Greta Van Susteren claims not to like ObamaCare. Last night alone, she talked about how ObamaCare was destroying the insurance industry, destroying medical practice, compromising your privacy, and insuring that (unlike the “1%”) you would not have access to the top doctors treating your serious medical condition (and would be forced to die).
Minutes later, as she nodded in adulation, Budget Chairman Paul Ryan explained his budget deal — which had, as its chief unspoken objective, locking in funding for ObamaCare and shutting down conservative opposition to it.
Make no mistake about it: The Ryan-Murray debacle does nothing significant about the debt or spending. It does nothing about entitlements. It raises taxes, particularly for airline passengers, and then pretends it’s not raising taxes. It rearranges some “deck chairs” on the sequester.
But the central raison d’etre of the agreement is to ensure that, no matter how horrific ObamaCare gets, congressional conservatives can do nothing but dutifully pay for it.
It’s like giving your Percocet-addicted kid a prescription pad and a line of credit at CVS.
This is on the heels of successful efforts by the congressional leadership these past two weeks to slam through gun control, by passing it over conservative “holds” when senators like Rand Paul were stranded in a snowstorm.
And it is a preface to Boehner’s reported intentions, after the close of the primary season, to slam through immigration reform with Democrat votes, over the objections of most of the Republican caucus.
In the wake of the shutdown, there is every evidence that the congressional leadership has renewed its commitment to rolling over conservative lawmakers, in order to gain favor in the “puppet press.” And there is some evidence that demoralized conservatives are willing to let this happen.
But understand these three things:
(1) Although Obama was ebullient at enrolling over 50,000 people during the first three days in December, he could continue at this rate for every three-day period until March 31, and he would only have enrolled 28% of the number which would be required to keep ObamaCare from collapsing. Premiums in 2015 will, therefore, be more than anyone can pay.
(2) Senate Democrats are headed toward a loss of as many as 15 Senate seats. And the chief obstacle to this result is a cadre of whiny Republicans who dutifully pass gun control and immigration, while complaining that they’re unable to take on Barack Obama on ObamaCare.
(3) Despite the Obama-generated mantra over the shutdown, Democrats would not be plummeting so quickly if Republicans had not just forced them to “own” every word of ObamaCare.
So here’s a little advice from a former Army Reserve Officer: You win a war by shooting the other side’s troops. You don’t obliterate your own “ground game” because your enemy tells you to.