Why Conservatives Won’t Back Down On Obamacare

| October 19 2013
John Walker

Throughout the long struggle to defund or delay Obamacare, there was no stronger voice than that of former South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, president of the Heritage Foundation. DeMint and Heritage never faltered in the fight against Obamacare.

Now that Congress has ended the government shutdown and saved Obamacare for the time being, DeMint explains in a Wall Street Journal article why conservatives chose to wage the Obamacare fight and why the fight will continue – “The reason is simple: To protect the American people from the harmful effects of this law.”

DeMint is no newcomer to the Obamacare fight. He knows from experience so many Americans are alarmed by the disastrous effects of the law.

“I spent a good part of my summer traveling around the country with the Heritage Foundation’s sister organization, Heritage Action, and I heard firsthand from many Americans being harmed by Obamacare,” DeMint writes.” More and more people have had their work hours cut, their jobs eliminated and their coverage taken away as a result of this law.”

DeMint has three responses to fellow conservatives who agree that Obamacare will wreck the country, but point out to him that elections have consequences.

  • “The first is that Obamacare was not the central fight in 2012, much to the disappointment of conservatives. Republicans hoped that negative economic news would sweep them to victory, and exit polls confirmed that the economy, not health care, was the top issue. The best thing is to declare last year’s election a mistrial on Obamacare.”
  • “Second, the lives of most Americans are not dominated by the electoral cycle. They shouldn’t have to wait three more years for Congress to give them relief from this law, especially when the president has so frequently given waivers to his friends. Full legislative repeal may not be possible while President Obama remains in office, but delaying implementation by withholding funds from a law that is proven to be unfair, unworkable and unaffordable is a reasonable and necessary fight.”
  • “There’s a third reason not to stop fighting. Forget the consultants, the pundits and the pollsters; good policy is good politics. If the Republicans had not fought on Obamacare, the compromise would have been over the budget sequester. Instead, they have retained the sequester and for the past three months Obamacare and its failings have been front and center in the national debate. Its disastrous launch was spotlighted by our defund struggle, not overshadowed, as some contend. With a revived and engaged electorate, Obamacare will now be the issue for the next few years.”

Conservatives should be encouraged by DeMint’s message. They should continue to listen to Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee and conservatives in the House of Representatives, all of whom DeMint praises for their courageous leadership.

The fight against Obamacare has only just begun. It will be front and center in 2014 and 2016. Jim DeMint is right.

4 comments
dleeper47
dleeper47 moderator

Right on. Nominally conservative talk show pundits like Prager, Ingraham, and Huckabee continue to rail against Cruz and Lee for losing "the battle of Obamacare".  Had they been around in April, 1775, perhaps they'd have likewise faulted the Colonists for failing to accomplish anything at the battle of Lexington.

These pundits may come around later, but for now, they miss the point in the Walker/DeMint article. They also fail to see, as David Limbaugh did this week when he wrote:

  • "I reject the conventional wisdom that Cruz and his warriors hurt our cause by increasing the likelihood of our defeat in 2014. To the contrary, they enhanced our cause by energizing the base and fighting. And they laid serious gloves on Obama; his approval rating has never been lower. They also gave him an opportunity, which he fully embraced, to demonstrate his mean-spiritedness, his pettiness and his dishonesty for all to see.
  • "The shutdown was not the disaster he promised any more than sequestration has been; he was hyper-partisan and gratuitously punitive during the ordeal; and his egregious misrepresentations about Obamacare were manifesting themselves throughout.
  • "Now, having laid this important foundation, the GOP must quit the infighting and come together with mutual respect among the factions and turn its rhetorical weapons on Obama in unison, highlighting the ongoing disaster that is Obamacare and singling out Obama for his fiscal recklessness, pointing out that though these temporary government shutdowns are no picnic, we are headed inexorably toward a full-blown fiscal catastrophe if the Obama big-government juggernaut is not derailed.
  • "Now that's a winning message. So let's fight on.

And as Pat Buchanan predicted this week: The people who fought the battle of Obamacare will be proven right to have fought it, and America will come to see this.

WesternFreePress
WesternFreePress moderator

@dleeper47 I really love your Lexington analogy. We got routed at Lexington, but we fought. It was the British who then got routed just a short time later at Concord. 

If we always preemptively cave, they'll know they'll never lose ay fight. They won't give an inch, ever, because they'll know they don't have to.

dleeper47
dleeper47 moderator

@WesternFreePress @dleeper47 

As I recall, the Brits were harassed by snipers all the way to Concord.  Maybe the grassroots on social media are analogous to those snipers(?).  Metaphorically speaking of course.

WesternFreePress
WesternFreePress moderator

@dleeper47 Not just snipers. Groups of old men, too old to be soldiers, formed small, ad hoc platoons to harry them as they retreated to Boston. An old woman took several of them hostage. Grassroots indeed!