The Spectacle Blog

About Those Antigovernment Republicans, Part II

By on 3.31.10 | 10:35AM

As if to prove the point of my earlier post, the Associated Press reports that some "top Republicans" are already setting the stage for a Stupid Party surrender: "Top Republicans are increasingly worried that GOP candidates this fall might be burned by a fire that's roaring through the conservative base: demand for the repeal of President Barack Obama's new health care law."

Well, zippity-doo-dah. Perhaps instead of worrying about being scorched by their firey conservative base, Republicans should wake up and smell the smoke: it will be the GOP that is burned if this law settles into established entitlement status and the march toward an even more government-controlled health care system continues. Even an unsuccessful campaign for repeal could lead to salutary reforms of the law and will at the very least force Democrats to repeatedly go on record defending its least popular aspects, possibly even through the filibuster, continuing a debate that has hurt their standing in the polls over the past year.

The Tea Party activist should also wake up and smell the coffee: If Republicans can't figure out a way to repeal an unpopular law that just barely passed this month, with most of its costs front-loaded and most of the benefits set to come later, while it is still in their political self-interest, then good luck expecting them to do much of anything about the rest of the mess Washington has made since the Great Society and before. The GOP has a choice between laying out the case for free-market health care reform and waiting a few election cycles to run as the party that wants to "protect" Obamacare from the next big-government Democratic proposal, the way they run as protectors of Medicare today.

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