law whether she likes it or not.

So if asked if she would've voted for it, why not say something like "Yes! And there are 421,000 Kentuckians who would thank me for that today. Of course, it's not perfect, so I'll vote to fix it where it's not great, unlike Mitch who won't allow any improvements."

That would highlight the law's benefits to the state, while also reinforcing McConnell's negative reputation as an endless obstructionist. Let Republicans throw their temper tantrums. No one is attracted to a candidate who responds with a defensive crouch. It is they who must defend stripping insurance away from over 400,000 Kentuckians. And given McConnell's early flailings on the issue, it's clear they recognize the danger ahead.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed May 28, 2014 at 07:30 AM PDT.

Also republished by My Old Kentucky Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  That is the flaw in their strategy, beause they (47+ / 0-)

    have gone so over the top against it they have no out.

    They can either choose to continue being against something gaining popularity, or probably worse admit they were wrong and all those repeals and everything else was a big waste of time.

    Its a lose/lose for him.

    And since its McConnell that is a win for us!

    Join the DeRevolution: We are not trying to take the country, we are trying to take the country back. Get the money out of politics with public financed campaigns so 'Of the People, By the People and For the People' rings true again.

    by fToRrEeEsSt on Wed May 28, 2014 at 07:38:27 AM PDT

    •  McTurtle's script on Health Care writes itself.... (10+ / 0-)

      He's got zero-room for maneuver.

      •  Which is why "total repeal" was a stupid plan (14+ / 0-)

        It worked when the law was but an abstract and not in effect. But now that it is and benefiting millions of people, including hundreds of thousands in your home state, it's not viable anymore. But you can't back out because if you do, the base, which has been brainwashed into believing Obamacare is the legislative version of doing a hip-grinding tango with Satan, will eat you alive. And while Mitch has dispatched Bevin, he still needs those guys for November. So he can't go back. He's stuck and is twisting himself like a pretzel in order to get out of it.

        Good luck, little piggy.

      •  Shell backed against the glass. n/t (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tb mare, skillet

        "Life is short, but long enough to get what's coming to you." --John Alton

        by Palafox on Wed May 28, 2014 at 08:05:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Have you never listened to republicans talk? Ro... (6+ / 0-)

        Have you never listened to republicans talk? Romney had his 47% talk video taped and it wasn't immediately fatal like it should have been.

        The republican reality distortion field appears to be able to absorb the most ridiculous concepts without strain. I'll bet that reps will hear the "Kentucky Kynect" can survive ObamaCare repeal without thought (literally) regardless of the fact that the federal government is funding it.

        Ugh! As they say, "you can't fix stupid". And education is a whole 'nother conversation!

        •  I'm afraid you could be right. No reason to stop (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          pointing out the illogic of his approach. Some will have ears to hear.

          Welcome to Daily Kos. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Community Guidelines, the Knowledge Base, and the Site Resource Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.
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          by peregrine kate on Thu May 29, 2014 at 03:56:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So you're indicating that my post is out of lin... (0+ / 0-)

            So you're indicating that my post is out of line? If you re-read it you'll see it is a commentary about the obtuseness of rep politicians and their followers and not any worse than many comments I've read here over the last few months. Imo, the only point up for debate is whether or not it is deliberate (the behavior of rep politicians).

            •  Nope, nothing against your comment (0+ / 0-)

              In fact she explicitly agreed with you.

              There is a group that is the welcoming committee for new people,  and they try to respond to your first comment,  so you have a way to go back and find how to get help, if you need it at some point.

              I'll extend that welcome as well, and hope that Kentucky and the entire country understands the difference between supporting fixes to issues with Obamacare/ACA and repealing health care for millions of Americans, including me.

              •  Hear that. Yeah, I can see how it might appear ... (0+ / 0-)

                Hear that. Yeah, I can see how it might appear that I'm "new" here since I haven't posted *here* before. :) I don't feel new because I've been reading the daily Kos for so long.

                The "republican reality distortion field" (or "RRDF", if you prefer) has always puzzled me. Sometimes I feel like I'm going insane when they spout some of their contradictory, hypocritical, history ignoring inanities without so much as a pause for the obvious deception (self and public).

                Like how they have criticized every part of the ACA, even though many parts of it (lack of public option, gift to private insurance due to mandate, struggling funding, etc.) were made as concessions to them to (1) try to get at least one or two to vote for it for a bipartisan passing and (2) so they would not go all out to try to stop it (never ending filibuster). Then they criticize it for not working as well as they SAY health care reform SHOULD (though they still haven't come up with a credible alternative).

                Now we get McConnell spouting this idiocy with both no sense of shame and no level of reality.

                Oh, and did I mention the compete lack of empathy for the consequences of their actions (ACA repeal)? They are truly sociopaths in every sense of the word.


        •  true this (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lilredhead, JuliathePoet

          Cue angry Tea Partiers with signs:

          Keep Your Government Hands Off Our Kynect!!!

    •  I hope that Democrat pols (7+ / 0-)

      are also learning that when there is a big issue at stake that directly effects millions of Americans, that they know is right...

      Then they have to embrace that issue and be authentic about it.  Sure they have to craft the message, but Dems will win best when they remember they are Democrats that (presumably) stand up for the little guy.

      I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

      by Satya1 on Wed May 28, 2014 at 08:26:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh they know it, but the playwrite made Dems (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Satya1, tikkun, bobcat41702, CatKinNY

        'weak' and they are sticking to the script.

        Individual Dems vary a lot as do those in more local politics, but the party at the federal level is there to be the Washington Generals to the Repubs Globetrotters.

        The repubs are so marginal the dems could capture close to 75% of public opinion which would ruin the whole show and its just getting ever harder to maintain the illusion.

        I am just an average joe and I am pretty sure I could come up with a mid term platform that would appeal to well over half of America. If I could do it, so could they, but for the dems to falter in the midterms, is also part of the script.

        Join the DeRevolution: We are not trying to take the country, we are trying to take the country back. Get the money out of politics with public financed campaigns so 'Of the People, By the People and For the People' rings true again.

        by fToRrEeEsSt on Wed May 28, 2014 at 08:46:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think I get the general background (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          And I'm not naive about the dynamics of special interest money in the policy making as well.

          The magnitude of ACA makes it a serious opportunity to learn how to rewrite that "script" - at least for one huge issue.  And some are doing that even in a few red states where the message has to be more carefully formed.

          I guess, I'm saying I think ACA uniquely shows there are times when parsing poll results to the 3 significant digit to decide "for or against" isn't valuable anymore.  Sometimes pols just need to find the facts about a policy and defend them with wisdom and passion.

          For faltering in midterms, I put that more on Dem voters than the pols.  But that is a bummer and I'm not optimistic about 2014 and our chances for keeping the Senate - unless we see a 5 point raise in approval for Obama and/or ACA.

          I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

          by Satya1 on Wed May 28, 2014 at 09:35:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You can't expect people to get excited for a (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Quabbin, WednesdaysChilde, ArkayMI

            party that makes no effort to get them excited.

            You don't see the repubs saying 'vote for us or the dems will win' because its completely uninspiring.

            If the dems want the people at the polls they should give them a clear reason to. Isn't that the point of a political party, to create a platform so people want to vote for them?

            If the dems actually wanted to win the house, they would come up with a few populist workable ideas and say "America help us win back the house and we will do everything we can to get x y and z accomplished.

            The fact I have to even say that as if it wasn't already obvious, just shows they don't really want to win. Its just sad to because if it worked then the repubs would be in a spot where they would have to be voting against issues that people really want, thus further exposing and marginalizing them.

            This isn't eleven dimensional chess, its just what political parties have always done until recently. I guess I should be happy the dems make me look like a political genius, but I dont believe for a second they don't get this stuff.

            Join the DeRevolution: We are not trying to take the country, we are trying to take the country back. Get the money out of politics with public financed campaigns so 'Of the People, By the People and For the People' rings true again.

            by fToRrEeEsSt on Wed May 28, 2014 at 02:05:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Democratic woes in midterms (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              are not really the fault of the party, any more than Republican strength in midterms can be attributed to messaging.  The difference is the base.  The strength of the Democratic Party is that it's appeal is diverse, uniting young people, immigrants, African Americans and a lot of other groups who fear a Republican president sufficiently to show up every four years.  Young people are not sophisticated voters and tend to skip mid terms; ditto for immigrants.  Many environmentalists and progressives still think it's 'smart' to show their displeasure with the Democratic Party in midterms by either skipping them or voting for third party candidates.  Only African Americans (and only fairly recently) can be counted on to show up and vote for Democrats, which is why you've seen such a flurry of voter restriction laws aimed squarely at them.

              The Republican base is white, middle class and older.  They take voting seriously, so Republicans have a huge advantage in midterms.  These people are narrowly focused on what's in it for them, and they know Republicans won't raise their taxes.  Many of them no longer have kids in public schools and don't care about maintaining a service they no longer use.  They have private insurance, so they are opposed to taxpayers covering insurance for the poor.  On the bright side, this penny wise and pound foolish approach is going to cost them dearly over the next few years as the hospitals serving their town of 40K go belly up because they voted for government officials who refused to take the Medicaid expansion.  When enough of them die from relatively minor accidents and heart attacks, things will change as local broadcasters and newspapers explain the economics of what they did to themselves.  Businesses will decamp for areas with medical care and none of those returning factories will choose to take their places, since they won't easily find the smart young people needed to run them - women just won't sign up for maternity care in a hospital that's 45 minutes away!

              I agree with you that the Democrats are scared mice, lousy at messaging, but our base is also very much to blame.

              •  I don't think they are scared mice I think (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                WednesdaysChilde, GreenInCalif

                they are playing the game as its intended. The repubs should have completely marginalized themselves by now, but the dems do a great job of helping them stay in the game.

                Its not an accident.

                To believe dems are some how genetically bad at policy, negotiating, messaging if not politics in general even though they have many who would have been considered moderately conservative in the past, means you have to blind yourself to the far more likely explanation.

                Maybe dems find a way to pull defeat from the jaws of victory, simply because thats the result they are looking for.

                So if dem voters don't see a reason to get to the polls in off years, maybe its not because they are just lazy (which is pretty insulting actually), but because the dems don't make themselves different enough to bother..

                Look at Obama's turn out, because many actually believed the hopy changy thing and thought it might be worth the effort. Some probably still do but others I am sure feel burned and even less enthused. Its their fault for buying into the hype, but none the less many really thought they were going to get real leadership against the status quo.

                I personally expected pretty much what we got from him and if anything I like him for still having some sense of integrity in the soulless world of politics. I also like his no drama style, he holds the office with dignity. He did have to sell his political soul to get the office, but they all do.

                Having said all that I don't think he even remotely represents the vast majority of Americans from the middle and lower classes nor do I expect anything different from Hillary.

                So when you blame the voters for not getting enthused, it just means you haven't quite figured out the game yet.

                Join the DeRevolution: We are not trying to take the country, we are trying to take the country back. Get the money out of politics with public financed campaigns so 'Of the People, By the People and For the People' rings true again.

                by fToRrEeEsSt on Wed May 28, 2014 at 08:32:38 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I see things differently (4+ / 0-)

                  but I'm old enough to remember when progressive rhetoric and tax policy were Democratic givens, and so are the people currently running the party.  The country underwent a major paradigm shift and those strengths became weaknesses; they retained control of Congress for a while through the entropy of incumbency, but as the 'greatest generation' left the stage, both in office and in voting booths, things changed.  They didn't 'plan' this and they didn't see it coming; they were bewildered as to why the criminality and incompetence of the Reagan administration didn't cost them anything with an already terminally stupid public.  They didn't regain a shot at the White House until Bill Clinton and his 'Third Way', split the difference Democrats showed up, and he only won in 92 because it was a three way race.  His reelection in 96 was as much a punch in the nose to an overreaching, crazed GOP as it was support of him, and then in 2000, Americans handed EVERYTHING to Republicans.  None of this may seem relevant to you, but that's naive.  

                  There's a 'game' being played, all right, but it's not the one you imagine.  I've watched it for 40 plus years, and it scares the crap out of me.  The extremely wealthy have been quietly building institutions like Cato and Heritage and most ominously, the Federalist Society, to shape the intellectual and legal landscape in ways more favorable to them, and they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.  I remember a national press that wasn't owned by a handful of corporate giants; it competed for Pulitzers as well as eyeballs and took it's damned job seriously instead of providing a he-said-she-said stenography service.  Politifact is a very poor substitute.  

                  Yeah, I'm looking squarely at Obama's coalition - you, not so much.  This country is full of younger people who don't have a clue as to how the government actually works and imagine that the presidency is something closer to the role of Emperor in Imperial Rome than the leader of a fractious congress which passes the laws and controls the purse strings, so disappointment is unavoidable.  

                  I literally made THOUSANDS of phone calls, all over the country, in the summer and fall of 2010, trying to convince Obama's coalition how important it was for them to show up and vote in November.  There wasn't 1 in 10 who understood the significance of the fact that it was a census year; the ones who did were all middle aged or older white people.  The younger people were rightfully angry that no one from the financial sector had been punished, and many of them were pissed that Obamacare didn't include a public option, which told me they hadn't been paying attention.

                  There's been another paradigm shift, but just like the last time, Democratic leadership is late to understand it.  The thirty year love affair with 'job creators' is over, even with average Republican voters, who deep down know that hard work just doesn't pay like it used to.   If Obama had decided to first go after the financial sector instead of health care reform, 2010 would have gone very differently.  I understand why he wanted the full eight years to shepherd health care (and I understand the grip of WS financiers on campaign war chests), but it was a mistake.  If Democrats, under his leadership, had broken up the big banks, reinstated Glass Steagal and declared all those bonus contracts at institutions dependent on government largess null and void, America would have cheered.  Elizabeth Warren is not yet ready to be the leader of the Democratic Party, but she will be in a few years, and then watch out.              

                  •  I'm 46 so I remember the Reagan Revolution (3+ / 0-)

                    and I see where you are coming from, but I do believe the issues go deeper than just the dems being mislead.

                    I don't think Warren will run for president exactly because she knows she would be hamstrung by her own party. We need to clean up the system so a good leader can lead well.

                    To me the big clue is llok at congress and name the best 'dem' and you would probably saw Sanders, yet he isn't a dem hes a independent.

                    Why is the best dem an independent? Because the only way to be the best dem is to not be a dem so you aren't hamstrung by the corrupt party apparatus.

                    I really believe the solution is what my sig is about. We the people have to declare enough is enough and stop pretending someone will save us, only we can save us. If we can get the money out of the system, then I could see Warren running because then she would be able to be the President she would want to be.

                    Join the DeRevolution: We are not trying to take the country, we are trying to take the country back. Get the money out of politics with public financed campaigns so 'Of the People, By the People and For the People' rings true again.

                    by fToRrEeEsSt on Thu May 29, 2014 at 09:54:51 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I'm 58 (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      and sorry kid, but other than Clinton, you don't remember ANY of this.  You were 12 when Reagan was elected.  You grew up in Reagan/Thatcher world, where labor had no power and capital controlled all.  I was 12 the year you were born, Nixon was elected and Bobby Kennedy was assassinated - I knew him personally, because of the Democratic Party.  My Irish Catholic father worked his ass off to convince voters on Long Island to send him to the Senate in 1964.  He was a frequent dinner and overnight guest in our truly middle class home.  He made a mean omlette, did dishes as well as any housewife, and was a genius with a balky pool filtration system.    

                      I'll bet you voted for Ralph Nader in 2000.  How'd THAT work out?  You pat yourself on the back for standing up for your beliefs?  I'm an ex Army officer, and when I think of all my brothers and sisters who died (or might as well have) in Iraq, I'd gladly shoot every Nader voter I could get in the crosshairs of my M16.  During basic,  I qualified as a sharpshooter my first time at the range with that wonderful piece of engineering.  The top kick recommended me for sniper school, and there are times I wish I went.  I'd repeal the 2nd amendment and confiscate most weapons in a heartbeat (if it were doable, which it aint) but I don't want to live in a country without deer hunters, and neither do you.

                      Yeah, Bernie Sanders is an "Independent" who has caucused with Democrats his entire life - but he's also an old hippie from Brooklyn who moved to VT 40+ years ago.  Try replicating that someplace outside of VT.  I dare ya.  Sherrod Brown of OH is every bit as progressive as Bernie, and if you were actually well informed, you'd know that.  My own senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, is pretty damned cool, too (and she'll definitely be POTUS some day), Tammy Baldwin is an out lesbian, Al Franken and Ron Wyden are good guys, and that's just the Senate, off the top of my head.

                      Elizabeth Warren WILL run and win, as a Democrat.  She knows exactly what to do domestically, but she needs some foreign policy seasoning first.  Your scenario is straight out of your ass and is every bit as crazy as something Glenn Beck would come up with - you should be embarrassed.  

                      The one thing you're right about is the need to get the money out of politics.  That will change everything dramatically, and it's something all voters agree on.  There will be a constitutional amendment within five years that says money is not speech and corporations are not people.  Goodby Buckley, Citizens United and McCutcheon, hello public finance.  I'm confident that this will happen because it's actually being spearheaded by the Senator from Wall Street - word on the street is that even Chuck Schumer is sick to death of kowtowing to rich people!  


                •  I'll keep it simple! (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  CatKinNY, JuliathePoet

                  Why would the Democrat leadership wish to see Republicans gain offices in the midterms?

                  In other words, what is the intention of the game you keep referring to?

                  •  Heads we win tails we lose. We are stuck in a game (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    where there is no way out by playing it.

                    If I say pick a hand you are being given a choice, but if I get to choose what is in each hand I always win no matter which you pick. But I have to maintain the illusion that one of the hands is better and to your benefit or you will stop playing the game.

                    The dems play to the empathetic, those that are willing to give up something for themselves to help everyone else. To this they tie social llibertarianism since its more empathetic in its accepting of all lifestyles even those wildly different from ones own.

                    The Repubs play to the traditional 'rugged American' mind set, everyone needs to look out for themselves and helping other too much makes them weak and dependent. To this they tie social conservatism where the social boundries of the previous centuries need to be maintained for a viable society.

                    But they both serve the interests of the financial powers, so an illusion must be maintained to keep us picking one hand or the other. Its kabuki, because without it people would see its a false choice and would stop playing the game.

                    At the end of the day the people have all the power, but in government we project that power and as long as the illusion is maintained our power is funneled through it. If all of America finally had enough and refused to play any longer there is little that the moneyed interests can do to stop us.

                    So the game I am referring to is the illusion that picking one party or the other will be to your personal benefit. We are all voting for the bad to protect us from the worse. That is preventing us from ever getting better.

                    Join the DeRevolution: We are not trying to take the country, we are trying to take the country back. Get the money out of politics with public financed campaigns so 'Of the People, By the People and For the People' rings true again.

                    by fToRrEeEsSt on Thu May 29, 2014 at 11:51:27 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Opps meant heads they win tails we lose :p nt (0+ / 0-)

                      Join the DeRevolution: We are not trying to take the country, we are trying to take the country back. Get the money out of politics with public financed campaigns so 'Of the People, By the People and For the People' rings true again.

                      by fToRrEeEsSt on Thu May 29, 2014 at 11:52:01 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  A simple answer to a simple question: (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    It is what the major campaign donors and corporate lobbyists want.  The same ones who fund the GOP also donate to the Dems.  Look at the revolving doors between Big Ag (Monsanto!) and the Dept. of Agriculture, between Wall Street and Treasury, between Big Pharma and the FDA, between the fossil-fuel industry and the Dept. of Energy:  they spin just as fast under Obama as they did under Bush (and Clinton!).  We have two corporatist parties in this country, and they've arranged things here in CA so that minor parties won't even be on the ballot next election cycle.

                    One way of describing the game is good cop/bad cop.  The Dems pretend to be on our side.  The GOP makes no such pretense.  But both cops have the same goal--a plea bargain.  They want you to give up without a fight.

        •  You are so right! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          My wife and I get all sorts of appeals from Democratic party affiliates, candidates and PACs saying how urgent it is to support Alison Lundergan Grimes (our only chance to hold the Senate, bla bla bla) but they don't have the guts to change Grimes' script so that she runs on a 100% pro-ACA platform.  All the work has been done in KY, and a huge number of Kentuckians are directly benefiting from it, but they won't let Grimes take credit?  Jesus, what a death wish!

      •  Democratic. We call ourselves the Democratic Party (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Are you of the republic party or the independ party?

    •  Admit they were wrong? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ColoTim, fToRrEeEsSt

      That's funny.

      Republican Health Care Plan: marry a Canadian.

      by shoeless on Wed May 28, 2014 at 09:09:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Don't see what good it would do. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I doubt that Ms. Grimes is so stupid as not to grasp that she should be backing Obamacare rather than backing away from it.  She is saying what's she's been told to say, just the same way intelligent Republican candidates make themselves sound like clowns by saying what their speech-writers and campaign managers tell them to say (because it appeals to their intellectually and morally challenged party base).

      Fundamentally, the Democrats want to keep the status quo, and project that desire onto the electorate.  Sure, many Kentuckians still accept the Big Lies which are all they've heard about Obamacare since 2009; can't blame them for that.  But if Grimes' handlers would put different words in her mouth, Kentuckians who've used their exchange might start talking to those who haven't (yet) and people's minds would start to change.  Ooooh, way too disruptive.  Let's not do that!

      In this country, private entrepreneurship is encouraged, but political entrepreneurship is discouraged.  Lots of Kentuckians are starting to realize that coal mining is not the wave of their future, but we'd better not reach out to them!  At least not politically, by hinting that better state government policies could improve living conditions there.  No, let's push young Kentuckians to seek their future in the next boom-and-bust resource extraction cycle, by moving to North Dakota.

      Daddy won't you take me back to Mulenberg County
      Down by the Green River, where Paradise lay
      Well I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in askin'
      Mr. Peabody's coal train has hauled it away
  •  The Lexington Herald-Leader, (33+ / 0-)

    in an editorial on McTurtle's attempts to split the baby, says that his attempts are "unconnected to reality".

    Kynect is the Affordable Care Act is Obamacare — even if Kentuckians are confused about which is which.

    And, really, it's no wonder that polls show many Kentuckians don't know that Kynect is a direct product of President Barack Obama's landmark law. How can average people be expected to understand if the Senate's Republican leader still hasn't figured it out, or at least is pretending there's no connection?

    We asked the McConnell campaign for a clarification and were sent the usual talking points and a statement saying, "If Obamacare is repealed, Kentucky should decide for itself whether to keep Kynect or set up a different marketplace," a suggestion that is unconnected to reality.

    Kentuckians are waiting to learn if their five-term senator understands — or cares — how much is at stake.

    Rush — the quivering rage heap who is apparently desperately trying to extinguish any remaining molecule of humanity that might still reside in the Chernobyl-esque Superfund cleanup site that was his soul. -- Jon Stewart

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Wed May 28, 2014 at 07:39:18 AM PDT

  •  Here's McTurtle's new leitmotif (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Palafox, Cedwyn, mconvente, mikeVA, jds1978

    And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

    by Pale Jenova on Wed May 28, 2014 at 07:42:56 AM PDT

    •  And in the second fraction of a second... (5+ / 0-)

      ...God made matter.

      And then God said oops too much stuff here so God made the anti-matter annihilated most of the matter.

      And then God said the Universe was too hot so on the first 300,000 years God cooled the Universe and the protons were able to capture the electrons and the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation was allowed to fly free...

      The highest form of spiritual practice is self observation with compassion.

      by NCJim on Wed May 28, 2014 at 07:51:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Don't blame me for your loss of healthcare. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, ColoTim

    Don't blame you.

    State's Rights!

    If Obama had not created a federal health care system all of the states would have had one of their own.

    The highest form of spiritual practice is self observation with compassion.

    by NCJim on Wed May 28, 2014 at 07:43:32 AM PDT

  •  I got a letter from Allison yesterday and I live (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, FloridaSNMOM, shoeless, ColoTim, askew

    in PA. So I wonder if she got the DCCC, DNC, or OFA mailing list.   ?  

    I wish I could afford to help but I can only maybe send her about 5 dollars.  I would send it in memory of my grandparents who were born and raised in KY along with my Dad.

    Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at

    by wishingwell on Wed May 28, 2014 at 07:45:31 AM PDT

  •  Kynect could survive repeal of the ACA (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Just like Massachusetts did, Kentucky can have its own statewide version of the ACA.

    The fact that the state hadn't chosen to create this and wouldn't have absent the ACA doesn't mean that Kentucky would eliminate Kynect if the ACA were repealed. (Which it won't be.)

  •  Two Words: ALEX SINK (37+ / 0-)

    she lost two winnable races against two Deeply Flawed candidates...

    Because she didn't run as a democrat either time.

    Her base wasn't fired up at all... and the GOP voters were never going to vote for her.

    You run on ACA and OWN IT!  As a dem, you do anyway...

    The Seminole Democrat
    Confronting the criminally insane who rule our state; as well as the apathy of the vast majority who let them.

    by SemDem on Wed May 28, 2014 at 07:54:42 AM PDT

    •  Can I get an Amen? nt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tikkun, ColoTim

      No star is lost once we have seen, We always may be what we might have been. ~ Adelaide Proctor

      by mikejay611 on Wed May 28, 2014 at 08:27:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Is It The Water? (6+ / 0-)
      When asked twice by the Associated Press whether she would have voted for the federal overhaul four years ago, [Alison Lundergan] Grimes balked.

      "I, when we are in the United States Senate, will work to fix the Affordable Care Act," Grimes told the AP.

      Two Words: ALEX SINK - she lost two winnable races against two deeply flawed [Republican] candidates... Because she didn't run as a Democrat either time.
      McConnell's current position, as detailed in this diary, seems to assume that Kentucky voters are too uninformed, or hate the President so much, that they are unable to, or are unwilling to make the connection that Kynect was formed with funding and structural inspiration from the Affordable Care Act.

      Grime's current position, featuring a healthy dose of denial and avoidance - which I am inclined to call the American white persons disease - is basically craven, IMO. I hope for Kentuckians and the country that she can avoid being trapped in that position by McConnell's campaign, but, now that she has been characterized as having "balked" by the AP, you can bet that the question - "Would you have voted for the ACA if you were in the Senate?" - will be brought up again and again by the press and the McConnell campaign.

      If you sweep enough denial under the rug, you may eventually trip on the lump - when you least expect it.

      Social justice is part of the implication of loving thy neighbor. - Frances Perkins

      by paz3 on Wed May 28, 2014 at 08:34:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  McConnell the foolhardy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skillet, Cedwyn, mconvente

    McConnell disappoints me, for I gave him credit for being more politically savvy than he turns out to be.  How wise was it for him to spend the last five years strenuously denigrating the ACA and yet fail to anticipate that doing so just might one day come back to bite him on the ass?

    •  The Turtle was not thinking that far ahead (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aquarius40, Arfeeto, tikkun, CatKinNY

      Much like didn't think, "Gee, maybe Obama might not be a one term president. I should plan accordingly."

      He never thought the ACA would get this far. But it has and now he doesn't have a clue what to do about it.

    •  One Number: 2012 (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aquarius40, Arfeeto, tikkun, ColoTim

      I don't think that McConnell thought that Obama would win reelection, more avoidance and denial in action. After the 2012 election he was then stuck in the mud with his own rhetoric.

      Social justice is part of the implication of loving thy neighbor. - Frances Perkins

      by paz3 on Wed May 28, 2014 at 08:36:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  McConnell disappoints you? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Did you think he was politically savvy when he filibustered his own bill?

      Republican Health Care Plan: marry a Canadian.

      by shoeless on Wed May 28, 2014 at 09:41:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A politician's politician (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shoeless, bobcat41702

        McConnell has spent a lifetime in national politics, beginning a Capitol Hill career in 1967 and winning his Senate seat in 1984. By most media accounts, he's a clever and able politician. Yet you're correct about his filibustering his own bill: he blundered badly.  And he blundered again just last week when he argued against Obamacare in his own state.  This second lapse is what's causing me to suspect the old boy's finally losing his grip.

        By the way, I like your signature line.

  •  Send it to Kay Hagan as well (9+ / 0-)

    Tom Tillis wants to repeal the ACA and kick 357,584    North Carolinians off their health plans.

    Each one of these individuals has additional family members and friends who would directly hear the miserable truth of how "Thom Tillis and the Republicans" took their healthcare away and left them hanging.

    The health and economic repercussions of losing one's healthcare are multiplied throughout the community just like having and losing a job.

    There are probably 2-3 million extended family and friends of ACA participants in NC. A constituency that size is ignored only at great peril.

    Nevertheless, Tillis is gleefully blowing the Tea Party dog whistle, thankfully stupid enough to be running on his repeal intentions. Hagan and every other Democratic candidate should have a field day with this argument, which can  be applied nationwide.

    I agree with Kos.

  •  When Repubs finally realize that despite (5+ / 0-)

    all its flaws the ACA is a net benefit for most Americans and that running against it is a political loser--and the longer it's up and running the more Americans will realize that it's a net benefit for most them--they will not only stop running against it and embrace it, but they will start claiming it as their own, and that the only reason it's a good program is because their political pressure, applied when it was drawn up, made it so.

    Repubs will always lie, only the specifics change.

    We have always been at war with Eastasia people who oppose the ACA!

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Wed May 28, 2014 at 08:08:01 AM PDT

  •  Perfect Response Kos! (5+ / 0-)

    So if asked if she would've voted for it, why not say something like "Yes! And there are 421,000 Kentuckians who would thank me for that today. Of course, it's not perfect, so I'll vote to fix it where it's not great, unlike Mitch who won't allow any improvements."

    By the authority vested in me by Kaiser Wilhelm II, I pronounce you man and wife. Proceed with the execution...and the kiddie pool needs to stay open 24/7!

    by HarryParatestis on Wed May 28, 2014 at 08:08:35 AM PDT

  •  All non-political people... (7+ / 0-)

    ...want is for Democrats to stand up for themselves and something they believe in! Believe in healthcare, Allison.

    Twitter: @michaelhag

    by MichaelPH on Wed May 28, 2014 at 08:12:26 AM PDT

  •  That's his plan? (4+ / 0-)

    McConnell wants to repeal Obamacare for everyone except Kentucky?  Nice plan shit for brains.  

  •  nail him to the cross Alison. He wants to take (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tikkun, shoeless

    away health insurance from people, prefers them to be bankrupted by the old system!!!!

  •  But could his plan work? (5+ / 0-)

    I think Mitch is banking on how unpopular the term Obamacare is. It has been well documented that Kynect workers don't even mention Obamacare when signing people up for fear that they wont sign up.  I think Mitch feels that Grimes won't call  him on it because that would mean she acknowledges Obamacare and then he puts that around her for the election.  Call me crazy but with how conservatives are these days, I wouldn't put it past anyone that this plan would be crazy enough to work. I think she needs to come out strong and say they are both the same thing and that repealing one gets rid of the other and dares Mitch to call her a liar about that.

    I can't force you to do anything, I can just make you regret it!

    by restondem on Wed May 28, 2014 at 08:46:58 AM PDT

  •  Dead-End Repug Healthcare Politics (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tikkun, shoeless, bobcat41702
    There is also the rhetorical cul-de-sac Republicans are trapped inside: They've made much hay of the president's promise that no one would lose their existing insurance. Yet here they are, a few months later, running explicitly on a promise to take away insurance from well over 10 million Americans. In Kentucky, that number is 413,000, exactly.
    And in states where Republican governors have blocked Medicaid expansion, they are the ones denying insurance for millions of Americans. In KY, 250,000 would lose their ACA based Medicaid insurance if Obamacare was repealed.

    The Republicans have put themselves into this no-win jam. And they have disadvantaged millions of Americans in the process. Lets all hope that the Dems are astute enough to take advantage of this major blunder!

    "Inequality is the root of social evil." ― Pope Francis

    by GoodGod on Wed May 28, 2014 at 08:49:01 AM PDT

  •  when McConnell says... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ..."If Obamacare is repealed, Kentucky should decide for itself whether to keep Kynect or set up a different marketplace," doesn't that mean that Obamacare would not (and will not) ever be repealed? Because there would be no requirement for Kentucky to establish another exchange without Obamacare. endorsing the notion that "a different marketplace" health care exchange would be established by Kentucky, isn't that, actually, a tacit acknowledgement that Obamacare isn't going anywhere no matter what McConnell says?

  •  What is it going to take to convince Grimes... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ... to stop trying to finesse and nuance her way to a 100 vote win and start hammering her way to a 100,000 vote win?

    This is not that goddamn difficult. Put your boot on McConnell's neck and lift up the other foot.

    Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.

    by The Termite on Wed May 28, 2014 at 09:08:31 AM PDT

  •  Say what you will... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    red moon dog

    ...about McConnell, but Grimes is seriously pissing me off with this avoidance BS.  Own it and win or distance yourself and lose. If people see your position as similar to McConnell's why would they vote for you?

  •  She's scared of being linked to Obama (0+ / 0-)

    So Grimes has decided to avoid the ACA and let others in the state like Beshear defend it.  The strategy she has decided on was talked about by Congressman Yarmuth back in October.  And I am betting she will not change this strategy anytime soon.

    And it does no good to send imploring messages to the Grimes campaign to defend parts of the ACA.  I've already tried it on several occasions.  I've sent her campaign emails with my personal story about obtaining Medicaid while unemployed in the hopes of encouraging her to take a stronger stand in defense of the Medicaid expansion.  I contacted someone who I know is working with the Grimes campaign as well.  I have gotten nothing but silence.

    Actually, all I get is emails asking me for a donation to the Grimes campaign.

    I disagree with this political strategy, but it does not good to complain about it to the Grimes camp.

  •  I HATE the word fix (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that is sooo fucking tone deaf and stupid to even say that.  It implies that something is BROKEN.  

    What ALG SHOULD be saying is that she not only would have voted to provide 421,000 of the good people of Kentucky  who did not have insurance before with affordable insurance via Kynect, but she would also work to IMPROVE healthcare for everyone else including Medicare for senior and veteran's healthcare.  

    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 Wed May 28, 2014 at 09:27:55 AM PDT

  •  respectfully disagree - not net negative for GOP (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Currently (and things can change in the 5 1/4 months to election day), I think the ACA is still a net negative for Democrats.

    The outside parties spending millions and millions and millions on TV and radio on anti-ACA ads are not stupid.  They are doing this based on focus groups and polling.  I cannot believe that they would be spending so much money in multiple states attacking Dems for the "if you like your plan, you can keep it" misrepresentation unless their polling and focus groups show that this line of attack moves some voters - or excites some base voters into voting.

    Vulnerable Dems like Landrieu, Hagan, Begich and Pryor need some political protection, some political distance, from Obama's stupid statement.  They are not getting it.  Harry Reid needs to let the Landrieu bill come to a vote in the Senate.

    By 2016, Hillary will be able to put distance between herself and remaining negative aspects of the ACA.  I do not think the ACA will be a net negative for Dems in 2016 and should be a net positive.

    But in only 5 months, in November 2014, the ACA will still be a net negative for Dems because it continues to motivate more of the GOP base to vote.

    The GOP base is still more enthusiastic about voting in November (and many are voting based on their dislike of Obamacare, even if many of them do not know what they are talking about).

    I am not aware of a single poll to date - none - that shows Dem base voters are more excited about voting in November than GOP base voters.  When I see such polls (IF we see such polls) before November 2014, I may change my disagreement with you.

  •  Also republished at Alternet. (0+ / 0-)

    The free market is not the solution, the free market is the problem.

    by Azazello on Wed May 28, 2014 at 09:42:53 AM PDT

  •  Please Help!! (0+ / 0-)

    Please help us and tell Governor (of Aalabama) Bentley to
    expand Medicaid. Here’s his contact (please call)
    number 334-242-7100 or fax 334-353-0004.

  •  Yes Mitch is handing Grimes the race IF ONLY (0+ / 0-)

    If she'll only step out of that defensive crouch you mention and go on confident offensive.  Anything less is a rookie mistake. Nothing works better than truth if you just tell it simply enough.

    Ideology is when you think you know the answers before you know the questions.
    It infests hollow spaces where intelligence has died.

    by Alden on Wed May 28, 2014 at 11:48:08 AM PDT

  •  Hit them with it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The candidates need to hit them with it, but so do we.

    McConnell's last claim is even better.

    "He says he's against it, but he doesn't know what it is."

  •  Step up (0+ / 0-)

    Grimes needs to step up and claim the side of Obamacare. If she thinks any Rethuglican would vote for her she is mistaken. Except those Republicans that now have health insurance. She should campaign on the issue that she would protect it. That's potentially 421,000 votes. I have given to her campaign. If she wants to be wishy washy I guess I will be wishy washy. And I don't even live in Clowntucky.

  •  Of course, it'll be a net negative (0+ / 0-)

    the idea of ACA was mostly theirs: TrickyCare, HeritageCare, NewtCare, WCare, MittCare, GangofSixCare edited by McTurtle, DeMinted, Collins, Snow, Lugar, et al.

    Demos only have to run straight at this Party that wrecked the Country and OUR Lives, who, like little brats, would not own up to the Mess they made and tried to blame their idea on Obama. (When Dems, Reps & Indies wanted Universal Single-Payer)

    Theirs is a House of Smoke & Mirrors & Stupid policy.

  •  Has ANYONE contacted the Grimes Campaign and (0+ / 0-)

    made the suggestion as stated above?  Perhaps someone in Kentucky might send them the link to this story???

  •  New (0+ / 0-)

    And the real bad news is he can't run against Obamacare and he can't run on his record. Bet  the Kentucky voters say no to him.

  •  Rename ACA (0+ / 0-)

    I understand that a lot of the elements in the ACA were originally proposed by Republicans, so one way that Mitch could live with the program would be if it were renamed McConnellCare.  

  •  So! How about that Benghazi? (0+ / 0-)

    The Rethuglicans have given up attacking Obamacare. As predicted, it's working and becoming increasingly popular. So...Benghazi has become the new "red meat" for the Rethug pack to howl and slaver over. But, to continue the metaphor, it's not really meat - it's soy derivative with #2 red dye (i.e., "fake"), but the Rethugs lap that shit up because they're starving for blood, and Obama's not giving them any. Sad.

  •  What will it take for Grimes to step up? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Why can't she just say she supports the reform.  Even with McConnell falling all over himself she is unable to take advantage.  Her ambivalence around this issue doesn't give me much faith in her ability to unseat McConnell in November.  Perhaps she needs to hire a more astute and determined campaign adviser.

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