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Mary Landrieu speaking at podium
When Mary Landrieu is campaigning on Obamacare, it's time for a new narrative.
A month ago, the New York Times noticed what Daily Kos had already been talking about for weeks: more and more Democrats are running on Obamacare. It's taken another month to filter down to conservative media, but here is it, the Wall Street Journal declaring "Some Democrats Talking Up Health Law On Stump."
Democratic candidates have begun to take a more assertive stance on the Affordable Care Act, highlighting the most popular benefits of the law and attacking Republicans for trying to repeal them. […]

Now, in at least half a dozen competitive Senate and gubernatorial races, Democrats and their allies are airing TV commercials that directly support the legislation, focusing on its guaranteed coverage for pre-existing conditions, preventive-care benefits and a ban on charging women more for insurance.

In some cases, the ads talk up how the Democrat candidate has worked to guarantee these benefits; in others, they attack a Republican for wanting to take them away.

They use the examples of Sen. Kay Hagan, who has been talking up Medicaid expansion in particular for a while now, and the Senate Majority PAC's efforts in Michigan to point out that the Republican candidate, Terri Lynn Land, wants to repeal all of the good things that Obamacare does. They also talk about Florida's Charlie Crist, who is running for governor by fully embracing the law. They leave out Alaska's Sen. Mark Begich and Lousiana's Sen. Mary Landrieu, who've been out talking about the positives of Obamacare for weeks and weeks now.

So that's pretty definitive evidence that conventional wisdom has changed: Obamacare isn't toxic for Democrats. The Wall Street Journal says so. And in fact, it's so not toxic for Democrats, the WSJ has a second story about how Republican attacks on the law are "evolving," and that "Republicans won’t back off their push to repeal the law, but the message is likely to be more nuanced."

What's not included is how Republicans will "nuance" the whole idea of repeal, particularly when they no real answer for the main question: if not Obamacare, then what? Which is why Mitch McConnell is turning himself into a pretzel on the issue, and most Republican candidates have nothing but gibberish to fall back on.

But as the shift in the narrative becomes so obvious that even the Wall Street Journal can't ignore it, in the not too distant future it won't just be local media—like this Kentucky paper—that starts calling Republicans on their bullshit.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed May 28, 2014 at 10:42 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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