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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
Obamacare is not withering on the vine. The sky hasn't fallen and the Koch brothers haven't even been able to manufacture an Obamacare "horror story" in months. The white-hot hate of Obamacare as faded, House Republicans have basically cried uncle on fighting it legislatively, and Americans in general want little more than for it to just go away as a political issue.

And still Republicans persist in trying to make it an issue for 2014, but with ever-diminishing returns. One set of pollsters has tried a whopping 57 critical statements with likely voters trying to find ones that stick. They aren't having a lot of luck.

Some of the arguments that voters found most “persuasive”—that scads of people would be forced off of their health plans and into more expensive coverage, that Obamacare is a Washington takeover of health care and that it’s driving premiums through the roof and forcing businesses to cut worker hours—are contested by Democrats and murky at best. In fact, most Americans report that they‘ve had no direct experience with the law, according to a July tracking poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation. […]

“Our candidates are not fearful of these attacks,” said Stan Greenberg, a Democrat-aligned pollster. When he reads messages like the ones touted by the American Action Network to focus groups in battleground states, Greenberg said, “People roll their eyes.”

“It’s always easy to message anything when you’re not tethered to any sense of reality,” added Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, a White House ally.

The attacks will continue, though, because the Republican pollsters are convincing themselves the messages work by screening out all of the people who will disagree with them: "The GOP memo, by design, likely showed higher-intensity support for the criticisms because it excluded people who said they 'strongly support' Obamacare." That's all about base motivation, trying to keep the tea partiers—disappointed that the people they elected haven't repealed the law—engaged, while trying to win over some independents. Their only option is to go even more and more extreme. And that's going to appeal to a smaller and smaller group as the campaign wears on.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 09:29 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (25+ / 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 Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 09:29:59 AM PDT

  •  Good thing that Republicans have (11+ / 0-)

    the viagra of FoxNews and Rush to restore their potency.   Potency is a big issue among Republicans, especially as the party ages.  Hating on anyone different seems to get a rise out of many Republicans.  One could do this all day.  :=)

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 09:33:18 AM PDT

    •  now pro medicare for all (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP, daeros

      Join activists from around the country for a weekend of inspiration and strategy to win single-payer national healthcare! Three national organizations for single-payer will be combining their annual conferences. Activists from Healthcare-NOW!, the Labor Campaign for Single-Payer Health Care, and the One Payer States coalition will attend.
      The conference will take place from August 22nd to the 24th.

      More Fear, More Profit. Its Math.

      by Pattern Math on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 11:11:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Let's hope SCOTUS doesn't give them... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...another stiffy apropos the federal exchange subsidies. It's unlikely that it would happen before the midterms, but it will most certainly be decided by the time the 2016 primaries roll around.

      Adequate health care should be a LEGAL RIGHT in the U.S without begging or bankruptcy. Until it is, we should not dare call our society civilized.

      by Love Me Slender on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 11:11:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  well they... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fabienne, bluenick

    do work to an extent. There are too many Democrats distancing themselves from the president, and the ACA is certainly a factor in it.

    "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

    by JackND on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 10:13:07 AM PDT

    •  Actually, the Obamacare Six (0+ / 0-)

      the supposedly most vulnerable Senate Democrats targeted by the wackadoodle Republican Conservatives Fund in April, are all running on the ACA, and the RCF campaign has sunk without trace.

      Alison Grimes is running on Kynect (the KY ACA exchange), and black lung benefits, and talking at every opportunity about how Mitch McConnell wants to take health care away from Kentuckians. Of course, in Kentucky she has to do it without ever saying "Obamacare" or "ACA". They all love the benefits of Obamacare, they just hate the name.

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

      by Mokurai on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 12:08:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  she's (0+ / 0-)

        for the black lung benefits, but how about eliminating the cause of it?

        It's like supporting treatment for emphysema but continuing to be a cheerleader for smoking.

        "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

        by JackND on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 03:52:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Unfortunately... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fabienne, tidalwave1

    ...the notion, however absurd, that "Obamacare will be the downfall of human civilization" becomes a much greater incentive to vote in the 2014 midterms than "hey, Obamacare isn't as bad as I thought" is.


    “I believe all Southern liberals come from the same starting point--race. Once you figure out they are lying to you about race, you start to question everything.” ― Molly Ivins

    by RoIn on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 10:14:02 AM PDT

  •  But...Brown Toddlers invading our borders!! n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 10:37:43 AM PDT

  •  Obamacare ate my puppy. n/t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hohenzollern, daeros, anon004

    I'm not always political, but when I am I vote Democratic. Stay Democratic, my friends. -The Most Interesting Man in the World

    by boran2 on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 10:37:49 AM PDT

  •  The Republicans have nothing to run on. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tidalwave1, daeros, anon004

    What can they talk about?  Their accomplishments over the past 2 years?  It's amazing that they predict a win for republicans this term.  What the fuck have they done that has helped?  Suing the President?

  •  Just...such a disaster for the Republicans. I'm... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annan, daeros

    Just...such a disaster for the Republicans. I'm finding more and more people everyday that have been positively affected by the ACA, even referring to it as Obamacare in a positive light.

    It'll be interesting to see after the midterms how quickly this fades regardless of the results of the elections. Sure, the GOP will send pointless repeal bills if they take the Senate but President Obama would be quite defiant in bis vetoes as he's legacy building in 2015-2016.

    I have hope Hilary will reignite the debate for more universal coverage, we'll see!

  •  The Obamacare fig leaf (0+ / 0-)

    The GOP's opposition to Obamacare was always merely a tool. Lacking continued potency, the GOP will move on to exploit some other tool. The objective in all cases is simply to attack the President. The right does not actually care about the ACA, or Beghazi, or the national debt limit, or Constitutional principle, or anything else they claim to. It's all an fig leaf to cover the bigoted basis of their attacks of the President.

    •  There are real issues that the various Republican (0+ / 0-)

      factions do care about. I laid them out in my Diary A Republican Bestiary. Tax cuts for the rich, gay-bashing for the Religious Right, Obamacare for the Tea Parties, more wars for the Neo-Cons, and so on.

      See also my Diary for the Readers and Book Lovers group, Grokking Republicans: Cognitive Dissonance, where I explained the theory from When Prophecy Fails, by Festinger, Riecken, and Schachter. Their theory predicts that under conditions satisfied by all Republican factions, clear and obvious failures of predictions, such as Obamacare being a job killer, result in doubling down, ignoring evidence, grasping at the flimsiest excuses, and getting even louder.

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

      by Mokurai on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 01:42:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Can they go more extreme? (0+ / 0-)

    I mean, death panels, FEMA camps, and killing grandma was pretty out there.

    One can always tell when a Republican is taking Viagra because he gets taller.

    by shoeless on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 10:55:11 AM PDT

    •  Yes. We have accusations of Ebola on the border (0+ / 0-)

      just this last week from Phil Gingrey of Georgia, and that Obama is politicizing Ebola from Rush Limbaugh. They are in continuous competition to say ever more outrageous things.

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

      by Mokurai on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 01:46:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Next R/W catch phrase to fall: "the Obama economy" (0+ / 0-)

    All that is necessary for the triumph of the Right is that progressives do nothing.

    by Mystic Michael on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 10:58:51 AM PDT

  •  Well, as I've been telling all my conservative (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annan, Gator Keyfitz

    co-workers, I'm going to do early semi-retirement so I can be near my grandkids . . . and it's all possible because of Obamacare.

    A drowning man can not learn to swim. -- Chris Lonsdale

    by Rikon Snow on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 11:04:06 AM PDT

  •  Shelf life: expires Dec 2014 (0+ / 0-)

    Anti-Obamacare delusion still has potency for a small dedicated group of mid-term Republican election voters, and that is why this is still being used.  The facts don't matter, the facts never mattered to these particular subset of voters, they hate the black guy. period.  

    The new meme really seems to focus not on "communist" Obama or "Hitler" Obama with socializing social programs that steal from the rich...which was the 2009-2014 run,

    The NEW subtext meme now is "Foreign Kenyan Obama wages WAR on God-fearing white Americans using gang banger criminal Mexican Obamacitos invading our borders and African death virus from Kenya invited in by black Obama  to breach our borders on purpose to kill white people".    

    I don't think Mo Brook's War on Whites was a rogue meme, he's not that creative.

    "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of these United States of America -9.75 -6.87

    by Uncle Moji on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 11:09:27 AM PDT

  •  Obamacare trolls on Facebook page (0+ / 0-)

    If anyone wants to go troll hunting, there are a whole bunch of tea partiers camping out on the facebook page. posts something about signing up for Medicaid or CHIP and they jump on it with comments about not wanting to pay for poor people's coverage. It's a bad scene.

  •  The TeaOP Had A Dream (0+ / 0-)

    It was ill-conceived and vengeful...
    To borrow the words of a great poet, here is it's epitaph....

    "A Dream Deferred

    What happens to a dream deferred?

    Does it dry up
    like a raisin in the sun?
    Or fester like a sore--
    And then run?
    Does it stink like rotten meat?
    Or crust and sugar over--
    like a syrupy sweet?

    Maybe it just sags
    like a heavy load.

    Or does it explode?"

      --Langston Hughes--

    "These 'Yet To Be' United States" --James Baldwin--

    by kevinbr38 on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 11:43:08 AM PDT

  •  And this is why Republican pollsters suck. (0+ / 0-)
    "The GOP memo, by design, likely showed higher-intensity support for the criticisms because it excluded people who said they 'strongly support' Obamacare."
    If you are going to start out from first principles by removing a significant section of the population from your polling cohort of course you are going to get polling data that does not mirror the final election results.
  •  I suspect ACA foes are waiting for 2016. (0+ / 0-)

    Having the IRS actually enforce the individual mandate penalties and subsidy clawbacks is going to be an incredibly ugly process and it doesn't happen until next year.   Lots of nasty IRS letters will be going out in the spring and summer of next year.   Everyone knew it was going to be ugly.  In 2009 even Markos said the mandate was so objectionable to him as to be a cause to kill the whole bill.   IMO the subsidy clawbacks are going to be even worse, especially the cases that involve tripping over the subsidy cliff.

  •  Obamacare caused the Ebola (0+ / 0-)

    You can tell because Obama has covered up the whole thing, which is why there SEEMS to be no evidence of a connection, which means we have to get to the bottom of this.

  •  Look in my eyes,look in my eyes (0+ / 0-)

    We will tell you so many lies,most will hurt you,but we don't care.  We have an agenda for the wealthy so all you takers go to Hell.  

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