What did I tell you? Barely a week after the most pointless show of political muscle since 1995, Democrats are now starting to think about delaying Obamacare, after all, citing its disastrous website rollout. Clearly, the law has gone a great way toward repealing itself already, as anyone with even a passing familiarity with the kinks within it should have expected.
Let’s not mince words: The Democrats rushed this law on the American people. They were desperate to see some evidence that government could do big things. Like heroin addicts, they were prepared to do anything for just a little of that sweet, sweet FDR-era self-righteous paternalist high. Unfortunately for them, if the Democrats were heroin addicts, then Obamacare has turned out to be the political equivalent of krokodil. Its utterly laughable roll-out has proven that, even if the federal government is theoretically capable of doing big things, this federal government is not.
Indeed, the more advanced our society gets, the less capable a massive, centrally planned, politicized infrastructure is of keeping up. If you don’t believe that, consider that there are areas of the executive branch where using current day technology (like Google) might actually be illegal, due to Google terms of service clashing with laws that were written in the 1980s.
So the Democrats, expecting to climb the stairway to government-managed heaven, have instead stepped on a cowpie. Of that much, we can be proudly sure. Now it is time for the GOP to stand firm, albeit not in the ways they’ve thus far preferred. Republican leadership had to beg Democrats to let them end the shutdown on anything remotely close to their terms. Now they should return the favor by making the Democrats beg them to help delay Obamacare.
What I am proposing is simple: The first time a vote gets scheduled to delay Obamacare, the entire GOP caucus, both in the House and Senate, should vote “present” on the bill. That way, it will pass or fail with Democratic votes alone.
This is not an unheard of maneuver. House Democrats forced the GOP into a similar corner when they all voted “present” on the Republican Study Committee’s budget, forcing GOP leadership to scramble to pick up enough votes to make sure they weren’t stuck defending a budget to the right of the Ryan plan. The point was to show the degree to which ideological fanaticism had gripped the GOP. To some extent, the plan worked, as the bill was only voted down by a relatively small margin within the House GOP caucus. However, the Democrats’ plan was hampered by the fact that the RSC budget was not a signature piece of legislation, and would have required a lot of publicizing in order for their plan to work.
Obamacare suffers from no such problems. Its flaws have been trumpeted everywhere. Its defenders have already been thoroughly embarrassed. Even liberals are beginning to lose faith in it, including no less an eminence than Jon Stewart! In other words, from a purely Democratic perspective, delaying it should be a no-brainer.
But it won’t be. Because while the press likes to focus on the extremism of certain elements of the GOP, it ignores entirely the equally virulent extremism that is present within the Democratic Party. Just as it is impossible to imagine Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, voting for any bill that ended the previous shutdown (despite such a move being politically mandatory for the party’s survival), it is equally impossible to imagine a figure like Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., voting to delay Obamacare. And while the press has had great fun turning Cruz into a freak show, the degree of control that figures like Warren exercise over the Democratic Party has been elided to a disgraceful degree.
Therefore, while delaying Obamacare might be a politically obvious choice for Democrats, it is highly unlikely that their ideologically motivated wing would stand for such a concession to reality. What is more, even if the bill passed both houses with a majority of all voting members (i.e., of all Democrats), it would land on the desk of a president who has always belonged more to the Warren wing of his party.
Will President Obama be able to sign a delay of his signature legislative achievement? Will the left let him? These are questions the Democrats should be forced to sweat over at least as much as the GOP sweats over the comings and goings of its so-called suicide caucus. What is more, a vote of “present” could easily be justified under the circumstances as simply a concession to the governing party. “The president wants to pretend the Republican Party doesn’t exist,” the line would go, “so let him see if he can manage his signature legislative achievement without us.”
The result would be an unmitigated political disaster for Democrats, either way. Either the bill would fail, prompting a massive political indictment of the entire Democratic party for wanting to preserve its ideologically motivated disaster of a law more than ease the pain of average Americans, or it would pass, prompting a massive political indictment of the entire Democratic Party for flip-flopping at an institutional level. And either way, every Democratic senator and congressman would be on the record voting for or against delaying the law when they alone had the power to stop it.
In other words, the GOP should not only let Obamacare fail, but let it go on failing until the Democrats recognize the political disaster that their signature law is. Obamacare is, by this point, a preexisting condition which Democrats did not think to insure themselves against. Let them pay the full political price to see relief.

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