Yesterday some Republicans saw the handwriting on the wall, or at least in the polls, and realized that the shutdown/debt ceiling grandstanding is hurting them a lot more than it is hurting the Dems. So many are backing off the “kill Obamacare” fight.
So what now? Brian Beutler thinks they’re about to make things even worse for themselves
Republican leaders want to phase out the fight by changing the terms and terrain. And their new targets are â€” wait for it â€” Medicare and Social Security. See this Op-Ed by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., in which he mentions Obamacare precisely zero times, and argues instead that Congressâ€™ central focus should be cutting much more popular, durable programs. He even names a couple of specific Medicare adjustments Democrats might support, but only in a plan that includes new tax revenues. Guess how many times the word â€œrevenuesâ€ appears in the piece.
This is not the battle you want to pick if your electoral imperatives require you to pander to white voters. Maybe in the days ahead, once the government is reopened and the risk of immediate default has passed, Republicans will walk away from the past monthâ€™s events and pretend they never happened. The Obamacare defunders chastened. The establishment just grateful to have the latest embarrassment behind them.