CBS News reports on more Republican wobbliness on Obamacare repeal. The latest wobbler is Rep. Mike Castle of Delaware: “You’re not going to be able to repeal this legislation. Now maybe we could if there’s an election for a new president and you have a couple of elections for Congress. I’d be willing to consider it.” But if the case for repeal isn’t made now, the momentum will be lost by the time you have a new president and Congress. And if it doesn’t happen before the subsidies kick in, repeal will be much more difficult.
Castle, like fellow Republican wobbler Mark Kirk, is running for Senate. Their recruitment was considered a major coup by the national party and they are two of the GOP’s likeliest pickup opportunities this fall. If Kirk and Castle are the new Republican majority, the only conservatism we’ll see is one that conserves liberalism’s gains no matter what some in the leadership say.
One small quibble with the CBS story: While they accurately quote from my column last week, they imply that I have a problem with the “repeal and replace” slogan. I don’t. Neither Republicans nor conservatives should position themselves as uncritical defenders of the pre-Obamacare system, which is far from a free market in health care. The messaging of repeal and replace is fine, though the substance would depend on what the Republicans wanted to “replace” Obamacare with. If Kirk and Castle end up the point men, I imagine it won’t be anything good.